Volleyball Hitting Strategies

Volleyball hitting strategies and tactics for tipping smart, spiking the ball down the line and cross court.

Basic Strategies for the Volleyball Spike

  • Volleyball Hitting Line. For an outside hitter, "hitting line" means hitting the ball down the line in the corner of zone 1. For a right side hitter, hitting line would be hitting the ball down the line in the corner to zone 5. 

    Spiking the ball down the line is often the best strategy for hitting. It's often the best strategy because it's difficult to dig this ball coming at this angle and trajectory. 

    Generally, anytime you can put the ball in a deep corner, you'll likely have success because of how difficult it is to defend. 

    The goal of the defense is to pass the ball to the setter. 

    Passing the ball from the deep corners is often very difficult, so volleyball hitting line is often a great strategy. 

    This strategy is especially affective against a team playing perimeter defense.
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Volleyball Hitting Angle. The angle or cross court hit is when the volleyball hitter hits the ball across the court. The cross court attack is often very difficult to defend when the ball is placed in the deep corner. 

It's difficult to dig because of the trajectory the ball travels. For example, hit the ball hard and high cross court to the deep corner and it's often too difficult for the wing player or baseline player to make a play. 

Another option cross court is sharp angle down around the 10 foot line. This is difficult because the off blocker will likely have to make the play. 

Most players haven't mastered this hit, so often this will be a kill because the lack of experience by defenders seeing this attack.

Tipping to the Middle and Deep Corners. Tipping is often a very affective strategy for attacking. You should develop your tipping skills because it's important to have a wide array of shots. Tipping to the middle is the most common area to tip to. 

Most teams play perimeter defense, leaving the middle open for tips. Be sure to mix in some tips to the middle to keep defenders honest. If you bang some balls pretty hard, you'll likely catch defenders playing defense on their heels, so be sure to mix in some tips. 

Tipping to the deep corners is also an effective strategy. Tipping deep can be effective because a lot of times when a defender sees a tip coming, they expect it to be short. It's also often easier to control the ball when you tip it, so definitely developing your tipping skills.

Strategies for Tipping in Volleyball

  • Beating the Block. Attacking at the net can be thought of as a game between the volleyball hitter and blocker. Think of this situation in volleyball as a one-on-one game, hitter vs. blocker. 

    If you run a fast offense, often the goal is to beat the blocker. If you run a fast offense and have the blocker beat, you don't have to worry about getting blocked. Beat the blocker and hit the ball straight down. That's one strategy. 

    Another option is to see the blocker and place the ball around them. If you can see their body in your peripheral vision, you can hit the ball around them. For example, let's say you see the blockers body in the angle. If this is the case, the space between the blocker and antennae down the line is open. In this situation, hit the ball straight down over the net down the line. 

    Another option would be tooling the blocker. "Tooling" refers to hitting the ball off the blockers hands or arms. This is done by seeing the blocker and intentionally hitting the ball off of them.

  • Beating the Defense. You can also think of attacking as hitter vs. defender. Also think of this situation as a one-on-one game. For example, let's say your opponent is playing perimeter defense with the baseline defender playing defense at the baseline. 

    Watch to see if the defender is rotating over to dig the spike down the line. If the defender doesn't rotate over to play this ball, you know you can beat the defender by volleyball hitting the ball down the line. 

    If you learn how to contact the ball high, you can hit the ball high over the block down the line. This is why I call it a game of hitter vs. defender, because you can just ignore the blocker if the ball crosses high above the net. Ignore the blocker and focus on beating the defender.

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