What is a block in volleyball? Best answer. Blocking explained

Blocking is an important defensive action in volleyball. You stop the ball immediately after the net, making sure that the attack of the opposite team is immediately stopped and you launch your own attack. You can do this alone or together with another player on your team. Just be careful because if you miss the block, the other team might score quite easily. You have to get your timing right and be sure that you know what you are doing. In this post, we are going to give a step-by-step explanation of how to block in volleyball.

Who better to ask than the Olympic athlete Rachael Adams how this is done?

How to block in volleyball? A step by step explanation

Step 1: Starting position

The first step is to find a stable position. Your feet should be quite wide and you should stand on your full feet. You are calm and ready for action. All these images are owned by the Olympics.

The main mistakes that you can make when blocking are coming too early, too late, or just missing the ball. Each of these results in missing the block and you are making it harder for your team if this happens. Starting out right makes all the difference.

Step 2: Move sideways to gain speed

You are going to use your right foot to move sideways. This might sound a weird way to move but will make sure that you will be able to jump upwards instead of sideways later on. You want to jump as high as possible and this movement will help you with this.

If you want to make the movement to your other side, you just mirror the previous movements and use your other leg instead. 

Step 3: we have liftoff! Time to jump

You are going to use the momentum that you have built up previously to jump as high as possible. You have to consider that all of this needs to happen while the other team is passing the ball. You have to look at the ball at all times. Combining your own movements while you are checking where the ball is and how your own team is moving is a challenge and it can take years before you are able to do this. 

As you can see, blocking takes quite some time. Professional players can do this fast but if you are starting out, you might have to start your block earlier as you are still working on your foot movements. You should know who the setter is going to be on the opposite team. As soon as this person touches the ball, you have to see to whom they are passing. This will allow you to anticipate where the ball is going. At this point, you can start your block. Finding the perfect timing is a challenge but you need to anticipate the attack of the other team in advance or you are going to be too late. As you get better at blocking the ball, you can start moving later and later. This is when you will get really good at blocking and it can be used as a defensive weapon.

Your arms have to be over the net when you are blocking. This makes sure that the ball doesn’t land between you and the net. You do this by holding your arms at an angle so that they get over the net. You can stretch your fingers so that you take in a bigger place and it is harder to get the ball over the net. A lot of players just keep their arms straight up but this is not the best way to do it as you should maximize the space that you are taking to make it harder for your opponent. 

Your hands should touch the ball instead of your arms. This offers you more control and makes sure that you can send the ball back to the court of the opponent. It is important that you don’t touch the net as this is not allowed. You have to get as close as possible but you shouldn’t touch it when you jump or land. 

Step 4: Landing on your feet

You have to make sure that you land on both feet. It is possible that you miss the block and that you have to participate in the game again. Therefore you shouldn’t be too off balance or fall on the ground. Both feet should touch the ground at the same time and you should stand in a stable position again. In some instances, you might have to execute two blocks in short succession. This can only be done if you stick the landing.

Blocking is an important part of defense in volleyball. It is difficult to get it just right as your timing and direction have to be correct. It is one of the most difficult volleyball skills. To conclude, we can state that there are several steps to blocking a ball. You have to start from a stable position. After this, you move sideways so that you gain momentum to jump high. You have to keep your arms at an angle and stretch out your hands. You want to touch the ball with your hands instead of your elbows. The final step is landing on your feet. You have to be ready for the next play so landing on stable footing is essential.