January 8, 2020

15 Spikeball Tips and Tricks To Win The Match

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If you want to become a master learning the Spikeball tips and tricks to beat your competition is where you will be able to gain an edge. When you learn to open your skillset and master the tips and tricks listed below you will become a much stronger player and teammate. If you don't have a set, take a look at our top 5 Spikeball sets and find the one which suits your needs today!

Spikeball Tips and Tricks

Don't work on all of these at once, instead find the one that feels like it is the most interesting or may help you the most. After a week of practice switch to another on the list, this way you are growing an ever-enlarging skillset.

Use Your Offhand

Let's face it, as a grown-up you have spent plenty of time focusing on your primary hand making you vastly more efficient with it. This means you need to expand your skills which will let you be able to serve and return shots to either side of your body.

A Spikeballer is only as good as his worst stroke, and if you have a weak off hand you will not strike any fear in your opponents.

This skill is highly overlooked and will make you a power player when you start to build your offhand skillset. This one will take the most time as most people are typically very awkward at best when using their offhand. Limit this practice so as to not overwhelm or frustrate yourself, over time you will start to see these skills become strong.

Aim To Never Be The Best Player

When you are playing games you need to try and find and play games with people who are stronger and better players than you. This challenge will help you adapt and mature your own personal skills and allow you to continue growing in the sport.

If you are unable to find better players then what you need to do is look at expanding your own skills. Look to run other game types which will allow you to build and enhance new skills.

Value and Learn Deception

Your goal should be to never do what your opponent expects you to do. For example, if you are on defense and your opponent has an awesome hit, you should take a fake step backward attempting to bait them into a drop shot. Since this behavior from them is what you are expecting you should be easily able to steal a point.

When planning to perform a drop shot, always have the other hand up showing power. Learning to use the other teams' false impressions to your benefit will allow you to keep them guessing and never able to know exactly how you will play shots.

Learn To Value a Proper Commit and Dive

One new practice to pick up is that you must learn to commit sometimes to dives instead of thinking about it prior, the loss in that second will mean many times that you will not get there in time nor hit it back correctly. Many times this will result in a loss of the point due to this delay.

Diving itself is a skill as you need to hit in a way which also allows for you to immediately get back up as play doesn't end because you are on the ground. Until you are up and at play again your teammate is now attempting to cover a 360 degree play space, this makes it almost impossible for them to maintain it any length of time.

Serve and Return Practice

When you want to play and get better frequently your not always going to be able to find enough players for a game, in many cases you may not find anyone. You could pack up and call it quits or you can make the next move in the evolution of your game skills, practice using a wall itself aiming to start at 100 rebounds at a minimum per session.

This may sound silly but many professional athletes from junior high on have practiced in this manner to help build their skills when people or time are short. You will want to assemble your net and place it against the wall, the goal being that you serve the ball and also attempt to recover and return the same serve.

While this may sound easy, it will take some serious time and effort to do well and ten you can move into the additional methods of adding or testing new serves, you want to send them time and time again until you know how to hit it left, center, and right and control height so when you reach the field you can own the other team on serves.

Practice Touch and Placement Instead of Power

Learn and practice to hit the ball more specifically where you want it to go instead of as hard as you can, this will force the opposing team to play close and far. If you always are aiming to hit the ball hard they know where they should play then and have less field to cover than you.

Next is learning placement of where to hit the balls, getting the spike or smash back is all well and good, what you are aiming for is to hit it specifically where the return is as difficult as possible. You are wanting them to have to reach to get that return which then allows your next return to outright exhaust and cause them to lose focus, granting you the point.

End Game Focus

It is not how you start the game, it is in how you end the game that should be your priority. Some times the start of a game is bad, you are getting moving, learning how the other team plays or more specifically how they are going to play YOU, What you should be doing in the start of the game is learning and evaluating how they hit, learning their tendencies, then taking advantage of them to dominate.

Games aren't won in the first quarter, second quarter, or third quarter. Games are won in the fourth quarter.

Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach

This stuck with me in far more than just sports or games, it is how I work now and how I focus. When chaos is raining down and the end is nigh is when I mentally ratchet up and everything slows down which allows me to function much better as opposed to many others.

