Outside hitters need to be the most versatile athletes on the team.
In order to do that they should be able to hit different types of sets located along the net in front of the setter.
Different types of sets delivered at different speeds and different heights make outside hitters unpredictable, versatile and able to score points from different areas on the court along the net.
Being able to transition from defense to offense with specific footwork and consistently quick speed and technique makes it harder for the opposing team's blockers to know when and where you are going to attack next in a rally.
That's the goal for outside hitters...to make it difficult for opposing blockers to stop them from scoring.
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.
Use these volleyball drills for hitting to improve your attacking power which begins with a strong three step or four step spike approach.
Watch as Cal Poly outside hitter, Tommi Stockham works with me in private training.
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.
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.
Watch as Cal Poly starting sophomore outside hitter Tommi Stockham and BYU oppo/middle Kate Prior and Boot Camp class vet Carmela Ferrence work on the Hit and Dig drill to work on armswing speed and accuracy.
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 and beating the block.
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