Volleyball Blocking Advice: Tips To Improve Defense at the Net

Volleyball blocking tips players need to know in order
to improve their defensive skills at the net. 

  My volleyball blocking advice starts with the ready position at the net. 

When learning how to block a ball correctly, you want to be in a "ready

position" at the net before the rally starts.

The "ready position" to adopt when blocking a ball means that a

your feet are shoulder width apart and parallel to each other and

both feet are perpendicular to the net.

For the lower body positioning, your hips and whole body are squared

up and facing the net.

Knees are in a slight squat in a ready loaded position which allows

you to either

a) side step,

b) cross over step or

c) shuffle step along the net

either to the right or left or to jump up quickly if they need to stop a quick


You, the blocker, should be about half your arm's length away from the


This position safely permits you  to jump up to penetrate your

hands over the net to block a ball without touching the net on your way

up which you would be whistled for.

The starting position for your arms are with elbows bent at 90 degrees

and with hands, widespread fingers and open palms facing the net just

at your shoulder level.



photo by Luomen


Your hands need to stay at the level of your shoulders or a little bit

higher .

When the block is performed, your hands and arms are in a

ready position to just go up and block the ball, sealing the net,  using

minimal additional time and movement to get over the net.

Volleyball Blocking Advice for Middle Blockers

Some coaches advise  their middle blockers is to have their hands even

slightly higher.

Say, just above their head when they're in their "ready position" because

this places their hands closer to the position they need,  to be able to

penetrate the plane of the net faster, in order to stop a quick attack.

Before the start of a rally, in defense at the net, your

upper body ready position should be with your shoulders squared

up--that means parallel---and facing the net.

The blockers in ready position should always be looking at the opposing 

team's setter, the ball she sets and the available hitters across the net.

Blockers should call out and identify to their teammates which hitters are

eligible to hit.

Volleyball Blocking Advice for Front Row Players

As a front row player on defense, you should never turn around to

watch your server serve the ball.

If you do this it means you are turning your back on the opposing team

and not paying attention to who can be running an attack. 

This means you are not identifying who could be getting the next ball

from the opposing setter or even more importantly which hitter could be

running an offensive attack that will bring them to your area of the net.

In the photo above, you can tell that the front row blockers are paying

attention to the other team's hitters in serve receive and that they are

calling out the locations and jersey numbers of these hitters that are in

the front row.

They are also holding up their fingers to indicate how many front row

hitters are in the opposing team's front row.

By doing this, they are making sure that their  backrow players know

how many hitters could be hitting the ball and where they are located in

serve receive.

All these actions are a part of the front row player's volleyball blocking


This is a great example of how the front row defensive players work

together with their back row defensive players. 

For more volleyball blocking advice and blocking terms like:

-closing the block

-penetration over the net

-seal the net


-ready position

be sure to check out the glossary of volleyball terms for blocking

Here's a list blocking terms found on other pages:

college blocker

double block

middle blocker

offside blocker


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