Volleyball Spike

We all know that spike in volleyball plays the main part in scoring. This guide can be used as a step-by-step, but also as a checklist. The best of the best volleyball players still needs to be coached and at the top levels even minor parts of your game will be adjusted. There is also a lot going on in this guide. My hope is that you will read it one time through to get the full effect of what is included in both the physical and mental aspects of attacking. Afterwards, it can continue to be useful for as long as you’re playing volleyball.

After reading this, you should have a better idea about what goes into attacking and how you should think about the skill. Nothing about attacking is mindless, it demands full mental attention down to the tiniest details. Working out these details and knowing how to adjust yourself will ultimately help you in the long run – you can self-adjust and self-coach your way into a more consistent attack!

1. focus on Footwork to get better at spiking a volleyball

By and large I think footwork is something that is commonly overlooked, yet I believe it to be a foundation for success in volleyball. The reason I think footwork is so important is because it is setting you up for attacking consistently, and if you consistently get yourself to take an approach from the same spot you’re ensuring that you are prepared to take your best swing every time.

Let me explain it this way, volleyball is a game of mistakes, so we want to generate repeatable skills. There’s little value in a player who does great things, but at random. With measured skills, qualitative movements become easier to judge and therefore set you up for success. The goal is to eliminate as many variables as possible. With good and proper footwork, boom you’ve created an opportunity for success without even having to think about it!


This is entirely up to the player and depends on which hand you attack with. However, the more space you give yourself, the more likely you are to take a quality approach with all the steps. I suggest about one meter outside of the court, and somewhere between 4-5 meters off the net. This is the ideal place to start because it gives you the ability to adjust to a number of different sets. Keep in mind that non-setter sets, faster sets and out of system plays will likely be less precise than an in-system set.

From your start position you should have your shoulders open to the court, and more importantly to your setter. This creates a good visual for your setter so they can see you from their peripherals. It’s also a good indicator that you are in position and ready to attack. Being in this spot as often as possible as early as possible helps you and your setter for a number of reasons. I will touch on those later.

1.1. Footwork for serve receive:

  1. You ARE the receiver
  2. You are NOT the receiver

You ARE the receiver:

There are two patterns for footwork out of serve receive I will describe in this section. In the first scenario you are taking the ball. As an outside hitter, you cannot be thinking of your attack while receiving. Take your time to do that skill, then quickly get yourself in position to attack. Because you have less time, this pattern requires only three steps.

Three shuffle steps should be sufficient to get you into a good attacking position. In position 4, you will FIRST make your reception and then: left, right, left, and your right foot follows, keeping it in front of you ready to take your four-step approach.

Attack After Bad reception
Attack After Perfect reception
Attack After Perfect reception

Take quick steps!

Take the steps as quick as possible to get yourself outside of the court. Because you made the first contact, and we NEVER rush the previous skill, you will have less time to get outside the court. Do your best to get into position, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get there. There are still options for you. The three steps you take should get you as close as possible to where you will start your approach.

If you’re short on time, your footwork to get off the net might be indistinguishable from your approach. Work hard to get ready. If you are unable to get to your start position because the reception was low, fast, inside, you had to dive etc. you can also start your approach from directly where you are. It’s not ideal and I don’t recommend doing this unless you have to. Don’t be lazy – take the time when you have it to do things right. As previously mentioned, getting to your start position makes you an easier and more visible target for your setter. It’s more difficult for them to aim if you’re inside the court. Additionally, this changes the direction/angle of your approach drastically. You’re less likely to see the block and put yourself in a position that makes generating torque more difficult.

4 Tips for block in volleyball
Photo: CEV

You are NOT the receiver:

You will have more time to depart the court and prepare to attack. A total of 5 steps should be able to get you to your ideal attacking spot. These steps should still be taken as quickly as possible and shouldn’t “blend” into your approach unless the reception is fast or absolutely warrants that kind of approach. Mostly your steps getting you to your start position should be seen as an entirely separate and deliberate action. This way you can keep your eyes on the ball and have better timing for your approach.

