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

The Ultimate Blocker's List of Actions To Take Before, During and After You Hit the Ball

Volleyball Blocker Tips: A Blockers Checklist of Action Steps To Take. (Pro Player April Chapple and Paula Weishoff blocking. 1990 Italian Championship Finals DI)Volleyball Blocker Tips: A Blockers Checklist of Action Steps To Take. (Pro Player April Chapple and Paula Weishoff blocking. 1990 Italian Championship Finals DI)


Read this simple breakdown, point-by-point of the action steps you need to take as a blocker, from the moment the opposing server has the ball in their hand to after you finish your blocking action. 


12 Volleyball Blocker Tips
Before The Serve - What You Should Do


Establish blocking assignment/position quickly

Know the block style/tactic (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. Is she backrow? Then there are three hitters that could possibly receive a set

Know the style of offense (what's the other team running?) 

  • 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 Volleyball Blocker Tips
Ball Is Served - What You Should Do


Assume your final correct floor position


Be prepared for an overpass (which is the first thing that could happen)

  • 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 Volleyball Blocker Tips
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

  • Is it a good pass that's in-system? if so, the setter can run all her options so be ready.    If it's a bad pass, then the setter has to move from her base to set an out-of- system ball which means she may only have one or two teammates she can set to
  • Decide quickly if you still need to block or not based on the pass you see

     

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 Volleyball Blocker Tips
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.

  • Arms need to "seal" the net  (choke the ball) on the way up and extend as far over the net as possible


Volleyball Blocker Tips: From your squat... jump, squaring your shoulders to the net. Arms need to Volleyball Blocker Tips: From your squat... jump, squaring your shoulders to the net. Arms need to "seal" the net (choke the ball) on the way up and extend as far over the net as possible.


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 

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


Volleyball Blocker Tips: Time your block so you jump and penetrate the net with your arms ..just before the hitter contacts/spikes the ball (Mark Shaiken photo)



12 Volleyball Blocker Tips
Ball Is Attacked - What You Should Do


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


The Houston middle blocker at the peak of her jump penetrates the net with her arms sealing the net. The outside blockers help out in the middle against the Texas middle attack. (Michael E. Johnston)The Houston middle blocker at the peak of her jump penetrates the net with her arms sealing the net. The outside blockers help out in the middle against the Texas middle attack. (Michael E. Johnston)


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. 



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


How To Play Volleyball:  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 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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