7 Deadly Sins of Beach Volleyball Defense

 If you're interested in this blog on defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course. Serving is, of course, the first line of defense in beach volleyball, and this course 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, private lessons and training camps for adults and juniors in Hermosa Beach, CA and Salt Lake City, Utah. We run volleyball vacations in exotic locations around the world. We can even run beach volleyball clinics for your group, club or team in your hometown! Send an email to [email protected]

We hear it so often in sports, and beach volleyball is certainly no different: Fix your mistakes. It makes sense. There's no way we're going to improve at our sport, whatever it may be, if we can't fix our mistakes. But what if we don't know them? What if we continue to struggle without realizing what's going wrong? 

That's why we're here, to teach you the 7 deadly sins of beach volleyball defense, so you can recognize, fix, and improve your game from them. 

In the beach volleyball video below, filmed in Hermosa Beach, California, AVP pros Mark Burik and Brandon Joyner explain the seven seven deadly sins and how you overcome them to play better beach volleyball on defense. And, just for fun, let's break it down with a little inspiration from the popular Netflix anime show, Haikyuu!

Enjoy this free beach volleyball training video. And, to make sure that you're playing defense to the best of your ability on the beach, we'd love you to stay healthy and strong, which you can do by joining our 60-Day Strength and Conditioning Program!


For our visual learners, below is the edited transcript of the video above. Enjoy!

7 Deadly Sins of Beach Volleyball Defense

Today, we're going to talk about the seven deadly sins of beach volleyball defense. If you want to check out more videos in our series of seven deadly sins, we've got a great one on hand setting that right now as we're filming has over 70,000 views. And if you want to see the next video, go ahead and click on the subscribe and notification, but it's the one down there on there that friend ends up going to check it out ticket. Make sure you follow us and then we're going to keep teaching you some volleyball. So the seven deadly sins of defense, we're going to give you guys some tips or basically some faults that uh, we see all the time and it hurts people's defense nonstop, right? We coach a lot of hours and we know that these things, if you fix them, you're going to make you a better volleyball player. Ready to get into it. I'm ready. The first of our seven deadly sins for defense is called the Nostradamus syndrome.

Too many beach volleyball players think that reading is the same thing as guessing or when they guess they think that they're reading, right? Oh, he's going live in this town. I got him, I got him. No, you don't know the future and you don't know what's about to happen. I don't want you to feel like you can read somebody's mind based on what they're doing in the air. It's way better to hold your ground and then go where the ball tells you to go. Instead of trying to think where the other person wants to go, trust your feet, make sure that you're stable, use great footwork and you'll get a lot more touches on balls than if you keep trying to guess where something,

Oh Hey there. The next deadly sin is called pocket hands. Something that we see a lot and we are coaching is that players tend to play defense with their hands really close to their body or the impression that they have their hands in their pocket. When you do this, you are not only slowing down your reaction to make a dig, but you're also just not setting up your platform for an easy contact. What we want you to do is that you should obviously be in your athletic position, but then you should have your hands out in front of you. You're not want to allow these hands to come back or even be behind you while you're reading that attacker. Allow those hands to be out in front of you.

The third deadly sin is standing way too wide. If your feet are too far apart, you're not going to be able to run. You can't even move out of this. When you're playing defense. Make sure that your feet stay just outside your shoulders the entire time so that you stay balanced and feet stay you. Then you're going to have the ability to run, but if you get wide, a lot of times indoor players like to do this. Your feet are way outside your shoulders. You're going to get stuck. You're going to skid out and never chase down a shot. No splits.

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Deadly sin. Number four is called Flintstone feet.

It's taking too many steps. You're going to play beach volleyball defense. You need to know that you were a maximum of two steps and a lay down from any ball you can get to. Most of you are only one step in a lay down from any ball you can get to. If you're churning your feet and taking too many steps to get to the ball, you're never going to get there because you're going to spend a lot of time taking steps. You're not going to be getting anywhere real fast. How are you? Hi. I worked too hard, man. Too many steps. I'm working so hard. You only needed to, Oh man. It's so much more than that. When you're playing beach defense, make sure that your feet are just outside your shoulders and you don't take a lot of steps to go anywhere. You only need one crossover step of pushed up and a lay down. If you do this and you lift the front foot, you've taken two steps and you've gotten nowhere. Take a look. Two steps, and I've gotten nowhere. If I'm going this way, I'm not going to lift this foot. I'm just going to push off of that foot so it looks like this.

If I need to go the other way, it's my left. I'm not going to pick up my left foot until I've crossed over so it looks like this one. That's it. The fifth sin, we'd call it sideline syndrome. A lot of players decide that they want to cover the absolute perimeter of the court when we know that the majority of balls fall into the middle of the court, so if you're standing too close to one sideline or the other, your hands going to end up covering out of bounds or it's going to cover the extreme shots. If somebody wants to tag the last three feet of the court for the entire mat, you've got to give them a round of applause and say, congratulations, you played this match. Perfect. If you stand too far away from either sideline. In other words, if you're not centralized, you're going to be way too far away from the ball to dig a Highline or dig a cut shot, you need to be able to cover most of the court in one maximum two steps and a lay down.


