Beach Volleyball Ball Control Drill: Chaos and Control

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Defense in beach volleyball is chaotic. It's tough. Things get a little weird out there on the beach, and it really doesn't matter what beach you're on, be it Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Huntington Beach -- wherever. Defense is wild. 
It's why we create drills that create chaos. Because defense is synonymous with chaos in beach volleyball. Sometimes you have to dig a ball with one hand. Sometimes with two hands. Sometimes you have to dig it with your hands, sometimes with your platform. Occasionally, you'll dig one with a chicken wing, an elbow, a knuckle, a chest. We're not afraid to dig it with our feet, either! 
To simulate the natural chaos of defense in beach volleyball, and how to adjust to it quickly, successfully, we created a drill we coined: Turn, react, transition. It simulates everything defense represents: Awkward movements to a reactionary dig, gathering your wits about you, and successfully putting a ball away in transition. 
Below, we explain the defensive drill. 

Beach volleyball defense: Turn, React, Transition!

When we're creating drills to mimic troublesome situations, we always like to make sure that our athletes are trying their very best. As coaches, we want to create situations that demand the most perfect play out of our athletes. We don't want our players to practice something poorly, so what we are going to do is to create a situation that is designed to break a play down, and our athlete will be the one recovering from that given situation. Follow through on this video and enjoy!

Transcript of the above beach volleyball video

When we're creating drills to mimic troublesome situations, I always like to make sure that the athletes are trying their best. So as a coach, I want to create situations that demand the most perfect plate out of their player. Instead of having them intentionally screw up something where they pass poorly intentionally or shank it on purpose.

I don't want my athletes to practice something poorly. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a situation that is designed to break a play down. And my player is supposed to be the one who's recovering from it. If me and AVP professional beach volleyball player Brandon Joyner are working together and we just have the two of us, he's going to face the back of the court and I'm going to bowl him a ball. I'll then yell "turn!" and his job is to react with only one hand.

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He's only allowed to use one hand. He can choose right or left, but he needs to make a one handed play and then pass me a perfect ball from there. I will attack him and he'll dig it, then I'll set it, but we create a little bit of chaos where they have to make a one-handed touch. Then we ask our defender or player to recover in a safe way that gets us back into rhythm. Let's see if we can do it.

This is an example that we're going to break the play. And we're going to ask a little bit more because if we're getting a first pass where we had to scramble, we want to make sure that that ball gets forward about six to five feet from the net. If you're playing and practicing, make sure that you're not just touching it, but you're delivering it perfect again. Brandon did a great job of having that awkward first contact that kept the ball alive, but then slowing himself down and lifting that pass, giving himself and me time to react. When you get rushed and freaked out, and you shoot balls -- don't do that. We want to have a long extended contact so that we turn chaos back.

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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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