Where and When to Hit the Ball

Ok, now that your partner has set the ball for you, What do you do with it?

If you can jump 48" in the sand at Seaside Heights (I haven’t seen anyone that can do that, including the AVP Pros which is why they wouldn’t play there anymore) and can hit the ball at 105 mph inside the 10’ line then you don’t need to read any further.

If on the other hand, you are a normal human, and can’t crush the ball to the sand everytime then this article is for you. First rule for hitting on the beach is "Hit the Bad Sets, and Dink the Good Ones."

What do I mean by that?

Any time that you can possibly hit the ball in with serious pace on a set that isn’t great you stand a good chance of catching the opponents off guard.

They will look for you to be making a roll shot or a placement kind of shot on the not so great sets and will not be expecting a ball coming at a high rate of speed.

On the perfect set, your opponents will be "dug in" trying to get that hard driven ball that you are about to crush and a dink will also catch them off guard.


Where should you hit the ball and by hit, I mean swing at the ball with the intent to hit it directly down to the sand?

There are three extremely effective areas that you ahould try to hit the ball to when the other team is not blocking.

If the other team is blocking a fourth option becomes very effective.

Of course, any time you can hit the ball straight down to the sand in front of the defenders you should do so, but you will find that good defenders will eventually move in and dig those hits.

If the other team is blocking and you want to shoot the ball to an open part of the court the following spots work exceptionally well.

In both of these cases, the shots are listed in order of the easiest shot to make to the hardest shot to make.

The single most effective hit or roll shot to make is to wait until the defender has started to move and then hit the ball behind him.

No player will be able to get a ball once he has started moving away from it.

When you are hitting either cross court or down the line one of the most important things that you can do is to hit the ball between where the player is standing and the sideline.

If you can get the ball outside the player’s body line and he should get a touch on the ball, it becomes much more difficult for him to pass the ball to his partner since he has to try to yank it over his shoulder and back into the court.

This results in a bad pass, which makes it difficult for his partner to either get to it or set it and if it does come back, many times it will be a "Free Ball" allowing you to easily bump, set, spike it all over again.

If you get the perfect set and the other team does not block, consider just tapping the ball over the net in front of them.

Nothing is more demoralizing to a team than to be all set to dig your biggest, baddest hit and then see the ball fall slowly, gently, softly in front of them.

All of these shots and hits take practice and one of the best practice drills for this is to take a laundry basket and place it where you want the ball to go.

Then have your partner set you 20 times and see how many you can put it in the basket.

Then you set your partner 20 times and see how many they can put it in the basket.

Then move the basket to another spot on the court and do it again, and again, and again.

Remember, in the long run it’s not about how hard you hit the ball, it’s about how many times the ball hits the sand.

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