Incorrect Mechanics—Spiking the Ball Outside the Shoulder
Incorrect Mechanics—Spiking the Ball Outside the Shoulder

Volleyball: Watch for Spiking Outside the Shoulder

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

When spiking, students often make contact when the ball is positioned over the outside of their shoulder.

The advantage to this technique is that it allows for a quick swing. However, the quicker arm movement is accompanied by a lack of power, control and the risk of shoulder injury. In fact, it is a technique to be avoided.

A Better Technique
Instead, your spikers should make contact with the ball in a position over their head and the spiking shoulder.

You can best view the ideal spiking position from the front or back: when

Correct Spiking Mechanics
Correct Spiking Mechanics
your player's technique is good, you should be able to draw a line from the ball, down the arm, through the player's center of gravity and down the left leg (for a right-handed spiker).

This position adheres to the biomechanical principle of Line of Force (although the body is not actually touching the ground). As a result, it produces the greatest power, control and contact height and biomechanically is less stressful on the shoulder.

1. American Volleyball Coaches, The Volleyball Drill Book, Human Kinetics, 2012
2. Carl McGown (PhD), Editor, Science of Coaching Volleyball, Human Kinetics Publishers, 1994.

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