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Volleyball Spiking Strategies

Volleyball spiking strategies are another way to increase the points that your team wins during a match. The whole purpose of these tips is to make you a more effective hitter so that you can get that kill when needed.


When you are hitting a volleyball, most players just try to hit as hard as they can without any thought or strategy behind what they are doing. They want to be known as the “power hitter” and so they just try and rip every set they get.

I want you to take a smarter approach to hitting. As a hitter, let’s review your options and talk about when each hitting option is effective.

Hitting Options

Swing Hard Down The Line – This option works best when there are two blockers up on your block, or if the outside blocker is trying to block your angle hit. The key to this technique and any other volleyball spiking strategy is to hit the ball while it is in front of you.

Sure, you want your arm swing to be as high as possible so that it is more difficult to block, but you need to keep the ball slightly in front of you when hitting so that you can see the volleyball net, and the blockers. When those blockers are leaving the line open, hit down the line.

Volleyball Spiking StrategiesSwing Hard Cross Court – This option seems best when only one blocker is up or there is a seam between two blockers. When there is only one blocker, there will be plenty of gaps to swing at and the cross court angle is usually available.

Where there is a double block, most blockers are not disciplined enough to seal the gap between them and there is enough room to hit the ball through the gap.

Tip Over The Block – It is a great technique to use sparingly. If you have been powering the ball for most of your hits, the defense will actually get to a point where the are more vulnerable to this kind of attack. 

If they are expecting you to power the ball, the back row will likely be on their heels waiting for a big blast. They will be frozen and unable to move. The front row will be doing everything they can to be up on the block. So, with multiple blockers up and the back row frozen, conditions will be perfect for this.

Just make sure that you disguise this attack properly or you will not be as effective as a hitter. Many people when they tip the ball, they jump with their arm already out in tipping position and the defense has time to react. When you do this, do your normal approach and hitting motion and then stop the swing and tip at the last moment to reduce their reaction time. That is how to be successful with this volleyball spiking technique.

Tool The Block – Tooling the block means that you purposefully hit the ball into the block so that the ball is deflected off the block and is unplayable.  This is an extremely effective strategy when there is a good block that is up.

When you use this strategy, there are three options on where to aim at. You can hit the ball off of the side of their hands, swing high to go off of the top of their hands, or you can hit it straight into their hands so that the ball goes straight down on their side of the net.

Volleyball Spiking StrategiesHitting it straight into their hands only works if they are not penetrating the net (reaching their hands over your side of the net). If they jump up to block and leave their hands on their own side of the net, the hands become an easy target for a kill.

When hitting off of the side or tops of their hands, you want to swing hard, but remember to keep the ball in front of you when hitting so that you can see their hands. Getting a kill in volleyball does not mean that you hit the hardest. It just means that you are playing smartly.

Tip Into The Block – This one is probably the most difficult to do consistently. This volleyball spiking strategy is used only when the ball is set very tightly on the net and the blocker is going to get an easy block.

This advanced volleyball spiking strategy is where you are going to tip the ball into the block in a way so that is comes back down on your side allowing you to pass it back to your setter and rerunning the offense for another hitting opportunity.

The intent here is not to get a kill. It is simply to keep the ball in play and give your team another opportunity for a kill.

These are the primary hitting strategies and when they are effective. Make sure that you practice all of them so that you do not become a hitter with only one hitting technique.

Where to go next?

Volleyball Spiking Videos – These are some great hits caught on video.

Hitting Techniques – This page teaches more of the “how to” technique on hitting.

Volleyball Practice Plans – Download some sample practice plans to make your practices more effective.

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