FIVB Beach Volleyball Drill-book - page 71

© 2011 Technical & Development Department
Beach Volleyball Drill-book
Spiking in the sand is quite different from that of the indoor game. The sand absorbs a greater
amount of the force that you direct towards it to propel yourself upwards and as a result you will
not jump as high as indoors.
Your timing will change. Try to get from the sand to the ball as quickly as possible. Jump later
and try not to hang in the air. Unlike basketball you don’t want to ‘hang’ before making the shot
– because while you are hanging in the air the ball is likely to have floated out of position in the
Attacking indoors is largely about power. Attacking on the beach however is more about finesse.
You still need to be able to hit the ball with power as it keeps the defense locked down inside
the block but great beach volleyball players have a large variety of shots - many of which are
never seen in the indoor game such as the knuckle, the ‘pokie’, the jumbo shrimp, the baby
angle, etc.
Taking a quick look at the defender on the other side of the net between the time the pass is
made and the spike is hit is a skill that is not used indoors.
Beach athletes are known to shoot which means to place the ball with a soft shot. In indoor
Volleyball these shots would not work – with 4 defenders playing behind a 2 person block, a soft
shot would be easily dug. On the beach however these shots can earn valuable points. Playing
the ball over on the second shot is also a tactic that is used on the beach but not as much
indoors except when the setter dumps.
Remember … tipping is illegal on the beach. Beach Volleyball is all about strategy. You look at
the positions and capabilities of the different athletes and decide what the best options are –
sometimes several actions ahead of time. The better athlete will begin to recognize certain
patterns and will almost instinctively know how to respond as a point unfolds.
The correct spike approach and arm swing which results in a consistent hand contact and wrist
snap on the ball and control in spiking are the first skills that should be worked on. If a athlete
can develop a correct spike approach to the point that it is automatic (which means that they do
not need to think about it) their success in spiking will dramatically increase. It seems obvious
but it is vital that the athlete is moving towards the net while attacking the ball – this way they
are in a better position to see what is happening on the other side of the net and play the ball
away from the opposition.
Assuming that the footwork is automatic, athletes at the intermediate level should focus on
developing the ability to change the direction of the ball at the last second with the wrist.
For advanced athletes, spiking against different defensive arrangements will be beneficial.
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