The spike is the ultimate offensive weapon in volleyball.
Here are seven simple ways young athletes can perfect their spiking technique and help their team dominate opponents.
Practice "wiping the block" with a coach. The coach stands on a table or chair with a flat wooden board a couple inches above the volleyball net. You purposefully practice hitting that board, aiming for the board like you are going to hit down the line.
Aim straight ahead with your spiking arm "follow through," finishing with your spiking arm coming down across your body. The ball comes back over your outside shoulder to the outside of the volleyball court.
- Practice "wiping the block" at home with a ball against your garage. Without jumping, practice your arm swing hitting the ball into a square you've marked off in chalk to a spot about three to four feet above your forehead.
- Aim and hit standing four feet away from the spot. Your goal is for the ball to bounce back to the left side outside of your body. It goes to the right side if you are left handed.
Mix up your shots, especially in long rallies. This keeps the block guessing and off balanced about what you are going to do and how you are going to attack next.
- Watch where the opposing team sets up in defense when you are in the back row on defense. Plan and think ahead so you already know where the open spots are on the opposing team's court when you get to the front row.
- Learn to "own" the middle of the opposing team's court. Make this the place where you practice putting hundreds of roll shots and off speed shots in practice.
For more tips on improving your volley game, check out April Chapple's new e-booklet "86 Girls Indoor Volleyball Tips: How To Gain Confidence On The Volleyball Court."