- Learn how to stop opponents from hitting the ball into the vulnerable parts of your defense
- Learn how to develop the proper mechanics of swing blocking
- Get strategies to prevent balls from going through the block and eliminate "cheap" points
- See how to plan your blocking scheme based on your opponent's tendencies
with Joel Walton,
Ball State University Head Men's Volleyball Coach; 2x MIVA Coach of the Year;
Ball State University's Joel Walton tackles the frustrating skill of blocking by breaking down both the mechanics and strategies of the skill. He shares a series of drills that work on blocking footwork and being able to read and react where to set the block. He also covers blocking strategies and schemes that are used to take away the most dangerous attack options from your opponents.
Philosophy and Scouting
Starting with his philosophies on blocking, Coach Walton covers the main purpose of blocking and how to coach blockers to do their job in the most efficient way possible. He explains how to scout an opponent. He also touches upon footwork, hand positioning and the strategies of swing blocking during this segment.
Coach Walton uses players to demonstrate a warm-up drill that helps blockers learn to move together and read where the setter is going to put the ball. In this drill, middle blockers remain neutral in order to be ready to move either direction. Middles are encouraged to take a big first step in order to cover a lot of distance. He progresses through a series of drills that work on reading, footwork, hand positioning and timing. These drills start with walk-through type drills and lead up to drills that involve more game-like situations. Featured drills include:
- Blocking Group vs Hitters on Boxes - Blockers get practice reading hitters' shoulders and they get immediate feedback on where their hands are facing.
- Attacks vs Blocks - This drill provides an opportunity for you to see if your players are setting the block correctly, if they are stopping or flying through the block, and if they are taking away the correct shot, or reading correctly.
Coach Walton does a great job explaining the purpose of the drill, what will be worked on and how to make the drill safe in order to avoid injuries.
The presentation includes a question and answer session that does a great job of picking the coaches' brain and giving some insight into blocking in practice, strategies and how to implement different blocking schemes. Coach Walton discusses how often and in what manner blocking should be practiced. He explains how the use of videotaping is a great way to reinforce what coaches are trying to tell their players. Video can be used during practice to show players exactly what they do when they are blocking. Coach Walton answers a great question about blocking schemes and which ones are most commonly used and how the players and coaches communicate the schemes.
This presentation is a useful resource for any coach who wants to know more about blocking, how to teach it or the strategies involved in it. Coach Walton's instruction will give you a solid foundation for your team's blocking.
Produced at the 2014 AVCA Spring Clinic in Chicago, IL.
53 minutes. 2015.