What Is a Slide in Volleyball?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

When it comes to volleyball, there are a lot of movements and techniques that teams can learn. If you are curious about this, you might wonder, ‘’what is a slide in volleyball?’’ and how to perform it.

What Is a Slide in Volleyball?

In volleyball, a slide is an attack that occurs when the hitter quickly positions himself behind the setter and spikes the ball. This can cause opposing blockers to spread out their defense and open many spaces on their side of the court.

An image of a player setting a volleyball

Normally, the setter would be behind or to the hitter’s side, allowing the blockers to position themselves in front of him. With the slide, the middle hitter will move behind the setter, who must then make a backward pass, allowing the hitter to spike.

This forces the opposing blocker to chase the middle hitter, causing their defense to spread. In these circumstances, a spike will be more effective than a normal attack. Also, the setter could always pass the ball to another hitter, making this a deceptive move.

How to Correctly Perform a Slide

To make this move, both the hitter and the setter must have an advanced connection and understanding. This is because both must analyze and understand the move in seconds. Otherwise, the whole team could end up badly organized.

This technique will work if both players already have an advanced connection. The team must begin normally, with the serve being received and the pass being made to the setter. The middle hitter should then quickly begin running behind the setter.

This must be done immediately after the ball is passed to the setter. Once the middle hitter is in position, the setter must make a backward pass aimed at the hitter. He must then jump and spike the ball.

Benefits of Performing a Slide

This play can be considered one of the most difficult to defend. This is because it is fast and, as mentioned before, it can be unpredictable. For example, the setter does not continue with the slide and passes the ball to another hitter.

This way, the opponent’s defense will also have opened up, making it easier for your team to score a point. Therefore, if a team has this play perfected, it can wreak havoc on the opposing defense. The only way they can prevent this play is if they predict your moves.

However, this play could completely disarm the opposing defense, causing them to have a lot of open spaces, reducing their blocking abilities, and even decreasing their accuracy.

Features Needed to Perform a Slide

Since it is a complicated technique to perform, it requires experienced and skilled players to do it. This is because not all volleyball players have the aptitude to perform it. For example, if you are not fast enough, you might have trouble doing this move.

Here you can see the characteristics required to perform a slide.

  • Both players must have a quick and trained proprioception. Since this is a move that must be executed quickly, the player must have advanced proprioception for a successful outcome.
  • Both players must have a good vision of the game. As mentioned before, this technique requires players to understand the situation and act immediately. Therefore, the player needs to have a good vision to complete the play.
An image of a player setting
  • The setter must know how to make accurate and backward passes. It may sound easy. However, making an accurate backward pass can be tricky. Therefore, the setter must have advanced passing skills.
  • The hitter must know different types of shots. This will allow him to score a point depending on the situation of the opponent’s defense. For example, he could finish with a dink instead of a spike.

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about slides in volleyball.

Can a Short Player Successfully Perform a Slide?

Yes, a short player can perform a slide. This is because, despite the height, if the player can jump high enough to spike the ball, he can score a point. Although height can make it easier for them, it is not necessary.

How Can You Defend a Slide?

To defend a slide, you must know how to predict your opponent’s moves and know how to read the trajectory of the ball. This can be tricky, so players must practice a lot to do it.

If the blocker can read the play and put their hands over the net, then the slide can be blocked.


A slide is a dangerous attack that the middle hitter and setter can execute. It can separate the opponent’s defense and open up a lot of space inside their court if done correctly. This will result in easier spikes and, ultimately, more points scored.

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.