This video provides instructions for the set up steps necessary to obtain the best position to spike a volley ball coming over the net. It is a three step set up. The coach begins by explaining that the first step is the most important and is usually done incorrectly by players. He instructs the player to take a short step putting the weight on the ball of the foot with the knee bent, arms relaxed and weight over the foot. Taking a larger step with a locked knee slows you down since your knee has to catch up before the second step can be taken. The second and third steps are taken almost together. The second step is taken sideways toward the ball so the ball is approaching the right shoulder. Hips face front to set the hips up to add power and stability to the jump. Arms come out from the side on their way up. The third is taken closer to the ball and is parallel to the net to prevent you from losing balance and falling toward the net. Arms are up. By the end of the third step before leaving the ground the arms should be raised and ready to hit. Those are the only arm movements. A lot of players use too many arm movements which takes energy from the move and slows them down. The three steps should be characterized by economy of movement. Done correctly this provides the perfect speed, positioning and placement for an ideal left foot break, jump that is high but controlled and a direct hit with excellent follow through.
This video provides techniques I can use in my own volleyball play. Most of the time with spike balls the focus is on getting to it jumping and hitting it as hard as possible. Spikes are usually cheered for speed and power of the hit and sending it speeding toward your opponent’s feet. The technique that comes before it to set it up is rarely discussed and I’ve never really thought much about it, more about just getting there and hitting as hard as I could. I have achieved a successful spiked ball about one in four tries during games. This techniques seems like it would improve my success rate and make it so even when I’m not successful I’m under control and ready to either hit again when the ball comes back or help set up a hit for one of my teammates. This is a valuable lesson and it is amazing how three steps could completely change the success rate of spiked balls for a player.

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