Hit on low net

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4 to 8 players on half a court
1 competent thrower (the teacher or a player capable of respecting the constraints of placing and of timing of the throw)
The throw can be made easier by placing the thrower on a raised surface (chair, bench). To begin with we can mark the start of the run-up with a mark on the ground. But gradually the player will have to gauge his own run-up.

Aim of the task:

Spike with momentum, accelerating the ball towards the opposing court.


  • For the spiker: With a run-up of 3 to 4 strides, jump on both feet in front of the setter to hit the ball.
  • For the receiver: catch the ball then go and give it to the thrower then place yourself ready to spike.

The aim of this situation is to facilitate the learning of technical reference points about hitting, in easy conditions. The net is placed at a height which requires an impulse, but must allow the player to reach above by the length of his forearm at least. In these conditions players can reach an accelerated down hit.

The main difficulty resides in the quality of distribution of the balls:

  • Which "requests" the ball by a jump. The thrower responds to the spiker's impulse facing the thrower without going past him.
  • The thrower must be able to offer a ball above at the right height or not to offer it when hitting conditions aren't met.

Pointers for the spiker:

In preparation of the hit :

  • Measure the distance which in 3 or 4 strides will enable him to jump on 2 feet facing the thrower, at arm's length from the thrower and the net.
  • Organise the time it takes to pull both arms back during the pre-jump (last stride). This facilitates both the impulse and the windup for the hit.
  • Master the direction of the impulse in order to rise vertically and not fall back on the thrower nor in the net.

In the hit itself:

  • An acceleration with a shoulder / elbow / hand whip which is shown in a obvious manner by an active attack of the hand on the ball and the hand going down first, elbow high.
  • A hitting height which uses the whole amplitude of the arm.
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In the intention, we must insist on the fact that we are looking for the acceleration of the hand and that this requires coordination and not strength. It is the transmission of the speed from the feet to the shoulder then to the elbow then to the forearm and then to the hand that creates fast speed.

Paradoxically, the intention of hitting HARD leads to a hit with a tense shoulder, arm straight, much less efficient while at the same time more costly in terms of energy.

It is important to give qualitative feedback on the action and its result. This is done using some simple observation points:

  • Was the impulse vertical or forward? Where did the player take his impulse? Where did he fall?
  • Was the hit done with the arm extended or bent?
  • Was the impact on the ball made by the hand in the top back quarter or by the fingers or the wrist?
  • Which segment goes back down first: the hand, the elbow, the shoulder?
  • Is the trajectory accelerated and in the target?
See the resource on
whipped hit mechanics

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