The 2 Most Likely Reasons You're Hitting Out


volleyball hitting out

The 2 Most Likely Reasons You Hit The Ball Out

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I was recently asked for my thoughts on why a player hit the ball out of bounds. This is a pretty generic question, and could be answered in several ways. However, I think that it most likely boils down to one or two issues. We are going to discuss those 2 issues in the hope that it helps you in some way.

You’re Short

Or you don’t jump high. Really, it ends up being the same thing. You need to ask yourself if you can reach higher than the net. If you can’t get above the net, it’s going to be hard to hit the ball with all your power, and have it go in bounds. In fact, nearly impossible. Look:

why youre hitting out

See, if you’re going to hit the ball hard, it’s going to go in a mostly straight line, until it starts to lose speed and fall. The other team’s court is only 30’. If you are to hit the ball hard, it will likely go past 30 feet, before the ball loses speed.

Now, I know there is something to be said for adding topspin to the ball in order for it to drop. I know, I know, I know. topspin topspin topspin. But, hear me out. Even with an incredible amount of topspin, hitting the ball with a ton of power, is still going to make it difficult for the ball to land in.

What you need to do, is pull back on your power AND add topspin. You must do both. If you take out some of the speed, and you add topspin, you can create this affect:

volleyball hitting tips

This way you can control the ball into the court. If this is you then you’ll have to learn to be a smart hitter. Hitting angles will give you more than 30’, so you can hit a little harder into the angles. Keep in mind that there is 900 square feet on your opponents court (people live in houses smaller than this) so you can find a lot of areas to score, you just need to have exceptional ball control.


You are under the ball.

If you jump high enough, and you still hit the ball out, there is a good chance you are hitting from under the ball. Instead, you need to hit from behind the ball. I’m going to show you a couple pictures. This girl, we will call her Bethany, is a libero, and she’s short. To be honest, the picture is probably of her serving, but this is what I had available . Anyway, my point is, I’m using her as an example, because I’m sure she doesn’t mind. :) As I said, she’s a libero, she was the MVP of our region, and she’s pretty stinking good…


This first picture shows you how Bethany is under the ball. If you’re serving, or your short, you’re going to have to be under the ball a little, but that’s not you, you’re tall.

volleyball hitting tips

See how she is tilted back slightly? I put a nice yellow line there for reference. Elbow behind shoulder, shoulder behind hips. She’s technically aiming up here. 

If you’re wanting to hit down, you must be behind the ball. You have to have your elbow in front of your shoulder, your shoulder in front of your hips. Look at Bethany again, I tilted her into position. :)

how to hit in volleyball

If Bethany was huge, we could lean her forward even more, and she could really bomb the ball straight down, but we will leave that up to your imagination. (…And hers)


How do you adjust your position

Now that you understand what you should look like when you lean on the ball, how do you do it? Well, there are 2 options. If your’e an outside hitter, taking a normal approach, you can start further away from the net. Then make sure you jump straight up.


If you’re not in the position to move your approach further away from the net, take a shorten your approach. In some cases, you may have to skip the fist step entirely. This option is common for middle hitters who don’t have a lot of time in transition.


Bonus Hitting Tip

As I mention in the episode, I was asked how to handle a ball that is set off the net. I’ve been asked this a lot, so I thought it would be good to write about it, and include a couple pictures.


The first thing you need to realize, is that a ball off the net, is likely not a ball you can score on with pure power.  Here is a picture of how it may work, if you’re contacting the ball high, and it’s a good set:

hitting tips

Now, if you add a ton of power to a ball that’s set off the net, you have to factor in how far the ball must travel straight, before it moves down. If you’re at the 10’ line, the ball will need to travel 10’ before going down. You simply can’t have the same amount of power on that ball, or you will hit it straight out.

You must go with the controlled with topspin approach, and try to aim in a certain area, so the ball falls in:

volleyball hitting drill

 Wow, you read through, you may like these posts also:

hitting out volleyball volleyball hitting
volleyball tryout tips

Video Notes

The video/audio cover a couple other tips if you’re interested in watching them. I’m not going to write about them today, but maybe sometime soon.

Being open to the setter.
Closing away from the setter.
Using your body to hit vs cross body shots.
Elevate your hitting side


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