Making volleyball spiking mechanics second nature

A volleyball player who can consistently smash powerful spikes over the net is one who will see a lot of time on floor. They can be game-changing weapons, and nothing boosts a team's morale late in a match than a hard spike right in the middle of the opponent's defense.

When a team is equipped with a great spiker, it can earn more points from not only the player's ability to place the ball in between defenders, but also from the fear that they put into the defense.

There are two keys to a good spike, the first of which is that they have consistent, fluid and fundamentally sound mechanics.The second is that the player sees the ball all the way into his or her palm. Without instinctually flawless mechanics, hand-eye coordination suffers.

Coaches should be sure to include spiking drills into their practice. With only so much time at practice, it may be tempting to combine drills for setting and spiking, but it's important that each of these be addressed individually and in great detail.

For spiking drills, have one player stand by the volleyball net and feed the balls straight up in the air so that the spiker doesn't need to worry about bad sets.

The ideal spike is approached with three steps. Players should establish speed with the first step, while the second and third should be for establishing solid position before jumping.

After that third step, players should be in an athletic stance as they prepare to launch upwards. When they go to jump, their arms will swing back as their knees bend. Using momentum from their arms swinging forward, they should propel themselves in the air while turning their spiking shoulder slightly backwards.

With their arm at a 90-degree angle, they should use their elbow to drive their arm through the ball with an open and flat palm.