Hey beachvolley fans and players! If you've come to this page, it means you are ready for a deep dive into how to win beach volleyball matches. Beach volleyball players from around the world send us their videos and we give them private lessons. Most private lessons for volleyball take place on the court but after a decade one tour, I know 100% that there are times when video lessons and film study can win you more points than actually continuing your physical practices.
In Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan beach, you can wake up any morning and see tons of pro practices, volleyball classes and lessons happening but what you don't see is the hours every top level player spends on their phones and computers watching their video. Every FIVB and AVP player tent is just a coffee shop full of tall people watching their previous match to check for strengths and weaknesses. We also study our opponents to find their tendencies.
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I hope you enjoy this 1 on 1 Beach Volleyball Video Analysis Session in where we teach Darius how to hit better in beach volleyball and how to block. We talk a lot about Side-out Consistency & Block Preparation, among other details of the game. I'd love to get to work with you on your game in the same way so if you like what you see, go ahead and sign up for your own!
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UNEDITED VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION:
Speaker 1: (00:00)
For me as siding out, it's just being able to put the ball away. And sometimes I just, a lot of it's passing. A lot of it's approaching, it's just getting in the right positions and it starts with my passing. It's just not consistent at all. So I want to, I want to, honestly, the biggest thing to get out of is just more side-out consistency because I certainly can sight out when I, that's what I'm going to good set. It's just how do I get there. Okay. And the other thing is I guess block block setup, I have some trouble deciding, do, I mean, I've seen a few setups for blocking, whether it's really quick jumps are guys who basically squat down to the ground set up and then jump straight up and I'm trying to figure out what the actual jumping technique yeah. Like just how to set up necessarily. Okay. Okay. All right. So a passing inside out and then a little bit of a, a look at the block. Yup. And this is an open, yeah. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Um, and then, uh, other players here, which one are you? Uh, the one back back left on the right side. I'm a right side player or something there. Okay. Back on the right side. Right there. Okay. In the orange, orange. Nice matching shorts.
Speaker 1: (01:14)
Okay. Um, so yeah, that sounds good. We can just sort of start looking at that. I'm wondering if there's any way that I can sort of zoom so he had a little bit closer to the core. No, that would be nice. Yeah, they probably shouldn't enter full screen float on. Hmm. No maybe no. You gotta keep zooming? Nope. Okay. That's fine. It would be nice to look closer, but we're good here. Alright, so you ready to rock? Yup. Alright. Uh, you probably can't see me anymore. I'm not sure if that's correct or can you only see the screen? No, I see both. Yeah, I see the screen. Okay, great. I can only see me, so we're fine. And what's your partner's name? Steve.
Speaker 1: (02:08)
So let's go to the beginning. All right, this is on a side switch. So this is your second. Um, probably your second set cause you sent me the other first video. Yeah, I think this was a two game set. All right. And we've got side wind blowing from the ocean. Yeah. Yep. Going from Lake Michigan. Yep. Okay. Oh sorry. Okay. He gets a look at you. So I'm actually on defense. This one. Nice. Hold that line a little bit. Yeah, that was a four block. Yeah. He takes a look at you like you can see him taking a look at you and you held maybe a little bit too early. You left. But luckily he took his eyes off you. Yeah. Right. Another block. Do you remember how long ago was this, do you know?
Speaker 2: (03:05)
A month ago.
Speaker 1: (03:06)
Okay. So you might remember what you were doing. Midpoint and things like that.
Speaker 2: (03:10)
I remember most of the blocks and I remember our setup for this one cause we play these guys so often.
Speaker 1: (03:16)
Uh, are you intentionally serving him short?
Speaker 2: (03:20)
Uh, we're just intentionally going back and forth deep and short on him. He usually gets tired kind of cause he's the blocker and he's a little bit older. So we usually kind of go ahead.
Speaker 1: (03:30)
Right. It's your first night out look. All right. So, um, first look, my first question is where is your favorite spot on the court to hit from? Well, let's say this, what's your favorite swing to hit? You know, if you, if you close your eyes and sort of imagine yourself at match point, uh, you know, for the championship in this tournament and you get served, what swing are you going for? You know, how nine out of 10 times, what swing do you imagine?
Speaker 2: (04:10)
Uh, in terms of getting points? My Highline is my go to shot. If I'm going to hit a hard spike, it's going to be seam or generally line.
Speaker 1: (04:19)
Well, which one do you go for? Highline or steam? Highline. That's fine. All right. So opening that up means that you should be, probably, you can hit a little bit wider. That way you can hold somebody on a sharp cut shot. Right. I think a wide approach is pretty good for that. What I see here right now is that they served you just a little bit outside and then you kept going outside. And if we have side wind, uh, coming in from the Lake there, this set has a decent chance of falling in on your left shoulder. I think that's a pretty excellent set. Like you got it to your right shoulder. Um, but since you got, you're outside there, and again this is just the first point. Um, so you're outside there and now he's pushing the ball into the wind instead of making it a little bit easier for him to create a little bit more of an up and down set. Um, but we'll talk about more about what type of sets you like cause some people like it a little bit more.
