How to Hit a Volleyball

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When it comes to volleyball, there are numerous ways to make contact with the ball and pass it. If you’re new to this sport, you might wonder how to hit a volleyball and the best methods.

How to Hit a Volleyball

There is no unique method for hitting the ball. This is because all methods depend on the movement you want to make. For example, if you want to serve, you must hit the ball a certain way. The same principle goes when you want to spike, set, pass, and bump.

An image of a woman serving the ball

It is critical to understand how to hit in each of these moves. After all, it is this that causes the ball to move in the desired direction. Learning and mastering this will allow you to help your team by passing, spiking, or saving the ball.

Finally, remember that learning the proper technique for each of these movements takes a significant amount of time and dedication. Therefore, to master them, you must practice them.

How to Strike Offensively

The offense is an important element in volleyball, after all, it is the most efficient way of scoring points. However, if you don’t know how to correctly hit an attack, you can send the ball out of bounds, making you lose a point. This is why it is so important to know how to master this last touch.

To do it, you simply need to jump, swing your arm, and strike the ball towards the opponent’s side of the court. However, you must keep your hand strong and snap your wrist down. This will allow you to send a powerful spike with a downward motion.


Setting is also considered an offensive move as it makes it easier for your hitters to spike the ball and score. If you do it incorrectly, your spiker may miss his shots, resulting in losing points for the team.

To do it, form a triangle with your hands on your forehead and relax your fingers. Then, position yourself near the ball and wait for it to fall. Allow it to make contact with your fingers and push the ball by extending your arms.

Visualize it as a trampoline where the ball falls and will be bounced immediately with a hit. However, keep in mind that you should not grab or throw the ball, just push it quickly. On top of that, never let the ball touch the palm of your hands as it could be called a lift.

How to Strike Defensively

To hit the ball defensively, you must use the bump. This technique will allow you to receive the volleyball and even perform bold moves such as digging. However, although it is a basic move, it might not be as simple as it seems.

An image of people playing volleyball

To do it, you need to clasp your hands and create a “platform” that will help you contact the ball. The quickest way is to wrap your left hand around your right fist. Your final position should have your thumbs parallel to each other and point straight to the ground.

Then, you can easily contact the ball. However, you need to be aware of little details to correctly perform this move. Here are some tips on how to contact the ball when bumping.

  • Make sure the ball is in contact with your forearms, nothing else. This is the sweet spot you need to aim for. If the ball hits other parts of your arm, it might get misdirected.
  • Use both arms to hit the ball. If you only use one, the ball might change direction.
  • While contacting, do not swing your arms.
  • Keep both wrists together at contact, and do not let them separate.
  • You should always hit the ball at waist level.
  • Keep your arms fully extended and strong. However, do not make them stiff, as this could injure your elbow.

How to Strike a Serve

When performing a serve, one of the most important elements to consider is your contact with the ball. This is because the serves must be very precise to score aces. Also, the shot must be powerful enough that the opponent cannot easily receive it.

If you hit the ball incorrectly, one of two things can happen: the shot will be powerful and yet inaccurate, or the shot will be accurate yet powerless. You will lose a point in either case. That’s why you need to learn how to effectively hit the ball when serving.

There are many different types of serves, however, if you are a beginner and want to have a decent start, you should learn how to hit an overhand and an underhand serve. These are fundamental moves that will help you develop and improve as a player.


The underhand serve is the most basic way to serve the ball. It allows you to strike the ball safely, after all, you are not required to jump or hit the ball in the air. However, due to its lack of power, this move is ineffective in professional matches, which is why elite players don’t use it.

To hit this serve, the first thing to do is to grab the ball with your less skilled hand and make a fist with your dominant hand. Then, you must position the ball in front of your dominant arm and hit the ball with your fist.

You must be careful when making the fist. Sticking or flexing your thumb may cause the ball to be misdirected. Straighten your thumb and place it on top of your index finger’s side. This creates a flat area on your fist, allowing you to hit the ball correctly.

An image of a man hitting the ball


The overhand serve is a slightly more advanced technique that allows you to hit the ball with greater power and precision. There are many variations of this serve, such as the jump topspin serve and the jump float serve. However, this is the one you should learn first to have a good starting point.

To do this serve, you must grab the ball with your non-dominant hand and throw it over your head, in front of your dominant hand. Then hit the ball with your dominant hand, using the top of your palm. This will allow you to send a powerful ball towards the opponent’s ground.

Always keep your hand wide open and strong. Otherwise, the ball may come into contact with your fingers and change direction. Also, if you have a loose hand, your shot may be underpowered, causing the ball to be slow and easy to receive.

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about hitting in volleyball.

Should I Hit the Volleyball With My Wrists?

No, you should not hit the volleyball with your wrists at any given point. This could send the ball out of bounds, or worse, it could injure your wrist over time. All hits should be done with your hand or your forearms.

Although it is not recommended, you could use other parts of your body, such as the feet, head, or even the chest.

How Do You Hit a Volleyball So It Doesn’t Hurt?

If you are a beginner, hitting the ball might hurt your fingers or your forearms, especially if the ball is too hard. If you want to alleviate some of that pain, you can use sleeves when playing, or you could use a softer volleyball.


Hitting the ball is an action that requires proper technique. This is what will ensure that the ball is always pointed in the right direction, allowing you to improve your team’s game inside of the court.

Alfonso Andrade is an avid sportsman, growing up playing soccer and volleyball. He is a coach and sports analyst, studying the game to analyze performance and help create improvement.