Transition - Blocker to Hitter or Defense to Hitter Transition
Volleyball transition is one important skill that often gives troubles
for the players. It is challenging to transition i.e. from a
blocker to an offensive player after the team defense has managed to
dig the ball up.
Read tips for a better transition, or how to practice it?
Volleyball Transition Feels Difficult?
The players have a very limited time to move from a blocker's position
to a hitter – or from the blocker’s position to play defense and after
the defense to swing the ball.
As in many other drills, it is needed to practice transitioning with
the ball and in the game situation. However, it is very
beneficial for the player to practice footwork and coordination of
transition also without the ball. This is one of the few
that really pays off when practicing it by your own.
Footwork as Volleyball Conditioning Drills
Volleyball transitioning drills without the ball can also serve as an
excellent volleyball conditioning drill.
to Do the Volleyball Transition?
Standard Transition Routine - and Practice Repeating It
It is a good idea for player to use same routine every time when
backing off the block. It helps to learn the transition
smoothly when repeating
the same routine one after another.
Two Volleyball Transition Routines for the
When starting to practice transition, test how many steps you need to
after your block to back up to the hitting position. (Most players get
back to hitting position with three steps.)
Defense to Hitter
Also test how to move from a blocker to a defensive position - and
after the defense to start a spike approach.
To practice those two
transitions you just repeat the routines.
In the Match – the Transition Steps Are Not Always the Same
However, you still have to remember that in the match you may have to
block inside or outside. For example if you are blocking inside, you
have a longer
distance back to the hitting position. It is also the fact that when
performing a swing
block, sometimes the blockers are “flying” and stopping somewhere
court. So in the match you
also need to be ready to adjust your transition steps because you don’t
always know the exact position you are landing to.
Players need to be exposed to those different situations in game-like
practice drills, so they learn to adjust the steps without any problems.
Left-Side Volleyball Transition From the Blocker to Hitter:
Repeating the standard transition helps you to learn the technique when
it is introduced.
However, the players need to be exposed to
transitions in the game-like drills because the transition could be
slightly different in the match.
Volleyball Transition Example - Left Side Player
After landing a player turns around (facing the
court) and takes a big step with the right foot. It depends on the
length of the step, but the foot could be placed somewhere around 4-6
feet off the net.
The player takes another step and places left
foot on the ground. The foot could be around 7-9 feet off the net.
On the third step, the player turns around to
face the net again. The right foot lands around 11-12 feet off the net
– being ready to start a hitting approach (right-left-right-left).
The right side players perform this as a mirrow image.
Middles transitions are also very similar - on the left side
as the left side spiker and on the right side as the right side spiker.
Useful Techniques for Volleyball Transition
You need to back up somewhere around 11-14 feet off the net to make a
full approach. You probably need to know at least two different
1) If you are in a real hurry, you may have time only to back pedal a
couple of quick steps, then perform a “half approach”.
2) If you have time for the full approach, like above, it is a better
Example of the Volleyball Transition
Here in the video, you see a pretty good example about the good
transition. In the first transition, the player turns around
a full turn and takes few fast transition steps. Second and
third transitions are not perfect examples anymore – but at least you
see how it should be done – and how it shouldn’t.
Look at the long rally and the first transition in this YouTube video.
It is a pretty good example of good transition. It occurs between 0.06
and 0.11 in this video.
The player you need to look at is on the left court side.
At 0.06 the outside hitter on the left court
side makes the first swing. She hits the block and the ball
is reflected back to her own court side.
She is in a hurry to approach again, therefore
she turns around, takes a few fast steps and she is way beyond the 10
foot line to approach again at 0.09 when the setter has the set. At
0.11 she makes the second swing.
The first transition the player makes is a pretty good example.
– Good or Bad?
The rally continues and the next transitions are not the best possible
examples. The player backpedals and backs up slowly
compared to the first transition.
In some situations “backpedaling” could be a reasonable choice. I.e.
sometimes for the middle, it could be a reasonable option to
“backpedal” and take
one or two short quick steps back. However, generally
speaking the player should always turn
around by opening up your body towards the court, just like the outside
hitter in the video makes in the first transition. Or in the following
video the middle blocker does in the first transition at 0.06.
On the right hand side, everything works as a mirror image.
Another Video about Volleyball Transitions
Pay attention to middle blockers transition at 0.06, he is already
attacking the ball at 0.08.
(You have to be patient the video loads up slowly)