Speaker 2: (05:21)
I usually don't, my biggest thing lately has been setting up in middle and attacking right side from almost right behind him so I can leave a lot of room for my right arm.
Speaker 1: (05:29)
Okay. Okay. So that being said, you didn't do that on the first point? Not at all. Okay. We'll take a look. All right. Tough pass. But why is it a tough task? [inaudible] little bit of a jump there.
Speaker 2: (05:50)
I do that all the time and I don't know why
Speaker 1: (05:54)
it's tough. You know, like that motion, they're a soft serve. It looks to me to be, that's fairly unnecessary, right? You just needed to touch that ball with a three inch movement of your arms and your whole body, lips and both feet come in the air after this. Look at that. See that? Yeah. So I, you know, ideally perfection, we're looking for something a little bit more stable. Um, we get that and that's, you know, creates a little bit of an extra, an extra push on a soft serve. So stability is going to be key for passing. And you know, if we can't pass, we're just not going to side out period. Okay. This one, you took this little jab step in. We'll pull away on this pass. All right, so first you looks at your passes a little bit, a little bit jumpy.
Speaker 2: (06:52)
Speaker 1: (06:53)
Not crazy, but you can see that sort of stand and pull away sticking in and uh, like, like my coach says, enjoying the past, really hugging it and sitting there,
Speaker 2: (07:08)
I kind of pushed that in front of him and made him kind of bring it back.
Speaker 1: (07:15)
Yeah. Pushed him over a little bit, but you almost stepped inside the right move here would be to take a giant side shuffle, uh, to your left since you lacked that over. Um, or since you brought that Passover, this, this is just a really good opportunity to jump over and then come in on a straight line. But what you do here is you come in at an angle, you see this sort of take that giant step towards him and towards the net rather than relining yourself up. I'm going to say though, he's doing a really good job. Steve is his name. Yeah. Yeah. He's doing a really good job of finding your right arm. Like these are good sets.
Speaker 2: (07:58)
Yeah. We practice a lot of me passing and him settings just cause I get served so much so you can see he's pretty good at it.
Speaker 1: (08:07)
Okay, good step close. Yeah, right arm, middle ball. Good choice.
Speaker 2: (08:12)
So one question there, just about arms swing, and this is probably for another time, but most of my swings when I watched my video, there's no real arms when I lift up and I just go through, I don't ever pull and
Speaker 1: (08:25)
I want to see what you're doing. Okay. Show me. Show me your emotion on your camera.
Speaker 2: (08:30)
I've watched myself and I just lift up and it's just like a lift up and swing through. It's, I don't pull and lead my elbow or anything. I just lift. And two by four
Speaker 1: (08:41)
kind of sloppy. Why do you think that happens?
Speaker 2: (08:45)
Well, I guess I've never really practiced a good swing, so it's, this is just kind of naturally how it developed, honestly. And I never really thought about it until recently.
Speaker 1: (08:53)
Okay. How long have you been playing? Seven years. And the indoor training at all? Basically all beach, a little bit of indoor just for fun, but I really don't play much in anymore. Okay. Yeah. So, you know, indoor, like when you get the opportunity to be coached a lot, you're taking hundreds, hundreds of swings of practice a lot of times when like a, you know, I see it even even with my roommate, he moved to California and he's gotten coached maybe four times since he's been here, which to me, looking back on my career is just a huge mistake. Um, spending time not knowing where your errors are and not fixing them. There is something to be said of course, for playing as much as possible. Right. I mean like, yeah, you're going to get experience. But once you've experienced all of those points that you lost, did you go back after that practice and every point you lost, you worked on that exact point for 50 repetitions until you figured out how to do it.
Speaker 1: (10:00)
Yeah. So I see that frequently where people just kind of struggle by playing instead of fixing things because the next time you see that one error, you know, that same exact play is going to happen a hundred points later. Sure does. I lived the same life on a lot of these places. Okay. Mmm. So yeah, that, that might be like, it's something where we can record in the gym or something in slow motion and that would be a good good way to video it would be from the side. Got it. Definitely a closer camera angle. Okay. Alright. So you got locked in here, hits it good peel hands are high. Okay. We're stable. Probably no time to hit gave that away. Right.
