Blocker Volleyball Tips

Learn how to block a volleyball better

Blocker Volleyball: Watching The Hitter 
(White and Blue Review)Blocker Watching The Hitter (White and Blue Review)

These blocker volleyball tips are for the traditional blocking jumping technique, not the swing block. 

You dramatically improve how to block a volleyball when you  jump

straight up to block, penetrate your arms and shoulders over the net,

while looking at the hitter as they hit and then land in the same spot you

took off from. 

Blocker Volleyball Tips: Don't Fly

Some blockers jump "up" in one spot and come "down" in another one

that's quite far from where they took off.

By controlling your body while you jump up to block your hitter you

increase the chances of landing in the same spot from where you

launched yourself in the air.

Why is this one of our more important blocker volleyball tips?

For several reasons...

First, because you have three defensive players behind you who

are figuring out where they have to position themselves in their

back court based on where their front court blockers position

themselves to block a ball.

If your block jump is uncontrolled or if you are undisciplined in your

block and you end up jumping all over the place YOUR teammates on

defense aren't going to know where to set themselves up in the back

court in team defense.

You can help your sisters out, if you come down in the same place that

you jumped up from, every time you block a ball.

The second reason this is an important blocker volleyball tip is because

the middle blocker is relying on the outside blockers to help set up a

solidly "closed" blocking wall.

As you well know, walls don't move around. They stay right where they

were built.

It's your job as the outside blocker to position yourself in front of your

hitter's body.

Get to your position and don't jump out again or move side to side. This

way your middle blocker knows exactly where she needs to come to

close up the block.

If you 'fly' or jump to the outside you aren't maximizing your block

effectively and you'll never be able to close up that space between the

two of you.

The other team's hitter will look like a celebrity spiker hitting

between that hole you created between you and your middle blocker.

Blocker Volleyball Tips: What You Should Do With Your Hands

Another way to learn how to block a volleyball efficiently  is to 

keep the palms of your hands up at shoulder height in a ready 


A lot of players and high school coaches have difficulty deciding where

the hands need to be while moving along the net to block a ball.

Blocker volleyball tips:Blocker volleyball tips: Block calls out the hitters

I've seen volleyball coaches teach players to keep their arms fully

extended above their heads while moving along the net.

This is really too bad because keeping your arms extended above your

head while trying to run laterally actually slows a blocker down and

doesn't allow them to squat to maximize their volleyball blocking skills by

using their full block jump.

More often than not, I've seen volleyball players of all ages drop their

hands and arms way below the level of the net before block jumping in

an effort to gain a couple more inches to their jump.

This technique prevents you from maximizing your blocking

skills because it... 

a) usually slows down your block jump timing because it takes time

to go down before coming back up

b) increases your risk of touching the net when your arms are swinging

up in front of you and

c) actually puts more distance between you and the net

because of the extra space needed to swing your arms up in front of

you, so you are actually trying to block the ball from farther away

from the net which wastes a lot of your vertical jump.

So, what's the solution?

"Tiger Hands", "Bear Hands" whatever you want to call it but a front row

blocker should keep their "bear paws" also called their blocking

hands at shoulder height.

More precisely, when you're learning how to block a volleyball you want 

to keep your hands six to ten inches in front of you with your palms

facing the net, your fingers should be widespread, and you want to

keep your wrists straight and rigid not bent or limp.

When you get in your loaded position with knees slightly bent ready to

move left or right you need to hold your hands at the bear paw

position just above your shoulders until you are ready to actually block


As you jump to block the ball, you need to fully extend your arms over

the net as quickly as you can, reaching OVER the volleyball net, without

touching it,  when you come out of your loaded ready position to block


You are literally trying to get your armpits over the net! Imagine that!

The lower body positioning you should maintain as you are in your

blocking ready position at the net is pretty much the same position you

maintain when you do squats during your weight lifting workout in a gym

with a bar on your shoulders.

The difference is that a blocker needs to keep their hands inside their

body right in front of their shoulders.

In the weight room your body is already used to doing this movement

over and over again.

Legs aren't locked straight, but knees are at a very slight bent ready to

run, jump or turn in either direction..quickly!

We call this a "loaded" position. An athletic position that allows you to be

ready quickly, to spring into action.  

Watch the top middle blockers in the world:
Rachael Adams, Foluke Akinradewo,
Thaisa Mendes, Fabiana Claudino

Blocker Volleyball Tips: Hand Positioning

When learning how to block a volleyball remember that when you're

in your ready 'loaded' position at the net keeping your hands just above

 your shoulders

  • maintains body balance, 
  • allows you to stay close to the net gaining inches you can use to reach OVER the net to clamp down on that ball and 
  • allows you to maximize your powerful block jump.

If you can maintain this slightly bent knee squatted ready position in the

weight can do it in front of a net, during a block jump on the


Trust your body memory and the many reps you do during practices

and while lifting weights to help you maintain your balance and your

best blocking technique.

Blocker Volleyball Tips: Full Arm Extension at Max Jump

Another thing to remember when you learn how to block a

volleyball is to try to fully extend your arms across the net at the

maximum point of your block jump.

Middle blockers have to block quick sets which are so fast that they

only have time to just get there hands over the net to stop the ball.

Click here to hear more middle blockers interviews and profiles.

But outside blockers who block 4's and 5's, balls that are set high to the

outside or shot out at a quicker pace to the outside have time to use

the full extension of their arms to block the ball.

If you were born with arms that are 45" inches long then you should be

reaching some 45 plus 1 or 2 inches as far over the net as you can get

to perform your maximum block jump with your longest arm reaching 


Blocker Volleyball Tips: Penetrate Arms and Shoulders Over the Net

Another way to maximize your vertical jump when you are learning how

to block a volleyball is for you to keep your arms and shoulders

fully extended over the net, without touching it for as long as you are


So don't put your arms up there and then pull them away before you've

completed your block jump.

If you do that, you are defeating the purpose for blocking and you will

confuse the defensive players that are in the back court behind you.

Hold your arms at their full extension throughout the duration of your

block jump, then when you land, land back down into a starting "Tiger

Hands " position in case you have to block jump again.

  1. Improve Your Volleyball
  2.  ›
  3. Teaching Skills
  4.  ›
  5. Blocker Tips

  1. Improve Your Volleyball
  2.  ›
  3. Positions
  4.  ›
  5. Blocker Tips

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.