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Beach Volleyball Drill of the week: Master the art of hand-setting with night-night setting

The first skill I learned in beach volleyball was hand-setting.

To most, this seems to be a momentous accomplishment. Many find hand-setting to be the most difficult skill in the game, since it’s the only one where, should you do it incorrectly, the other team is awarded a point immediately. Karch Kiraly considered it a luxury. 

To me, it’s the skill that made the most sense to learn first.

When I moved to Florida, in April of 2014, I knew only one person, my childhood friend, Mark Lammey. When he found out I was moving to Florida, he was so excited for me that he asked if he could come, too.

Absofreakinglutely!

We found an apartment, signed the lease, sight unseen, and began our Florida adventure with an 18-hour road trip from Baltimore to Navarre.

Neither of us had ever played beach volleyball before, outside of the jungle ball stuff that is as much beach volleyball as putt-putt is to golf. I wouldn’t begin playing for another few months, when I made a few...

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Beach volleyball drill of the week: Approach on time, every time

At the time, it seemed like the silliest drill I’d ever done.

Two days before p1440 Huntington Beach, at the end of the 2018 season, our coach, Leandro Pinheiro, had us jumping over a bench -- to begin our approach.

I’ve long been a supporter of making everything as gamelike as possible. It’s always made the most sense to me: Train how you play. When you play, you sure as heck aren’t jumping over benches to begin an approach. You shouldn’t be jumping at all.

But Leandro saw something in my partner, Myles Muagututia, and I that he didn’t particularly like, and he wanted to fix it. All week long, we were getting ahead of the set, so when we went to swing, the ball was either on top of our head or a little behind us. We lost power, precision, and vision in virtually all of our attacks. We were still able to function, mind you, in the same sense that we can all function on six or seven hours of sleep. Eight hours is just inarguably better, just as...

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Beach volleyball drill of the week: Pass better than you ever have in ten minutes

I had been struggling in beach volleyball lately. It's that weird transition from off-season to pre-season, even though we don't really have much of a real season to train for just yet. I was passing poorly, setting -- the skill I believe I do best -- inconsistent, siding out at the lowest clip in recent memory. It was frustrating. So I did what I always do when I'm struggling at something, be it writing, playing, lifting, eating, whatever: I looked through past journals to see what I was doing when I was playing better. 

What I found was that I was practicing differently than I had been. Three days a week, at least, my practice group would be limited to three people, and we'd repreprepreprep it out, for two hours. It's what I like to call a "meat and potatoes" practice: We're not doing anything fancy, just hammering out the basics, the fundamentals, over and over and over again.

We'd lead with my favorite drill of all time, the simplest one with the highest rate of return:...

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The beach volleyball drill that will teach you to get to EVERYTHING -- even trickle serves!

One of the greatest plays I’ve seen in beach volleyball is also one that maybe only 50 other people were able to see live. I sat in the mostly-vacant bleachers at the FIVB’s event in Las Vegas, which was being put on and promoted by p1440.

On the court in front of me was my good bud, Tri Bourne, who was playing with Trevor Crabb for the bronze medal against Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy. Bourne and Crabb were up 16-15 in the third set.

Earn one more point and the bronze medal was theirs. 

Bourne served a float that hit the net and trickled over, getting maybe -- maybe -- to the one foot line. Against almost any team in the world, this is certain death. Ace, game, set, match, bronze medal. Thank you, come again. But this wasn’t just any team in the world -- this was Russia, currently one of the best teams in the world of beach volleyball, one of the only pairs who can regularly contend with Norway’s Anders Mol and...

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The 3 BEST agility drills for beach volleyball players

 

We also run beach volleyball classes, private lessons and training camps for adults and juniors at VolleyCamp in Hermosa Beach, CA. We are in the Beach Cities between Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. We run volleyball vacations right here in Los Angeles but we also take our players on awesome volleyball trips to exotic locations. We can even run beach volleyball clinics for your group, club or team in your hometown! Send an email to [email protected]

Agility is the ability to change body positions quickly and efficiently. In beach volleyball, specifically it requires a smooth integration of movements using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, power, reflexes, strength and endurance. Agility for beach volleyball (or sand volleyball) means changing directions of the body in an efficient and effective manner. On the sand, your balance and ability to change directions gets hindered in a lot of ways. The movement patterns are slightly...

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Volleyball Serve Receive Series Chapter 3: Basic Volleyball Footwork to Level Up Your Game

 

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball serve receive and passing, you may want to take a look at our passing and serve receive course! And, now that the beaches are open again, we'd love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!

You don’t play volleyball by just standing in place. In serve receive, that means you have to be ready to move in every direction. 

If the ball is heading towards your left side, what’s the best way to get to it? Which leg do you move first? What if it falls near the net? 

In the previous chapter, you learned about the forearm pass, how to bump a volleyball correctly and the different things you need to consider when becoming a great passer. 

In this chapter, you'll learn the basic volleyball footwork techniques: 

  1. Athletic Position
  2. Lateral Steps
  3. Lateral Lunges
  4. Move 1 Move Both
  5. ...
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The 1 Thing Every Beach Great Beach Volleyball Defender Has in Common

 

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball, and how to play defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course, which, of course, is the first line of defense in beach volleyball. It will have you serving more accurately, with more power, in just a few weeks! We'd also love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!

There are any number of different aspects that could make a beach volleyball defender great. You could watch a dozen different teams play, and pick out a dozen different attributes from each defender that you'd like to implement in your own game -- and that's great. Think about it:

What makes a great defender?

  • The ability to read.
  • Positioning
  • Picking up tendencies.
  • Speed.
  • Reaction time.
  • Perfectly timed fakes.

All of these things contribute. They're wonderful, and, honestly, you should try to implement all...

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Winning Defense for Beach Volleyball: “Digging, Blocking and How to Get a Touch on Everything”

 

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball, and how to play defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course, which, of course, is the first line of defense in beach volleyball. It will have you serving more accurately, with more power, in just a few weeks! We'd also love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!

If you are to peruse the best beach volleyball teams of all time -- Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos, Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, to name a few -- you'll find a number of common traits. 

While all of them could side out at a world-class level, that is not necessarily the differentiator between them and the rest of the world. Most teams at the top of the AVP and FIVB...

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Top 5 Things that are killing your game part 4: Not digging the easy balls

 

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball, and how to play defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course, which, of course, is the first line of defense in, ahem, defense. It will have you serving more accurately, with more power, in just a few weeks! We'd also love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!
 
We have to start with an apology.
 
I started this beach volleyball blog series back in the summer with the intent to finish it inside of 10 weeks. The responsibilities of running a company, working with athletes and my personal competitive schedule took precedence over the blog series. Better at Beach has grown to be so much more than I thought it would and that is an amazing thing but our popularity brings about a need to bring our guests and our athletes the very best. 

We now have 7...

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Should I Stay or Should I Go: Peel Footwork for Blockers

 

If you're interested in this blog on peel digging and how to play defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course, which, of course, is the first line of defense in, ahem, defense. It'll will have you serving more accurately, with more power, in just a few weeks! We'd also love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!

Blockers block in beach volleyball, right? They're the big goons at the net who are supposed to stay at the net. Correct? 

Yes and no. 

In an ideal world, a blocker would never have to leave the net -- or peel, in volleyball vernacular. In the ideal world, a blocker stays at the net, and the defender covers whatever the blocker doesn't in the back court. Simple. 

But if you've played beach volleyball -- and if you're reading this blog dedicated exclusively to beach volleyball -- you know that ideal worlds...

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