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Three of the BEST ways shorter players can score MORE points

As much as we would all love to be Phil Dalhausser, or Oleg Stoyanovskiy, or Anders Mol, or Konstantin Semenov, or any of the other dozens of giants populating the FIVB Tour, we can’t. It’s just that simple. We can teach you a lot of skills here at Better at Beach.

Height is not one of them.

However, what we can teach you is this: The best ways shorter beach volleyball players can score more points.

And you know what’s awesome? It isn’t all that hard. It’s just different.

No, your highlights are not going to look like Troy Field’s, with bounces on the six foot line. But with these three tactics to score more points as a shorter volleyball player, you’ll be able to do something far sexier than bounce a ball: You’ll win more matches.

While on that topic, check out our full attacking course: Side out and win tournaments: The attacking master class

Siding out key No. 1: Vision

The first key to siding out is your ability to see the...

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What Separates a Good Volleyball Player from a GREAT Volleyball Player

Depending on your definition on what is and what is not a sport, there are two sports in the world in which there are two people on a team: doubles tennis, and beach volleyball. Now, to be clear, I am not taking a shot at the All-American Cornhole players, or the All-Star Darts team. If they’re sports to you, so be it, and in actuality, the point of this story remains the same: When playing a two-player sport such as beach volleyball or cornhole or tennis or darts, the answer to this question -- what separates a good volleyball player from a great volleyball player? -- is the same across all two-person sports. 

It’s a simple math equation, really: You are 50 percent of the team, your partner is 50 percent of the team. With that considered, it doesn’t much matter if you’re playing up to 100 percent of your capability as a player. Even if you’re at your peak, the team is still only at 50 percent of its potential peak.

What separates a good...

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AVP Coach Teaches Athlete the KEYS TO GREAT Footwork for Spiking a Volleyball

If anybody had watched me walk my dog – a 140-pound timber wolf-malamute mix named Sam – when I was living in Navarre Beach, Fla. in 2014, it’s more than possible they’d have thought me to be insane. I wouldn’t just walk Sam, you see. I’d practice my approach footwork for spiking a volleyball: left, right, left-right. Then I’d do it again and again, obsessively correcting my approach.

The first time I picked up a beach volleyball was just a few months earlier. A man named Judd Smith noticed that my approach footwork for spiking a volleyball was, as it is known in the beach volleyball world, goofy. I’m left-handed, and instead of the standard left, right, left-right approach, I was doing the opposite: right, left, right-left.

Judd told me to correct it, and so, to fix it, I’d simply walk Sam the Wolfdog while practicing my approach footwork for spiking a volleyball instead.

Approach footwork in beach volleyball is a small, nuanced...

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Volleyball Rules: What's legal (and what isn't) with hand setting

There is a great scene in the movie Rat Race, where the organizer of the race is going over the rules of a cross-country trek that will end at a locker filled with $2 million.

“The first one there keeps it all,” he says. “That’s it. Go. There’s only one rule. Are you ready? Here it is. There are no rules! Go!”

When it comes to hand setting in beach volleyball, it can sometimes feel that way. Does anybody really know what’s legal and what is not legal with hand-setting? Can anyone actually explain a double? Can a single person properly identify a lift? How do we know when a hit is hard-driven enough to take open-handed?

In many cases, particularly in player-reffed tournaments, rules are enforced on a “I know it when I see it” basis. Ask why they called a double, or a lift, and their explanation will be the supremely unhelpful “because it was a double (or lift).”

Watch enough beach volleyball on YouTube streams or...

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Volleyball Serving: IMPORTANT TIPS to Make Your Overhand Serve More Powerful

When Reid Priddy was first making his transition from indoor to the beach, he did so leaving no stone unturned. “Hacking the beach,” he called it, which is the shortform version of saying: Nearing 40 years old, he was going to find the most efficient and effective way to climb the ranks as fast as a human being possibly could.

He did just that, winning the Manhattan Beach Open in 2019.

If you were to watch his practices in those early days, they may have looked a bit unconventional to you. Many times, for an hour, he’d set up cones down the lines, creating alleys on the left and right side. And he’d serve and he’d serve and he’d serve.

“Serving,” he said at a practice one morning, “is our first and best line of defense.”  

You can have the biggest blocker in the world, the fastest defender on the planet. But when a team is consistently in system, the offense just has too many weapons, too much of an advantage, for the...

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AVP Coach teaches player the secret of spiking a volleyball hard

How to hit in beach volleyball is a complicated question to tackle. It involves quite a few steps, a whole mess of mechanics, timing, various skills, navigating nature’s elements, and jumping out of the sand to hit a ball floating in the air after bouncing off of someone else’s forearms.

All of that, and we haven’t even mentioned that there's a defender to avoid!

So, we’re going to break down how to spike a volleyball, one element at a time. Today’s element is this: Rotation.

If you want the full course on How to Fix Your Arm Swing, we've got you covered with the most-inclusive course out there!

Rotation is everything when it comes to generating power in a beach volleyball spike. While beach volleyball players do not actually ever throw a ball in a match, we do perform a throwing motion while we spike a volleyball.

Think of your favorite pitcher – Clayton Kershaw, perhaps, for the Dodgers fans among us? – or quarterback – Tom...

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Advanced Beach Volleyball Passing Concepts: Lift the ball

 

Whether someone is just learning how to play volleyball or has been playing for years, the most common question we get is "How high should I pass?'  In the sand volleyball world, this question can be answered many different ways, but the information below should give you all the answers you're looking for!  

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! We'd 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]

At every level in beach volleyball -- from BB to co-ed to the ball at your local bar to the...

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Beach Volleyball Training: Use This Game to Get Better at Peeling

 If you're interested in this blog on serving 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, 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]

 

Peeling off the net may be one of the most underappreciated skills in beach volleyball. Yes, we all love the monster block. We all love the swat block. They look fantastic, are huge momentum plays, and are the fastest ways to score points in a beach volleyball tournament. Staying...

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Beach Volleyball Drills: Scoring in Tough Situations

 

Today we've got a little transition setting and offensive decision-making drill to help your beach volleyball game.

We're going to show you what we did here on my side of the court. I'm coaching here, we have four zones - two zones in the sharp sidelines, and two zones in the deep corners. This is how I measure it out on the beach volleyball court.

Go to the deep corner of the court and take two giant steps along the sideline towards the net. Now, take one step into the court dragging your foot to make a line in the sand. Face the net again and drag your foot until you get to the volleyball net. You should have a big rectangle on the sideline that starts at the net and goes to about two thirds depth into the court. You should do the same thing on the other sideline. You'll be left with two rectangle zones along the sidelines that are about 20 feet long and 3 feet wide. These are your "sharp sideline" zones. 

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How to Spike Better and Use Spacing to Win More Points in Beach Volleyball: An In Depth Course on Offensive Design

 

Some players put in hours of work so they can control the ball. While we can't negate the value of that, tons of points are lost simply because their offensive game is not designed properly. A beach volleyball point should have an intentional shape and all of the best beach volleyball players work hard after the first touch to put themselves in a position that makes a great spike more likely. 

It's not only the setter's responsibility to put the hitter in a good position. Great attackers put themselves in a position after the pass where it's easy to set them a perfect ball -- and if you'd like the most effective, fastest way to become the best setter on the beach, give our setting course a try!

When you have great footwork, and you religiously create a great distance relationship between yourself, your hitter, and the volleyball net, it becomes more likely that you will score points.

I want you to take special notice, that none of what I...

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