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Beach Volleyball Blocking Tips – How and When to Drop

Hey what’s going on my name is Maddison
McKibbin here with MCKB volleyball and today I’m going to talk about three
steps that will help improve your dropping as a blocker So the three steps
to effective dropping, is for one, recognizing the set. Two, dropping footwork. And three squaring up in preparation for the hit. As a blocker dropping off the
net is just as an essential skill to have as blocking itself. So for the first step,
is recognizing the set. The most common mistake people make is to drop after
they see a bad pass assuming that the set isn’t gonna be good. DO NOT DO THIS EVER! As blockers we need to stay at the net
until the ball is set, and then judge whether we should block or not. We do this because even if the pass is bad, the setter might be able to put up a hittable ball for which we have to stay at the net to block. So unfortunately I can’t give
you a definitive answer of what sort of set you can drop off of, or if the set is
X amount of feet from the net, because it depends on so many factors. You know, such as can your attacker hit from off the net? You know, is the sand shallow, or is the sand deep? Is it windy? Is your hitter more of an attacker or more of a shooter? So these are just some of the variables, but this is when your own trial and
error will come into play. So the next step is dropping footwork. So for the
purpose of this video we’re gonna assume that the blocker is blocking line and
dropping line. After we have seen the set, and decide that we’re actually dropping off the net, we’re gonna turn our inside foot to the big part of the court. So after we drop that foot our hips are gonna be perpendicular to the net and we’re gonna run similar to how a cornerback would guarding a wide receiver. We’re essentially running sideways as opposed to backpedaling because running sideways allows us to cover more ground in that short period of time as compared to if we were to backpedal. All the while, and I can’t
stress this enough, our eyes never leave the hitter. Now the last step to dropping
is, squaring up back to the hitter. So right before the hitter
contacts the ball, we want to square our hips back towards the hitter so that our
hips are parallel with the net. We want our hands at our chest as opposed to our
sides, to dig the hard driven ball. So, we’re usually dropping when the hitter
is off the net, so the trajectory of the ball, the majority the time will come at our
chest and even our face. And if your hands are down you might not have time
to react to this, or this, or even this… Finally, right as the hitter contacts the
ball, with our hips square, we want to have our feet stopped. Having our feet
stopped allows us to change direction easier to play the short shot and the
long shot. All right I hope you enjoyed it. That was three steps to improve your
dropping. Now if you have any questions or want to see more videos on blocking,
please just put them in the comments and if you want to see more MCKB
volleyball videos just subscribe to our channel. Alright thanks!

David Frank



  1. Gerald Williams Posted on October 4, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Is there a distance measurement you try to hit on dropping? 10/15 ft back or is it strictly dependent on your hitter? Also, videos on plyo workouts to help out my sand vertical would be awesome! I grew the beard but that doesn't seem to be helping.

  2. Simon Scott Posted on October 4, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Super clear explanations, really helpful, thank you!

  3. Rob Gronbeck Posted on October 4, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    legends keep em coming!! Getting tonnes from your vids, so are some team mates!! cheers lads 😀

  4. Pablo Guerrero Posted on October 5, 2017 at 4:26 am

    If the attacks is in the middle of mesh. How do i Block?

  5. gg Posted on October 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Great tips Maddison! Love all your videos; quick question: I'm short 5'10 and getting old (49), used to be fast too ;). I really have a problem dropping off when they roll line lollipops which they land in the last foot or two of the court. Probably I stop too close to the net and then I need another 1-2 quick steps (running sideways again, almost like a second drop?) to save the ball. But that's easier said than done. Do you have another suggestion? Thanks a lot again for your videos and wish you guys good luck in the next AVP season! Dinu.

  6. Traveljunkies523 Posted on October 9, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Another good video guys! Thanks for making things short and understandable. I look forward to all of your new videos and have seen an improvement in my game since I started watching them. I really like the skill videos but in all honesty, I seem to have benefited the most from you videos on mindset, focus, and belly breathing etc. so far. Hoping to put the skill videos into practice also.

  7. pedro chaparro Posted on November 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Where can I get a cap like yours? :). Great content, good good job guys. Thanks

  8. pedro chaparro Posted on November 10, 2017 at 11:13 am

    In Blocking, what should be the exactly moment to jump and go for the block? Should we have our eyes on the ball or on the attacker arm/hand?

  9. pedro chaparro Posted on November 14, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Me again :P, in the dropping footwork , when I abandon the block, is there a right side to face when I run back? In he video it is with the body facing my part of the field and the side line is in my back. Doing in the opposite way is a mistake? or it really does not matter? Thanks

  10. Scott Warrington Posted on November 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    hey guys, great work and have really enjoyed the video. I saw in the video how you were open hand receiving a hard driven ball. I was told that indoor that is ok, but not in sand. I started indoor and have really had to force myself to close hand receive (when it's above my shoulders). Could you clarify for me?

  11. Fabrice Henry Posted on December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am

    more video on blocking plz, when to jump

  12. Graeme Galloway Posted on December 13, 2017 at 3:50 am

    Could you guys do a video about lining up a block? I'm interested in your opinions on: where to be positioned for second contact to limit an on-two attack, how you move into position from there to a third contact block, where you're watching throughout the whole blocking movements and the actual block (ball vs player), then into how you line your body up to the hitter for each call (line/cross), and how you position your arms through the block for each call (line/cross). I'm especially interested in how you block cross; do you line your body up to the cross of the player and jump and reach vertically, or do you like to line up more in line with the hitter and jump vertically while angling your arms slightly to the side, or do you do it some other way?