Deadly sin number six is sticking to your call no matter what. Some examples that we can use that I guarantee every single one of you have seen is then we call them line and the setter sets a ball that traps the hitter inside almost to the point where they set them on the opposite side of the court and are blockers still standing by the line and 10 of for some reason it's okay to make adjustments even though you have called line. If that set puts the attacker in a position where align attack is not something that you need to be defending, then it's your job to make an adjustment and change your call. The reason that you are making a call is because you're trying to set yourself up for an opportunity to win a point. So if the other team does it fit within that mold of that opportunity that you can earn a point. It's your job to make a quick switch so that you can still find an opportunity. Don't get stuck doing something dumb.

The seventh and final deadly sin is only watching the ball. If you're only watching the ball and defense or you play beach volleyball like this and you're not looking at the players, you're not going to know where the ball is going to go. Bulk cannot dictate its own actions. It's only dictated by someone else, and if you're not looking at the person who's dictating that action, then you're not going to know where the ball is going to go. So get your eyes on the attackers because they are going to tell you where it's going. We're going to run a test right now. We're going to show you the same clip and I'm going to ask you to tell me which way this ball's going. You're going to tell me what you should look at running the same clip. You should be able to tell me where this ball's going. Hey, make sure you're watching the defender. Don't stare at the ball, the whole plate. You won't get the information that you need. Good volleyball players play the game like this.

Bad volleyball players play the game like this. Before you go, we want to tell you about an opportunity you have to get better right now. If you don't have a coach or if you're not at a place where you can train. We have online [email protected] so if you're interested in getting drills and advice that you can start implementing right now so that you can get better in your game, you need to head to [email protected] one of our most popular courses is our 60 day strength and conditioning course. It's 60 days to get you jumping higher, hitting harder and moving faster. You can look like that. This course is designed specifically for volleyball players and if you're looking for a training program, you've been wondering what to do so that you can jump higher, move faster and hit harder. This is the program for you. We're going to link it below.

Brandon's going to tell you about our memberships. We also have a couple of different memberships that we are offering starting off with a rookie membership that is for our beginners. If you feel like you're just trying to get introduced to this game, this rookie membership is not only gonna allow you opportunities to talk to coaches, but it's also gonna give you a brief glimpse into all different types of skills that you need to know to succeed at this sport. When you're starting out, make sure that you do this because one thing that is really tough on coaches is if you go out to the game and you don't know what you're doing, you develop a lot of bad habits and we want to make sure that you get rid of that and you don't slow your progression like you will if you try to learn on your own.

We also have a main draw membership, which is going to give you a more in depth vision of all of the skills that are covered in the rookie, except now we're going in depth and we're talking about system play. We're talking about technique. We're talking about how you can use those skills to win points. We also show you a lot of our practices that we run here in Hermosa beach, California. So if you're interested in seeing what it's like to run a two hour practice, every one of our practices gets filmed and they get added to better than Chicago.

What you want to go for is our free better at beach volley chat membership. In volley chat you can be connected to any beach volleyball player in the world and almost everybody has the same types of questions and on those forums, those questions have already been asked and they've already been answered. You can search by keyword and you can search by person and tag individuals. So if you want to be connected to us and talking to us regularly, better at beach volley chat forum is the best place to go. Check it out and we'll see you there.

Imagine yourself in a situation when you know something is coming at you and you still decide that you are going to stay in the exact same place and get hit.

I'm so sad. One thing that we like to stress on is that when you are setting up for your defense, you want to make sure that you are looking at the other side of the net and if you hold your hands out and you move your fingers, that's not okay. People start tickling balls. I get, I get excited.


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If you want to become a digging machine, keep reading. We are going to help you master all of the defensive positioning, mechanics, reading and tactics for defenders. All you have to do is sign up for our Beach Volleyball Mastery. We also show you the right positioning and movement for every type of defense. THEN, we’ll show you when to use different defensive play calls to beat certain types of players. You’re going to learn how to flat-out SHUT ATTACKERS DOWN!

Once inside the membership, you’ll be able to unlock “Ultimate Defender: Skills, Drills and Strategies for Defenders" along with 9 more skill courses AND our 60 Day At-Home Max Vertical Jump Training Program.

Once you sign up, you'll be able to watch the in-depth tutorials, film your “before” videos, start and film your at-home drills and begin posting to our Private Facebook Group. Then, our coaches will break down your mechanics and positioning at our weekly online meetings. Yes, that means we look at YOUR videos and we coach YOU!

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