12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: A Checklist of Blocker Steps To Perform

This is my ultimate blocking volleyball skills list of actions to take before, during and after your team hits the ball over the net.  


My 12 point blocking volleyball skills checklist is a simple breakdown, point-by-point of the action steps you need to take as a blocker.

From the moment the opposing team's server has the ball in their hand all the way to after you finish your blocking action. 


12 Blocking Volleyball Skills
Before The Serve -
What You Should Do


Establish blocking assignment/position quickly

Know the block style and volleyball tactic of the opposing team.

(That means you need to quickly read, commit, cheat towards a primary attacker)

  • Are you going to block traditionally or are you going to swing block?
  • Can you cheat towards the hitter that's been scoring the most points so you stand in front of/or are closer to her/him just before the server serves 



Identify where the setter is, as well as the number and location of eligible attackers

  • Is the setter front row? If so, there are two more hitters plus possible backrow attackers. Where are they?
  • Is she backrow? Then there are three hitters that could possibly receive a set

12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: Identify where the setter is, as well as the number and location of eligible attackers (Laurie J)12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: Identify where the setter is, as well as the number and location of eligible attackers (Laurie J)


Identify the style of offense

(Identify then tell your teammates what to look out for...what do we think the other team will do or run?) 

  • Are they running a high ball to the outsides, or are they running play-set combinations? 
  • Are the middles running quick sets
  • When do they use their backrow hitters and who are they? 
  • Does the setter dump? 
  • Identify these possibilities by talking about what you've seen them run previously or what you know they do from your scouting report options while standing at the net waiting for the serve


12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: Does the setter dump? Identify the possibilities by talking about what you've seen them run previously or what you know they do from your scouting report12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: Does the setter dump? Identify the possibilities by talking about what you've seen them run previously or what you know they do from your scouting report


12 Blocking Volleyball Skills When Ball Is Served - What You Should Do


Assume your final correct floor position

Be prepared for an overpass

(Be ready if the first thing that happens is the other team's first pass comes right back over the net.)

  • The first thing that could happen is an overpass, where the ball could come right back over the net from the opposing team's bad pass that shoots back over the net instead of going to the setter. Don't be surprised by an overpass, be ready to block it, just in case


12 Blocking Volleyball Skills
Ball Is Passed - What You Should Do


As the ball is passed, glance at the attacker in your zone. 

  • Verbalize/Talk about if she is leaving your zone and entering another teammate's as you move to your adjusted block position/area of responsibility along the net


See the pass and assess the setter options




As the pass nears the setter, maintain a low ready position and focus on the setter's body language and position in relation to the ball.


12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: As the pass nears the setter, maintain a low ready position and focus on the setter's body language and position in relation to the ball. (Ralph Arvesen)12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: As the pass nears the setter, maintain a low ready position and focus on the setter's body language and position in relation to the ball. (Ralph Arvesen)


12 Blocking Volleyball Skills
Ball Is Set - What You Should Do


Watch the setter deliver the ball. On higher sets, follow the set no further than its apex (peak.) 

  • Immediately shift focus to the approach angle of the hitter. 
  • The outside blocker sets the block according to pre-determined tactics (are you blocking line or cross court?)



If not swing blocking - from your squat... jump, squaring your shoulders to the net.



If swing blocking - use the footwork - crossover step together - with both arms swinging back then forward as you travel to the outside of your court to front the hitter 


Blocking Volleyball Tips: Time your block so you jump and penetrate the net with your arms ..just before the hitter contacts/spikes the ball.



12 Blocking Volleyball Skills
Ball Is Attacked - What You Should Do

12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: Time your block so you jump and penetrate the net with your arms ..just before the hitter contacts/spikes the ball  (Ralph Arvesen)12 Blocking Volleyball Skills: Time your block so you jump and penetrate the net with your arms ..just before the hitter contacts/spikes the ball (Ralph Arvesen)


Timing - Blocker should be in "optimum" position 

  • At the peak of your jump with maximum penetration, your hands should be positioned to deflect the ball back into the middle of the opposing team's court a split second before the hitter hits



If the ball passes by your blocking hands, follow the attacked ball with your eyes and head while landing in a balanced position as you then quickly pivot off the net.

Be prepared to handle the ball (this could be the first thing that could happen) if you're not the primary setter before transitioning to the ten foot line to prep to attack.

  • In case the ball is tipped high and just  behind your blocking hands you may be the first person who has to pass or set the ball right back up to your setter. 
  • Land from your block, play the ball, then transition off the net to prep to attack. 


Scroll down to read more information about how to improve your blocking volleyball technique




Do You Follow Me on Instagram?


Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap to improve your game even faster!

I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 


Meet G.B. Blash the Grizzly Bear and Middle Blocker on 
VolleyBragSwag's All Beast Team


Blocking Volleyball Skills:         Where Do You Go From Here?


No need to guess where you need to go now? Here are three options: 

1. Learn more about Blocking Skills by clicking the related links below.

2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)

3. Or visit the pages in the How To Play section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started




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