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Every new player wants to spike ... it's the glamour skill, after all. But it's also one of the hardest to break into components for teaching. We begin by using tennis balls. Since most young people have thrown a baseball or softball, their bodies and minds are attuned to the technique involved. Having players toss a tennis ball against a wall allows us to show them how similar the armswing and wrist snap in a volleyball spike are to the throwing motion. Players respond well to the instruction, because it is something they're familiar with, thus taking some of the fear out of the learning process. After tossing the ball so that it bounces once, hits the wall and returns to them a few times, players begin to get a feel for the spiking motion. After the wall, we move to the net, where we have players simply stand and snap the ball over the net a few times. Then we have them jump in place, tossing the ball over. After they're comfortable with the jumping and tossing,we move to teaching of the approach, still using the tennis balls.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|