How To Spike A Volleyball Like A Pro

Spike training tips that professionals use to hit a volleyball aggressively for points

How To Spike A Volleyball: Pro Player hitting a ball (Jaroslaw Popczyk)How To Spike A Volleyball: Pro Player hitting a ball (Jaroslaw Popczyk)

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

score points.

Like professional hitters do, front row spikers should learn how to spike a

ball through the seams of the opposing team's block.

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 

volleyball aggressively.

Watch how aggressively  the world's best female hitters have
learned how to spike a volleyball 

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.

In this case, the hitters have the advantage because they still

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.

As a spiker you have to believe that you have the advantage

against  the block and in a one-on-one hitting-blocking

situation, you, the volleyball hitter has the advantage.

In a two-man block vs. one outside hitter situation, the hitter can

have the advantage if they use a few strategies to help them

maintain their leverage over the block. 

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. 

The player in the outside hitter position can be compared to

players in the running back position in football and players in

the forward position in basketball.

The players in these three positions are counted on to score

points for their team, so they will get the ball from their other

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.

Spikers are depended upon to score points and to get sideouts

with balls that are set to them, that aren't always perfect.

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

volleyball hits. 

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

blockers did. 

These professional female volleyball players learned
how to spike a volleyball inside the ten foot line

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

ball for your spike.

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photo by Luomen


Or if you are getting blocked, you may need to reach higher

because you are letting the ball drop too low before making

contact with the ball.

Or if you are hitting the ball straight ahead, maybe you need to

start hitting the ball at an angle to avoid hitting the ball directly into

the block.

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

team's blockers.

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

spike for the block's seam is a very good option because the middle

blockers are often late getting to the outside blocker which leaves a hole

for you to aim for.

Learn the Terms For How To Spike A Volleyball

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.

How To Spike A Volleyball: What's a Cut Shot?

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.

Professional Beach volleyball player Emily Day explains
how to spike a volleyball using the cut shot

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

they aim their strongest and hardest volleyball spikes.

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?

How To Spike in Volleyball: What's The Cross Court 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.

How To Spike A Volleyball: What's a Down Ball?

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.

How To Spike A Volleyball: What's a Free Ball?

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. 

Meet T.T. Mugb, aka "Things That Make U Go Boom"
Lion and Ouside Hitter 

VolleyBragSwag's All Beast Team

The Volleyball Girl Guide: Where Do You Go From Here?

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