Category Archives: Blocking
1. Score Points!
A kill block is the most sought after block in volleyball. While there won’t be many of these in a typical game, they can be game winners or losers and have huge impacts when your in a tight squeeze.
2. Make the Attacker Change their Hit!
Given how many options an attacker has when approaching the net, a primary goal of a blocker is to take away their most prominent hit. A blocker can do this by taking away the angle of the hitters attack. This does not guarantee you will block the ball, but it most likely means the opposing hitter has to change their hit, maybe even to a tip if you are lucky.
3. Work Together on Defense!
Team defense is just that, a team effort. By blocking the proper angle or blocking where you are supposed to, you allow your teammates to play defense behind you. Coordinating the block and defense is how great teams work together. When blockers stop coordinating with their defensive counterparts, points are lost fast.
4. Touch the Ball!
While I don’t have stats on it, getting a touch on a ball is almost as intimidating as getting a block. The opposing hitter knows when you touch the ball. As a blocker, you know that you are getting your timing and positioning dialed in also. Touching the ball can slow it down for you teammates, or even eliminate an easy kill.
The most important part of touching the ball is making sure you are not making any technical errors, which make your touches points for the opposing team. Don’t be a target for the attacker! Learn to have a technically sound soft block.
5. Protect your House! (Inside 3 meters)
While your libero may be extremely quick, even the best libero has a hard time covering a ball at the 3 foot line. Straight down attacks come hard and fast! As a blocker, if all you can do is get a soft block up and prevent a kill in front of the 10-foot line, sometimes that is all your team needs to dig a ball and rally back for a point!
6. Scare the Hitter!
My favorite part of blocking is the scare tactic. Usually all it takes is one block to have the attacker trying to evade and avoid the block at all costs. Intimidation at the net can not only occupy an attackers mind, but it can also get very frustrating as they are limited in what hitting options they have left.
7. Scout the Oponent’s Offense
Not only can blockers benefit from recognizing and adjusting to the other team’s offense, but the back row players can also. Communication between the front and back row players creates a more cohesive volleyball team. I like to think of this like football. The defense on football is adjusting at all times. Yes, they have their specific coverages, but if the other team decides to run, then they have a plan to stop the run, if they pass, they have specific assignments for that. In addition, when you have a great receiver like Randy Moss or old school Jerry Rice, you have to pay specific attention to that detail. In volleyball if you have a great outside hitter and a weak opposite attacker, you have to be conscious of this.
These are great posters from the FIVB! You can download them and print them to hang in your gym so that the athletes know the basics of the sport.
These posters may look “old school” but the small captions contain some critical basics that you may be forgetting to teach. (A special thanks to USAV for having these available on their website)