Blocking Drills - How to Improve Blocking?
Take a look at volleyball blocking drills and learn some simple ways to
are excellent for the beginning players to get the correct feel for the
blocking – but also work very well for more experienced players who
need to get back into the blocking mode quickly.
Blocking Drills – Lower Net
One key to learn successful blocking techniques is; to practice it with
without worries about timing and reaching high gets you into
the blocking mode very quickly. It increases the amount of successful
blocks and helps you to learn extremely quick.
Without timing and reach issues, you learn to keep your eyes
your body, hands and arms correctly.
Feeling is Important!
who have skipped this type of basic volleyball blocking drills often
experienced how does it feel to be blocking. The feel is important!
The feeling of successful blocks helps player to learn quickly
how the arms and hands
should be placed to put the ball straight down.
you get the feeling of successful blocks with the lower net, you are
to raise the net higher. Just try it – I promise it works.
Blocking Drills Example
progressions of these volleyball blocking drills teach basic techniques
to each individual player.
it simple in the beginning. Have hitters on the stand. Blockers focus
on arm and hand position first without footwork.
After each player has learned
how to place their arms and hands, the coach progresses
by introducing the footwork. It is important to
teach how to do the footwork in double blocks or triple blocks in
cooperation with other players.
a "Real Spiker" - Run Drills Game-like
In the very beginning stage, the hitters who hit balls to the blockers
hands should place themselves on the boxes.
However, it is extremly important to practice against spikers
who approach and get a set from the setter - as soon as the arm/hands
position and footwork have been
learned. The drills has to be game-like as soon as possible.
How to Organize These Volleyball Blocking Drills?
These first progressions are not game-like. The purpose is to
teach correct arm and hand positions and footwork before progressing to
the game-like drills.
coach runs this drill with one blocker on each blocking
(left, middle and right) - and having a hitter on the stand in front of
Shaggers - S
players per blocker should be shagging the balls and collect the
blocked balls back
into the ball basket. If the blocker stuffs the balls straight
down, as the blocker supposed to do, there shouldn’t be too much
shagging. Shaggers, S in the picture below, should locate
themselves somewhere under under the block. Coach or
Assistant on the Stand - C1, C2, C3
who hit the balls into the block should be standing on the stand (or
It helps to put an accurate spike into the block.
Ball Feeder -
To maintain the fast tempo on spikes, the coach should have a ball
feeder to feed the balls from the basket.
Ball feeders with the ball basket, F in the picture, should locate
themselves next to the person who is htting.
B1, B2 and B3 in the picture.
You need around 6-9 players to perform this
drill on three positions. If you have more than 9 players,
should be doing the drill on the other court – or performing for
blocking footwork exercises on the side.
So this is the set up for beginners. Coach starts
practicing following scenarios in it: arm/hand position, then
adding movement and footwork in it - then moving
towards game-like drills when players have learned the basics.
Blocking Drills - Three Step Progress to Learn Basic Blocking Techniques
- Arm / Hand Position - Without Jump
If blockers are very beginning volleyball players, they could be put on
stand (or chair), so they reach above the net without
Other way to do it is to put the net extremely low
so they can reach above the net.
II - Jump and Arm/Hand Position
A little bit more experienced players can jump – preferably using a
III - Footwork and Jump and Arms/Hand Position
In the next progression players block start practicing
movement by using various
footwork techniques – still with the low
Volleyball Blocking Techniques - Adding Movement and Footwork for
Outside and Right Side Hitters
Techniques I - for Side Blockers:
Side blockers can start outside near the antenna and take a step to the
left or right before the jump.
Techniques II - for Side Blockers:
Or they could start inside and make a swing block to outside blocking
Volleyball Blocking Techniques - Adding Movement and Footwork for
Techniques I - Middle Blockers in the Middle
Middle blockers in the middle work on stopping the cuts to the
left or right by reaching to the left or right. They should also learn
to take up to few short steps to the left or right before jumping up.
Techniques II - Middle Blockers on the Right of Left
is important to let middle blockers practice movement and footwork to
form a double block to the right and left. This way they learn
for example turning inside when setting up the left side or right side
double block. The most attacks come from the left or right
side, so this should be practiced carefully.