  13. Matty Druce Posted on December 14, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Thanks for yr fun and clear vids! Just have seen set receiving in yr vid and in recent Australian competition- we are taught : no setting first shot – hands together?

  14. CHEMA SANCHEZ Posted on January 30, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Hello, i love your videos. But just one question. What about if your first step is looking to the line? that´s a way a lot of people do in Spain. And works good.

  15. C. Rucireta Posted on February 2, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Hi guys! Thank you for those awesome videos, they're so helpful! Could you give us some tips about how and where to place block and defender in relation with the attack position (left, right and centre of the net)? Thank you so much!

  16. IOANNIS SIOUNAS Posted on February 22, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Can you make a video for either short players or not so high level ones?

  17. Oya Shango Posted on February 24, 2018 at 6:50 am

    This was very helpful and I actually used the techniques in competition. I had a bad habit of pulling too soon and NOT having my hands UP. BIG HELP. (Entertaining instruction too
    btw) 🙂

  18. Mike Campbell Posted on March 15, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Love these vids keep em coming

  19. vbSAND Posted on March 15, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Great stuff – Important for you open players and Huge for average weekend hack level matches where every other set is 10 feet off the net !

  20. Cookie Stevens Posted on March 22, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    HI Maddison and Riley, This is Cookie Stevens (Tyler's MOM) and now coaching at NC State in Raleigh North Carolina. I am so happy you guys have made this information available for beginnings and all VB players. I am going to train our NC State team on the beach in a couple of weeks. Most have never played beach before. Your steps and tips, and Geena and Kelly's contribution will be very beneficial to me helping me expose the FUN of Beach Volleyball to our players. Thanks and keep up the great videos!

  21. BenightedStar Posted on March 25, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Liked the video cause of the six pack. Can relate.

  22. Jakob Nordin Posted on May 7, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Great as always!

  23. XxXStoneFingerXxX Posted on May 10, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Instead of having my feet parallel, i often open just slightly to the big part of the court so is feet are slightly staggered

  24. musicps Posted on May 24, 2018 at 8:05 am

    How do you drop cross? Are there recommendations when to drop line or cross, what are the pros and cons of​ the different tactics?

  25. Jonas Eicher Posted on May 24, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Great video guys! I'd love a video going in depth about blocking. Where to look at, what to do with your hands once you're up, how to deal with tightly set balls, jousting, when to block diagonally and how, etc.

  26. Simon Posted on May 30, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks for this well explained video! However wouldnt the ref call double contact when you defend the ball above your head like you do in the video? Indoors no problem but in beach volleyball…?

  27. Steve Ammon - Prsnl Posted on June 6, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Great vid. Would have liked to know whether you drop your side or on the side of your block call.

  28. Xyren Posted on June 11, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Guys,
    Amazing vidéos, love you and keep going 😉
    From swiss

  29. Kassandra Fradette Posted on July 6, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    thanks for finally making beach tutorial ! so helpful!

  30. Ryan Houghtlen Posted on August 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Can you post a video of blocking basics? Like hand positioning, reaching over, turning hands, what you are watching for when the swing, and more basics?

  31. Dave Picklyk Posted on August 5, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Thanks for this tip! I always suck at dropping back. I'm always either backpedaling or turning around and running towards the back and not keeping my eyes on the hitter. The way you do it, running with hips perpendicular to the net makes sense for more speed. Also, my hands are down for more of a downball instead of at my hips! HAAH and I tend to back off when I see a bad pass–you nailed my problem! Wow, great great stuff I'm trying this tomorrow! Thanks.

  32. Dufasaur joe Posted on August 16, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    these tips are not always applicable to players of a lower level which means many beach players. I've seen coaches telling players to do this when they can hardly reach the net on the top of their block and none of the players on the court can actually hit. Hey the net does the blocking. They watch people play on TV and think this is how you play. No that is not how you play at a world calibre level. On of the biggest mistakes I see many players make at lower levels is blocking too much.

  33. Dr Nathan Schramm Posted on August 28, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Really enjoy your videos! I noticed that when you prepare to receive a serve, you have your feet staggered but when dropped back during this video, your feet are parallel in prep for the oncoming spike, why the difference in foot spacing? Keep up the great work!
    Dr. Nate
    Santa Monica CA

  34. SteveMcMief Posted on August 29, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Hey Madison, great vid! I have sent it to tons of friends already who I thought needed the advice too. hahaha.

    However, I have a question. I have the steps down, but I find it hard to drop when I start moving from (sort of) the middle of the net to face the hitter first. Especially if the pass goes outside towards the antenna. Do you decide to drop before you move? I end up moving from the middle in the direction of the hitter, then see that the set is off the net, however its then often to late to drop properly. Whenever I do, I end up in no-man's land. Whats your advice? How do you avoid such situations?

  35. David Čuljak Posted on September 10, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks man u re great!

  36. Fabrice Henry Posted on September 13, 2018 at 2:30 am

    Guys i really need your help for blocking techniques.plzzzz help🤙

  37. William Kilgannon Posted on January 5, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Will a retreating blocker ever use the scoop defense?

  38. Rhys Freitas Posted on August 2, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Awesome videos guys! I noticed you don't have one on blocking form. (Footwork and penetration) I feel like this would be super helpful and a great prelude to the blocking calls videos.

  39. Rolando Valdez Posted on September 10, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Do all of your blocking techniques work for indoor?