Once you know you’re not the receiver – leave. Get outside the court and to the starting spot of your comfort. There are certain caveats but for the sake of this description, we will assume that the pass is perfect. This means you should be using a couple of shuffle steps to get yourself outside the court. Preparing in this way keeps you consistent and reliable. Your setter should be able to see you, relaxed and ready to move, which increases their confidence in you. The earlier you’re ready – the more information you may gather for the set or even call for a faster set.

The reason I suggest shuffle steps is so you don’t turn your body away from the court. Keeping your shoulders open and facing the court will not only allow you to see the ball and court better, but in the event something does happen, you’re prepared. Imagine you’re taking your five steps and your setter and libero have a miscommunication about who will take the set. Suddenly a set that was going to be easy to make is inside and difficult to get to. Because you’re already facing the direction you should be, you can start your approach from there.

Aleksandar GMitrović (1)
Photo @CEV
Things to avoid:
  • Semi-circling your approach
  • Turning your back to the court
  • Being slow to get into position

1.2. Footwork from defense transition

  1. Blocking
  2. Off-blocker defense
  3. Defense

Blocking Player footwork: The first thing you should recognize is where the ball ends up. If it’s been dug on your side of the court and still in play, here’s what you need to do in order to have a successful transition volleyball spike:

  1. Land
  2. Open towards the court
  3. Turn and run

Transition attacking is the most difficult part of the game from which to attack. When you come down from the block open your shoulders to face the back of the court. If you’re playing in position 4, it’s best to get four steps off the net. Physically turn your body away from the net and run towards your attacking base. Use the last two steps to turn yourself around.

Back pedaling into position is slow and won’t get you to the desired attacking spot. A shorter approach will affect your timing and your power on a jump. Your first steps after landing should also be your biggest. Work really hard to get off the net. The earlier you’re ready, the better your chances are to be set up for a great attack.

1.3. Footwork Off blocking

If you’re attacking from position 2 and are right-handed you will need 5 steps to get yourself off the net and turned back around IF you were the blocker.

If you’re playing left-handed, simply reverse the number of steps for each position. In 4, you will need 5 steps and in position 2 you will need 4.

OFF-Blocker: If you are the non-blocker in position 4, you will need about three steps to get yourself outside the court. Again, turn and run, but don’t spin circles. We are MUCH faster moving forwards than we are backwards. It pays to get yourself into base position.

However, IF you take the ball, you might need to attack directly from where you played defense. This kind of approach is called the Giba, like the Brazilian volleyball player! He’s famous for making this inside-out attack. This is an effective method to use if you’re short on time so it’s worthwhile to practice. The steps may be easy, but being good at attacking the ball out of this position is much more difficult. Akin to a middle approach attacking a shoot, this set is meant to be fast! 

Depending where you play defense, you might also need five steps to get back outside the court to your base. Opposites typically play defense a shorter distance from the block than position four does. Check out this defensive schematic:

Notice the distance the opposite is from their ideal base. This will require you to turn and run to get outside the court. I cannot stress enough how important transition footwork is! For women especially because we typically have longer rallies, getting to base every single time will set you up for success.

2. Approach Footwork to increase the efficiency of a spike:

 Keys to an efficient spike in volleyball is having a great approach:

  1. Small to big
  2. Slow to fast

I recommend a four-step approach for outsides and opposites. It is my opinion that a four-step approach is superior to a three-step because it allows you to gauge your timing easier, therefore I will not be providing advice on a three-step approach here.

4 Step approach

First, a four-step approach should start from base position. From here, you will take one small first step before you know the path of the set and the last three after you see where the set is going to go. The first step needs to be small, forward, and needs to get you in motion. If your first step is too large you will have a hard time making last minute adjustments.

Furthermore, if you are taking a set that is out of system (any pass that requires the setter to make the tempo slower) or a non-setter set, your first step should be taken at the same time that player has their hands on the ball. Half a second later if you’re getting a set from a platform.

