Improve your aim in volleyball

How can I improve my aim and direction in volleyball? Score more points

Improving your aim will take your volleyball game to the next level.  You can be very good at hitting the ball over the net but if your attack is too predictable, your opponent will find it easy to defend. Therefore it is important that you are able to aim at a point on the field that is not defended well. This will make it a lot harder for the other team to defend. Let’s discuss what you can do to improve your aim.

General principles for improving your aim

The first step to improve your aim is to get better at anticipating how your team will move and how the opponents will react. If you can predict where your team member will be when you pass to them, it will be a lot easier to use the right amount of force and push the ball in the correct direction.

If you can determine how the other team will react, it will be possible to find weak points in their defense and this will allow you to aim the ball in that direction. The first step in improving your aim is therefore to learn to anticipate how other players will move on the field after your ball touch.

Aiming is about force AND precision

Aiming is all about force and direction. You have to hit the ball with the right force and in the correct direction. If you experiment with these two things, you can see what works best. Some players are quite strong and don’t need to add a lot of force to the ball. Others need to hit the ball harder to get their desired effect. This is a lot of trial-and-error. 

The position of your hands and feet has an impact on the direction in that you will send the ball. Make sure that your feet are firm on the ground when you are hitting the ball and try to stand as balanced as possible. This means that your feet should be about 2 feet apart from each other. You can ask your coach to check if your hand position and movements are right. Small nuances can have a big impact on the direction that the ball goes in.

Once again, this will require a lot of practice to get it just right. You can gather other players and make a challenge out of it, as can be seen in the following video. The whole team is aiming at a basket. The goal is to send the ball into the basket. The basked is moved over the court so that you have to aim at different targets. The player that is able to get the most balls in the basket, wins the game. Since the basket is quite small, you really have to practice your aim. This is called around the world because the basked moves over the whole court so that you can practice sending the ball to different locations.

Passing, smashing and setting

There are three points during which you have to improve your aim: passing, smashing, and setting. Let’s go over these as each of them have some nuances that can affect your aim.

  • How can  you improve spiking or smashing?

You have to be able to jump quite high if you want to smash. It is important that you are stable in the air and jump straight up so that you don’t fly forward as this makes it harder to hit the ball. So you have to improve your jump if you want to improve your smashes.

Furthermore, it is important that the ball stays inside the court of your opponent. If you hit the ball too hard, it will be outside. Experiment with different ways in which you hit the ball to make sure that you use the correct amount of force. 

This can be trained on a volleyball field by yourself. Just take a ball, throw it in front of you and start smashing. You can also ask a friend to throw the ball at you to make it more unpredictable where it will land. 

Example of a spike during a volleyball match ©miodrag via
  • How can i improve my passing in volleyball

Passing is an essential skill in volleyball. You have underhand and overhand passes. You can practice these together with another player. If you do this for an hour every day, your passing skills will improve very fast. A mistake that a lot of players make is that they are passing while they are not standing still. If you stand well on your feet, it is a lot easier to pass the ball. Small nuances such as finger movements can have a big impact on where the ball lands. 

It is frustrating if you pass to a team member and they are not able to catch the ball. It is easy to blame the other player but you are both at fault. Try to learn from this so that you avoid this in the future. Maybe you didn’t communicate well or you didn’t hit the ball right. You will do better next time if you analyze what went wrong. 

Demonstration of a volleyball pass ©technotr via

Setting is quite similar to passing except that this is the final pass before you have to attack and it has to be an overhand contact. Therefore it is an assist and it is important that you keep the ball high enough for this. It is thus a pass that has to go quite high in the air. Once again you can practice this with a friend.

You have to learn where other people want to receive the ball. Some players want to ball high so that they can smash it easily, others prefer to have the ball lower so that they can hit the ball in their own style. You can ask players where they want the ball and you will see what works best for them during training. 

Setting is really important as it prepares the attack. Some players get nervous when they have to do this. It can take quite a lot of matches before you get calm. Only practice can help you with this and you can ask your friends to play some games to get more chances at improving your setting skills.

A volleyball player is getting ready to serve ©Nikada via

It is important that you perform these drills with a ball that has the same size and weight as the volleyball that you will use during a competition or match. If you are used to playing with a ball that has another weight, it can be difficult to adjust your aim to the new ball. This is why beach volleyball takes quite some practice as it is played with another ball and with different court sizes than indoor volleyball. 

To conclude, we can state that to improve your aim, you will have to learn how players move on a field. You have to think about what will happen after your pass to make sure that your team member gets the ball in the right location or that you can attack a weak point of the defense. Aiming consists of force and direction.

You will have to experiment with these with multiple drills to get this right. In volleyball, aiming is mainly important for smashing, passing, and setting. If you are able to improve your aim, you will get a lot better at volleyball. 

It can be very challenging to improve your aim but all the practice will pay off when you hit that perfect smash that surprises your opponent. You can score a lot of points if you can aim at a weaker player or at a part of the court that is not well defended. It is often even possible to score a lot of points by sending the ball in the same area as the players of the opposing team might not find an answer to this type of attack. If you can aim well, you can try several ways to destroy the defense of the other team.