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Volleyball/Correct spiking technique


hi tom

i play div1 mens league vb in europe and have a question regarding the best way to correct the tendency to not hit at the highest point of ones reach, to let the elbow drop and drift out to the right (im a right hander).

I 'gotten away with it' to some extent over the years but have never really been a super strong hitter. I hit into the net more than i should and dont feel i follow through properly enough. I think i hit low because (1) i always have, and so am used to this postion/timing and (2) it feels as if i can get more power by hitting closer to my body, although i know this is clearly wrong

I have had some success adopting pat powers 'keep the elbow high' and 'snap dont hit' technique but frequently seem to revert back to bad habits.

I saw your earlier post about the first priority in 'treating' this condition is to keep the thumbs pointing together. What do you mean by this?

Also, is the bow and arrow loading required for full power?  For simplicity, and to make sure i lead with my elbow hitting forward rather than letting it stay out to the side, i tend to cock my elbow, and throw my hand over my head and down behind it (ie not going back into full bow position).

I think part of my problem might be tensing the wrong muscles in my arm (maybe my biceps) in anticipation of impact, therefore not giving me full range.  Really dont think im getting enough motion out of my shoulder joint.  

I dont tend to get a lot of topspin either. Is the wrist supposed to be completely flexible on impact or are you tensing it to get it into that cobra postion?

sorry a lot of questions, hope you might be able to steer me...


Welcome to  
Here is a short video of my stepdaughter hitting during the warm-ups before her final match at Radford University in Nov 2009:
And here is one of my players hitting at a lesson a few weeks ago:

Both of these girls do almost exactly as I taught them:
* Big back swing with thumbs pointing toward each other.
* Arms come up together, and;
* thumbs continue to be pointed to each other until both hands pass the face;
* then left arm falls away, leaving the right arm to snap the ball.

I heard a long time ago:  "The most important thing in hitting a vball is (a) how high you can reach and (b) how much you can crunch and snap."  

Note, the person who said that NEVER mentioned:
* follow through;
* elbow;
* bow & arrow;
* strength.
Why?  B/c if you have a low elbow and, thus, don't reach your maximum height, you will never play at your potential regardless of your height, strength, etc.  So, I recommend that you imitate what you see on the videos, then let everything work itself out!  :)  

What else can I do for you?  If you ever need anything else, please contact me here, or at my personal email address  

Coach Houser


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Tom Houser


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