Your second step should take you in the direction of the ball, slightly bigger and giving you a bit of momentum. Your posture should still be mostly upright, arms relaxed by your sides. The second step will time you for fast sets. Having your weight dead centered on your second for a fast set should get you to the ball on time*.

Your third and fourth steps should get you to the ball. They should be both your biggest and your quickest. A good step-close or your last two steps will give you both power and the correct positioning. The fourth step is the fastest and largest step of your approach. You should be at your lowest, fully loaded and ready to spring. Your arms are important to get you higher in the air, and it is important to use both your arms to do so. I will elaborate more on this in a later section.

Communicate with your setter

*This is a great tool for figuring out your timing and the speed/height that you need your set. If you can confirm with your setter that you were on your second step, then it opens a lane of communication between you and your setter for improvement. If it seemed like the set was low, were you late, or was the set too fast? These are important things to keep in mind to help you on your journey and furthermore will create trust between you and your setter and pinpointing the exact error. Having a quick dialog with your setter about the tempo, height and your own approach will help you improve your game and also make your teammates better!

Check out this video, and this game footage to see what I mean:

3. How to use arms properly for an effective spike in volleyball

You should be using your arms to your full advantage. A good arm swing will do three things:

  1. Help you jump higher
  2. Power
  3. Aiming

Jump higher

In order for your arms to help you jump higher you need to use both of them. In the earlier section on footwork I directed your arms to be relaxed and by your side when you’re in base. Having relaxed arms is critical for having a whip-like swing. As an added bonus, relaxing your arms can help relieve tension in the middle of a play. You need them to be fluid, helping you achieve maximum jump and also preventing you from tightening your shoulder.


A powerful hit seems like it would come from flexing your shoulder muscle, but it comes from torque and shoulder muscle. The more you flex your shoulder going into a swing, the less reach you will achieve. It’s imperative for you to get comfortable generating force with torque, not just your shoulder.

On your third step your arms should be back behind you, your posture should be more crouched over in order to prepare for jumping.

When you’re about to lift-off, use both arms. They should be rising at the same time. After your arms pass about shoulder height, you will begin to pull one arm back towards your ear. Whichever hand you attack with will be the one you draw back. Your opposite hand will be used to help you aim and keep the ball in your wheelhouse.


You may notice that swing styles differ greatly between players because training varies. The way I like to teach it is the following:  Draw the elbow straight back,  above the ear. Notice how your body naturally opens itself to the court when you pull your arm back high! This is the ideal position to be attacking from. It not only helps the setter find you on the court but it will help you to see the whole court. When you begin to swing, your elbow will lead. This creates the whip-like swing I was talking about. If you try to do this without the use of your aiming arm you will fall victim to a couple of scenarios:

Scenarios to avoid when spiking

  1. Closing your body off from the net
  2. Limit your attacking range
  3. Shoulder problems from contacting the ball outside of your bodyline.
  4. Loss of power
Don’t drop your aiming hand too soon

Additionally, if you drop your aiming hand too soon, you will lose valuable power generated from torque. As I previously mentioned, the power of a swing comes from not only the force generated at the shoulder joint, but torque. Torque is generated from lower in your body. We can create force to hit downwards by crunching our bodies into a shrimp-like position, or you can use your cross-body core muscles to pull your arm across your body while staying tall.

Stay tall when you swing

Staying tall while you swing is important. If you use the “shrimp” method to generate power, you risk contacting the ball at a much lower point than you’re capable of. Try this: stand with two feet on the ground, like you would look just before take-off of your approach. Raise your hands up like you’re going to attack – as high as you can physically reach them. Now use your abdominal muscles to twist your body. THAT is the sensation you want when you attack.

Conversely, try using the “shrimp” method while keeping your hands at the same level. It’s nearly impossible to keep your hands high while pulling down with your abs.

