There are a lot of drills out there that work on blocking. A big problem I have with most of them is they severely lack the cues the blockers are supposed to use. I’m not talking about blockers working against a set of attackers. Instead, I’m thinking about drills with no live hitters (though maybe hitters on boxes).

Here’s an example of one critiqued by Alexis at Volleyball Drill Doctor.

As Alexis notes in his post, a way to make things much better is to introduce a setter. Just getting the read and reaction to the set makes things much closer to what the blocker has to do in a game and more game speed.

Here’s the first blocking drill I’ve ever seen that really brings the visual cues in without being in a full game context.

Notice how the blockers are using the video of actual game play for all phases of their blocking work. They use it to set their starting position, make their adjustments, and to finally make whatever blocking move is necessary. I think this is excellent use of video technology.

Would it be better to do this sort of thing in a real game situation? Of course, but that’s not always possible or reasonable.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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