One Volleyball Blocking Tip For Players On Defense In The Front Row

This volleyball blocking tip describes the importance of watching the hitter when you are at the net about to block the opposing spiker in front of you. 


Using good volleyball blocking skills are important when you're in the front row and your team is on defense. 

That's because as a blocker, its your job to stop the opposing team from attacking the ball in your court. 

Here is one way to improve your blocking technique so that you can stop more balls at the net. 


Volleyball Blocking
Watch Your Hitter With Your Shoulders Parallel to the Net


As the opposing team sets the ball, you as a blocker, want to watch the setter as she sets the ball to her hitter. 


This is called "reading the play" and you want to read and react to what the setter is showing you so that

  • you can decide on who to block 
  • where to block or 
  • where to play defense 



After watching the opposing team's setter set the ball to the opposing team hitter in front of you... then you watch the hitter. 

You watch the hitter to get indications of how she intends to hit the ball.

Here are some things you are looking for:

  • Is the player approaching you with her shoulder at an angle, indicating that she is going to hit cross-court?
  • Are her shoulders coming at you straight on with the intention of hitting down the line?
  • Does she have a quick or slow armswing?
  • Does she hit the ball low across the net?
  • Does she hit on her way down?



Ultimately, you should even be able to see if your hitter is turning her shoulders to face outside the court, which will show you that she intends to wipe off your block.

"Watching" means keeping your eyes open.

Don’t laugh.

I can show you hundreds of action shots of players blocking with their eyes closed.



Watch your blocker, then go get the ball.

I say it this way to emphasize reaching over the net to grab or block the ball.

When you reach over keep your shoulders square to the net.

This means at the height of your block jump you want to reach over the net - ideally getting your armpits as far over the net so that if possible you block the ball on the opposing team's side of the net. 



This is called penetrating over the net with your arms and shoulders so that you contact the ball, blocking it on the opposing team's side of the net.

If you don't touch the ball by putting up a strong block you will still cover a particular area on your court so the hitter has to hit to another area on your court to avoid your block.



Depending on the type of defense your team runs your back row digger should be covering the area that your blockers don't take.  

This is how a team's front row blockers work together with their backrow diggers to cover the court in defense. 



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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. 


How To Play Volleyball:
Where Do You Go From Here?


We know where you need to go now! Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about Blocking by clicking one of the links in 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 Volleyball section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started.  


Related Links:

Blocker Footwork and Timing For Making A Good Block


You might like these 
blocking pages




  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. How To Play Volleyball So That You Improve And Make Your Varsity Team
  4.  ›
  5. The Block: Improve Defensive Skills With Tips on Blocking
  6. One Volleyball Blocking Tip For Players On Defense In The Front Row

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