Outside hitters hold a special place in the world of volleyball. They are the players who often take center stage and are relied upon to deliver crucial points when the game is on the line. These players are known for their explosive jumping ability, athleticism, and incredible hitting power.
As a passer hitter, they are also expected to be proficient in passing the ball, which is a central responsibility for their position.
In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about outside hitters in volleyball. From understanding the concept of outside hitters to the requirements and tips for excelling in this position, we will cover it all.
Whether you are a seasoned player or a beginner looking to learn more about this position, this article is for you. So, join us as we explore the world of outside hitters – volleyball’s rock stars!
Concept of Outside Hitters
The concept of outside hitters, also known as left side hitters, wing spikers, or pins, involves a central responsibility for passing the volleyball and is critical to serve-reception. Outside hitters are viewed as rock stars of the volleyball court, as they are usually the go-to players when play gets scrappy.
Good outside hitters are excellent passers and are considered the smartest attackers on the floor. Their athleticism and explosiveness make them an important asset to the team. However, being an outside hitter is a demanding position, but it is excellent for gaining experience.
Outside hitters are required to hit the ball well and have the ability to block and dig. They need to be slightly taller than setters and shorter than opposites and middle blockers, with appropriate height, athleticism, and being right-handed. Although they may be shorter, they make up for it with their explosive jumping ability.
The best outside hitters pass the ball far better than the rest and use side spin to control the ball while navigating the block.
Requirements for Outside Hitters
Height benchmarks for outside hitters vary depending on the position. Coaches and recruiters also consider a variety of factors when selecting outside hitters for a team. These factors include athleticism, passing accuracy, and leadership skills.
Outside hitters are slightly taller than setters but shorter than middle blockers and opposites. They need to be decently athletic with good balance, speed, and coordination. Jumping ability and arm length are also important, as outside hitters need to consistently kill the ball. Passing accuracy is also crucial, as outside hitters are responsible for passing the ball first, then hitting.
Coaches and recruiters look for outside hitters who are confident, perform well under pressure, and communicate well. Furthermore, height benchmarks vary for different positions, and hitting percentage is a measure of efficiency. Experience playing club volleyball is also important, as well as leadership skills, communication skills, and volleyball IQ. Deliberate and focused practice is necessary for improvement, as outside hitters are highly trainable.
To improve their jumping ability, outside hitters need to focus on strength and conditioning routines that help to increase spike height. Male outside hitters should aim for a spike height of 345cm or more, while women should aim for 320cm. Upper body training is also important for hitting the ball harder. While left-handed outside hitters are less common, they can still be successful, as Uroš Kovačević of Serbia has shown.
Outside hitters can hit from the back row and usually defend from position 5. Teams may switch the outside hitter with the libero to allow the outside hitter to hit the pipe from the back row. Despite being known as the rock stars of the volleyball court, opposites and middle blockers may be stronger hitters due to their height and longer levers.
In short, while height and jumping ability are important, passing accuracy is equally crucial for outside hitters to excel in their role as passers and hitters.
Tips for Outside Hitters
To enhance their offensive performance, outside hitters can focus on upper body training to increase hitting power and precision, and target their conditioning routines towards improving their jump height and explosiveness. Improving jump height is crucial for outside hitters as it allows them to hit the ball over the block and score points. To achieve this, outside hitters can incorporate plyometric exercises, such as jump squats and box jumps, into their training routine. Strength and conditioning programs should also include exercises that target the upper body, such as bench presses and pull-ups, as these help increase hitting power and precision.
Left-handed outside hitters are less common in volleyball, but they can still be successful. Uroš Kovačević of Serbia is a successful left-handed outside hitter, and his success can be attributed to his ability to use his dominant hand to his advantage. Left-handed outside hitters have a unique advantage as their attacks come from a different angle, making it difficult for blockers to anticipate and defend against.
Coaches may also use left-handed outside hitters strategically, as they can be used to create different offensive plays. Overall, outside hitters can improve their performance by focusing on upper body training and improving their jump height, while left-handed outside hitters can use their uniqueness to their advantage.