Coach’s Tips: 5 Tips for Blocking by Heather Brown
Coach Heather Brown
Five blocking tips
One – To be a good blocker you must actively watch what’s developing on the other side of the net. Learning to read the play to be able to ANTICIPATE where the ball is going not REACTING to where the ball is going. This is about 90% of being a good blocker. Actively paying attention!!
Two – Make sure you have your weight evenly distributed to be able to move quickly in either lateral direction. Do your best to stay light on your feet. This means you want to have your weight off your heels and more on the balls of your feet with a loaded( slightly lower center of gravity)body position.
Three – When moving laterally, you want to make sure that you’re moving at an even plane. you want to make an L-shaped movement, not an H-shape movement. This means your starting position should be with a lowered center of gravity loaded and ready to move laterally. Not standing straight up with your knees locked.
Four – As you arrive at the location to block, you want to lead with your hands over the net. This means getting your hands over the net into the air space of the hitter as quickly as possible. Refrain from going up high with your hands and finishing low. A high percentage of hitters hit just above the tape. If they want to hit high let them hit out.
Five – You want to put your hands over the net where the ball is going. Not where it’s coming from. This means blocking the court from the hitter (taking the path to the court away), as opposed to reaching your hands toward the hitter (literally blocking the hitter). A good rule of thumb is you always want to make sure your hands are facing towards position six or straight ahead. Work to close your outside hip off before you jump to balance your body as you elevate. (This also can help mitigate drifting out of position) When blocking on the pins you don’t want to show your palms to the hitter outside the court (blocking the hitter). This opens up the opportunity for them to tool you out of bounds (the ball will go where your hands are facing). Your goal is to redirect the ball off your hands into the court.