Speaker 1: (10:56)
Soft jump leaning back at this point. I, you know, right here, me as a defender, I'm saying there's no hit, there's no hit opportunity because you're arching back, you're looking at the ball like this. So for you to bring any heat is going to be super difficult, huh? Yeah, it did get underneath that one. Yep. Right. And kind of like a little slow approach. Part of that is once you dug this, yeah. Got locked in there and he stayed so you didn't get a full approach again, you know, uh, you're now, you're only sitting here on like a two step approach. Uh, maybe a three step one, two, three but little bit softer jump. Don't have your full runway. And all of a sudden right here, boom, whew. The jaw flies up, your back leans back. So I can relax as a defender and I know I'm in chase mode. Uh, this blocker at this point should be peeling. As soon as he sees your back arching like that on that jump, that's an opportunity for him to appeal. Because if you know somebody shooting, you shouldn't be blocking, you know, that's, that's your opportunity
Speaker 2: (12:08)
and the solution is to wait longer or
Speaker 1: (12:12)
longer. Um, it would be ideal if you had more space after this date right here. So you did get your fall and you never, you never hop backwards. You never know. Stablish some space. Yeah. Make this big boom now jump back right instead of sitting there. Yeah, that makes sense. They get pushed back. You had that little instant like that half a second to take a, just a, just a big jab, step back and uh, it could have giving you a little bit more runway and given your set or a little bit more room to lead you.
Speaker 2: (12:49)
That makes sense. I remember when I was out there, you kept telling me to wait to when I was approaching cause I kept getting underneath everything and just getting there way too early.
Speaker 1: (12:57)
Speaker 2: (13:06)
So that's another four block.
Speaker 1: (13:08)
Okay. The vendor's leaving early. You see that?
Speaker 2: (13:14)
He usually does. Yeah. Cause I can hear them. The problem is is when I run a lot of fours and I hear them yelling angle before I jump, I know something's wrong.
Speaker 1: (13:23)
Yeah. So right there too early. No. Got it. It's so hard for a true four. You gotta you have to wait until contact. No, that's the end. You, you're committing to take off on contact, but you just got to wait for it. And it's, it's a, it's a really hard thing to do and everybody wants to leave on the jump just like he's doing right here. But his peripherals are definitely still paying attention to what's forward.
Speaker 2: (13:52)
Yup. I usually leave once they look at me, but you're saying wait until the actual contact. I usually wait until they see me and then I leave.
Speaker 1: (13:59)
Uh, we'll make sure they are completely done seeing you, you know, and that includes not just when they're staring at you, but also when their eyes are tracking up. There's still a sense in front of them of where the court is. Sure. That's true. So like on the way up, people are still kind of feeling movement in front of them, but right
Speaker 1: (14:25)
now is about when his eyes are gone. Yup. Hopefully. Okay. And since he's leaning back too, he kinda did this slow, soft approach. It looks to me if we look at it in fast motion yeah. That you got appeal on that. Like if we see this speed coming in and then he gets under the ball and jumps, it takes that little jump back. You can see it looking at March back. Do that. Yeah. That's, it's almost not worth jumping at that point. And since it's a shot, uh, since you can, you can see that shot on that timing. You can, you can block, but you're not huge. But the timing though, you would have to jump almost on contact.
Speaker 2: (15:21)
Yeah. And have to wait.
Speaker 1: (15:22)
Yeah. Cause you know that he's jumping. Okay. Shot just a little bit later or appeal for sure. Um, and maybe hopefully you know him, but if he's shooting more than he's hitting and then you have to throw some pills in there.
Speaker 2: (15:37)
Speaker 1: (15:39)
Okay. Here's a good look at the side out. Oh darn it. I was hoping you made that.
Speaker 2: (15:46)
Yeah, I find that I have hard time peeling sometimes on threes and forest calls for whatever reason. I just, I feel like I almost have to stay and do something fantastic, you know, really dive in and throw a ketchup back at someone or something.
Speaker 1: (15:59)
Yeah. Um, there'll be a time for that. Uh, but if they, if you see that there, remember that the play calls, it's, it's always ball first, right? You're getting a read first and then if they're in a good situation, that's when you stick to that play call. And that's, that's probably one of the hardest parts about being a blocker in and a defender actually, is that, uh, you should be ball first. Being able to steal and take anything that's close to the net and smother it. And then once they're at about three or four feet and they're in system, that's when your, your actual block call it comes into play. Nope. But if they're tighter than that, you're grabbing it. Um, and some people, you know, there'll be a 50, 50 set and somebody still runs a four when you could have just grabbed it. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (16:50)
Completely. I do that sometimes thinking I'm going to really surprise them and I should have just stuck my hand over and smothered it.
Speaker 1: (17:01)
Mans are a little bit late. That's not terrible. That's good. Nice. I'd like to see your hands definitely a lot wider here. See how close there?
Speaker 2: (17:11)
Yeah. I was watching your video that you just posted about having them about shoulder a little wider and shoulder and mine are a little closer.
