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Five Ways to Get Better at Volleyball Hitting

Good Volleyball Hitting Can Be the Difference Between Winning and Losing

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female volleyball players
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  1. Go to the Videotape
    It is important in volleyball hitting that you analyze your form. Get a friend or family member to record you hitting on video tape. Make sure that you include different angles -- from the front, from the back and from the side of your hitting arm. Watch the tape in slow motion. How is your form? Your timing? Do you have good position on the ball or are you contorting in the air bending forward or back to hit? Are you jumping up or forward? Are you hitting the ball at the top of your reach? Pay attention to your tendencies. Are you stronger hitting cross court or line? Work on what's weak. Show the tape to a coach or someone who is knowledgeable about the game and ask them where you can improve.

  2. Develop Your Peripheral Vision
    A good hitter has vision. That means he can see a seam in the block or an open line shot as well as where the defense is placed so he can put the ball where they are not. This can mean that you take your eye off the ball and take a quick look at the block and defense. But it is also necessary to be able to see it out of the corner of your eye.

    Next time you go up to hit, take note of what you can see and do not limit it just to what you are looking at. Is there an open spot on the court? Where is the best place to put the ball to get a kill? Can you tool the outside hand of that blocker? You can work on your peripheral vision on and off the court. There are many high tech training techniques that can help, but you can also do go low tech with a computer game or a good old game of whack-a-mole. Pick a spot in the center of the screen or board to look at and try to hit your targets by using your peripheral vision.

  3. Master the Tool
    Being a good hitter is not all about hitting the ball straight down. It is about being smart. A good hitter knows how to tool the block to score points. Work on seeing the block and hitting high off the hands. If the set is tight and you have to joust, make sure you push the ball last and you'll win.

  4. Strength Train
    If you want to hit the ball harder, lift weights. Not only will it help develop your jumping, abdominal, back and shoulder muscles which translate directly to being a better hitter, but it will help you to strengthen your bones and to avoid injury. Hitting uses almost all the muscles in your body, but your shoulder is the most vulnerable to injury from hitting repeatedly.

    Make sure to include the row machine and reverse fly to help stabilize your shoulder. Strengthen your core with some sit ups. Your glutes. quads, hams and calf muscles are all involved in getting you in the air. Do some leg press, some leg extensions, leg curls and calf raises. A few lunges wouldn't hurt you either.

  5. Collaborate with your setter
    Communication is key. Once you analyze your form and do what you can to fix it, make sure to let your setter know what adjustments you are making. Let her know how she can help you. Do you need her to put the ball further off the net? Do you want a higher set? Do you need the ball to come faster? Work with your setter one-on-one to make sure you're clear about what works for both of you.
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