Problems attacking the ball?
One could argue that ALL of volleyball is timing: simply being in the right place at the right time to rebound the ball…
When it comes to attacking, how do we get there?
Our approach should be slow, faster, FASTEST.
We build momentum but hold our most explosive movement until the last part of the action. This will also let you keep more vision as the ball and the play develop in front of you. The situation (block/defense/ball) will stay in your direct or peripheral visual field for longer.
More information for you = more success
2. Set recognition
What kind of set are you hitting?
Are you in-system? Out of system?
Your approach and also your attack choices often change based on this information.
What kind of shape is the ball path? Are you hitting an up and down set on the beach? A fast ball coming across your body indoors?
Reading the play and then the ball will help a lot with determining your timing.
3. Setter Connection
This comes down to practice.
But a common way we can develop timing with our setters is based on our 4-step attack approach.
What step are you on when the setter touches the ball?
A high ball you probably won’t start your approach until after the setter releases the ball.
A medium ball you might have taken your first timing step: A first or second step timing.
For a fast ball you might be on the heel of your third step already.
For a middle or bic route you might be hard on your third step or even on your fourth and final step of your approach.
High level middles may already be hard on their fourth step or in the air.
A huge reason I am a great attacker is that I grew up hitting ALL KINDS of crazy sets from ALL kinds of setters. This is a skill- to as a hitter it is NOT our job to constantly critique the sets we receive, but to kill the ball or find the best solution for that action.
As I went up in the skill level of my teams and the players I was playing with improved, the sets got better and better, but I still kept the skill of being able to adjust to and kill ALL kinds of sets.