Volleyball Hitting Drills We Do To Beat the Block, Hit Deep Corners, Mix Up Shots and Spike for Points in Offense 

Learn how to score more points
with your spike attack hits!

High contact during an attack hit photo by CE AndersenHigh contact during an attack hit photo by CE Andersen


The volleyball hitting drills we do in Boot Camp class are designed to help you improve the various ways you need to be able to attack or spike a volleyball. 

Hitting the ball hard over the net is the first thing players think of about, when thinking about playing volleyball.

Its the most popular skill of the game which makes it so spectacular and fun to play and watch. 

And let's face it, if you know how to spike a ball, it's just a great accomplishment and a really cool thing to be able to do well in order to score points for your team!

Right? 


Volleyball Hitting Drills
Front Row Hitters


Front court hitters whether they are on the left, right or in the middle must be able to hit a ball hard enough so they can get it 

  • a) first past the opposing team's block and then
  • b) past the opposing team's back row defensive players so the ball hits the floor. 


One of the first important reasons to do volleyball hitting drills is to develop enough power and a quick armswing to hit the ball past the block and past the diggers on the opposing team.  

In order for your team to score a point with your spike attack, it requires you to become better in practice with your lower body footwork, combined with your upper body arm swing technique along with your spike approach timing to the ball which will vary depending on the set you plan on hitting. 


I have all the players we work with go through our Boot Camp class version of the drill shown in the video below. Among...

Posted by Volleyball Voices Boot Camp Class, Clinics and Competition on Sunday, June 10, 2018


Volleyball Hitting Drills For
Outside Hitters


Outside hitters can be compared to running backs on a football team or forwards on a basketball team. 

Their job is to score points especially so for the left side hitters. 

Hitters are required  to "put the ball" on the floor for their team and they have to learn how to do so in perfect and imperfect situations.


Tulane outside hitter attacking against one block.Tulane outside hitter attacking against one block. (Michael Johnston)


If the outsides get a perfect set, which is also called an "in-system" set, then the expectation is for them to generate enough power with the momentum they generate from their spike approach and quick arm swing to put the ball on the opposing team's  floor. 

And if they get an imperfect set, or an "out-of-system" ball the expectation is the same...to do something smart with the ball so it gets to the opponent's court floor for a point. 

Another important reason to do certain volleyball hitting drills is to understand how and when to use smart tactics to hit the ball hard and when to hit the ball smart to a specific spot on the court. 

Smart hitting means to practice knowing when, where and how to hit to certain areas of the court, especially when you get an out of system set.  A hitter always has options, you just need to know what they are and you need to do plenty of volleyball hitting drills so you know

  • when to hit hard
  • when not to hit hard
  • where to hit when hitting hard and where to hit when not hitting hard

The outside hitters are called upon to terminate the ball for a point.

Yep, some of the nicknames for the outsides include

  • cannons
  • bombers 
  • terminators

because their single most important job after they get the ball from their setter is to put the ball on the opposing team's court floor.

Here's one of the volleyball hitting drills we frequently do for outside hitters to learn how to hit hard past the block and past the diggers to score points.

On one half court is me, the coach, who tosses to a setter who sets to the left side hitter.

On the other side of the net is one blocker in Zone 2 who attempts to block the spiker and three diggers behind her in the backrow who try to dig the balls that get past the block. . 

Me, the coach, will toss 15 balls to the setter who sets to the left side hitter. Out of 15 sets we set a goal for the hitter.

The goals might be:

  • the first side to score 10 points wins
  • which side scores the most in a set amount of time

Things to work on

  • the hitter practices scoring points under pressure 
  • attacking against one block
  • attacking against a double block
  • hitting cross court hard
  • hitting high seam or high off the blocker hands
  • using the block to score points
  • scoring points by spiking only: no tipping allowed
  • problem solving


Seven-time NCAA Division I Womens Volleyball champion Penn State head coach Russ RoseSeven-time NCAA Division I Womens Volleyball champion Penn State head coach Russ Rose at Stupak


Seven-time NCAA Division One champion coach Penn State's Russ Rose does a version of this drill in his practices. 

Check out how he explains his version in the video below. 

I learned a ton from doing volleyball hitting drills when I was in college with Penn State coach Russ Rose. (I went to University of Tennessee Knoxville but during summers and offseason I'd train with Russ.)

Much of the way I coach now is inspired by alot of what I learned from him as a player. 

It worked when I was a collegiate player and many of the techniques and tips worked when I was professional player. 

Listen in as Russ shares some of  his coaching philosophy along with his volleyball hitting drills. 


As a professional left side hitter, I trained to hit both the perfect "in-system" sets and the imperfect "out-of-system" sets.  

My role as a left side hitter was that of a "vacuum cleaner"...I was responsible for picking up and putting away all types of balls and all types of sets.. that meant everything, the good stuff and the trash

Even if I got a ball set to the outside that was too low, or too fast, or too far off the net, it was still my responsibility to do something with it so that I could score a point for my team. 

I expect the hitters I train on high school and club teams to adopt the same mindset.

This spiking drill helps hitters practice spiking in perfect and imperfect situations.  

Here's the Portland State coach Michael Seeman demonstrating how he runs his version of the same 'One Hitter vs Six Players on Defense" hitting drill at the Art of Coaching Clinic in Portland this year. 

Different coaches tweak this same drill the way they need it so they can work on improving different aspects of hitting the ball against a six-person defense. 




Volleyball Hitting Drills
Developing Mentally
Tough Hitters Who Can Hit
Alot of Balls


Certain volleyball hitting drills are designed to help players develop an aggressive mindset when they go up to hit. 

Hitters have to learn how to hit balls aggressively for points and outside hitters have to be ready and able to hit alot of balls. 


Watch highlights from week 5 of the premiere women's Volleyball Nation League competition going on all summer. 

Why Do Left Side Hitters Usually
Receive More Sets?


When the setter is at the net, waiting to run her offense, she faces her left side outside hitter in Zone 4 and middle blocker in zone 3. 

This puts the setter in a position to give her outside hitter alot of sets, especially a setter who is less experienced and doesnt have the talent to give many balls to the middle or back set behind her to her setter in Zone 2. 


Tennessee setter # 17 is running her offense facing her middle blocker #41 and her left side hitter #14.Tennessee setter # 17 is running her offense facing her middle blocker #41 and her left side hitter #14.


The left side hitter should know she is going to get the majority of the balls set by the setter. 

Why?

Because at the beginning of each rally, when her team is in serve receive the setter sets up at the net facing the left side of the court.

She sets up just right of the center of the net always keeping her left side hitter and middle blocker in front of her.   Its easier for her to get the ball out to the left side of the court, especially if she has just received an imperfect pass which forces her to set the ball on the run. 

If she wants to set the right side player behind her she will have to deliver a back set. 



A left side hitter on most high school and club teams should expect to spike the ball quite often during each set, so they need be well-conditioned athletes in that position. 

So another reason to do volleyball hitting drills is to build up physical endurance, mental strength and confidence to hit a lot of balls against a two-person block during a match. 

You learn not to just hit the balls but to develop the fearlessness and emotional toughness to repeatedly be in pressure-filled games and be able to terminate match winning points without backing down or being afraid. 

Volleyball Hitting Drills
Nine Person Pepper Drill


Check out this hitting drill called Nine Person Pepper. 

Both left and right outside hitters, are working on

  • hitting hard, 
  • being aggressive 
  • while working on their physical conditioning while having to run under the net to hit from the left side and the right side. 






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