Volleyball spike trainers allow players to practice and develop their skills for spiking balls at the net. Typical trainers consist of a weighted base and vertical upright with a hitting arm that suspends a volleyball above the net on elastic cords. Although many manufactured spike trainers have a rolling base and height adjustments, the cost of a manufactured unit might not be practical for many enthusiasts or independent teams. The average do-it-yourself builder can make a sturdy volleyball spike trainer with materials and parts that you find at home centers and sporting equipment outlets.
Upright and Support Leg
Apply pipe joint compound on the threads at one end of a 1 1/2-by-96-inch piece of threaded steel pipe that’s used for the upright. Screw a 1 1/2-inch elbow on the end of the pipe by hand. Tighten the elbow with a pipe wrench.
Apply pipe joint compound on the threads at one end of a 1 1/2-by-24-inch threaded steel pipe that serves as the support leg at the base of the upright. Screw the end of the piece into the open end of the elbow by hand. Tighten it with the pipe wrench.
Set up a power drill with a 1/4-inch drill bit. Drill two holes for bolts that secure one leg of the hitting arm inside the upper end of the upright. Drill one hole 3 inches from the end of the upright and the second hole 18 inches from the first.
Set the upright and support leg aside for now.
Mark locations for two 90-degree bends on a piece of 1-by-88-inch EMT galvanized conduit with a felt-tip marker. Mark the first bend 36 inches from one end of the piece. Mark the second bend 18 inches from the opposite end of the piece.
Bend the conduit 90 degrees at the 36-inch mark with a conduit bender. Ask an assistant to stabilize the conduit on the ground with one foot and hold the 36-inch section vertically.
Bend the opposite end of the conduit straight up to 90 degrees at your 18-inch mark to form the three-sided hitting arm.
Drill a 1/4-inch hole 2 inches from the end of the 18-inch leg of the arm. Measure 16 inches from the upper section of the arm, and drill a corresponding hole in the 36-inch leg of the arm.
Install 3/8-by-2-inch eye bolts into each hole on the legs of the hitting arm with the eyes facing inward. Secure the eye bolts with nylon lock nuts that you tighten with an adjustable wrench.
Place the steel pipe upright on a flat surface with the support leg pointing to one side. Insert the 36-inch leg of the hitting arm into the top of the upright. Position the arm with the upper section and 18-inch leg pointing in the opposite direction of the steel pipe support leg.
Position the upper section of the hitting arm 16 inches from the top of the steel pipe upright. Use the previously drilled 1/4-inch holes in the upright as references, and drill 1/4-inch holes in the 36-inch leg of the arm for two attachment bolts.
Attach the 36-inch leg of the hitting arm into the upright with 1/4-by-2-inch machine bolts and nylon lock nuts.
Place a 24-by-36-inch plastic mixing tub on flat ground. Mix a batch of concrete post-hole mix in the tub. Mix the batch to medium consistency. Add concrete and water as you continue to mix the batch and fill the tub.
Ask the assistant to help stabilize the upright vertically as you slide the support leg into the wet concrete. Manipulate the spike trainer so the support leg is fully immersed in the concrete with the hitting arm pointing away from the tub.
Plumb the upright with a 48-inch level. Brace the upright on three sides with 2-by-4-inch utility lumber that you position diagonally against the upright. Allow the concrete to completely cure before removing the braces.
Stand an A-frame ladder below the hitting arm. Connect the clips on the cords of a spike trainer volleyball to the eye bolts on the hitting arm. Move the ladder out of the way. Grip the edges of the plastic tub, and slide the spike trainer into position at the volleyball net.