In beach volleyball there are many spectacular moments, long, intense rallies, gnarly aces and kick saves to name a few. But there is one skill that is consistently noticed as being the most desired and entertaining. The Spike. Every beach volleyball athlete and spectator appreciate a good spike, whether they care to play this way themselves or don’t know anything about the game, a fierce spike is always a showstopper. It looks good, feels better and asserts your dominance on the court. It showcases your athleticism and power; it fuels your own team and strikes fear in your opponent. However, before a great spike an intentional approach must occur. This is a challenging fate for many beach volleyball players as there are a wide range of variables that can influence it and let’s be honest 99% of the spike comes from the approach.
So, lets learn how to spike harder by approaching more effectively by figuring out where to start your approach from.
There is a plethora of styles when it comes to approaching and more importantly, and our focus for today, where to start your approach from. There is such a range in where to start your approach due to the fact that everyone has a different starting point, it varies in depth from the net and width on the court. In beach volleyball there are no definite answers for many aspects of the game because beach volleyball athletes come in many shapes, sizes, and athletic abilities. Each athlete has a different level of explosiveness, stride length and ability, thus where we start our approach can vary greatly. For this blog we are going to call your approach starting point the point of hesitation. I prefer this verbiage as it describes what you should be doing before you start your approach, hesitating.
So, where should our point of hesitation be on the court?
My top tip for measuring this is to start at the net, at about an arm’s length away. You want to make sure that if you do your arm swing for a spike that you do not touch the net. Now, turn and face away form the net and do your approach at full speed and power. This may be a 3 or 4 step approach, just stick to what your regular approach is. When you have landed this is where your point of hesitation will be for attacking an in-system ball. This distance will stretch across the width of the court and will apply for all in-system attacks.
By spacing out your approach appropriately is will help you to reach full velocity on your swing without broad jumping or touching the net. Having a measured point of hesitation will also help you to find consistency in your approach and ultimately improve your timing on offense.
I hope this quick and simple solution helps you to find consistency in your approach and hit harder on the sand. Go try it out today!