Speaker 1: (17:19)
That's for now. That's all right. All right. Let's see where your hands are. I don't like that you had to approach into your jump because now you don't have your distancing. See that?
Speaker 2: (17:30)
Yeah, that's, that's kinda what I was asking about. Like kind of the setup.
Speaker 1: (17:33)
Yeah. Um, so here's the best thing that you can do is, let me see if I can see you again. When you're at the net, just hold your elbow right in front of you and then since your feet so that the elbow is the net's elbow distance. And then throughout the point you're just shuffling along that line. That's gotta be a tight rope, maybe a foot and a foot and a half, maybe a foot from the neck. Your feet are on that tight rope and you're shuffling throughout the whole place. There's a, there's a few videos of long rallies between like Phil and uh, and Alison and you see them doing such strict shuffle work, never playing with their distance from the neck, but always along the neck. And that way your distancing always stays the same so that you can measure your penetration. That makes complete sense. Yeah. So, um, we can move on from there, but definitely like this sort of approach jump here, that's going to be really tough to measure where you are from the net and then there's a big chance that now you're going to be drifting towards the net and then as you drift towards the net, then you can't, you don't want a net, so you naturally reach up and then you're not penetrating, et cetera. Makes sense.
Speaker 1: (18:51)
Okay. Right. Let's excellent. Okay. Not serving you. Not bad. I think you can be a little stricter on your square up for sets, right? Nope. Instead of leaning like that with the angle, um, more consistency over time, you know, you want to be facing facing them. But if you see somebody with the opportunity to take a foul shot in basketball, they're never angling themselves off to the side. So they score on your targeting will be better as much as you can do that. We went over that a lot, right? It's just you gotta get strict with it in the moment and you take that extra little bit of rush to make sure that it's perfect. Alright. So let's see. Let's see your movement along the net here.
Speaker 1: (19:46)
Yeah. So see how much you're distancing changes throughout the point. No, I'm going to watch it. Okay. So you're kind of far from the net. You get closer there, sideways there and now forward, forward, forward, and then it jumped. So that distancing is going to screw up with your ability to take angles over time, just because your penetration will be a little bit different every time. And since you're floating to or from the net, um, it's really hard to get your hands in a consistent, consistent place. So my recommendation is after we're done here, just keep watching the big blockers and how they move along the net. Uh, I like to say that it's a one way switch for blockers. They never say, am I going off or am I going on? That's not a question they ask. Right. It's not a two part question. It's, I'm on.
Speaker 2: (20:55)
Hmm. That, that completely makes sense.
Speaker 1: (20:58)
So you never sit in that middle ground thinking, Hm, I could block her. I could not. It's, I'm blocking, I'm blocking. I'm walking. No, I'm not. You know, that's, that's the only switch. You only have a kill switch. You don't have an on switch because it's automatically,
Speaker 2: (21:12)
okay. That brings up a question then. So kind of the way I've been taught to block, which may maybe right or wrong, but tell me is to kind of be the step close method. Kind of like having one foot off ready to turn and PO and then closing that foot and jumping as opposed to what you're saying I think is always kind of have my feet parallel and right next to each other ready to block.
Speaker 1: (21:33)
Uh, if you watch the world tour men play it.
Speaker 2: (21:38)
Yeah. It's always shuffling.
Speaker 1: (21:40)
Nobody is waiting in that half loaded position with everything off because they're going to be blocking the large majority of time. If you watch women play, more of them are using this loaded sort of half off position where they're not facing the net, you know, we're going to be appealing so much more frequently. Yeah. Women aren't winning a ton of matches on block points. But when you have a guy like Phil who can get two points, something blocks per set, sometimes three or four, you know, if he's, if he's firing, that becomes a big difference maker in the match. So, um, we're appealing. And in this case you have to also measure who you're playing. If you're playing against smaller guys or weaker hitters, you got to think mismatch. I'm going to be appealing a lot more then I'm going to be staying. You know, so you stay in that open position because you're just, you're just ready. You want to be ready or appeal. Um, but if you know that you're facing guys who can put balls away, surely consistently, and you have to stay in block because of that, more often you gotta be in that held position so that your lineups are really solid.
Speaker 2: (22:53)
That makes complete sense. Again, it's the better teams to actually be committed to blocking it. And mentally I am thinking I'm blocking this game a lot more than I will be against the worst teams or the smaller teams, whatever you want to call it. So that's, I never thought about it positioning wise. So that's, that's good. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (23:08)
So um, would that like I was sort of, I heard the same things that you heard probably earlier in my career and then I started to watch all of the players and there's one time when they sit in that sort of open position and it's when they see a setter super struggling like set or sprinting off the back line of the court and it doesn't look like they're about to get set. And then you see somebody kind of like one hand up to the net and they're ready. Yeah. But when everything else is in system, they were staying and getting it perfect lineup by shuffling and staying or in particular to the met.
