It's a mental game, beach volleyball defense. Doesn't matter if you're playing in Hermosa Beach or Austin, Manhattan Beach or New York City, San Jose or the South Bay. It is, as a popular saying goes, "chess, not checkers."
Which is why we wanted to show you this video. Austrian Olympian Alex Huber is playing BetteratBeach founder and CEO Mark Burik at the p1440 event in San Jose, California.
One play, in particular, stood out to us.
Huber, a ninja of a beach volleyball defender, runs a four. If you're new to beach volleyball defense -- and no worries if you are! -- this means that he is going to show he's defending the angle, before breaking to the line. What Huber does, however, is incredibly advanced.
Many defenders in beach volleyball will juke in one direction, so that their opponents will think they're running to the line, but then they'll just stay in the cross. Sometimes they'll have some luck, and the opponent will hit a nice, easy ball into their lap. What Huber does here, because he's playing at such a high level and knows that the offense can see everything he is doing, is a double-juke. He intentionally shows that he is going to the line -- then he comes back and sits in the cross for a second. This misleads the hitter to thinking: "What a terrible early fake, I'm not going to fall for that. I'm still going to go for the high line!”
Then Huber runs down the high line. It's a tough concept to get, and a very advanced concept in beach volleyball defense.
He wanted his opponent to see this bad move to the line. He wanted you to know he was running a four -- and still get the dig.
We're all trying to play mind games with each other to see if we can bait our opponents into getting blocked or giving us an easy shot. This clip shows the aforementioned high level defense and super level vision work by Alexander Huber of Austria.
I hope you guys got something out of this. We do a lot more with video analysis and we also do in-person training camps. I hope you come out to one of them in Hermosa Beach California or if you want Mark to analyze your own video, go ahead and contact [email protected] or come out to our camp. We'll see you then until then hope you get better at beach!
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