Always Adapting (Don't Become a Master of One Skill)

You know the person that is known for "this" or "that" and they are an elite master of that skill but due to this their other skills are very much more lacking. While it may seem awesome to be an expert at one specific move it comes at a disadvantage to all your other skills to be typecast in this way.

Your approach should be to become a jack of all trades within the sport, know how to do all things equally well as this broad range in skill will help you in the long run. The master of one move will probably experience issues as people will learn how to manage their one excellent skill and then they will become their own worst enemy and a hindrance to performance.

Learn Strategy

Talk to people who are better than you, ask them questions about how they handle specific instances or bounces. Learn the nuances to the game, this is how you become a master at Spikeball.

Since they have knowledge of more nuances to Spikeball, this makes these skills vital to learn as they are hard to articulate or practice without the right guidance.

Spikeball Tips and Tricks - Sand is a different beast to play on
Sand is a tricky and can be a different beast to play on

Learn All Surfaces (Sand, Grass, etc)

You will play on multiple surfaces when you play Spikeball, whether in Pro tournaments or in just fun play. Each surface will have notable benefits and drawbacks to how you have to play and learning how each reacts to your movements will give you a leg up on your opponent.

Learning how you need to run or jump on sand will greatly differ from how you need to approach this same maneuver on the grass. For example, sand gives under you as you push off, this means to get the same dive you will need to start earlier or push much harder and faster to cover the same ground.

Find a Partner As Into It As You

When you are wanting to build your skills and get to the next level you need to find someone who is equally as interested in the same goal. If not you will always find yourself let down and wondering whether you are meant for this.

What you want to do is ensure your teammate is as dedicated to Spikeball as you are,if not then this should be your next goal. Find a player possibly who is a little better if at all possible as this means they will be a challenge to yourself also.

Positioning Is Key

You need to learn to play on your toes to both move fast and fix a bad set or perform a strong spike. Additionally, if you see a big wind up coming then that queue should tell you to adjust backward and prepare for a shot that could bounce over your head.

If you should instead, see someone start to stagger their steps, and crouch or bend over with a compressed smaller wind-up, then you should expect some form of a drop shot. A shot like this is something you should key on to take advantage of while on the offensive side.

If the ball is coming at you and you see your opponent opposite of you start to back up, target them with a drop shot. If they should instead start closing in on the net, slam that ball to blow it right past them.

In order to be successful at Spikeball, you will need to be unpredictable. You need to be at least one step ahead of your opponent.

Before Spiking the Ball, Let it Get as Close to the Net as Possible

Many new or starting players will attempt to hit the ball from any position on the field, thinking that by hitting from farther out that there is more chance for the ball to fall. What actually is true is that you are giving the opponent a better and easier chance at return as they can track the course much further.

What you want to start practicing is that you don't spike the ball until it is as close to the net as you feel comfortable with, the less distance between the mat and the ball the harder it is for the opposing team to read where the ball will go and increases the chance of a bad decision.

Set the Ball HIGH and Towards the Net

To set up your pike for your teammate you need to practice getting quality sets for them. These need to be towards the net and as high as you can manage reliably, since your teammate doesn't need variability in this height and distance.

You want to make sure this is practiced so much that you can keep the ball around the same height regardless of where you have set it from. Hopefully this practice will help your teammate spike the ball reliably and with far more accuracy instead of attempting to save a bad set.

Put Some Spin on Your Shots

While you may have initial success just in returning the ball on a serve this will eventually wear off over time as the players you face become more skilled. What you need to start working on and training yourself to do is how on a contact only hit, impart a spin on the ball.

This spin means that when it hits the net it doesn't take the normal rebound out into the play field which forces the opponent to adjust on the fly on each hit. This also requires not spinning it the same way each time, you want to learn how to get a different spin on each hit, from forespin, backspin, and sidespin.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are new or already a master at some of the Spikeball tips and tricks listed above, working on mastering all of them will give you a tremendous jump on the competition. None of the skills above will come very easy for everyone, instead focus on the one you view as your own weakness first and grow it to a strength and then move on.

Spikeball is an awesome game and sport and takes a degree of finesse and physical prowess to play. You need to be fast on your feet and fast in your head. Learn and master the tips above to become a powerhouse, this way you can look to college play!

Interested In Playing Spikeball?

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Article written by Josh Koop
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!