Valuable Volleyball Spike Tips

Learn How To Spike A Volleyball

Admit it, the volleyball spike is the most fun part of the game.

Okay I said it. I got it over with. It's done.

You and I both know it's the part of the game that we really want to be

good at.

We'd all love to hit a ball like Big 10 Player of the Year,

Penn State, outside hitter Simone Lee.   


After you've learned how to spike a volleyball there's some kind

of crazy satisfaction that hitters  get, when we take a good aggressive

spike approach, make high contact with the ball at its highest point, and

then spike the ball past the block into an open space on  the opposing

team's  court for a point.

Wisconsin outside hitter Lauryn Gillis talks about

leaving her legacy as a Badger. 


Before you can spike the volleyball well,  you  need to learn the

commonly used hitting terminology all players know like the

approach, the hit, the spike,and the attack.

Improve Your Volleyball Hitting: What's A Spike Approach?

When an airplane is ready for take off, it makes its approach down the

runway to gather speed and velocity so that it can lift itself up in the


Well, a player learns to do the same thing, to hit a ball ,once they begin

to initiate their volleyball spike technique. 

Volleyball Spike Approach Steps

The spike approach is a set number of steps, usually a three-step

approach or a four-step approach that a player makes to

gather the speed and gain forward momentum needed to get herself in 

the air to make contact with the ball at its highest point.  

The Four step approach

The four-step approach gives outside hitters more time to get to balls that are set higher and are slower to get to the outsides of the net.  

Higher slower sets are used to beat the block with power. 

Three step approach

The three-step approach is used more often for faster and lower sets that hitters need to get to quickly to swing fast. 

Faster lower sets are used to beat the block with speed. 

The higher, the hitter can jump, then reach..the better. 

This means the ball is contacted at a higher point in the air where

hopefully the block cannot reach. 

Spiking The Volleyball

You will then spike the ball over the net, past the block and to the floor

before a back row defensive player can get it up.

The speed and length of a spike approach can change depending on

what play and what kind of set a player receives.

Your approach can also change if you are playing in a crowded

volleyball tournament that doesn't have a lot of space between courts.

What is a Volleyball Spike?

Once you've made the first two steps of your spike approach that get

you closer to the ball, then you  start your arm swing motion, swinging

both arms back ..before swinging them both forward. 

Both arms swing forward at the same time the last two steps are taken

which lifts you into the air, like a plane that has taken off at the end of the


In the air, the hitter pulls back the elbow of her hitting arm, keeping it

above the level of her ear while the arm is  above her


Holding her elbow high and using a bow and arrow type movement to 

make contact with the volleyball so that it clears the net, the hitter brings

the hitting arm forward so it contacts the top third of the ball. 

Upper Body Volleyball Hitting Requirements

The components of a good hard volleyball spike are...:

  • a fast arm swing rotation with a 
  • a high reach keeping the elbow high along with 
  • contacting the top third of the ball ...all combines to 

...create a high paced hit with a downward trajectory that sends the ball

into the opposing court with force and intensity.

Volleyball Hitting: What's An Attack?

An 'attack hit' is an attempt by a player on the offensive team, to

get the ball into the opponent's court either with an aggressive volleyball

spike or a slower off speed but strategic touch on the ball called  a tip.

Types of Volleyball Spikes: What's a Kill?

When a player successfully attack hits a ball for a point or a 

sideout against their opponents then that action is marked on the stat

sheet as a kill.

What's A Dink?

A spiker doesn't always have to hit a ball hard to make a point for their


You have the option of dinking or tipping the ball into the opponent's

court In indoor volleyball, a female player can open their hand

and contact the ball with the pads of their fingertips to push it

over or past the block.

Which of course, leads me to explain what the "cobra" is.

Volleyball Spike: What's a Cobra?

Used mainly by beach players, who use their knuckles to do a

closed fist tip, either short in the court or deep, that directs the ball

into an open area in the opposing team's court.

In your beach practice drills a great skill to work on is to use

the cobra shot to tool the block.

How To Play Volleyball: Where Do you Go From Here?

No need to guess where you need to go now? Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about Blocking.
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page    Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the How to Play Volleyball section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started. 
  4. Before leaving this page Say "Hi" to Mr T.T. MUGB the Lion, wearing the #7 jersey below. 

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

VolleyBragSwag's All Beast Team

  1. Improve Your Volleyball
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  3. How To Play VB
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  5. VB Spike

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