The title of this post came up as a question in a coaching group. Not surprisingly, there was a mix of answers. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

If you believe attacking the ball via a spike, tip, or whatever is an offensive action, then you must also think of the serve as part of the offense. Why? Because they have the same purpose.

In both attacking and serving you can attempt to score a direct point (kill/ace) or you can attempt to force the other team into a disadvantageous position. This does not assume aggressive serving, though it does mean doing something more than just putting the ball over the net to start the rally. The same is true of attacking. We’re not talking here about a player just trying to get the 3rd contact over the net.

And note that I said “attempt” above. It’s about intent, not outcome.

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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.

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