Staging a hard hitting attack in volleyball requires some key steps to transition a player into the proper position. I have successfully trained young athletes on their footwork to transition and approach for their attack. These key steps will assist in training your volleyball players.
START AT BASE
Attack ball transition should be initiated from the base position for the hitter. Base for hitters is when the player is standing in front of and facing the net with hands up. Hitters can align on the left, middle, or right positions along the net. I train my hitters to start transitioning from base so that they learn how to move on and off the net. Teaching players to move on the court without the ball or preparing to play a ball is one of the toughest skills a volleyball player has to learn.
TRANSITION OFF THE NET
Left side hitters will transition off the net beginning with their right foot, middle hitters will open up over the shoulder that the ball goes over, and the right side hitter will begin with their left foot. The reason for this is so that a player can open up and see the court and the ball. A hitter transitions off the net to pass a ball and/or prepare for the attack in a basic rally point. Open the first step wide and long with their toes pointed toward the direction of the 10 foot line. The second and third steps are also long strides toward the 10 foot line. On the fourth step, swing your foot backward and plant the toe so that the hitter’s belly is returned to facing the setter. Your player is now prepared to pass the ball first if necessary, as well as prepared for their approach.
APPROACH THE BALL
The movement to approach the ball should be explosive and quick even for basic high sets to your hitters. I train my hitters on a three step approach and to go for the higher sets once the ball has released from the setter’s hand. The last swing step from the transition off the net sets the stage for the approach. The first step of your approach should be long and in the direction of the ball that was just set. This allows for adjustment in your approach and to maintain momentum. The second step should be long and powerful, with knees bent while keeping the ball in front of your hitter. The last step forward should bring the feet back together, shoulder length apart, and allow the player to jump up and reach for their attack. Combining all of these steps and continuous training on their footwork will have your players transitioning and approaching the attack with success.