How to Spike a Volleyball

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If you are in high school and aspiring to become an attacker in your volleyball team, it is time to understand how to spike a volleyball. To become an attacker, you need to learn some special arm and foot actions to make a perfect spike.

How to Spike a Volleyball

To make your spike a perfect one, there are some steps that you need to follow and some factors you need to take into consideration to overcome challenging scenarios during the play. This article will make you familiar with the primary mechanism and some studies that help you understand the motion and kinetics behind the move.

The Natural Arm Swing

Before moving on to the spiking, it is essential to understand the natural swing of the arm. It plays a huge role in understanding the methodology adopted by you during the game.

Two volleyball players with one about to spike
  • Before transforming the natural throw into a spike, you need to observe your non-hitting hand and elbow. You need to focus them as high as possible after pulling out the attacking arm.
  • This motion of the arms is known as the bow and arrow motion, in which the non-attacking hand holds the bow and the attacking hand is pulling out the arrows.

Here is the video link about practicing arm swing for beginners.

Approach the Footwork

After understanding the basics of an arm swing, it is time to approach the footwork. It involves the four-step footwork approach to understand the motion.

  • For a right-handed player, the footwork goes like right, left, right/left; the reason behind the last instruction is that the motion is supposed to happen simultaneously.
  • The left-handed player has to follow the opposite. Nevertheless, it is a highly recommended approach, as it increases your patience, gives you time and power to perform the perfect swing.
  • To follow the four-step approach, it is suggested to maintain your distance, as it will help you aid the momentum for the attack.

Here is the link to the detailed study of the kinetic effect of a four-step approach.

Approaching the Timing

After focusing on the footwork, you need to focus on approaching the timing for the perfect hit. Here are some factors you need to consider for a perfect hit.

  • Always start slow and then increase your speed. It will give you a perfect amount of energy for the jump and swing. This will make your jump as high as possible.
  • The same thing goes for the steps; start with a small one, then move to the most significant step. The last two steps are the biggest ones that allow us to gather our strength.
  • The first steps are supposed to make you feel calm, and the last two steps are like an explosion, full of power.
People playing beach volleyball with player about to spike

Loading and Swinging

Since you have got your footwork and timing at the place, now is the time to practice the art of loading and swinging, i.e., the bow and arrow motion of volleyball.

  • Once you have set yourself into position, you need to practice the swing in the same mechanism as explained above.
  • Finish your move with a sudden snapping motion adding up a certain velocity and accurate direction to the ball.
  • Do not hit the ball hard, but hit it quickly because when you hit the ball hard, you end up in a crunching position, and nobody wants that.
  • Make it a surprise, as you will have a certain energy, and the accuracy in the direction will not be compromised.

Here is the link to the systematic review of the kinetics and techniques used in spikes while playing volleyball.

Find an Attack Corridor

Since we understand the basic mechanism behind a spike, it is time to take our thoughts to an advanced level and find an attack corridor.

  • Think and position yourself in a way that allows you to get through as many attacks as possible, i.e., put yourself in positions that let you attack without any unorthodox approach.
  • Do not wait for the scenarios that let you attack; try and create one for yourself; otherwise, the ball will start attacking you.
  • Create a space for yourself that lets your arm hit the best way possible; this way, you will be the dominant one, not the ball.
  • Space can be created by giving a pass, and it gives you time to come into the spiking position.

Attacking From the Right

After understanding the primary mechanism and pointers, it is time to understand and practice the scenarios.

  • If you are right-handed, make sure you do not create a considerable distance between yourself and the setter after the pass. In this case, you are relying on the setter for a perfect hit.
  • Make your setter’s job easy and get the ball on your shoulder in minimum time.
  • After the pass, create a corridor for yourself, as it will bring the court right in front of you. This will make your setters relatively easy.

Fixing the Approach

Now it is time to discuss the best approach possible for the gameplay.

A blocker expecting a spike from the opposite team

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Different Types of Serves in Volleyball?

There are four different types of serves in volleyball. These are as follows:

  • Jump Serve
  • Float Serve
  • Topspin Serve

Why Do Teams Rotate?

The teams rotate after a point is being scored because it helps balance the skills among the team and increases the level of cooperation.


Many different drills can help you in achieving that perfect spike, and it is good to start with the basic ones. The methodology of going about a spike can change depending upon the scenario the attacker is in. If you are an aspiring attacker, it is time to work on performing a spike.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.