When learning how to spike a volleyball there are several strategies that
hitters can use to get the ball past the opposing team's block in order to
Like professional hitters do, front row spikers should learn how to spike a
To be an effective front row volleyball attacker, you have to adopt
a fearless and aggressive attitude when it comes to spiking the
ball against a two person block put up by the opposing team.
Your confidence should grow and develop as you do lots of
spiking drills in practice as you repeatedly practice how to spike a
It's in practice where you need to see the same types of situations that
you will expect to see in a game. Yes, of course you should be
practicing against a single blocker because in a one-on-one situation
where there's one hitter hitting the ball against one blocker, then the
hitter should always win.
have more court to hit to and one blocker can only take away only
so much area.
But if you want to further develop into a great hitter and learn how to
spike a volleyball past a big block then you need to practice
spiking against a two-person block on a regular basis.
situation, you, the volleyball hitter has the advantage.
First, an outside hitter has to change her attitude about her
ability to"beat the block."
I can't emphasize this point enough. You have to be confident and you
have to be aggressive on every attack after you've learned and can
perform regularly the basic skills on how to spike a volleyball.
teammates the majority of the time.
That's just a fact, the setter in volleyball is counted on to deliver the
ball to hitters, the middle blocker is supposed to block the majority of
balls and if you are a hitter then you will have to accept the fact that
spiking the ball in order to score points for your team is what you will
be counted on to do for your team.
This means that outside hitters need to have major confidence in their
spiking skills and to do this they need to have the mindset that no one
is going to be able to block them.
The confidence level needs to be the same no matter what type of block
is in front of them and they need to believe that a two-person block can't
stop their hits and definitely not a one person block can stop their
If you do get blocked, then you need to believe that it was due more to
something that you can change or correct with your spiking technique
or strategy and not necessarily something that the opposing team's
Its normal that at times hitters will glorify the opposing
team's blockers by giving them more credit than they are due, when
they get blocked at the net several times in a row.
It's typical for a player in this situation to begin thinking "Oh this is an
amazingly big effective block."
Instead you need to change your spiking strategy to exploit the
weaknesses in the block.
So this could mean you need to make an adjustment to your spike
approach timing if you aren't seeing the block when you contact the
photo by Luomen
One of the most effective ways to learn how to spike a volleyball for front
row hitters is to look for holes in the seams of the opposing
The seam is the air space between blockers, usually between the
middle blocker and the outside blocker who is blocking you.
Be confident and fearless when aiming your spike for that space
between the two blockers, especially if you see that the outside blocker
is late in closing the block.
You should aim for that seam or that hole in the block when both
blockers don't jump together in unison, meaning one blocker is going
up while the other is going down.
If you are hitting a "go" set or a "shoot" set which is a lower, faster
paced medium height ball set to the outside antenna, then aiming your
blockers are often late getting to the outside blocker which leaves a hole
for you to aim for.
As you learn how to spike a volleyball you'll have to know the important
spiking terminology in volleyball in order to be able to hit like a pro
You should make it a priority.
As a player you want to have options when hitting a volleyball so when
you get blocked you can always rely on an assortment of different hitting
options to use so you'll always be able to beat the block and get past the
defense so you can score points regularly.
That way if one type of spike or attack shot doesn't work then you can try
another off-speed shot or hard hitting option you've practiced during
your volleyball spike training.
Mixing up the areas of the court you hit to by hitting the ball to a different
area of the court, is another option to try so that you will be successful at
getting your sideout or point.
Whether hitting a ball in indoor volleyball or while playing on the
beach---the cut shot can be a player's best friend.
In a professional beach volleyball, this shot is also called the "cutty" and
it happens when a player in zone 4 hits a volleyball or "cuts an off speed
shot from Zone 4 to the opposing team's Zone 2.
Or if a female volleyball player is in zone 2, then she'll cut the ball so it
travels over the volleyball net to the opposing team's zone 4.
In other words a cut shot is a radical or extreme off speed cross court shot
that lands inside the ten foot line on an indoor court and within ten feet
from the net on the opponent's side on a beach volleyball court.
To make the cutty even more effective, professional women's beach
volleyball players will (and you should too!) make a strong hard spike
approach as they go up to spike the ball.
Then at the last minute they will slow their armswing down before
making contact on either side of the ball.
Either the left side of the volleyball, if they are in or near zone 4 or the
right side of the ball if they are in or around zone 2 which
re-directs the ball cross court.
Remember, zone 5 is the most popular area for players when they are
hitting a ball.
It's usually almost every volleyball player's best area to hit to and where
There's also much more area to hit a ball to when hitting cross court than
there is when hitting down the line.
So in volleyball practices and in games, spikers will take more chances
hitting "the diagonal" as they would say in Italian.
Now that you know this information you can use it to your advantage.
What particular beach volleyball player do you need to serve, to
force her to hit cross court?
Or who do you know hits cross court all the time?
What hand signal will your blocker call and where will she stand at the
net to take away that cross court hitter's best hit?
When you direct a hard driven spike at an area within the opposite
sideline of the opponent's side, you've just made a cross court hit.
For example, if you're an outside hitter on Team A who's hitting a
volleyball from Zone 4 on your side and your hard driven spike lands
anywhere in or around Zone 4 or Zone 5 in the opposing team's side,
then you just scored a point or a side out with your cross court hit.
And let's say you're a right side hitter hitting a volleyball from zone 2
of your side to zone 2 or zone 1 on the opposing team's side, then
you've just made a cross court hit.
When a player performs a spike over the net without jumping to take a
spike approach, that is called a "down ball."
She has stayed down to spike or hit the ball to the opposing team's
A down ball attack is usually the result of a hitter not having enough time
to make an approach or there may be some miscommunication
between her and her setter in regards to a play that was called.
When the blocker on one team see a spiker on the other team hitting a
down ball, then they should call out to each other "down ball" so the
blockers know not to block the ball since the hitter isn't using a spike
approach to hit the ball over the net.
The blockers usually call out to their team "down ball" and transition off
the net to get ready to attack.
This is a ball that has been forearm passed by a player on one team
(instead of hitting the ball) to the opposing team's court.
Instead of hitting a down ball, a 'free' ball is a 'gift' from one team who
for one reason or another can't attack the ball over the net, so they
"give" an easy "unattacked" ball to the other team.
When your team gets a free ball, everything possible should be done to
run a quick attack or give the ball to the 'go to' spiker who should
definitely score a point.
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