Basics of the Volleyball Spike
Techniques, skills, and strategies

A volleyball spike or attack is the strategy used to send the ball over the net to the opponent in such a manner that ball is not returnable.

The spike is performed by moving the arm in a way such that you angle the ball to land on the ground of your opponent's side of the court.

Usually a spike is hit with great force at a downward angle.

However, more skilled spikers use other volleyball strategies for attacking to trick the opponent while positioned to receive the ball. One way to catch the opponents off guard is to tip or dink the ball.


Upper Arm is Vertical... In good Position for Elbow to Wrist Follow Through

tip or dink is performed by contacting the ball in a controlled manner with the fingers. With this open hand playing action, the ball is then quickly directed to the opponents court.

Tipping the ball with the fingers can often be deceptive if the spiker has a reputation of hitting the ball hard.

Volleyball Spike

Volleyball Spike Approach

Which players on the team perform the volleyball attack?

To legally spike the ball when positioned at the net, you must be a front row player. So usually it’s just the front row players on the team that spike the ball.

Back row players can legally spike the ball from behind the 10 foot (3 meter) line. This is a much more difficult type of volleyball attack and is used only by more experienced volleyball players.

The basic classical spike is made by jumping off of both feet.

A spiker usually takes a series of steps to attack the ball.

These steps are called a volleyball approach.

The goal of the volleyball approach is to get in the best position possible to attack the ball.

When teaching a player to approach and hit a volleyball, you might start with learning the last 2 steps. Once the last 2 steps are learned, you can move on to perfecting a 3 step or a 4 step volleyball approach.

Last 2 Steps


When first learning to spike, concentrate on just these last two steps and work on timing the hit.

For a right handed hitter, the last 2 steps are right foot then left foot.

For a left handed hitter, the last 2 steps are left foot then right foot.

3 Step Approach

    For a right handed hitter, the 3 step approach is left foot, right foot, then left foot.

    For a left handed hitter, the 3 step approach is right foot, left foot, then right foot.

4 Step Approach

    For a right handed hitter, the 4 step approach is right foot, left foot, right foot, then left foot.

    For a left handed hitter, the 4 step approach is left foot, right foot, left foot, then right foot.

Point of Contact
The ball should be contacted reaching up high with the arm straight, elbow extended. The contact should be made reaching directly above or slightly in front of the body. The ball is contacted by the hand using a wrist snapping type motion to direct the ball downward into the opponents court.

Trajectory of the Set
The approach for the volleyball spike can also be different depending on the trajectory of the set. When attacking a ball that’s set to the outside, the volleyball attacker can approach to hit at an angle coming from outside the court. This volleyball approach at an angle prepares the attacker to effectively hit the ball hard angle or turn and hit the ball down the line.



32 Attacking Drills

Get Instant Access to the essential drills for teaching the approach and spike.


Volleyball Spike Related Pages

Attack Hit Volleyball Skills

Hitting Volleyball Drills

Attacking Volleyball Terms
› How to Spike

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