Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Teach Your Players to Hit More Effectively

Recently, I had the opportunity to witness my son, Cody, play for his professional volleyball team in Germany. What impressed me the most was his versatility and adaptability when it came to attacking and blocking. In fact, he was the MVP of the match, scoring as many stuff blocks as the rest of his team combined. He also had a higher success rate in serve-receiving compared to the other team’s libero. Cody’s ability to kill twice as many balls as any other player on the court, from both the back and front row, and from both sides of the net was truly remarkable. Additionally, he made some crucial digs from the back row.

As Hugh McCutcheon once said, “We want players who are good at all six skills, and great at one or two.” So, how did Cody become so good at blocking? Well, the answer lies in his training. He never blocked from a box or blocked hitters who were on a box. Instead, he practiced blocking against live hitters. Similarly, his proficiency in serve reception can be attributed to playing a lot of doubles growing up, where he always received the ball before hitting it. After all, the ideal hitting drill is a pass/set/hit drill.

Now, let’s dive into some valuable insights on how to help your players hit more effectively. Whether you’re coaching high school teams or younger players, these techniques can make a significant difference in their game.

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Hitting from Way Back

One essential aspect of training your players to hit effectively is to spend a considerable amount of time hitting from not only the back row but also from positions five, six, and even eight meters back. By simulating a “bad” pass that goes well off the net, players can practice hitting from these challenging positions. This exercise encourages them to jump and swing from a distance, teaching them how to avoid swinging into the net and instead develop a positive over-the-net arm swing.

Hitting Over the Block

Another important skill for hitters to master is hitting effectively over a block. By practicing hitting over a block that simulates the height of the majority of opponents’ blocks, players can learn the proper timing and arm swing required to hit over the block. This ability can wreak havoc on the opponent’s defense, as they rely on the shadow of the block to defend against hard-hit balls. Hitters can even practice this skill against a wall as part of their homework.

Hitting Range

To be a truly effective hitter, players need to be able to hit both cross-body and wrist-away shots from both the right and left sides of the court. While these shots are often well understood by hitters who train on the left side, there is a lack of players who can hit line shots with wrist-away and cross-body swings from the right side/zone two. Most hitters tend to hit where they face, which limits their ability to hit in different directions. To improve their effectiveness, players should practice hitting in directions opposite to their approach.

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Hitting Off Speed

Learning to hit off speed is another valuable technique for hitters. While most athletes tend to hit off speed or tip on a bad set, it is important to develop the ability to hit with range and options even on difficult sets. This practice allows hitters to become more effective and skilled, as they learn to hit with finesse on both good and bad sets.

Hitting Off the Block

The ability to hit off the top and sides of the block is crucial, especially for players who are smaller compared to their blockers. By hitting off the side of the outside blocker or aiming for deflections that send the ball out of bounds, hitters can outsmart their opponents’ defense. It is important to know when to wipe out, which involves pressing into the hands of the blocker and executing a radical shot. This technique requires practice and understanding of the proper motions.

Hit With Your Other Hand

To become a more effective hitter, it is essential to dedicate some practice time to hitting with your nondominant hand. Just like in other sports, such as soccer, basketball, or lacrosse, where athletes train both their dominant and nondominant hands, volleyball players should also develop their skills using their “other” hand. This allows them to save and place balls more effectively during the chaos of the game.

These techniques, combined with regular practice against blockers, can significantly enhance a player’s hitting abilities. Regardless of a player’s size, everyone has the potential to be a formidable hitter from all areas of the court. By incorporating these strategies into your coaching, you can help your players become more effective and versatile hitters.

FAQs

Q1: How can I help my players become more effective hitters?
A1: To improve your players’ hitting abilities, focus on various aspects such as hitting from different positions on the court, hitting over the block, developing hitting range, learning to hit off speed, hitting off the block, and practicing with the nondominant hand.

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Q2: What are some techniques for hitting more effectively?
A2: Some techniques to improve hitting effectiveness include hitting from distances behind the net, hitting over the block, developing range in hitting, learning to hit off speed, hitting off the block, and practicing hitting with the nondominant hand.

Q3: How can hitting off the block be advantageous for hitters?
A3: Hitting off the top and sides of the block can create difficulties for the opponent’s defense, as they rely on the shadow of the block to defend against hard-hit balls. By hitting off the block, hitters can outsmart the defense and score points.

Summary

In this article, we discussed various techniques and strategies to help players become more effective hitters. By focusing on hitting from different positions, developing range in hitting, learning to hit off speed, and practicing hitting off the block, players can elevate their game and become formidable hitters. It is also essential to incorporate practice with the nondominant hand to improve overall versatility. By implementing these techniques and providing comprehensive training, coaches can guide their players towards reaching their full hitting potential.

Remember, practice and dedication are key to becoming a better hitter. So, encourage your players to embrace these techniques and watch them excel on the court.

For more information and helpful resources, visit Alpinetgheep.com and take your players’ hitting abilities to new heights.