Speaker 2: (23:47)
Speaker 1: (23:51)
Yeah. So it looks, I don't have a side view, but to me it looks like your starting position here is a little far from the net.
Speaker 2: (23:57)
Yeah, I am kind of hanging back. I think waiting for a two ball or something.
Speaker 1: (24:01)
Okay. Yay. Is that our point? Good, right. Don't know what we're blocking. We'll see. Yeah, forward, back, forward, back. Now I'm approaching to the net. Now your left hip is further away from the net than your right hip, which means either you're going to rotate too far or your left hand is going to stay on penetrated. That's a word. Okay. Kind of a twisting block. Good job getting both hands there where you feel like you can grab it. But if you see that they're this little, um, the feet aren't even now you're having this rotating block. All right. That's going to be, Oh and you net it because of it.
Speaker 2: (24:44)
Yeah. That you don't how many times? Um, I feel like I'm in the air and I'm turning and so one hand gets in and the other hands kind of drifting off or coming behind me and I realize I'm rotating at some point when I'm doing this close stuff. So maybe that's causing me more trouble than it's helping.
Speaker 1: (25:02)
I would say that that would cause a lot of nets and not knowing how far you are consistently from the net because of the forward and backwards movement and um, especially if you're now rotating because one foot is further back than the other. That's going to cause all sorts of those little micro movements on the net that will eventually lead to nets. And if you're rotating like this, you know, you jumped from your left hip back and then you turn like and you jumped forward. So you're rotating and jumping forward the, that's probably going to cause you a lot of nets.
Speaker 2: (25:37)
So just stable blocking position writing this down
Speaker 1: (25:41)
and then you do that sort of the will Smith movie cannot stop it.
Speaker 2: (25:48)
You know, we had a few games I think this year, last year where we were. For me blocking, I kind of just practice taking, I don't want to say taking ball but pretty much taking ball, just getting both hands around it and just committing in those games. Although they didn't feel as cerebral, they worked out I think a lot better in terms of blocking because I got a lot of just just touches and good touches. It wasn't so much me trying to jump in or to surprise someone or should I feel it was more like I'm going to commit to everything that's not, you know, on edible.
Speaker 1: (26:16)
It's funny that you said it didn't feel as cerebral cause uh, two years ago, like I had probably my best season, I'm playing with Kurt topple and we kept having to, both of us kept having to remind him big and dumb big. And I'm like, don't see things and think that you have to change. Don't try to guess and anticipate what's happening. Just
Speaker 1: (26:44)
face like get in front of them and then take up space and like he was so stable and got so big on so many blocks and I had such clear windows because it's huge. You know, he jumps high and he's 69. So like all I needed was a stable window and I was getting a lot more digs. But every time he would wave his hands are kind of guests. It left me a little bit more helpless. Um, I believe it. So the big and dumb theory and just staying there, that that gets you 98% of the way. Mmm. And did this situation here where you have to go and grab it. Okay. That, that's, that's a good choice, but not guessing when they're in system or not thinking, Oh, I think they're going cost. And then it's, do they have to go cross right now? Okay. They have to now I'll put my hands there. Yeah. I think they, you're going cross, but they have other options.
Speaker 1: (27:47)
Enjoy it. Yay in there. That's a golf swing. It's a lefty golf swing. Yeah. Okay. And they did stand way up into it too. I mean, I don't know if that's the right way or not, but yeah. I mean B players do stand afterwards, but I mean, you can tell that this movement here that looks so bad and any unnecessary movement, um, if we don't catch it early, every unnecessary movement is just gonna play with your ability to be consistent. Yeah. Let's see. We do the same. Okay. Two feet in the air on the past again. Yeah. Maybe one foot in the air, but you can see the jump motion. Well we want to try to like get there rock solid and hold rocks out. Good swim. Um, and that's something that you can practice and like see, just for warm ups, instead of peppering having your partners in three quarters on the other side of the net, sir, receive 10 to 15 balls. See how solid you can have your feet in the ground and how like you can just stay in the past and not have to flow and throw extra movements. Or like if you've noticed one foot sliding or coming out of the ground, force it to stay in, especially in warmups.
Speaker 1: (29:12)
That'll help to actually think about it. Yeah, that's definitely cerebral cause you want to move, you want to move with the ball instead of being a solid board for it. Um, your arms swings. Not bad man. You know, you're, you're throwing it. There's a little chest rotation in there, which is great. I'd like to see your left hand get up a little bit higher on that one. But, uh, I don't see this kind of paddle slapping that you're, that you're talking about. That was a better one. That wasn't, that was one of my
Speaker 2: (29:42)
better ones. When they're in the right spot I can do it, but a lot of times it just evolves.
