If you’re ever looking for a good visual example of the mechanics of a powerful attack, here’s one you can use.

Yes, there may be a point here or there you could nitpick. And yes, she’s a 6’5″ professional player. Those things miss the point entirely, though.

The most frequent issue I see with attackers – especially on the female side of the sport – is the failure to open the torso and draw the elbow back (as opposed to high elbow). This is why I wrote the post about the value of teaching kids how to throw. We want the main source of attacking power to come from torso rotation. That way we’re basically just letting the force flow through the arm swing rather than trying to generate it from the shoulder.

You get your attackers to look something close to this when they hit and you’ll be doing pretty well.

It’s worth noting I coached against this young lady when I was in Sweden during the 2015-16 season. She was, I think, 16 at the time. Even then she was a stud. Best player in the league. Her team set her 50% of the balls. Our most effective strategy was to create situations, particularly from serve, where it was difficult to set her. In other words, force someone else to beat us.

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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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