What to do when your hitters are faced with a big block on a tight set? Teach them to wipe the block. In other words simply hit the ball of the hands of the blocker such that it goes out of bounds. Wiping is a good strategy when your hitter is small or the block is very good.
In the video below, Cary Wendell Wallin, a coach at 949 Athletics in San Juan Capistrano, California, demonstrates the “wipe” a drill she use to teach the skill. In the clip presented to AVCA by the Art of Coaching Volleyball. For many other great volleyball coaching tools click on the links above. You may also visit the AVCA YouTube Channel for other great videos like the one below.
The YouTube video has sound, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. (Some schools block access to YouTube)
The “Wipe” is just one way to tool the block. Coach Cary Wendell Wallin’s drill helps teach hitters to feel what is is like to push a ball into a block and wipe it to the outside so that it goes out of bounds.
The drill begins with a defender at the net and the hitter slightly off the net. The coach will set the ball tight to the net. Both players jump up. The hitter will not take a full approach. Just have them take the last two steps. This helps avoid injury and allows them to focus on the “wipe”.
The hitter should push the ball into the block and try and wipe the ball towards the outside so that the ball comes of the block and goes out of bounds.
The drill should be completed on both sides. On each side the ball must be wiped towards the outside.