How to Spike a Volleyball Correctly
The spike is one of the most powerful moves in all of volleyball. When timed correctly, it can overpower a team’s defensive line and put points on the board in a heartbeat. Learning how to spike correctly is essential to becoming an effective offensive volleyball player, but it takes time, practice and a developed sense of timing.
Keep your eyes on the ball at all times to visualize when it’s in the best position for a spike.
Adjust your body and shift your weight to where the ball is in the air. If it’s drifting to your left, you’ll need to shift your body weight to the left in order to be ready to move that way.
Stand 5 or 6 feet back from the net. Run to the net as the ball is approaching the top of its flight. Take a large step forward with your left foot—if you spike with your right hand, opposite if you spike left-handed—to create a base for your jump. Bring your right foot forward and bend your knees.
Jump off the ground and get as high in the air as possible. Position your body so it’s to the left of the ball. Bring your right arm back behind your body with your palm open.
Swing your arm forward as fast as you can so that it comes in contact with the ball moving downward and away from any blocking players. Hit the ball with the ball of your hand, down near where the base of your thumb meets your wrist.
Follow through fully by bringing your hitting arm down and across your body. Land on the ground and get back in position to make another play.
Practice with wall spikes. Stand 10 feet away from a wall and spike the ball so that it bounces from the floor to the wall and rebounds in such a way you can spike it again.
Avoid reaching over the net to spike the ball. This is illegal and you can be called for a rule violation.
James Patterson specializes in health and wellness topics, having written and produced material for the National Institutes of Health, the President's Cancer Panel and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame company. He is also a former sportswriter with writing experience in basketball, baseball, softball, golf and other popular sports.