When blocking do you watch the ball or do you watch the hitter?
important clues that will help you stop the attack at the net.
Ball - Setter - Ball - Hitter
This is where your eyes should be looking...to get clues as to who and
where the team on offense intends to give the ball to, for their third
contact, an attack hit that will send the ball back into your court.
Once your server serves the ball over the net to start the rally,
you first want to track with your eyes the BALL that's being passed.
If its a perfect pass that goes right to the setter then you know the
setter doesn't have to move off the net to go chase a bad pass.
If three hitters are in the front row then she has three players she can
If there are two hitters in the front row then she can easily set those two
hitters or try to dump or attack the ball herself.
If the pass was a bad pass that forces the setter to move off the net
and chase the ball down...now as a blocker you say to yourself
chasing the ball down, WHO is the most likely hitter or hitters can she set
or give the ball to..in this situation?"
"By the way, good job, Self!"
Once you've quickly made a determination on the pass, now your eyes
go to the Setter.
If it was a perfect pass, now you watch the setter's body language, hand
position or in some cases a setter's eyes may tell you who she intends to
set because she looks at her hitter before she sets.
These are the types of clues you are trying to read and interpret as a
volleyball block detective!
If it was a bad pass you do the same thing.
But because you've identified that the setter is in trouble and can't easily
deliver a perfect set to all her possible hitters, you look to pick up clues
from her body language.
Is she running off the court or to her back court with her back to her
hitters? If that's the case, she will probably not even be able to set the ball
but bump it up in the air.
Once we've glanced or watched the setter to get some information
about what she is about to do, now we watch the ball she just
Once I quickly determine where the ball is going will determine where I
move and what I do next.
Once you see that your hitter, the hitter in front of you is getting the
ball and you quickly note what type of set they are going to get--by
looking at the type of ball the opposing setter has set to your hitter,
you now want your eyes to focus on your hitter.
and wipe the ball off your arms or hands, then you’ll be able to see
her prepare for that.
towards the middle of the court so that if she tries to wipe the ball off
of your block, the ball will be deflected back into the court making her
In the photo below watch how the blocker wearing the #5 jersey has
both her arms angled towards the middle of the opposing team's
If the hitter hits towards her arms the ball will be deflected back into
the court and not out of bounds.
Point!...for the blockers.
"As a blocker you want your blocking arms
angled toward the direction you want the
ball to go once you've blocked it. "
But if you’re watching the ball you won’t be able to see if your hitter
intends to wipe the block, will you?
You won't be able to see if the hitter intends to hit down the line or to
hit the ball cross court either.
defense to dig the tip up around you when you are in the middle of your
volleyball block jump.
If the hitter you are trying to block gets an inside set, then by watching
the hitter you can see how and where she is going to move to try and
save that ball, either with a spike approach or with an emergency set
"As a blocker can you see why you need to
watch or to track your hitter, once you know
where the ball has been set?"
When you see what the hitter is doing you can anticipate where the
hitter is going to hit and that makes you a more efficient at blocking a
Where do you need to go now? Here are three options:
I know you've taken the perfect shot of a college volleyball block, that no one has seen yet!
Well now they can...
If you have a fantastic picture of a volleyball player or volleyball players, male or female, blocking during a Division I collegiate game then we'd love to see examples of your work.
Did you get the perfect shot of a stuff block?.. a triple block? Or even your awesome photo of the perfect joust at the net between opposing players belongs in this gallery of volleyball pictures.
Please share your frozen moment of great blocking action whether you are an ace photographer for real or in your own mind, we encourage you to share examples of your best work with our readers. It's easy!
Be brave! Step up and show us what you have...the more creative you are, the better.
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