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Blocking In Volleyball Essay, Research Paper

Blocking in VolleyballBlocking is a very important defensive aspect of volleyball at higher levels. Blocking is one of the hardest skills to learn, and does not always show direct results. The block serves four basic functions. The first is to stop the ball, and hopefully return it to the opponents side for a point or side out. The second is to eliminate as a much of the court for the opposing hitter to hit into, also making the court easier for the back row to defend. The third is to deflect the ball up so that it can be used for an attack. The last function is to force the use of a secondary (possibly weaker) hitter, or a secondary hit such as a tip or half hit. The basics of the block begin at the feet. The feet should be parallel, about fourteen inches from the net, and about shoulder width apart. The weight should be on the inside of the feet, with more weight on the foot opposite the direction of the most likely movement. Knees should be slightly bent. Hands should always be kept at shoulder height, elbows flexed, and the forarms should be parallel to the net. Prior to jumping a half squat position should be assumed, with back straight, leaning slightly to the net. Ater jumping hands should go up and slide over the net as far as possible. The arms and hands should be rigid, with thumbs upward and fingers spread apart. Before contact, the arms, shoulders, and hands should be turned inward to the center of the court. The body should pike. The hands should be open to surround, and try to catch the ball. There are two main methods of movement. These include the side step and the crossover. The side step is meant for covering a short distance. The body stays square to the net. The foot closest to the direction of the movement moves first. The outer foot then follows sliding back to a shoulder width position. Setting the block involves several variables. These include the distance of the set from the net, height of the set, attacker, angle of hitters approach, what hand the hitter uses, and lastly the position of the attacking arm and elbow in relationship to the ball. Body position is also important in setting the block. The blocker should not be too close to the net, but should not be further than fourteen inches. The outside blocker is responsible for setting the outside of the block in a multiple block. He should set up no closer than one arms length from the antennae, thus reducing the chances of a brush off. The offside (left) blocker should keep their left hand on the setters face, this will reduce the chances of the setter dumping succesfully.

{1} There are seven key points in the blocking sequence:-Verbally identify attack options before serve-watch first pass and asses setters options-get into position-time the jump-pike and press to opposite corner of court -lock elbows after hitter has committed to a direction Some common mistakes in blocking are not penetrating the net, not closing the block, fading or drifting past the hitter, and touching the net. A basic drill to start out with is a stationary block. By having someone on a box or chair acting as a hitter, athletes can get used to blocking. The ball will be hit in the same direction each time. The blocker can get used to keeping the hands high, keeping their eyes open, and going after the ball. It is important that the foot work becomes natural. By moving along the net practicing the blocking movements blockers can develop efficiency and balance. To develop timing and adjustment making abilities the {2} over the head drill can be used. In this the coach stands on the blockers side. He then tosses the ball over the net to the opposing hitter. The block must then adjust to where the ball is going and front the hitter. To develop some stability and control at the top of the net the coach can toss balls from the side of the net between four opposing blockers (two a side), they can then attempt to stuff block against each other. Blocking is one of the most difficult skill to learn or teach in volleyball. In blocking success is limited. This is due to the rarity of a stuff block. Never the less, this does not decrease the importance of blocking against a strong hitting team.

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