How to Have a Successful Outside Hitter Approach

By improving their approach angle, outside hitters can be ready to hit anything the setter gives them.

Outside hitters often get set more balls than any other player on the court. You should always be prepared for whatever the setter gives you.

Your approach angle is important to help you adjust to sets that are past the antenna or inside. Try a wide angle that opens you up to the large area of the court.

A FEW TIPS TO REMEMBER:

  • Get out wide.
  • Your hips should face the setter.
  • Balls should come into your body, not past it.
  • Prepare for an inside or wide set.

To transition from defense to offense, you want to use a step, cross, “splash” (hop) to arrive balanced and in position to attack immediately. For example:

  • If you’re on the left side of the court, you’ll open your body and step with your left foot parallel to the net, going toward the outside of the court lines.
  • You’ll then take a crossover step with your right foot before a “splash” that lands you with both feet in an athletic position, outside the court lines.
  • Your hips should be facing the setter and the large part of the court. In this position, the ball will come into your body as opposed to across your body. This will make it easier to adjust to whatever set you receive and attack from a good angle.

Many youth players like to approach “flat” from the inside. The ball will generally have to go past you in order to swing in this scenario, which is much more challenging and will not lead to consistent success.

Good outside hitters find a way to score on any ball. Using a wide approach angle will give you a chance to hit any set well with minimal adjustment.

Playing close to the antenna requires outside hitters to be able to effectively attack the line. This can force the other team’s blockers to cover more distance.