Speaker 1: (29:46)
Okay. Uh, this is, this is really lucky as far as the block goes. Uh, the blocker, the hitter blew past, right. So if he wants to go across here, if you have a hitter there, um, and this depends on the strategy that you had during this match, but if you had somebody who could swing there, they have an open net cross unaffected, unobstructed open net and you know, against the big hitter, your, your glasses are going to get knocked off. They're so super wide and really just guessed and threw his arms up there. That's, that's not really a read I don't think. I don't think so. Yeah. And it's not going to work out over time cause he's nowhere near the hitter's line of approach. And this hitter because he's a shooter. Yeah. Yeah. I mean he's taken super long looks. So I, after seeing just the first, whatever we had 14 points here, I would be peeling on this guy until he legitimately proved that he could put it away and I would do late peels to get him nervous and make him think that you're there and then run away so that if he feels you gone late, then he's going to tighten up and pull it into the net, et cetera.
Speaker 1: (31:06)
Yeah. You don't want to leave. You don't want to like let most men know that you're not blocking. Mmm. Before they jump or on their jump, you gotta leap after the jump. And w we could talk about how you, how you can squat into that a little bit later. Okay. Tomahawk and serve. Receive as a no-no. We know that. Right? Move your feet, get your platform on it. You should Tomahawk has served. Receive one out of every seven, 800 balls maybe. Maybe.
Speaker 2: (31:36)
So the right move there is to basically step back and swivel.
Speaker 1: (31:40)
Yup. Yeah. You take it a little drop. Step move. So you open your chest, so like you can, you can really see my feet, but if we open and then have this platform, right, because we'll still have all of this to pass the ball instead of just this tiny area. Yeah. And some people don't think it's lazy, they just think it's controlled and efficient. Uh, but when you're having a smaller platform versus a big one, and if all I have to do is serve high and deep to take away your number one control weapon, then I've won the first battle like I've already won because I've taken away your best control weapon just by serving high and deep. Right. But over time that's going to play intimate. It might not work in one point, it might not work in two, but statistically I'll be ended advantage as opposed to use your platform. So if I notice that I can get somebody to Tomahawk and serve, receive, I will go hide deep all day. Yeah, insights it. Okay. So it looked to me like you were expecting that set outside, right? You notice that you're taking that wider approach, you're going outside out, slightly, stepped in there. Now you take that inside step. Now you took it outside and that ball got inside over your left ear and once you get that left ear set, you get lower, you get shorter immediately.
Speaker 1: (33:19)
So you moved away from him. And this is the first time, you know, we saw him set you inside a little bit, but you guys got to meet somewhere in the middle where you're, you're staying closer so you can run a little bit more of an up and down steps towards your center as a right sider and it'll be easier.
Speaker 2: (33:38)
Speaker 1: (33:41)
All right. We should see. Good squeeze man. That's, I mean that's stable, right? Holding those arms. No throw. That's nice.
Speaker 2: (33:51)
Setting bumps. Setting feels good for me. I feel like I set him pretty well, but he passes me well usually. So
Speaker 1: (33:58)
you got a good approach coming in. Hard. See, this is, this is what you never want and this year this is just kind of amateurish blocking. He, um, he's nowhere near this guy's lineup approach. Steve's lineup approach. You know, and he leaves now the Steve's got, yeah. Step close plus half of a step to know that there's no blocker.
Speaker 2: (34:25)
I think I got like four, you know, one calls out on this one too.
Speaker 1: (34:29)
They just can't leave that early. That's a great swing. Leaving that early as is just a huge error. If you have somebody who can bring it with some pace. Yup. Okay. Yeah. You got to know now that he's shooting, right? Yeah. Leave, get out of there. Like he's under the ball. He's taken a long look in a, in a transition, Seth. Yeah. He's not going to get a good piece of this consistently long looks that coming from behind him. Shot shot enough. All right. That's not a hit. So we should be stable. We should be field. And you got a little bit off balance there.
Speaker 2: (35:18)
Yeah. It happens to me often. This off block.
Speaker 1: (35:22)
Yeah. Well you're approaching to the minute you see this one step closer, internet, two step closer. Net three steps closer net. So yeah, you're approaching at the net rather than staying along it and blocking. Nice. Well, a question. If,
Speaker 2: (35:37)
uh, you know, so I'm always trying to split the blocker and the center for the most part, watch the two ball, whatnot. If I'm, if I find myself not in a great position, what's the better choice between adjusting like a hopping or turning shuffling or just squatting down right where I am jumping into my block and ergo jumping straight up and taking what I can. Where is that situational?
