Steps to Successful Blocking in Volleyball

May 31, 2023

In the fast-paced world of volleyball, blocking plays a crucial role in both defensive and offensive strategies. It is a skill that can turn the tide of a game, demoralize opponents, and boost your team's confidence. 

While blocking may seem intimidating to beginners, mastering the basic steps can significantly improve your effectiveness on the court. In this blog, we will explore the essential steps to successful blocking in volleyball, providing you with the tools to elevate your game and become a formidable presence at the net.

Footwork and Positioning:

A solid block begins with proper footwork and positioning. As the opposing team prepares to attack, you need to anticipate their movements and position yourself accordingly. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly staggered, and parallel to the net. Bend your knees, keeping your weight balanced and ready to move in any direction.

Check out this article on the best drills to improve your footwork in Volleyball 

Reading the Opponent:

To be an effective blocker, you must develop the ability to read the opponent's intentions. Observe their body language, the position of their arms, and the angle of their shoulders. This will help you anticipate their attack and adjust your block accordingly. Pay attention to the setter's hand positioning, as it can provide valuable cues about the intended direction of the set.

Anticipating Hitting Angles:

Develop the ability to anticipate hitting angles based on the positioning of the attacker and the set. Study different hitting techniques and the angles they produce. With experience and observation, you'll be able to predict where the attacker is likely to hit the ball and adjust your block to maximize its effectiveness.

Timing and Penetration:

Timing is critical when it comes to blocking. As the opponent jumps to spike the ball, you should time your jump in synchronization with their arm swing. This allows you to reach the highest point of your jump at the same time the ball crosses the net. Remember, the goal is not just to touch the ball but to block it from your side of the court and disrupt the attacking player's trajectory. 

Eye Focus and Hand Position:

Maintaining a focused gaze on the attacker's hitting shoulder or hitting arm can help you react quicker to their movements. This eye focus provides valuable visual cues and helps you make split-second decisions. Simultaneously, raise your arms above the net with your hands spread wide. Position your hands and fingers in a manner that creates a solid barrier, making it challenging for the attacker to find a gap to hit through. Ensure that in this process, you are not touching the net in any way. This will result in a point for the other team. 

One-on-One Block Training:

Arrange one-on-one blocking sessions with teammates or other players. This focused practice allows you to work on your blocking skills in a realistic game scenario. Take turns being the attacker and the blocker, providing each other with feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Teamwork and Communication:

Blocking is not an individual effort but a team strategy. Effective communication with your teammates is essential to ensure proper coordination and coverage. Establish a system of calling out the type of block you'll be executing (e.g., line, cross-court, or middle) to avoid confusion. Work together to seal any gaps between blockers and adjacent defenders, making it harder for attackers to find open spaces. 

Recovery and Transition:

Even the most effective blockers will occasionally be beaten by a well-executed attack. The key is to quickly recover and transition into defense. As you land from your block, immediately prepare to move to your defensive position. Stay agile, react to the ball's trajectory, and be ready to contribute to your team's defensive efforts.

Seek Feedback:

Regularly seek feedback from coaches, teammates, and experienced players. They can provide insights into your technique, suggest improvements, and help you identify areas of strength and weakness. Embrace constructive criticism as an opportunity for growth and use it to fine-tune your blocking skills.

Mastering the art of blocking in volleyball requires practice, patience, and a keen understanding of the game. By focusing on footwork, positioning, reading the opponent, timing, hand position, and communication, you can significantly improve your blocking skills. Remember, blocking is not just about denying the opposition a point but also about inspiring your teammates and creating momentum for your team. So, embrace these basic steps, refine your technique, and become an integral part of your team's success at the net.

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