photo by Luomen
Here are a few volleyball blocking tips you should use to improve your defensive skills at the net.
Since the block is the first opportunity to stop the opposing team from hitting into your court, your blocking technique and timing have to be on point.
When you "seal the net" it means that in the middle of your block, while you are jumping, you should keep your shoulders, chest, your underarms, upper body including your chest, abs and hips parallel to the net, all while keeping as little space as possible between you and the net...without touching it.
The photo above shows players sealing the net with their block which can be seen well from this side view.
They have successfully done their job and even on the way down from their block jump they keep their arms and hands as close to the net without touching it which prevents any chance of the ball slipping in between them and the net on their side.
Many hitters score points that they shouldn't, not because they are great hitters but because the blockers hands and body positioning were too far away from the net when they jumped to block.
Oftentimes hitters are successful because they are hitting the ball against blockers who jump straight up in the air, making the mistake of keeping their hands, arms and shoulders behind their ears when they are in the air.
photo by Luomen
So all the hitter has to do is hit the ball and aim it right at the hands of the blocker which allows the ball to come dribbling down in front of the player's body between the blocker and the net.
That's always an easy point for the hitter and its a sure sign that the opposing players need to work to improve a proper volleyball blocking finish with their hands and arms sealing off that space between them and the net.
If the blocker had used better blocking technique by correctly "sealing the net" then while jumping up to block the ball, they would have kept their shoulders, hands and arms in front of their ears as they were jumping which would close off all that space between the blocker's hands and the net so a ball couldn't come through their hands and down the inside of the net.
This is a movement to focus on while working on your blocking drills in practice.
A stuff block describes a type of block in volleyball that was so efficiently performed that it didn't allow the hitter enough time to really hit the ball.
The blocker was able to penetrate their hands so far over the net that they literally "stuffed" the ball back into the opposing team's court leaving the hitter no court to hit to.
Read blocking occurs when a blocker has been assigned a particular hitter to block and as the play develops they follow, or read where their assigned hitter is going to attack the ball and their job is to follow that player no matter where she is and to block her.
The read block in volleyball occurs most often in higher levels of competition and in beach volleyball where a blocker will read the hitter in an attempt to anticipate how to block them or to decide what area of the court they will take away from that hitter.
The other blocking volleyball system that leaves less decision-making to the player and more to the coach is where the coach determines what area of the court all the blockers will cover or take away, instead of the player.
It's usually the coach that will decide blocking strategies which include deciding whether his/her team will block cross court against the opposing team or if only some of the coach's players will be responsible for sticking to this game plan that was established off the court or before the game.
As a blocker it takes a combination of timing, anticipation, and quick reflexes to be able to read the hitter's body language and then position yourself in the right spot at the right time to stop a hitter by blocking them.
Keeping your eyes open while you are block jumping is another secret to good read blocking because if you watch the ball for too long then you can't see until its too late where the hitter intends to hit the ball.
Above, in the picture of Iowa volleyball players blocking, no. 17 has her eyes open throughout the whole blocking process watching and reading her hitter to see where she goes and where her hitting arm is angled so that she can get clues as to how to block her.
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About Breakfast Club 60
Elite training for very advanced hard working players who INTEND to play volleyball in college.
Exclusive opportunity to train with teammates/friends with similar high goals and are ready to push YOU and themselves to improve.
Not for the curious, weak hearted or distracted player, we do more in 60 minutes than most clubs and teams do in three hours.
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About Brunch Club 60
Perfect for regular Boot Camp class players and players who've ALREADY played on a City of Las Vegas/NYS Elite local league team and who're interested in more advanced training and/or trying out for the Volleycats Elite 14s/15s/ local team competing in June/July/August.
Ten (10) - intensive 60-minute sessions of semi-private (small groups of six) volleyball practices
Sessions are a specially designed mix of skills conducted by Coach April within the one hour session