To develop proper attacking technique it’s important to break down specific steps for athletes to follow. Repetition on proper technique will create good habits as will reception on improper technique will create bad habits. Here are drills to train proper attacking habits, and eliminate the bad ones.
1. Fading into the net
Players that can’t control their momentum will many times fade into the net on their approach, causing them to get underneath the ball. This will create problems with power and vision and will limit the variety of shots the hitter has. It is important to reinforce the slant of the feet, so the attacker’s momentum is shifted from a forward motion to driving upward.
A. Use a line on the court (10 foot line) and have the athletes drive and slant into the line. They have to do it 10 times in a row without falling over the line.
B. Have coach stand at net where athlete has to approach. Athlete has to take full approach, jump and land without hitting coach. Can use a noodle for this as well.
2. All shoulder and no snap
You want to make sure players are learning a whip motion starting with hip to elbow to wrist.
A. Wet towel attached to hip.
- Have kids take off one kneepad and face the wall. The have to pretend as though a wet towel is attached to their hip and they are trying to whip someone.
- Once the motion is started with the hip, allow the motion to continue into the elbow and to wrist
- The arm speed should come from the whip and the trajectory of the ball will be based on the snap. The kneepad should be released high and should travel on a sharp line to the ground. Not high and deep.
3. Leaving too early and not getting feet to the ball
- Players that leave early will lose the directional step that could result in not getting all the way to the ball.
- This will cause players to attack lower and without control
- Players need to pay attention to the speed of the pass or dig so they can start their approach when the ball is leaving the setters hands.
A. Approach, jump and bounce off head (beginner) or bounce off hitting shoulder (advanced)
B. Sheet on the net. Place a sheet on the net and toss the ball to a hitter behind the sheet. They can’t leave until they see the ball.
4. Hand Contact
- Attacking the ball on the sides or underneath will result in less power and control
- We want players to get their whole hand on the ball so they can have full control over where they want to attack the ball
A. Hold ball with non-hitting hand and hot ball with hitting hand to feel whole hand on the ball
B. Bounce and snap
C. Shot maker
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About the Author
Anne Kordes is the Associate Director and 17 Red Head Coach at KIVA, a JVA member club in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, she is the Assistant Coach at Assumption High School. In 2017 and 2018 Assumption HS was State and National Champion,. Her KIVA 17 Red team was 17 Open Runner-up at the 2017 AAU National Championships, and took home the bronze medal in 2018. Anne has 17 years of coaching experience at the DivisionI level, including the Head Women’s Volleyball Coach at University of Louisville from 2011-2016, and the Head Coach at Saint Louis University from 2004-10. She has garnered numerous conference coach of the year honors and was also the President of the American Volleyball Coaches Association from 2011-2013. Anne finds a way to get the most from her players, and has coached numerous All-American athletes at the junior and college level.