Friday, January 13, 2012

4 Ways to Hit Hard in Volleyball

Hitting harder in volleyball allows you to crush the ball, "hitting your opponents off the court," notes two-time NCAA champion Seth Burnham in a training video on the online site Volleyball 1 on 1. You can launch your hard hit of the set from the front row or make a run from the back row. Either way, your setter is likely to pop the ball up just inside the net around its middle or center point. From the middle, you enjoy a view of the best angle to avoid blocks and to find an open section of the opponent's side of the court.
Step 1
Speed your arm swing to its maximum. Polish your technique so you maximize your power on the hit. Throw a volleyball to your partner to begin. Employ a baseball outfielder technique, advises coach Pete Waite in "Aggressive Volleyball." Draw your throwing arm back, raise your opposite arm high and in front of body, step forward with your opposite leg to your throwing arm, open the hips and shoulders and close them as part of your follow-through.
Step 2
Increase the natural whip of your arm farther by throwing tennis balls down at the top of your jump in front of the net. Take advantage as you increase your arm speed of the lighter weight of the tennis ball compared to a volleyball. And stand at one end of the gym and throw a volleyball as far as you can, focusing on how quickly you can whip your arm on the throw.
Step 3
Extend your shoulder and elbow with power, extend your jump as high as possible and rotate your shoulder and torso to generate a strong hit on the ball, recommends UCLA coach Allen E. Scates in "Complete Conditioning for Volleyball." Scates advises a total-body strength program improves your jumping and rotation. Gradually increase the weights for your workout, which can include squats, lunges, hang cleans, hang snatches and power cleans. Include plyometric elements such as box jumps or running up stadium stairs.
Step 4
Wrap one end of a bungee cord with handles around the volleyball net post for a drill to increase your arm strength. Face away from the post with the handle in your hand, with your elbow bent at 90 degrees and your hand higher than your head. Extend your forearm rapidly in a motion as swift as a boxer on a speed bag, Burnham suggests. Perform eight sets of 25 as hard and quickly as possible. Switch arms to keep your triceps muscles balanced so you can hit a ball just as hard with your less-dominant hand. Work up using a thicker bungee cord and to 50 repetitions to emphasize triceps strength and fast-twitch muscle fiber development.

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