Hi, I’m Mike Diehl, fifteen year indoor volleyball pro including three time league MVP, league kill leader and league ace leader. Also Bud 4-man beach tour MVP, kill leader and NCAA Champion at UCLA.
Today I am going to share the secrets on how to block a volleyball in the outside positions of two and four. In my fifteen years as a pro player indoor I have learned one thing. Everything with regard to your teams defense starts with your block! This article and video series will basically cover all aspects of blocking technique on how to block a volleyball.
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Swing Blocking – The swing block has become extremely popular as a block as the speed of the offense has increased often there is only one blocker up in the block. The most important thing you want to always do when swing blocking is plant your outside foot so that you go up and do not drift outside the court. Planting your outside foot is the most important key on how to block a volleyball.
- When planting the outside foot again turn it in so you do not drift on your block and open up a big hole in the middle of the block.
2 Types of Swing Blocks
- The first one is the crossover step. This is the most common. What it allows you to do is really focus on getting your outside foot planted and forcing yourself up.
- The second is more like an approach. Here your footwork when blocking in area two is very much like a right handed hitter approach. This is a very effective block for a number of reasons. Although you are not getting as far out it allows you to get up and block the angle attack very well. More importantly it allows you to stay in the middle just a little longer but still get outside for the fast set to position four.
Position 4, Lining Up and Hands – When blocking outside the first thing you want to do is watch the hitter and concentrate on putting the mid line of my body on his hitting shoulder. Coaches- “Mid-line of my body on his hitting shoulder”
- By doing this what I do is have my outside blocking hand just outside the ball. You want to avoid being too far inside and reaching out for the ball. Also you want to avoid being to far outside the ball and reaching in. In both cases when you reach you get tooled.
- The key idea is engage the hitter. Coaches-“Engage the Hitter” meaning go after the ball on the block and focus on the hitter not the ball when blocking.
- Your left hand tends to be straight pushing back into area one and six. Your right hand moves and you can take some chances based upon what you are trying to do defensively as well as the hitters tendencies.
Position 2, Lining Up and Hands – When blocking a volleyball in position two the first thing like all blocking is set yourself in front of your opponents hitting shoulder.
- Focus on stopping your block in front of their shoulder, not their body. If you stop in front of the body they already have the whole cross court to hit arround you.
- Next focus on your hands. Your hands as they come up should be infront of your face and go straight over the net and penetrate. You should be able to see the backs of your palms as you make your blocking moves.
- Your right hand should end up straight so that you are not tooled down the line. Your left hand you can make some moves to try and block them.
- Finally one of the things I have noticed with the increased speed of the game is that not to many people are hitting the high balls. A blocking secret is keep your hands low and penetrate.
Transition Blocking on the Outside – In transition a lot of blockers make a mistake that is easy to avoid and should never happen.
What they do is they have time but still they start inside and then move outside to pick up the hitter to block. What you should do is start at the antenna and then move in so that you are always outside the ball with your right hand on the block and therefore do not get tooled.
Go Up, Attack the Ball – Perhaps one of the most important lessons I ever learned with blocking was from a Bulgarian world renowned middle blocker who said, “Mike, go up and attack the ball!” What this does is force you to press over the net and go and try to grab the ball.
I hope you enjoyed my volleybal video on how to block a volleyball, indoor techniques.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our beach volleyball blocking at volleyball1on1.com