Fundamentals of Blocking

Here are two drills from legendary former Stanford coach John Dunning that will help teach your players the fundamentals of blocking.

In the clips below coach John Dunning,  shares two very simple drills that focus on the fundamentals of blocking and provides some key coaching points on blocking. Coach Dunning’s accomplishments speak for themselves:

2016 NCAA National Champions – 5x National Championship Coach (2016, ’04, ’05 at Stanford, 1985-86 at Pacific)        Distinguished member of the AVCA Hall of Fame (2011)
2001 AVCA National Coach of the Year; 4x Pac-12 Coach of the Year; over 800 career wins

The first fundamentals of blocking drills is called Wall Blocking. Here is a brief explanation of that drill.

Players line-up and face a wall. Mark a spot on the wall to represent the height of the net. The player will jump up and extend the arms as high as possible and press their hands against the wall. The hands should be flat against the wall with the thumbs up and the pinkies out. The feet of the players should swing forwards so that their toes touch the wall. This will have the effect of pushing their behinds back slightly and help prevent moving into and touching the net.  The players should also be careful to practice landing with their behind pushed back and their knees bent. This will soften the landing and prevent injuries.

The second drill is designed to work on the fundamentals of blocking involving the arms and hands only. In this drill the players are placed on boxes to practice blocking. This is a great way to work on a key skill, while also giving their bodies a break from the all of the jumping and landing required in the sport. (In my opinion, anything that you can do to get better while giving the players body a break is a great drill).

Here the coach will simply hit balls at the blockers from a variety of angles. The players can work on reaching across the net and seal. They will also get a chance to work on angling their hands so that the ball is blocked into the court.

These drills are just two of the drills found in Coach Dunning’s instructional DVD. For more information about that DVD click the link below

John Dunning’s Taking Your Attacking, Serving, & Blocking to the Next Level!

The two YouTube videos below have audio, so please make sure that your volume is turned up and that you have access to the site. Note some schools block access to YouTube.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *