How to Spike a Volleyball - Approach Footwork EXPLAINEDMay 30, 2022
JUMP HIGHER AND HIT HARDER?
Every volleyball player asks the question, "How can I hit harder and jump higher?" Watch this video as Mark walks you thru the essential steps to perfecting your volleyball approach and timing to hit those amazing shots and win more games!
We will discuss the following:
- TIPS FOR A BETTER APPROACH
- WHERE SHOULD YOU BE WHEN APPROACHING IN BEACH VOLLEYBALL
- WHAT SHOULD YOUR FEET/BODY BE DOING DURING YOUR APPROACH IN BEACH VOLLEYBALL
TIPS FOR A BETTER APPROACH
After watching Mark discuss approach footwork for beach volleyball, let’s review the four step approach. You can visit our previous blog for more information on
- The Timing Step (First Step)
This is the slowest step and happens right when the setter is touching the ball. This step will help set up your rhythm based on what set is produced.
- The Momentum and Directional Step (Second Step)
This step is slightly faster than the first step which leads you into your fastest step of the step close.
This is used to get your feet to the ball. Beach volleyball can have unpredictable elements such as wind. This step helps you adjust if the ball gets pushed by the wind or if the set goes outside of the intended call.
- The Step Close (Third and Fourth Step)
This step in beach volleyball footwork should be close to the directional step as it will transfer all the forward momentum into the ground and give you the ability to jump straight up.
Now, you have a refresher on what the beach volleyball four step approach should look like, so let’s really dive into explaining how to get set up for that perfect spike.
WHERE SHOULD YOU BE WHEN APPROACHING IN BEACH VOLLEYBALL?
We highly recommend that you record your approach attempts multiple times (in slow motion, ideally) so you can have them to view and get a better idea of each specific motion to assess where you can make adjustments. Looking at each transition will help you make improvements more quickly and lead you to winning more games. If you want to get one-on-one assessments and coaching enroll in our COMPLETE PLAYER PROGRAM’s - Attacking Master Class.
Listen to this podcast with Mark to hear all the details on
There are a few checkpoints to pay attention to while reviewing your videos.
- The first checkpoint is the small first step which needs to be small and not extended. This small step leads into the next checkpoint while taking the second step.
- You need to pay attention to how your body is positioned. Are your shoulders in front of your toe before you take off or are you leaning back and pulling yourself with your hamstring? This is a vital piece of the puzzle. You need to drive forward with momentum. Check to see where your hands and arms are during this phase. They need to be hanging naturally in front of your body, like your hands resting on a shopping cart.
- The next cue is in between your next step and your step close, your arms need to hit max height BEHIND you. You want to remember that the more you accelerate, the lower to the ground you get. So, on the last few steps you are driving INTO the ground, and you should have that squat position to be able to drive momentum.
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A common mistake seen is dropping the head and watching the ground when driving the arms behind you. This will cause loss of momentum and height on the jump. Remember to get low with your HIPS but keep the chest upright and allow the arms to be the pendulum that they revolve around.
WHAT SHOULD YOUR FEET BE DOING DURING YOUR BEACH VOLLEYBALL APPROACH
There are many components to gaining the perfect approach footwork and one of the most important things is knowing how to place your feet for ultimate height and speed. During the transition from your second step to your third step, (when your arms are reaching behind you) you should heel strike and roll over into the bottom of your foot.
Be aware of how your foot is hitting the ground and keep from using toe strike! The toe strike is used when you need to slow yourself down and you will lose height.
Unlike indoor volleyball, your toes will point in the direction you are going during your beach volleyball approach and not opening to your setter.
If you are still struggling to figure out your attack timing and approach, watch as Mark coaches on how to master these in this video.
With several aspects to focus on during your beach volleyball approach, we highly recommend that you continue to record yourself in slow motion to be able to more accurately access each step and find where the inefficiencies may be occurring. Even the pros do this!
Speaking of pros, how would you like to have one of our Better at Beach Coaches and Professional Beach Volleyball icons give you one-on-one coaching and dive into your arm swing/footwork videos?
If you enroll in the COMPLETE PLAYER PROGRAM, you get, just that, and MORE!
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