Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Staying Square to the Volleyball Net While Blocking: A Comprehensive Guide


Are you looking to improve your blocking skills in volleyball? Mastering the art of staying square to the net is crucial for an effective defense. In this guide, we will walk you through five essential steps to become a better blocker. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, these tips will help you elevate your game and contribute to your team’s success.

Volleyball Player Blocking

Watch Your Hitter with Your Shoulders Parallel to the Net

When blocking, it’s essential to pay close attention to the hitter’s movements to anticipate their shots. Keep an eye on their shoulders – if they are angled, they may be attempting a cross-court hit, whereas straight-on shoulders indicate a down-the-line shot. Observing these cues will give you a strategic advantage. Additionally, make sure you keep your eyes open during the block, as many players unintentionally close their eyes in the heat of the moment. Being aware of your surroundings is vital for a successful block.

Jump Straight Up and Down, Don’t Fly

Maintaining control over your body is crucial when blocking. Rather than jumping in one spot and then landing elsewhere, focus on jumping straight up and down. This consistency is essential for your teammates on defense, as they rely on your block positioning to set up the rest of their defensive strategy. For outside blockers, it’s especially crucial to create a solid, closed wall. By staying in one place, you enable your middle blocker to know where to come and close the block effectively.

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Keep the Palms Up at Shoulder Height in Ready Position

Proper hand placement is essential for an effective block. Avoid fully extending your arms above your head or dropping them below the net before jumping. Instead, keep your palms facing the net at shoulder height. Adopting a “tiger hands” position will allow you to maintain balance, stay close to the net, and maximize your vertical jump. Remember to squat down before jumping and extend your arms over the net during the jump phase, keeping your hands in front of your shoulders.

Use Maximum Arm Length

When blocking, your goal is to extend your arms fully at the highest point of your jump. Middle blockers may face quick sets, requiring them to react swiftly and get their hands over the net. However, for outside hitters who face higher sets, utilizing the full extension of their arms becomes crucial. If you have long arms, take advantage of your reach to block the ball effectively. Keep your arms extended throughout the block jump and return to a starting “tiger hands” position upon landing.

Commit to Taking One Area Away

To be an effective blocker, commit to taking one area away from the hitter. This decision depends on your team’s strategy or the indications you observe from the hitter. By focusing on one direction, you allow your back-row teammates to cover other areas on the court effectively. Avoid trying to cover everything in mid-air, as it will only lead to confusion and miscommunication among your teammates. Trust your plan and work in harmony with your defense to form a solid wall against your opponents.

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Q: How can I improve my blocking timing?
A: Practicing your timing is crucial for successful blocks. Work on reading the hitter’s movements and understanding their shot intentions. With experience, you will develop better anticipation, allowing you to time your jumps effectively.

Q: Can shorter players be effective blockers?
A: Absolutely! Height can provide an advantage, but technique and timing are equally important. Shorter players can still become formidable blockers by focusing on positioning, footwork, and reading the hitter’s intentions.

Q: Should I always try to block every ball?
A: While blocking is essential, it’s not always possible to block every ball. Learn to identify situations where it’s more appropriate to rely on your defense to handle the hit. Communication with your teammates is key in making these decisions.


Mastering the art of staying square to the net while blocking volleyball shots is a skill that can make a significant difference in your game. By following the five steps outlined in this guide, you will enhance your defensive abilities and contribute to your team’s success on the court. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, these techniques will help you become a more effective blocker. So get out there, practice, and take your blocking game to new heights!