Sport Rulebook

Mastering the Art of Defensive Play in Volleyball

Volleyball is a game that requires a combination of skills and strategies to succeed. One of these vital skills is blocking, which is a defensive move used to stop the ball from crossing over to the other side of the net.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, mastering the art of blocking is crucial for the success of your team. In this article, we will discuss the basics of blocking in volleyball, the importance of practice, and the keys to becoming a successful blocker.

Basic Steps for Blocking

Blocking is an essential skill in volleyball that involves positioning yourself near the net and jumping up to block the opposing team’s attack. It requires precise footwork, good timing, and proper arm positioning.

Here are the basic steps involved in blocking:

Position: As a blocker, you need to start in a stable position with your knees bent, weight balanced on both feet, and your body squared to the net. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your front foot slightly ahead of your back foot.

Jump: When the opposing team’s hitter takes their approach, you need to jump up to block their attack. The key is to time your jump correctly so that you can reach the ball at the highest point of its trajectory.

Arms and palms: As you jump, reach your arms up to the sky with your palms facing the net. Keep your elbows straight and your hands positioned slightly in front of your face.

Net: As you block, make sure that your fingertips reach across the net to the opposing team’s side. Make contact with the ball as high as possible above the net to ensure a successful block.

Timing in Blocking

Timing is essential in blocking, and it takes time and practice to get it right. You need to make sure that you jump at the correct moment to meet the ball at the highest point of its trajectory.

Here are some tips for mastering the timing in blocking:

Jump: Your timing for blocking depends on the opposing team’s hitter’s approach. Observe and watch the hitter’s movements closely, and make sure you time your jump correctly.

Elevated arms: When you jump, elevate your arms as high as possible. This will give you a better chance of blocking the ball.

Rebound: As you block, be prepared for the ball to rebound off your hands. Make sure you follow through with your arms to deflect the ball away from your side of the court.

Keys to Blocking

To become a successful blocker, you need to master the following three keys: positioning, approach, and the block itself.


Your position when blocking is critical. If you are too far away from the net, you may not be able to reach the ball in time.

Conversely, if you are too close, you may not have enough time to jump and block the ball effectively. Here are some tips for proper positioning:

Stable starting position: Start in a stable position with your knees bent, weight balanced on both feet, and your body squared to the net.

Quickly adjust position: Stay alert and quickly adjust your position to get into a good blocking position on the court. Distance from the net: Determine the correct distance from the net to be able to make a successful block.


Your approach is critical when it comes to blocking. You need to have a good step pattern, correct alignment with other blockers, and avoid drifting.

Here are some tips for approach:

Step pattern: Use a three-step pattern to get into blocking position near the net. Swing block: Use a swing block technique with your arms to swing your hands and arms into the path of the ball.

Alignment with other blockers: Communicate with the other blockers on your team to make sure you are in proper alignment to block effectively. Avoid drifting: Do not drift to one side when blocking, as this can leave gaps in the blocking wall for the opposing team’s hitter to hit through.

The Block

When it comes to the block itself, there are several key factors to consider, including reaching your arms above the net, locking your shoulders, angled hands, and facing the ball. Here are some tips:

Reach arms above the net: Reach your arms above the net to deflect the ball.

Lock shoulders: Lock your shoulders to help your arms remain in the proper position during the block. Angled hands: Position your hands at an angle to ensure that the ball rebounds off your hands in the direction you want.

Facing the ball: Face the ball, keeping your body square to the net to maintain proper positioning.

Importance of Practice in Blocking

To become proficient in blocking, you need to practice consistently. Repetition helps you develop the muscle memory needed to execute the correct technique required for blocking.

Here are some reasons why practice is important:

Mastery of technique: Consistent practice helps you master the technique required for blocking. Muscle memory: Repetitive motions help you develop muscle memory, which allows you to execute the proper technique without thinking about it.

Confidence: Consistently practicing your technique results in consistent success, leading to increased confidence.


Blocking is a crucial skill in volleyball that requires proper positioning, good timing, and the correct technique. With these key elements in mind, any player at any level can become a successful blocker.

