Definition of Terms in Volleyball
What is stuff blocking and what does read blocking mean?
The block is the first line of defense and happens when blockers attempt to stop the opposing team's attack hit in offense from crossing into their court.
In order to do this effectively your blocking technique, block timing and shoulder and hand placement have to rely on watching the hitter's body language when they're hitting.
A stuff block is a volleyball block that was so efficiently performed that it didn't allow the hitter enough time to really finish her fully hit the ball so that it crosses the net and so the ball stays on her/his side of the net.
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 opposing 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 the read how their assigned hitter is going to contact the ball.
The blocker's job now is to follow that player no matter where she is and to block her based on what she thinks she sees the hitter doing.
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.
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 she needs to angle her blocking hands and arms so that she can block her.
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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.
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