Sculpting the Spike: How to Improve Your Volleyball Performance


Ready, set, spike. You have the basics down, but when you’re passionate about your game, a basic understanding of the fundamentals isn’t going to cut it. You want to be quick. You want to be strong. And with the right practice techniques, your team can improve their serves and master their spikes. Get started with these tips for improving your volleyball game.

volleyball performance

Hit the Weight Room

Most volleyball teams do a lot of running, and they diligently practice their techniques, but few make it to the weight room. While practicing your serves and your spikes will definitely help you improve your technique, it’s also vital that you build up your strength to get more power. Many of the moves in volleyball involve the arms and shoulders, so don’t ignore the importance of a strong and flexible upper body.

Need a workout plan? shares a regimen that will get your body in shape for better serves.

Engage in Team Building Exercises

Your team members may be some of the strongest, quickest volleyball players around, but if they don’t work effectively as a whole, your performance on the court is going to suffer. Where many teams focus on the physical aspects of the game, you can improve your overall team performance by spending a bit of time on the mental elements. Not only should team members feel comfortable around each other, but they should know each other well enough to work as one during the game.

You can start with team-building and communication games, but there are other, sometimes better ways to build a cohesive team. Some suggestions include:

  1. Switch up the players’ positions during practice. Not only will teammates get more experience in different roles, but they will learn to develop better communication skills, having played the game from a new point of view.
  2. Meet up outside of practice in a non-competitive environment, such as a get-together at a teammate’s house.
  3. Take time to encourage team members to share their feelings when the team experiences conflict and negativity.

Turn to Technology

When you and your team are in shape and devoted to practice, yet still missing something in your technique, turn to technology. Use your iPhone camera to videotape your practices and games to help you see where you and your teammates can improve on form, placement, speed etc. Team up your iPhone camera with a quality application like Blast Athletic Performance to automatically create video highlight reels – no editing required – that can also be seen in slow motion with captured performance metrics right on the video. Using wearable tech can give you individual analytics that will help guide your training and improve your performance.

Don’t Stop When the Season is Over

Volleyball season doesn’t last long, but for many volleyball players, the season is all they have until next year. Afterward, they’ll take a break, which means that next year, they’ll have to work harder to get back up to where they were at the end of the last season.

You can put yourself ahead of the competition by staying in the game year-round. Not only will it keep you strong and agile, but with more practice, you’ll have more time devoted to improving your skills. Chances are you can find a summer league in your area, which will help you hone your skills before the season starts. During the winter and spring, consider meeting up with friends or team members once a week or so for a scrimmage.

Like any sport, you can improve your volleyball game through more practice. However, practice should be about more than just staying in shape, it should be about targeting specific areas for improvement and making the right adjustments. Talk with your team about where you can improve as a whole, and outline goals for each team member so you can hone in on individual performance that will lead to success for the entire team.

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