There’s a post worth reading on the USA Volleyball blog. It looks at hitter training and focuses on getting players to execute skills in game-like fashion as often as possible. In other words, getting away from blocked training which breaks the skill down and works on its components individually. That’s a major focus of modern training for coaching volleyball. There are some worthwhile things to think about toward that aim in this piece.

The “myth” of wrist snap

At the end of the blog post is an interesting exchange about the mechanics of hitting a ball with topspin, whether that’s a spike or a topspin serve. You need to read that section from the bottom up to properly follow the flow, as the sequence of the discussion is in reverse chronological order (like an email exchange).

The major take-away from that topspin conversation is that wrist snap has nothing to do with it. Your hand is not in contact with the ball long enough for it to wrap over the top the way it looks to do when you execute in slow motion.

I should note that Chuck Rey from that exchange is the former head coach at Winthrop University. He has since become the Athletic Director there. Chuck is well known among AVCA Convention attendees for hosting the new attendee gathering there for many years.

So do we stop coaching wrist snap? Or does it actually serve a purpose?

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

    1 Response to "About hitter training and the myth of the wrist snap"

    • Hai

      Definitely no wrist snap. Create spin by driving the force from your core through your arm. Making sure the arms and elbow line up with the ball at contact. So many players just swinging arms only and snapping. Probably because so many coaches teaches “Snap on the ball”. Maybe it’s because they have been taught that in the past.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.