Use your aiming hand correctly

If you use your aiming hand correctly, you should be able to see the block and also hit the ball within your body line. The ball should be attacked at about one o’ clock in front of your body. This is slightly in front of your hitting shoulder and above your head with your arm fully extended. It will help you on your timing and how well you approach to a ball. It’s much more difficult to hit a set without the use of your aiming hand. You can watch any high-level player and see how long they leave their aiming hand up. It makes a difference and will prevent you from the issues I listed above.

4. Timing and communication with the setter

That part is the most critical to spike a volleyball. Timing is also subject to a lot of variables, however,  there are things you can and should learn how to control. I’ve said it once, twice and maybe three times already, but volleyball is a game of mistakes.[1]  How well you handle all of the variables that are thrown at you will determine the kind of player you can and will become.

Your ability to see the set and therefore time your steps will be one of the biggest determinants of your success. There are things that vary from volleyball player to volleyball player – how high you jump; how quick you are and how high your point of attack is. In my opinion, your timing is mostly controlled by how well you know your own body. However, as your game progresses you will have to communicate these things with your teammates. What does your setter need from you, and vice versa. So, in summation, here’s what you need to nail your timing:

  1. Understand your body better (get honest)
  2. Communicate with your team
  3. What does your setter need from you?
  4. What do you need from your setter?

4.1. Understand your body:

Body awareness is the number one skill for any athlete in any sport. Coaches can give you corrections all day long – but if you don’t understand what that means for your body, then you’re limiting yourself. The best ways of improving your body awareness are:

  1. Watching film of yourself
  2. Focusing on how your body feels after each rep

Watch film

The first way you can learn your body better is by watching film, and a lot of it. You can ask your coach for game film, a teammate during practice or even get yourself a tripod. If you don’t want to record yourself, ask a teammate to watch you. This will help you see what you’re doing with your body. You might be surprised at how often you do things or don’t do things that you don’t even realize you’re doing!

Focus on your body

Seeing how you play must also transfer to what you’re doing in the moment. This is a two-ended tool. First, after you have seen how you play and an example of what you should be doing, you can take that knowledge to practice with you and try to implement it. At first you might not be aware of what you’re doing – get in the habit of setting a goal of what you would like to change, and then feeling yourself perform the new skill in practice.

Once you know what you should be doing, it becomes easier to identify within yourself if you did that or not. This is a fantastic way to create focus and long-lasting changes to your game. You must focus on what your body is doing and how it translates on the court to improvement. Timing is the best place to start with focusing on what your body is doing. Timing must also be something that you work out with your setter and the communication channel you run between the two of you. Not only will this help you decide what you need to be doing with your body on the court, but it will improve your relationship with the setter AND how you can become consistent.

Photo: @CEV

4.2 What does your setter need from you?

Both your success and the success of your setter is contingent upon your being able to correctly time your sets. I hope I have made it abundantly clear that for a good attacker, both people must work together to find the best set for you and something they can consistently push, too.

Your setter needs to know they can rely on you. They need to know that you can take accountability for being too early, too fast, etc. First, you need to maintain composure, indicating that you’re ready for a set (think footwork and getting to base). Second, you need to learn how to call for your set. Third, you will need to know the timing your set requires. And last but not least, you need to communicate.

Before attacking I mentioned the footwork necessary to get yourself into position. Once you have mastered that and proven to your setter that you are prepared to attack, then you can call for your set. This is a MUST-DO, there are no exceptions. Your preparedness determines what kind of set you can receive. Which leads us into part two…

4.3. When calling for your set:

Where did the first contact go? How high? How fast? As soon as you have determined what the first contact looks like, you need to identify what kind of set you can call for. If your setter is already in position, good posture, and has both hands on the ball – you probably want to run a faster set than usual. On the opposite end of a perfect pass, you might have something that’s low and four meters off the net; your setter has to use their platform to give you a set and you should be calling for something higher.

This may seem like a no-brainer… but I cannot stress the importance of calling for the set regardless of whether it seems obvious or not. The more you communicate, the better you get at it. The closer and closer you move to the gray areas of what a setter can feasibly push to you and what they can’t the more difficult it is to call. The margin of gray is MUCH larger than both the extreme cases I outlined before. Get used to calling your set and calling it as early as possible. As you and your setter progress continuously discuss what works and what doesn’t.

