Volleyball: Timing Cues for Blocking
If the Spiker is Within One Meter of the Net, the Blocker Should Jump When the Spiker’s Hands Pass Upward In Front of Her Face
If the Spiker is Within One Meter of the Net, the Blocker Should Jump When the Spiker’s Hands Pass Upward In Front of Her Face

Volleyball: Timing Cues for Blocking

Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com

A simple timing error is one of the most common problems in the volleyball block.

You'll often see blockers leave the floor at the same time as the spiker, only to watch the spike pass over their hands because they're already falling as the ball approaches the net.

In fact, blockers should not jump at the same time as the spiker—they should delay a split second.

Why Blockers Should Delay their Jump
It's only logical: spikers usually contact the ball at the apex of their jump, but it

If the Spiker is More Than One Meter From the Net, the Blocker Should Jump When the Spiker’s Hand First Moves Towards the Ball
If the Spiker is More Than One Meter From the Net, the Blocker Should Jump When the Spiker’s Hand First Moves Towards the Ball
takes time for the ball to travel from the spiker's hand to the net. If your blockers jump at the same time as the spiker, they'll be falling by the time the ball reaches the contact area near the net.

By delaying momentarily when the spiker jumps, your blockers will be at the apex of their jump when they contact the ball.

Timing Cue
Here are two cues that will help your blockers time their jump correctly.

  1. If the spiker is within one meter of the net, your blockers should jump when the spiker's hand passes upward in front of the spiker's face on his/her ascent.
  2. If the spiker is farther than one meter away from the net, your blockers should jump when they see the spiker's arm begins its movement towards the
    Blockers Need Not Jump as High as the Spiker
    Blockers Need Not Jump as High as the Spiker
    ball.

Blockers Need Not Jump as High
Your players may feel that they are jumping too late, but remind them that the spike will be traveling downwards, so the blocker does not need to jump as high as the spiker in order to block the ball.

References:
1. National Alliance for Youth Sports, Coaching Volleyball for Dummies, For Dummies Publishers, 2009.
2. William J. Neville, Coaching Volleyball Successfully (USA Volleyball), Leisure Press, 1990.
3. Terry Liskevych & Don Patterson, Youth Volleyball, Masters Press, 1995.


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