Speaker 1: (36:03)
Yeah. Well kind of, kind of the quick answer is like practice shuffling and taking those tiny little shuffle steps and then being able to press consistently. You know, being able to do that. Footwork, being able to take step, shuffle jumps straight step shuffled, jump straight instead of step, shuffle fading. Is that shovel fading? Right. That's what happens to a lot of blockers is that they don't have the ability to stop the sideways movement and then press straight up and straight forward. Um, that's a big one. If you get caught and you're going super wide and super fast and you need to make like a swing block move, a little crossover, there will be rare time for that. But that's, that should only be if you're facing Poland or, or maybe heightened, you know, constant onto threats and then firing balls across. But uh, if you're, if you're not prepared to make those shuffle moves and these guys aren't firing two balls to three balls, uh, it's just all on your shuffle steps and being prepared for it.
Speaker 2: (37:14)
Got it. I'm going to, I'm making a note to practice, just shuffle stepping across the that and just getting down and up. Straight up. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (37:20)
It's so hard. And all you really need to do is have somebody point and you do it at full speed, right? You just hold there and they point to the sign and you step shuffle and jump straight and then take a look at your footprints and say like, man, you still jumping sideways. Like that's where I left from. This is where I landed. Um, so you had your own checkpoints because of the footprints in the sand and that's, that's all seasoned stuff to you. You don't even need a ball for that. You know that stuff. You get them as warmup, that's fine. Right.
Speaker 1: (37:59)
Okay. Yeah. Sort of seeing the same thing. Super close hands, not taking away a ton of area. You know this, this is a small window behind you this because nobody is trying to hit it your face and they hitters feel body mass. They don't really feel individual hands very often need to be at a really high level to feel individual hands versus body mass and if you're blocking inside your body mass you're blocking the exact point where nobody wants to hit anyway. So you want to get hit in the head like well doll Hauser gets hit in the head so much because it's positioning is so perfect. Right.
Speaker 2: (38:39)
Well I've seen it. I've seen it. Yeah I remember watching your video. Nobody's should be hitting it. It's the center of your body mass. If they know what they're doing. Right
Speaker 1: (38:49)
was done. It was a few people. I actually got beat on somebody that everybody knows that he won't move his hands lineups perfect and he stays wide and people just kept hitting at his head. The players that knew him really well and they were like okay, make a small change now. Like cause going to make this adjustment. All right, good pass. Stayed kind of wide. See this outside step, you take that wide step first. So if I were, if I were looking at just this move, I'd be like, he wants his set out here.
Speaker 2: (39:25)
Speaker 1: (39:26)
But that's not what's happening. So you're taking an extra wide step first. Why then that's inside. So we're in trouble already. Oh they have to peel. Okay.
Speaker 2: (39:36)
This, this is how a lot of my cyto games go. I'll kind of get peeled on until I get in a rhythm, start hitting hard and then I'll get them back. And then it's just a game of how well am I approaching and can I make them stay
Speaker 1: (39:47)
okay. I don't think there's anything terribly wrong with that. Um, but this is an inside set. They have to appeal and at this point, and maybe this guy can lead it, this guy should not be jumping at this point, right? Because you're here sets inside and you're already contacting the ball. Forget it. Leave service. Okay. How fast do we get up? Not in time, right?
Speaker 2: (40:22)
Time to block a two ball,
Speaker 1: (40:25)
right. If you're going to serve, you better be there with big powerful steps and be able to touch the net before the set stuff to do. Um, and it's not always a hundred percent possible, but you definitely have to be there.
Speaker 2: (40:43)
Yeah. Sometimes I just kind of take my time a lot lead up to the net and it's not that I can't get there, it's just I'm kind of just conserving or whatnot. Yeah. That's important to just think to be aggressive on even the runup
Speaker 1: (40:55)
and you know, that'll pay off. Like if I see an open net here, if I have a good pass and you're nowhere near, I'm going on to, I mean me and Ian, we were going on to a lot this year. Mmm. Because even onto situations like timing is screwed up cause you don't know if you should block. And then if I just snap and jump like it's a broken block anyway because people aren't set up enough even on the products. Like they're not really set up enough and the timing is different. So it's hard to be an established blocker in a good position on too. Yeah. My other little critique here is that you served this person and ran right at, now you go protect the center. Now you come back to the header. Yeah. Like your path should aim between them immediately. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (41:47)
Just like that, right? Yes. It was a small set. Nice, easy, gotcha. What we call a low quicker set. So that was the tempo set. Yeah. Yeah. So you are leaving yourself just a little bit exposed. If there's, if I saw this kind of soft standing float serve my call at this point, once I see you serving right in my wheelhouse, that's, you know, you serve one step away from me. Didn't make me struggle to align. Mmm. Well see if I can, hopefully nobody watches, no one in the AVP will watch this video far enough. So like I would call Ian, even though he knows that I'm taking a ball, I choose him because I'm setting him at this point.
