Penn women’s volleyball coach Kerry Major Carr talks in this video about a hitter’s natural preference to hit either thumb down or pinky down. Some hitters are more comfortable hitting thumb down (away from their bodies, others are more comfortable hitting pinky down (toward their bodies).
As a coach, it’s important that you know the hitting tendencies of your players because it will allow you to help them make adjustments to improve their attacking.
Carr offers an example here of one of her outside hitters, a pinky-down hitter who was hitting too many thumb-down cross-court shots. By making some adjustments, she became a greater offensive threat.