In volleyball, the overhand attack, or hit, is a team's most effective offensive hit. Hitting requires a consistent approach and the ability to read blockers, which is taught through repetition. Different drills at practice, ideally working with the setter who will set the ball to hit, will improve a player's overhand hit.
Team Approach Drills
This team-approach warm-up drill practices an approach without a volleyball. The team forms one line on the left sideline behind the 10-foot line. The first player performs an attack approach on the left front side of the net. Then she back peddles to the middle front 10-foot line. The first player in line and the player in the middle then approach the net simultaneously, then back peddle to the next position. The middle front player moves to the right front, the left front player moves to the middle and another player moves into the left front. All three players perform an attack approach together, then move to the next position. When each player has been through the line twice, the warm-up is complete.
Stand and Spike
For an effective overhand attack a player must be able to position his body in order to hit the ball at the correct angle. The stand and spike drill works with players finding the correct angles, without jumping. Form one line on the left side of the court. The first player steps forward to receive a high toss from the coach. The player must move his body to get under the ball, then he raises his non-hitting arm to steady his body and find the ball before hitting the ball. The coach judges the player's ability to get into position and find the ball. For advanced players, coaches can have the players aim at a certain spot on the court.
Over on Two
For over on two, players form two lines on the baseline of the volleyball court. The first two players step onto the court and get into a ready position. The coach serves the ball to the players. The first player passes the ball to her partner who either sets it back to the first player to attack or she attacks it herself. When a team can perform an attack from the first hit -- the pass -- rather than the set, it often will catch their opponents off guard. Each team that can perform an attack off the pass, leaving out the set, earns a point. The team with the most points at the end of the drill wins.
Simulated Game Play
For simulated game play, a team sets up six players on one side of the court, just like in a game. As the coach slaps the ball, front row players transition off the net and the setter transitions to the net. The coach tosses the ball over the net to the back row passers. The ball is passed to the setter, and then the setter sets one of the hitters. Players move back into the starting position and the drill is repeated.
Poppy Carpenter graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In addition to teaching journalism to junior high students, she also covers health and fitness for "PUSH Monthly" and Angie's List.