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How to Play a Big Hitter PDF Print E-mail
Written by isma   
Tuesday, 03 July 2007

Sometimes, you face teams that have a player who does nothing but hammer the ball. It can be intimidating to play against someone who hits like Affan Priyo Wicaksono or Aris Achmad Risqon, but it's not impossible. You can learn to make the most of your defensive strengths to help tip the balance in your favor. Here are several ways to take the heat out of the biggest hitters.

Drop in Early

This strategy works well against a big hitter who doesn't have a lot of control or vision. This type of player goes up determined to pound the ball into the sand every time and is worried more about hitting it as hard as possible than directing it to an area.To deal with this type of player, pull both players off the net and get into your defensive position early rather than blocking. Since the hitter is unlikely to look where you're positioned, he'll probably hit the ball right into your area. Divide the court between you and your partner so you're able to cover the most common angles of attack (line, angle and middle).As shown above, the right-side player is responsible for the line hit, the left-side player takes angle, and both share the middle.

Strategize with Your Blocker

If you choose to block, work with your partner on channeling the ball in a pre-arranged direction. It might be dramatic to stuff-block a ball, but with a big hitter who can tool or hit around you, it's easier and more effective to make her fall into your game plan.The idea is to take away the hitter's favorite swing (in the photo at above, the blocker is taking away the line). You can often tell by the way a player approaches the ball which hit is her power hit, then adjust your block to limit her options in that direction. For instance, if she likes to blast the ball down the line, have the blocker take an aggressive line stance to force the hitter to go to the angle, where the defender is waiting. Since it's not her favorite shot, it'll probably have a lot less heat on it, making it easier to dig.

Jump in the Middle

This is a nice strategy if you have a big hitter who favors swinging toward the middle of the court and you decide not to block.Begin in a normal defensive position, covering the most obvious angles of attack (line and angle). Leave the middle conspicuously open. Your objective is to lull them into thinking that the middle is where they should hit.As the hitter jumps, pull into the middle to defend the attack.

Last Resorts

If the hitter is putting balls on the three- foot line, you'll probably have to get a blocker up to the net. Even a short blocker can be effective with good timing and technique. Many big hitters get blocked by short blockers because they try to hit straight down, and they don't see the blocker.You might also try changing your serving strategy. If you want to continue serving the big hitter, try mixing the serves up to make her work as hard as possible before she can hit the ball. Serving deep makes her cover a lot of ground between passing and hitting and can tire her out. Serving short makes her scramble to get into position to hit, which can affect balance and hitting power. Serving your toughest serves can force her to shank the ball, making it hard for her to get a good set. If she adapts easily to your serves, or if her setter is so good that she can make a good play out of any pass, try changing your serving target. Serving the big hitter's partner changes the rhythm and puts more pressure on the big hitter. Many big hitters get frustrated if they don't get any sets, and some will eventually try to hit on two. Even if they succeed, they won't usually be able to generate the power that comes from getting a good set.  (Barbra Fontana)


Last Updated ( Monday, 24 February 2014 )
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