Need To Hit A Volleyball With Power? First Improve Your Spike Approach

These tips for how to hit a volleyball focus on improving your three or four step spike approach techniques which creates the power for your hitting attacks.

Need To Hit A Volleyball With Power? Improve Your Volleyball Spike Approach 
What's A Spike Approach?


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

USA High Performance, Coronado High School, State Champion Finalist Left Side Hitter Jacob Ceci working on the sharp cross court hit, with only a two-step approach from Zone 4



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 air.

Well, a player learns to do the same thing, before they can hit a ball and before they begin to initiate their volleyball spike technique. 





Need To Hit A Volleyball With Power? Improve Your Volleyball Spike Approach 
The Four-Step 
Volleyball Spike Approach Steps


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 sets are considered slower sets used with high jumping hitters to beat the opposing block with a high reach, great vertical jump and using a lot of power. 


BYU commit Kate Prior, with Breakfast Club regulars Talina Inguanzo, Adlai Rodriguez during volleyball hitting drills


The higher the hitter can jump, with the right volleyball technique the higher they can reach...the better. 



This means the ball is contacted at a higher point in the air where hopefully the block cannot reach. 

Need To Hit A Volleyball With Power? Improve Your Volleyball Spike Approach
The Three-Step Volleyball Spike Approach


The Three-step approach

The three-step approach is used more often for faster sets that are set lower to the net that quick athletic hitters use with a quick armswing and fast swing to beat the block. 


Two time state champion and  Gatorade Player of the Year Tommi Stockham works on how to hit a volleyball with power


These faster and lower sets are used to beat the block with speed. 

The faster, the hitter can jump, and the faster they can swing..the better. 

This means the ball is contacted at a lower point in the air above the net, but is contacted at a faster speed where hopefully the block cannot reach. 


Need To Hit A Volleyball With Power? First Improve Your Spike Approach.

TCU outside hitter attacks against the Texas double block (Ralph Iversen)Need To Hit A Volleyball With Power? First Improve Your Spike Approach. TCU outside hitter attacks against the Texas double block (Ralph Iversen)

Need To Hit A Volleyball 
With Power? 
Learning How To Improve Your Spike Approach


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 spike approach length can also change if you are playing in a crowded volleyball tournament that doesn't have a lot of space between courts. 

In this situation you may be forced to change from a four step to a three step approach.



What should never change for a spiker is the aggressiveness of and speed of the last two steps of the spike approach. 



When I coach the volleyball spike approach, I ask my players to "attack the floor" with their last two steps.  

I tell them to treat the floor as if its a trampoline and be aggressive in attacking the last two steps..the more aggressive, the more you increase your vertical jump.



The higher your vertical and the higher you reach..the better chance you have of outreaching the block. 


How To Hit A 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 Spiking by clicking the related links below. 
  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 
on 
VolleyBragSwag's All Beast Team


You will really like these volleyball hitting pages!


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