Becoming a Spikeball professional isn’t easy. You need to focus on how your opponent hits the ball and anticipate his returns to keep winning points. It’s best to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep your opponent guessing what’s coming next. Here are a few tricks and strategies that you can use.
Using your Offhand
A strong offhand can make your opponent defensive. He will have to come up with new strategies to counter yours. Most people don’t pay too much attention to offhand strikes, but they can win you crucial points to win a game. The best way to use your offhand is figuring out the part of the net where you want to spike the ball.
Suppose you are a right-handed player. You need to use your offhand in such a way that your opponent can’t return the ball. Try different techniques, such as hitting the ball hard, hitting it softly, angling the ball to a direction where your opponent can’t reach, or making sure that the ball bounces so awkwardly that your opponent can’t touch the ball before it hits the ground.
Learning to Commit and Dive
Once you master your offhand, you need to practice committing and diving. Remember, you must hit the ball once before it touches the ground. Make sure you give your everything to at least bounce the ball onto your partner, who can further spike the ball to the opponent. In most cases, the objective of diving is to save the ball from touching the ground. You will hardly find yourself in a situation where you dive and spike the ball to win a point.
Learning to commit and dive is tricky, as you need to hit the ball in such a way so that you can get back on your feet immediately. Ideally, you should dive and keep the ball alive by passing it to your teammate. You can flick the ball, bounce it on your palm, back of the hand, or fist it towards your partner. But make sure you get up quickly and take a strategic position to receive a return from the opponent.
Practicing Serves and Returns
Serve and volley is one of the best strategies in tennis. You can use the same technique in Spikeball as well. The best time to practice serves and returns is when you don’t have any partner to play with.
Take your Spikeball net and place it in front of a wall. The goal is to serve and face the return as the ball bounces off the wall and comes at you. Make sure the ball doesn’t touch the ground. Keep returning until the ball goes out of play.
You can switch things up when it’s your time to serve during a match. That will keep the players in a real game guessing.
Hit the ball with different intensities. That will vary the ball’s bounce and give you a chance to return differently. Try practicing at least 100 rebounds every session. Professional Spikeball players practice serves and returns every day. It not only improves your serving and returning skills but also gives you a chance to practice diving and recovering to your position.
Learning Touch and Placement
Spikeball is not just about hitting the ball hard. Timing plays a crucial role in this game. You need to time your hits and give direction to the ball in such a way that your opponent can’t reach it. It would also keep your opponent guessing about how you will hit the ball next. Smashing the ball is relatively easy than learning to touch and place the ball according to your opponent’s position.
The idea is to make the ball bounce twice on the net before your opponent touches the ball. For that, you need to place the ball in an advantageous position. Practice hitting the ball softly. You can place the Spikeball net in front of a wall and check how much the ball bounces when you place it softly. Gently touch it while returning so that it doesn’t bounce much. This will give your opponent no chance to return.
Practice Makes Perfect
It’s not always possible to learn all the strategies in one day. Keep practicing these strategies and implement them in games with your friends or colleagues. You will eventually hone the skills to defeat the toughest of opponents easily.