A Smart Volleyball Hitter 
Has Options

Spiking A Volleyball Isnt The Only Way To Score Points

As an outside volleyball hitter one of the smartest things you can do

is.....not hit the ball hard every time you go up for a spike.

Sounds weird, right?

After all, the whole idea behind spiking a ball, is to hit the ball hard right?

Wrong. You want to pick the right moments. 

Check this out. 

The Successful Volleyball Hitter Knows How To Mix Up Her Attack

Yes, I know that sounds contradictory...a hitter who doesn't hit the

ball, what is that?.

Well, as funny as it sounds, this strategy may be the one that turns you

into one of the savviest point scoring players on your team.

Here's how.

Mixing up your shots is one of the smartest things you as an outside hitter

can do to improve your hitting efficiency.

The smart outside volleyball hitter will mix up shots so that it

forces the opposing team's block to keep guessing about what's  going

to happen next. 

Blockers will have to keep figuring out what kind of defense they

need to use against the hitter.

What Does 'Mixing Up Your Shots' Mean?

I was a left side outside volleyball hitter and for years I spent many hours

learning how to spike the ball....hard.

That's all I did for hours in practice. Hit, hit, hit and hit some more.

But a smart player who I looked up to, taught me the importance of

creating a variety of different shots to use in different situations.

Because, as she explained to me, there will  be that day when for

whatever reason my spikes just wouldn't get past a particular block

It happens to every outside hitter.

Sooner or later against one particular  team your spikes just won't work.


  • legs may be tired so you aren't jumping as high, or
  • your shoulder may be sore so your armswing may not be fast enough, or
  • their defense just finally figured you out..

...anything can happen.

So you need a plan B. 

So when that day comes and your normally hard hits aren't

working for you, how are you going to be effective?

How are you going to score the points that your team expects you to?

That's why in practice during spike training, you should do a lot of

drills that teach you how to hit the ball hard, but you should also


When I say "mix up your shots" that means you develop a "bag of tools"

or  a variety of ways to attack the ball, so that when the block stops your

power game, or you want to really keep the opposing team guessing, 

you have the option of using your finesse game to still score points

against the opposing team.

The best way to decide when to start mixing up your shots, is to get in

the habit just before you spike the ball of looking to see where the

opposing team's defensive players are positioned in their court.

USA Olympic Outside Volleyball Hitter, Kim Hill

You should identify how far back their defensive players are when

your other teammates are hitting or better yet, ask your defensive players

to tell you how far back the other team's defensive players are playing or if

any of them are playing defense right behind their blockers.

This is a fast way that you can get clues.

Use your teammates to help you.

Get them to indicate to you when is the best time and where is the best

location to tip, roll shot or to softly place the ball into the opposing

team's court.  

Get them to be your eyes since your back row will see the opposing 

team's court easier than you will. 

Communicate with your back row players by asking them

"what's open?"

This is how you can have your back row players help you develop

effective attack strategies as an outside hitter in volleyball.

Use them to ask questions about the other team's defense. They aren't

there just to dig. They can help you out as you rotate through the front


Find out more about volleyball communication on the court.

You don't have to rely on just your coach to tell you where to hit the

ball or what spaces are open.

You can use your back row players as your "seeing-eye" people to help

you identify where your tips or roll shots will fall.

So remember, if you've been blocked a couple of times in a row, as an

outside volleyball hitter feel free to ask your back row players for

some feedback on where to attack the ball.

This is a way to help you decide on which spiking strategies to

use as an outside hitter in volleyball.

Volleyball Positions: Where You Should Go From Here

Got it? Good! Where do you need to go now? Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about Middle Blockers.
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page                    Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the Volleyball Positions section in the drop down menu at the top of the page
  4. Reintroduce yourself to Mr. TT. MUGB, #7 , the left side outside hitter and for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star Team. 

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

VolleyBragSwag's All Beast Team

  1. Improve Your Volleyball
  2.  ›
  3. Positions
  4.  ›
  5. VB Hitter

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.