Volleyball Blocking Drills - Middle
Blockers in the Middle
Middle blockers in the middle should work to block
“two” balls, second tempo sets – C2 (in the
picture above) tosses
higher “two” ball into air and hits
First tempo sets, "quick ones" – C2 performs
“quick 1 attack” just like the middle does.
One advanced option is to put two hitters on
two chairs in the middle, other is
hitting "one ball" and other one "three ball". Hitters make the
middle block either "the one ball", or after a couple
of quick shuffles to the right the "three ball".
Blocking Drills - Blocking Line - Line Block
First players work on blocking the line shot. An assistant repeats the
line swings one after another. An assistant
hit at least 5-10 times with the fast tempo – before changing the
The assistant should
give the “go”- sign for the blocker by slapping the ball in the
Few things to
remember on the line swings:
Outer hand in front of the ball.
Turn inside! Make sure
your toes are pointing slightly inside when landing.
your body inside, towards the middle of the court when in the air,
which makes sure the balls land into the
court, not out of bounce.
Keep hands open and fingers spread, but
relaxed. It allows you to block the ball straight down.
Blocking Drills - Blocking Angle or
After the line swings, players work on blocking the angle shot.
Outside blockers leave the line open
and block the angle shot.
The block is very similar to the line block,
expect the player’s location is further inside.
Blocking Drills - Mixing Up Line Shots and Angle Shots
Mix up the Line Shots and Angle Shots
players learn the difference of blocking line and angle, the
assistant could start mixing them up by showing very clearly, which
direction s/he swings the ball.
Blocking - Read the Hitter
The blocker reads the
hitter and determines the direction and stops the ball.
moving into this phase, it is clear that blockers start missing more
balls – but the coach should still keep in mind the main goal is to
give as many blocks as possible to the hitters.
As mentioned above this blocking drill is only to teach the basics of
blocking; how to position arms, hands and body and how to do the basic
soon as the basics have been learned the
players need to practice blocking in more game-like context - i.e. blocking the hitter who makes a full approach.
Blocking Drills - Next Progressions - Game-like Blocking Drills
to make volleyball blocking drills more game-like?
Add a real swing against the blockers. You practice previous scenarios
(ex. line shots, angle shots, quick attacks for the middle), but using
a hitter who approaches, jumps up and swings the ball.
In this phase hitters learn to read the hitter.
phase as soon as possible after the arm/hand position and movement have
Options: 1) the hitters hit
the ball from the coaches toss - or 2) from the setter's set - or 3)
setter's set after a pass/toss.
coach uses setters and approaching hitters in the drill, instead
of having the hitter on the stand. It helps blockers to
read the pass, the setter, the set and the approaching hitter.
C1, C2, C3
Instead of being on the stand C1, C2 and C3 should be hitting after an
The setter sets the ball outside, middle or right side.
Ball feeder mimics the pass and feeds "the pass" for the
order to maximize the reps, the ball feeder needs to keep up a fast
tempo. In the beginning, the setter sets the ball to
outside, then middle, then right side - and repets the cycle.
new ball can be flying to the setter every few seconds when practicing
Progressions in Volleyball Blocking Drills
Practice double blocks. For example:
The middle blockers all line up to wait their turn
in the middle position. The middle blocker starts from the middle,
blocks in the middle before moving left or right to form a double block.
Also right side and left side blockers need to practice starting inside
and helping middle blocker to stop the middle attack.
Practice triple blocks
Block the back row swing
Give the setter an option to set a ball to any of the two or three or
even more hitters. Until now blockers may have known where the setter
sets, since the goal was to learn the techniques and timing with the
hitters first. Now in this phase blockers learn
to read the setter
also. Ex. the setter could have an option to to choose
and right side hitter OR setter could choose between all three hitters,
a game-like drill "the hitter vs. blockers". In the match hitters
usually are more successful than blockers. So if you
are running a wash drill, you
give some advantage for the blockers to make the game even. When
running a wash drill, you may want to add defensive players
the defensive side.
Add a server into the defensive side and
possibly add 1-2 passers into the offensive side.
By adding coverage into the offensive side
the coach gives
hitters an option to play the ball back into the own side. For
it would give an opportunity to practice against those "soft spikes" to