Volleyball Blocking Techniques

There are multiple components to being a great defensive team. Positioning, footwork, receiving and passing are all critical to your defense. In addition, The coach must decide on what type of defense best suits his/her team and teach the proper positioning and skills, that are needed to that defensive system.

No matter what system you employ, you are going to have to teach blocking techniques. The players will need to know footwork, body position, hand position and how to read the offense and communicate with teammates.

In the video clip below Rob Graham, Head Coach at Ponderosa High School (Colorado) discusses some key principles to consider when teaching blocking techniques.

The clip is from the Glazier Clinics Vault and is just a portion of Coach Graham’s presentation on Blocking Techniques and Fundamentals.

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Here is a review of Coach Graham’s Key Prinicples

1. The goal is to block every ball – this means teaching and repping the dive block
2. Teaching timing requires many reps – He believes strongly that you should not say “Ready Jump” when trying to teach blocking technique. He believes it simply messes with their timing. Also players of varying heights must jump at different times to arrive at the same spot at the same time. The only rule he gives is to jump after they jump.
3. Teach Face Up and Shoulder Up – He teaches his players to line-up face to face with the hitter when blocking line and to line-up inside shoulder with hitting shoulder when blocking cross court. When double blocking the pin block sets the block and the middle simply closes the gap.
4.Evaluate every pass – He teaches his players to yell out the quality of each pass. When the other team passes, he wants his players to shout “On,Off,Tight or Over”. By doing this it allows his players to leave base position earlier and get in proper position.
5. Eye Sequencing – He teaches his blocker to look in the following sequence Ball, Setter, Ball, Hitter. This takes a long time to learn, but it is a must.
6. Blocking Base Positions – base on strengths and weakness of your team and the opponent which blocking technique is best for your team. Bunch, Spread, Shade Right or Shade Left


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