How To Block A Volleyball

Learn Ways To Block A Volleyball

UWM Blocker Keeping Her Eyes OpenUWM Blocker Keeping Her Eyes Open

How to block a volleyball efficiently.

To get the most out of the blocking technique its important for you to

"square" to the net or as some players and coaches say "stay

squared up to the net" when performing this defensive skill.

If you're a player who's learning how to block for the first

time, this means that as you perform the blocking process you want to

keep your shoulders, under arms, chest, abs and hips as parallel to the

net as possible.

If you are an advanced blocker then staying parallel to the net

wouldn't be necessary all the time especially if you have to travel

quickly along the net to block an attacker who's running a tricky

or intricate offensive play.

But if you are learning how to block a volleyball then its important for

you to remember to keep your shoulders and upper body facing your

opposing hitter at all times.

How To Block A Volleyball: What does "squared to the net" mean?

It means that as you perform the block jump you need

to keep your shoulders, underarms, chest, abs and hips parallel to the


Notice, in the photo of the Creighton volleyball players blocking,

both of them keep the front part of their bodies as close to the

net before, after and as you can see while they are block


Creighton Double Block Squared To The Net Photo by White and Blue ReviewCreighton Double Block Squared To The Net Photo by White and Blue Review

They do this so that every possible inch of every piece of body part

used during a block jump can be utilized to penetrate their

hands and shoulders over the net in an effort to stop the hitter

from hitting the ball into their court.

It's also necessary to keep as little space as possible between you and

the net whether you are on the ground trying to position yourself in

front of your hitter's arm or whether you are in the middle of jumping to

block for the ball.

Not only does this require discipline and body control both on your way

up, in the air, and on your way down but it also requires balance.

These are several of the requirements needed for a player to be good at

staying squared to the net.

Be sure to improve your defensive net skills by including the following

tips on how to block a volleyball better in your next practice or

game situation.

Watch Your Hitter! Keep your Eyes on The Spiker While You Block

When you are learning how to block a volleyball, get in the habit

of watching the opposing hitter on the other side of the net who's coming

towards you in an attempt to hit the ball into your court.

This is easier said than done because many blockers have a bad

habit of closing their eyes while they are attempting to block an

opposing hitter.

You want to keep your eyes open while you block. This is a good habit

you want to develop in blocking practice drills.

Let me say that again, keep your eyes open!

You keep your eyes open so that you can watch the hitter to

pick up any clues or indications as to how she is going to try to spike

the ball into your court.

What Should You Look At When You Learn How To Block A Volleyball?

So what is it you should be looking for?

First check out her upper body to see if you can tell what her shoulders

are doing.

Is she making her spike approach with her shoulders at an angle?

This would indicate that she is going to attempt to hit the ball so that it

travels into your court at an angle.

This is called a cross court spike.

Or are her shoulders coming at you straight on with the intention of

hitting the ball somewhere along the net between your outside blocking

hand the antenna?

If so then she intends to hit the ball down the line.

As a front row blocker, the sooner you can identify where a hitter

intends to spike the ball, the sooner you can position yourself in front

of them, specifically their hitting arm so that you can stop them,

hopefully by blocking their spike attempt which keeps them from hitting

the ball into your court.

Here's another clue to look for when the opposing team's spiker located

across the net in front of you is coming towards you during a

her spike approach...

Watch Opposing Team Hitters
During PreGame Warmup Hitting Lines

During your pregame warmup if you have a chance to watch the other

team's hitters while they are doing hitting lines, you should watch them

and try to identify the starting hitters and look to see what their hitting

tendencies are.

  • Which player hits the ball low across the net?
  • What's the jersey number of the player who likes to hit line or the one who only hits cross court?
  • What spiker hits the ball as she is coming down from her spike approach?

If you can tell how a hitter hits the ball, then it gives you the clues you

need in order to know how to block a volleyball against their particular


You learn clues on how to position yourself, and how to time your block

so that you are blocking them as they are contacting the ball to hit it.

When you get consistent in being able to identify a hitter's spiking

tendencies then ultimately you should even be able to see if and

when your hitter turns her shoulders to face outside the

volleyball court before she attempts to use your block also

known as wiping the ball off your block.

So remember! You want to keep your eyes open when you're

learning how to block a volleyball.

I mean that literally.

Please don't be like many blockers who have a bad habit of

closing their eyes when they are blocking.

When I say you need to watch your hitter that means you need to keep

your eyes open.

Don't laugh!

I can show you hundreds of pictures of players blocking that

even after they have learned how to block a volleyball they will

have their eyes closed right at the height of their jump.

To improve your block you really need to watch what the

hitter's arm swing tendencies are, which direction their spike

approach takes them and then you need to go get the ball.

I say it this way to emphasize how much you really need to reach over

and  press your arms and shoulders over the net to grab or block the

volleyball before it crosses over the net into your court.

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