Once you have figured out what kind of set you have called for and will be attacking, you need to know what that means for your timing. If you called for a high-ball, you’re going to start a lot slower than you would on an in-system ball. If you’re in-system and asked for something fast, you may need to already be on your second step of your approach.

4.4. Work out the timing for different set speeds:

Whatever the case, you need to have this worked out for consistency. If you say to your setter, “I’m going to have all my body weight shifted into my second step when your hands are on the ball” it does two things: keeps you accountable for repeating that action for a fast set, and two, lets your setter know how fast they need to push the ball to you. Make it something measurable – no half-steps or things like that. As an example, the USA men’s volleyball team runs their fast sets on a “second step” tempo. Meaning that both outsides and opposites for in-system and fast sets the attacker is on their second step of their approach.

4.5. Communication with the setter:

This creates consistency and a way for you to check your body. If the set seems low, were you late, or was the set actually low? If the set was too high and you know you were on time, it’s much easier to identify if you’re consistently nailing your timing. This is a great tool for both players because you have the opportunity to identify what exactly went wrong and how to solve the problem. There is no more need for looking at each other, confused and secretly assigning blame to the other person. Learn to take accountability, learn to speak to your setter and you both will be better for it!

This leads us into what you need from your setter. As I mentioned above, the communication goes both ways but because you’re the one attacking, you need to take responsibility for the outcome of that contact. However, just because you’re responsible for the outcome of your attack, so is your setter for the outcome of their set. Communication is NOT a one-way street. You need to establish trust through communication and being accountable. It’s unreasonable for the attacker to take all the blame every time, and same goes for a setter.

Try different things

Talk about what is reasonable and when it’s reasonable to do and try different things. What I am trying to say is simply that there are some attackers who are better at hitting medium speed balls better than fast ones, some are better at high ones than fast ones etc. You and your setter will figure out what you need. But don’t be afraid to try new things in practice! Games are for your money shot and taking the best swings as consistently as possible. Practice is for getting outside of your comfort zone and broadening your skill set. Just make sure that you communicate that with your setter and be sure to differentiate and tell them when you’re trying something new.

Chances are, they want to help you and also improve their skill set as well!

5. Volleyball spike tip: Seeing the Set!

Once you have gotten ourselves into position, called for your set and have taken the correct timing of steps, it’s time to make sure your approach is getting you to the set you’re given. No matter what the set looks like, it is your job to attack that ball and at minimum, keep it in play. Seeing the set will determine where you take your steps. While timing is when you take your steps. Understanding both is how good players become great.

Your approach should be the most efficient line between you and the set. It should be direct, deliberate and straight to where you need to intercept the ball. You should never be approaching to a spot on the court, but ALWAYS to where the set will end up. Don’t think about meeting the ball “around” where it will end up and try to make something out of it. Be direct and intercept the ball.

Your body positioning to the ball should be like so:

  1. Stand with two feet on the ground.
  2. Swing your arms up over head like you’re going to attack.
  3. Use your aiming arm to pull slightly in front of you.

If you are right handed player

If you’re right-handed it should be your left slightly crossing over your body to the right and if you’re left-handed – right hand across to your left. The spot you’re aiming for the ball is just slightly in front of you, INSIDE your body line. Your aiming hand is called aiming hand for a reason! The ideal place to contact the ball is where your aiming hand would be. It moves out of the way when you’re going to take a full swing.

See the set

Seeing the set and using your feet to get your body where it needs to be might actually be harder than you’re prepared for. You must practice seeing the set and interpreting where it will go MID-APPROACH. That’s right, you should be in motion. Now, don’t worry – remember I said we work from small to big steps and from slow to fast. Once you know the general height of the set, you know your timing – especially if you called for a set and are receiving that set. The smaller first steps allow you to gauge just where you need to go. The slower first steps also allow you to stay behind the ball. Doing this ensures that you’re already in motion and secondly that your last two to three steps will be in the correct direction.

