There are many different spikes in volleyball. Learning the basic spike will improve a player’s game and will lead to advanced techniques. The basic spike includes the approach, the jump and the hit. It will take practice to be able to spike the ball efficiently enough to lead to a kill. A kill occurs when the ball is spiked so hard that the other team does not have the opportunity to get the ball before it hits the ground. A ball that is spiked correctly will result in a kill most of the time.
Stand three to four feet from the volleyball net. Take a long stride and lift both arms in front of the body. A right handed player should start the stride with the left foot while a left handed player should start with the right foot.
Take two smaller steps and swing the arms backwards. Jump as high as possible and swing the arms forward for momentum. Bring the hands up with palms open. Pull one hand back behind the head while aiming the other hand at the ball. Keep the hands open and the palms facing outwards.
Push both hands forward and hit the ball starting with the heel of the hand and snapping the wrist forward. Remember to keep an eye on the ball the entire time to prevent missing it. Do not hit the net with any part of the body, this will be ruled as a fault.
The jump serve is relatively new in volleyball. Players who jump serve effectively give their team an offensive boost. Players who can jump serve effectively give their team an offensive boost. Rather than beginning the game on the defensive with a typical serve, the jump serve starts the team offensively by forcing the opposing team to respond to an attack.
Stand two feet or more behind the baseline and hold the volleyball at arm’s length in front of you. Toss it high into the air above and into the court – the distance into the court and toss should depend on your jumping ability. The farther you can jump, the farther into the court you can toss the ball and the more power you will be able to generate. Make sure to toss the ball high enough to give yourself time to jump and swing. A low toss will end up being served into the net.
Move with the ball’s toss. As the ball climbs and hits its peak, you should be taking two or three steps toward it. Remember to avoid stepping into the court during serve. Jump as the ball begins to descend. Make sure you jump just before reaching the baseline. Your goal is to make contact with the ball at the highest point you can reach.
Swing and snap your wrist, just as you would for a spike. Your forward momentum and swing should carry the ball just over the net and quickly down. Practice repeatedly to get to the point where you know where you should stand before serving, how high you should throw the ball and when you should jump to attack.
Volleyball requires a wide range of skills and while players can fill specific roles, it is important for players to develop versatility that allows them to fill any role during a rally if needed. Throughout the game it is important for players to react quickly which requires practice. The following drills can be used to help volleyball players react quickly during matches.
4 by 2 pepper: Pepper is a two player game where the players take turns hitting the ball with a series of different strikes. To start, the first player hits the ball overhand to the second player, who in turn digs the ball to themselves and performs an overhand tomahawk. The same player then punches with their left hand, then their right, sets themselves and returns to the starting player with an overhand hit. The second player repeats the process until one player misplays the ball. Players react quickly to the ball to ensure they are in position for each hit.
Eye check: In eye check, three players participate with the setter having the most difficult job. A thrower sets up in the back row with a setter and a spiker in the front row. The thrower tosses the ball forward, simulating a dig and as he does so a coach on the other side of the net holds up a signal from the game ‘rock, paper, scissors’ over his head. The setter looks through the net, calls out the signal and sets the hitter for a spike. Drilling teaches the setter how to look across the net, which in a game allows her to find weaknesses in the defence and then react.
Net save: The net save is a simple drill to convert into competition, it is also quite fun. Each team has a hitter set off to one side and a setter in position to feed the balls to him. The remaining players line up along the net rear the other sideline. Coaches on each side of the net throw balls off the net. The front player in line must react to the way the ball plays off the net and dig the ball off the net to the setter who must play the ball where the hitter could go for the kill, though the hitter does not actually hit. Every successful set earns a point.
Rapid set drill: The rapid set drill is a three player drill that allows the active player to practice her reception of balls that come over the net from the other team. Two players stand on one side, with a player in a setting position and the other in a back position. The third player stands on the opposite side of the net. The third player throws balls across the net near the player in the back, but not directly at her forcing her to reach to one side to play them. The receiving player aims her hit to the setting position player who sends the balls under the net back to the player throwing the balls. A new ball is thrown as soon as the receiving player passes meaning she must react quickly to adjust for the new ball.
There are two ways to serve in volleyball. You can serve a float serve or a jump serve. A float serve is where the volleyball is tossed slightly in the air whereas in a jump serve the ball is tossed high in the air while you stride forward and hit while jumping and the ball starts to descend.
Stand at the back line of the volleyball court as you will be taking three long strides forward before you serve. Take one large step forward with your left foot. Begin to step forward again, this time leading with your right leg. While stepping forward toss the volleyball straight up in the air. The toss should be in front of you and quite high.
Stride forward one last time and plant your right foot down and jump up to meet the ball. Strike the ball with your hand as it is descending. Aim for the centre of the ball. Follow through on your serve by landing at or over the service line. Practice your jump serve and focus on maintaining your balance.
Stand a few feet back from the net while holding a volleyball. Arrange your stance so that your left foot is in front and pointed towards the net (or the right foot, if you are left handed). Shift your weight to your back foot. Raise the volleyball with your left hand supporting it from underneath. Your right hand should be resting slightly atop the ball.
Move your right hand to your ear while keeping your elbow high in the air. Your left arm is still supporting the volleyball in front of you. Toss the ball in the air and in front of your shoulder. Shift your body weight to the front foot and hit the back of the ball with your right hand. Do not follow through. The goal with a float serve is to be able to hit the ball straight across the net without an arch.
If you are just starting out in volleyball, it is important to focus on the fundamentals to develop your volleyball skills. Focus should be directed at ball control in passing, your footwork during serving and receiving and your approach when hitting the ball during an offensive play.
Good passing is absolutely essential when playing volleyball. Players must be able to consistently pass the ball to a specified target no matter what position they are playing. Practice passing with a partner at different lengths or even as a team.
It is also important for a player to be able to set and spike the ball with control. Work with a partner and get them to pass the ball to you while you practice passing back, spiking the ball and receiving different passes as if you were in the game.
Blocking is an essential part of a player’s defensive game. Timing, footwork and your hand placement are key to effectively blocking the ball. Get another player to hold the ball on the opposite side of the net. They can stand on a chair and are able to move the ball to different spots before you jump. The blocker gets into position and jumps up and blocks the ball.