Practice consistently by following the basic steps and perfecting your technique, and soon you will be an invaluable part of your team’s defense. Volleyball is a dynamic game that requires both offensive and defensive skills to succeed.

While blocking is a crucial defensive action, there are other essential skills, including digging, serving receive, and positioning, that players must master to excel. In this article, we will dive deeper into these defensive actions and explore their importance.


Digging is a defensive action that involves receiving the ball and passing it to a teammate to set up an attack. It is an essential skill for all players, regardless of their position.

It requires quick reflexes, anticipation, and proper movement to get in position to receive the ball effectively. Here are some tips to improve your digging skills:

Pass: Do not swing at the ball; instead, pass it firmly and accurately to a teammate.

Receiving Ball: Keep your eye on the ball, and anticipate where it will go based on the hitter’s form and the set. Passing: Aim to pass the ball directly to your teammate’s hands, using your arms and legs to generate power.

Serving Receive

Serving receive is another essential defensive action in volleyball. It involves receiving the ball from a serve and passing it to a teammate to set up an attack.

The server has an advantage as they have time to aim their serve before hitting it, making it challenging for the receiving team. Here are some tips to improve your serving receive skills:

Receiving Serve: Use your legs to get in position and move with the ball to get as close as possible for a good pass.

Passing: Keep your arms high and straight, and make a platform with your forearms to control the ball with greater precision.


Positioning is a key element of any defensive play in volleyball. It is essential to be in the right spot on the court, predict where the ball will go, and communicate effectively with your teammates.

Here are some tips to improve your defensive positioning skills:

Movement: Move quickly and efficiently, and avoid wasting time standing still or taking unnecessary steps. Anticipating: Anticipate the opponent’s next move and adjust your positioning accordingly.

Reading Opponent: Keep an eye on the attacking team’s players, and analyze their positioning to predict the ball’s trajectory.

Importance of Blocking in Volleyball

Blocking is a crucial defensive action in volleyball. A successful block can earn the team a point, as well as demoralize the opposing team.

It requires proper positioning, movement, and timing to be executed correctly. A good blocker can also force the opposing team to alter their offensive strategy, giving their team an advantage.

Overall, blocking is an indispensable defensive skill that influences the outcome of any game.

Overall Importance of Defensive Skills

Blocking, digging, serving receive, and positioning are all key elements of defensive skills in volleyball. A team must master these skills to succeed in any game.

While blocking may be the most evident defensive action, it is crucial to have a well-rounded defense. A team that can effectively execute all defensive actions will make it challenging for their opponent to score points, leading to success in the long term.


In conclusion, defense is an integral part of volleyball that requires a combination of skills. While blocking plays a significant role in defensive play, it is essential to master other key elements, including digging, serving receive, and positioning.

Mastery of these skills will lead to success on the court. In conclusion, becoming proficient in blocking, digging, serving receive, and positioning are crucial skills in volleyball.

Positioning includes proficiency in movement, anticipating, and reading the opponents next move. The mastery of these skills leads to overall success in the sport, and consistency in practicing each will allow players to execute them without hesitation.

A team that effectively executes all defensive actions can make it challenging for their opponent to score points, creating a well-rounded team. FAQs:

Q: What is the importance of blocking in volleyball?

A: Blocking is crucial as it is a defensive action that can earn a team a point, demoralize the opposing team, and force the opposing team to alter their offensive strategy. Q: What is the difference between digging and serving receive?


Digging involves receiving the ball during an attack, while serving receive involves receiving the ball from a serve.

Q: What is the key to proper defensive positioning?

A: Proper movement, anticipation of the opponent’s next move, and effective communication with teammates are the key elements of proper defensive positioning. Q: How can a player improve their blocking skills?

A: A player can improve their blocking skills by mastering the proper technique for footwork, arm positioning, and timing through consistent practice. Q: Why is it important to have a well-rounded defense in volleyball?

A: A team that can effectively execute all defensive actions will make it challenging for their opponent to score points, leading to success in the long term.

Popular Posts