Don’t circle around

You shouldn’t be circling around, turning your back to the setter/court mid-approach or anything else. Your body should remain open and ready to change direction for your last steps. The longer you stay open to the court, the easier it is to change direction.

There should be a reason for everything your body does on the court. If there’s no reason for it – eliminate it. Volleyball isn’t a simple sport, but it can be broken down in ways to make it simple.

6. Volleyball spike: Putting it all together:

I’ve shown you how you can break down each and every step in the approach; from how your arms move and footwork and even what your eyes should be seeing. It sounds like a lot, but surely something you’ve already done hundreds if not thousands of times.

It should feel fluid. The very reason I have broken down the skill into so many subsections is because there are a lot of ways to improve your attack. Maybe you struggle with your footwork or maybe it’s calling for your set. When you put the whole thing together for your attack, what went right? What is undeniably the thing you’re good at? What needs to be improved?

When you go to take your attacks, get in the habit of using self-talk to coach yourself. Even if you can’t see or feel what you’re doing wrong, you can eliminate certain aspects by what you’re doing well.

For all hitters across all levels there are parts of your attack that will continuously improve. There are rarely things that hitters are great at all the time. Ever notice how Olympic teams still have coaches? That’s right. Even they need guidance and help for making themselves better.

Don’t expect to climb Everest right away and don’t expect to build Rome in one day either. Expect to make mistakes. Expect that you will fail in order to get better. Also expect some setbacks, delays, and frustration. It’s all normal and inevitable. If you’re not frustrated… then you should be worried.

6.1. Improving your range with your spike in volleyball

Having range increases your odds of scoring.Take risks in practice. When you’re taking swings to warm-up try putting the ball into various areas of the court. When you’re playing outside hitter (or position 4) Swing down the line, big cross (deep corner in 5) and super sharp into 4. From position 2, try hitting the line, big cross and super sharp. Try all different sorts of swings on different kinds of sets. The only way you can become multi-dimensional is if you try new things. Remember, you will always get worse at something before you get better. Don’t be discouraged. Inform your setter what you’re doing and make sure to hold yourself accountable.

Consider to tip or roll the ball

Don’t forget the importance of a tip. Be sure to take your normal approach and at the same speed you normally would. At the last moment, extend your arm and push the ball to your desired location. Right behind the blockers is usually a great location, however if the other team reads that you’re going to tip, deep corners down the line also work well. Keep this in mind for free-ball attacks, imperfect sets and even just to switch up your game. Keep the defense guessing!

Aim for the holes in the block

The block isn’t something you should avoid. You can use it to your advantage; afterall, blockers can’t cover everything. To be sure you’re seeing the block jump behind the ball and have it slightly in front of you, the one o’ clock position I discussed earlier, under the “Arms” section.[2]  This will allow you to see your options! Swinging high off the hands of blockers works well. Using a smaller blockers hands works great too. Don’t be afraid of the block – just be aware of where you are hitting. If you aim your attack for the back of the court, hitting high hands can be advantageous. Notice where they routinely set themselves up to block you.

As an example, I was a mostly cross-court attacker. The blockers would usually set themselves up to take that shot away from me. This left me a lot of line to attack! I would start hammering the line, forcing the blockers to change where they blocked me. Once I proved that I could hit anywhere, their jobs became much more difficult. It left holes in the block and many opportunities for me to score.

Photo: @CEV

6.2. Volleyball spike without making a mistake

Can you identify the difference between a good and bad mistake? Not all mistakes are created equal. While some have intention behind them, others do not. It’s up to you to decide if your effort and focus was executed.

For example, a bad mistake is receiving a low and inside set and trying to hit it as hard as possible hoping it will make it through the blockers. A good mistake would be hitting the ball high and hard and you miss the court by some centimeters. There are times when you need to recognize that you did almost everything right! Those are the good mistakes. When there is intention behind your actions and you miss, don’t be discouraged. That’s a learning opportunity. Bad mistakes are ones made without thought or intention. They’re usually the kind of mistakes that make your teammates roll their eyes at you.

