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Volleyball Arm Swing Drills

author image Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith spent eight years as a reporter and sports editor before working for 15 years as a copywriter and editorial manager at Awana, one of the world's largest children's ministries. Today he operates Write for Your Cause, an editorial service, and writes sports articles for the "Daily Herald."
Volleyball Arm Swing Drills
Improve your game by learning a variety of spikes. Photo Credit: OSTILL/iStock/Getty Images

No move is more important for becoming an effective volleyball hitter than your arm swing. Simple drills with one to four players will help you become a stronger hitter who can attack the opposing defense in a variety of ways. Inform your coach about any additional training you do on your own.

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Hard Spiking

To consistently and solidly contact the ball, practice hitting off a wall. Stand 10 feet from a wall. Using an open hand and spread-out fingers, spike the ball into the floor near the base of the wall. The ball should bounce upward into the wall and pop in the air, allowing you to spike it to the floor repeatedly. Also practice arm swings by getting up on a stand or sturdy table positioned next to a net at the hitting position you play. Have a partner stand several feet away near the net and toss balls to you. As you swing, focus on snapping your wrist over the ball.

Soft Spiking

A soft dink shot will diversify your game. Stand near the attack line at the hitting position you wish to learn. A tosser throws or sets balls close to the net. Make your approach and begin your arm swing. Slow down your swing at the last second and slowly snap your wrist with an open hand and firm fingers, propelling the ball up and forward with topspin so it crosses the net and drops a few feet in front of the attack line. Then add one or two blockers. Practice dinking over and around blocking hands and to the opposing attack line.


Work on timing your arm swing with a set. Try this high bounce drill. Stand 30 feet from a wall. Throw a ball very high in the air and let it land approximately 10 feet in front of you. After it bounces off the floor, begin your jump-spike approach. Time your approach so you jump and hit the ball while you reach high and your arm is nearly straight. Spike the ball off the wall. Later, enlist a partner to throw the ball for you. Again, begin your approach after the ball hits the floor. Then, have your partner toss and eventually set while you spike off the wall.


Work on your arm swing for placing spikes. First practice hitting deep-angle and deep-line shots. Place flat folding chairs three feet inside the sideline and three feet in from the end line at the right and left back. Have a partner toss or set balls while you target the chairs from the left and right sides. Employ a slow arm swing. Snap your wrist over the upper half of the ball for topspin to help spikes drop in-bounds. Then place chairs three feet behind the attack line and inside each sideline. Practice cut shots, contacting the sides of the ball to hit around blocks and to target the chairs cross-court from either side. Then perform this drill against single and double blockers.

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