Volleyball Hits

Mastering the art of the spike.

Cover image: An effective spike is a combination of a powerful yet planned hit.

In a sport where the blink of an eye can mean the difference between a brilliant play and a missed opportunity, there is play that is virtually guaranteed to catch everyone’s attention, regardless of attention span: the spike.

And with good reason, too. Performed with power, speed and precision, a perfectly-executed spike can shift the momentum of a game into your team’s favor, earning pride of place in any squad’s arsenal. To help you on your volleyball way, here are a few pointers to help nail a game-winning spike.

It’s all in the approach

A perfect volleyball spike doesn’t just rely on how hard you hit the ball, and not all players are entitled to deliver an attack. Thus, a player should first consider his current position on the court.

In an official game, there are a couple of conditions to be met in order for you to legally spike the ball: one is that you should be a first row player and two, if you’re spiking the ball from behind the 10-foot (3-meter) line.

To meet the requirement, a spiker usually takes a series of steps before jumping to attack. These steps are critical since they help launch you into a position where you can hit the ball with the perfect angle while using the momentum to add power to your shot.

Whether it is an indoor competition or a beach volleyball tournament, a well-timed spike could win you a point. (scottishvolleyball.org)


Timing is key

Ideally, once you jump to attack, the ball will be positioned right in front of you so you can get a better view of the defense and the field before hitting the ball. With proper timing, you will be able to hit the ball when it’s at its highest point, giving you maximum control, power and speed in your attempt.

Aim makes the game

In delivering a desirable power attack, you need to make sure every shot lands where it should. The key is to analyze the field and the how the defense is set-up. Once you’ve identified the opposing team’s weak spot, lock in on that area and hit as hard as you can. However, a good scorer doesn’t always rely on power spikes alone to get points. Knowing when to apply a spike is definitely just as important as where.

Hit ‘em hard

As previously mentioned, accuracy is important, and power isn’t everything, but when you find your opening, and you’re on the best position to deliver it, you’d best be prepared to capitalize on it. On that note, the sage words of tennis superstar Andre Agassi ring true as a mistake to avoid, lest one get overzealous: “I hit the ball as hard as I could, I found the court later.”

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