In practice, try identifying your mistakes as you perform different skills. Was it a good mistake? Or a bad one? A bad mistake would be an over-pass on reception. A good mistake would be a ball that’s around the 3-meter line (or ten-foot line) and high. It may not be perfect – but it’s playable. That’s the whole goal; to make each touch better than the last. You can only do that by focusing on what needs to be done and how to get yourself there.

6.3. Mental part is essential to spike the volleyball efficiently

As I mentioned above, frustration and setbacks are a normal part of growth. It is never linear. While it is okay to be critical of yourself and looking for places to improve, it’s counterproductive to expect results that are unrealistic. Start by identifying things you can work on. Then, work on each aspect until you feel more and more confident. The things you will and can adjust rotate around. For example, as your timing gets better, you may notice your arm swing needs improvement.

You should never be aiming to get a certain number of kills in a match. Instead, think about taking good swings. Sometimes the best swing in the world is dug and sometimes a mis-swing ends up as a kill. The only thing you can control is the manner in which you do something. The outcome is simply information for future use.

One of the hardest things to do while you’re improving is to be honest with yourself. Taking accountability is more than just saying “my bad.” You need to be able to take responsibility and then hold yourself accountable by fixing the thing you did wrong. If you don’t know, ask. If you’re afraid to ask – try reading through the guide and deciding one and ONLY one aspect at a time.

Spike the volleyball with confidence!

6.4. “Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry”: Spike the volleyball with patience

Multi-tasking in volleyball seems innate. However, it’s a string of things that flow from one to the next. In my favorite quote of all time John Wooden says, “be quick, but don’t hurry.”

Essentially what this quote boils down to is being fast to switch to the next skill, but not rushing the skill once you get there. Be quick to get into position but take your time on the skill at hand. I cannot think of attacking while I’m playing defense. I cannot think of what set I will call for while blocking, etc. Each of these skills are performed separately, and therefore you need to think of them separately. It’s really a beautiful way of looking at the sport. It requires composure and finesse. The quicker you can switch from skill to skill and compartmentalize each one, the better you will become. Ironically, once you are great at separating each skill from the next, the easier it is to get into flow.

I like this quote for another reason as well. Volleyball demands a number of different skills and using the upper and lower bodies in a variety of ways. If you can compartmentalize each skill, you can use that to your advantage while playing in games.

Always recognize your strengths while playing. Use that to boost your confidence and keep level-headed. It’s counter-productive to tell yourself you’re playing poorly, when in reality you might just be doing one thing poorly. Everyone has multiple jobs on the court – play to your strengths and do your best to bring your other skills “up.” Be quick to acknowledge your mistakes, but don’t hurry over what you’re doing well.

Best tips for blocking in volleyball
Photo: CEV

6.5. Using the word “yet”:

            Put this word into your vocabulary as often as possible. Everyone is constantly[3]  learning. Constantly. This doesn’t apply to just volleyball – but life in general. You must learn how to talk to yourself. Using “yet” can change your mind set in ways you won’t believe. Instead of saying “I can’t jump that high!”Add “yet” onto the end of it. “I can’t do calculus…. Yet.“I can’t manage my sports/school balance… yet.” There are so many things to be learned in this world and if you think of everything in this way, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Everything that happens to you is a chance to learn. 

Not only does it turn every negative sentence into an opportunity for growth, but it helps set goals for yourself. Negative self-talk can be destructive to your mental health and your ability to improve on the court. Try turning negatives into positive growth goals by adding “yet” into your vocabulary!


There are plenty of reasons to play volleyball – We just hope that making yourself a better volleyball player, friend, teammate, etc., are also in there. Sports have so much to teach us about ourselves and there is no better opportunity than competition to show the world who we really are under pressure. Our goal with this article is to guide players to be someone they are proud of – both within the game and off the court. Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below!

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