Speaker 1: (43:00)
Well served to me. You haven't really gotten to the neck consistently. It's in my lap and on, but not struggling to receive this. I'm going, Ian, I'm passing exactly where he passed. And Ian at this point should have an open net this path right here. So and, and you're in his angle and the whole angle still open, right? The only up. So that would be my method, uh, to sort of make this easy on my team. I would just like, they don't do, we don't need to deal with this ball. Totally. I see it. Make sure that first attacker is, the center feet are kind of squirrely, right? They're sort of inside kind of a weird step plant here. You're in a lunge position almost. You see that? No. Right leg is bent. Now we stay up. Okay. I'm so late at this point. Yeah. Even the block of shop. Yeah. My hands weren't together. I think I would actually add a piece of it maybe, but, uh, we haven't seen this guy hit yet and we're still walking. This is one 25 points in, into this video. Mmm. He hasn't hit a hard ball. He hasn't hit anything in the front three quarters. And we're, we're still walking. So to me that shows like, all right, we should be, we should be peeling really consistently on him if we're going to make it easy on ourselves. Yeah, that's fair.
Speaker 1: (44:40)
And then if he does bang on you, okay. But it was obvious that his most comfortable shot is a shot, not a swing, which we know it. So you put that in your pocket for when you need it. Mmm. Or you can, you can do it two ways, but any pocket for when you need it. Like let them have it three times. So he's really comfortable with it. Play out the rest. And then at like 18, 18, 18, 19 when, you know, he's feeling a little bit of pressure, I know where he's most comfortable. Now I'm going to try to bait them into it. I'm gonna try to make him hit that shot, leave super late and pick that ball up. Or you can just make him suffer through the entire match being uncomfortable. I'm hitting the shot. That is not his favorite. Like, Oh, he's taking that shot away.
Speaker 1: (45:28)
So leaving your defender here in this, in this corner. Um, that's another way to make that guy struggle, is taking away his, his favorite shot that you know, is his favorite shot and it's been his favorite shot for 20 years in grand Haven. You know, and then, and then make him have to do other things to score points. No, completely. So two options there. Depends who you are and what you gotta do to decide what's better. No, it looks like this blocker is again, nowhere near the right shoulder of the, of your attacker of Steve.
Speaker 1: (46:04)
Yeah. He's effecting a very small part of the court and very rare. Yeah. All right. It's been about 50 minutes. So like I said, you know, sometimes, sometimes we can get through a couple of videos, but that was a, what was that? Oh, that was a 12 minute video through 45 minutes. Mmm, no, that's good. So there's some little notes in there. And I think the number one thing that we saw was getting yourself to the same distance from the net for entire points and just making sure that you're not going forward and back, making sure that you're shuffling along the net and keeping that same distance, you know, draw that line in the sand exactly this distance from the net and then be able to shuffle and move quickly along that line without seeing your feet go forward and back. And then you can do that and you can take, so here's one kind of drill that you can use pretty easily.
Speaker 1: (47:07)
Um, you can do, so if you were facing me, you're facing me right now and you're in a block position, so you're held there, I would say up, in which case you have to jump straight up. I would tell her right shoulder, in which case you had to do a step shuffle over, right? Or a little side hop over where you make like a foot a half move or I would point. And that makes it a big step, right? That means a big step shuffle. And then Joe. So this means a little side hop and press. This means a little side hop and press. This means step shop or sorry, this means step shuffle like big. So you get three or four feet and press. That means step shuffle. That way I'm dressing and up, just being straight up. And like I said, you can do that in the gym, uh, against the wall. You can do that, uh, on a net on the beach. But the key is making sure that thing the same distance from the net and not, but playing with that and that you're not fading so that you can land in the same spot that you jumped from after that side.
Speaker 2: (48:14)
Okay. Yeah, we'll do that. It's kind of like a reaction to having somebody on the other side of the net telling me that. So I'm reacting to them.
Speaker 1: (48:21)
Yeah, it would be sweet if you had like, you know, five guys that were each holding a ball and like one of them tossed and you made the move to them so that you blocked. If you're training with maybe three other guys and you say, guys, you know, get three other blockers and you say, guys, let's just work on blocking today. I want to do this drill for 45 minutes. I know a really good one. Um, does anybody want to go and block? No. And then you could have three guys each on garbage cans or painters, benches, and then one of them tosses. You make a move to them.
Speaker 2: (48:52)
Yeah. Got it. Okay. That makes sense. The other two big things I wrote down that you said just to confirm, so stability when I'm passing, so I'm going to kind of do that drill you said or, or instead of peppering, just kind of make sure planted when I'm passing just 10 1520 in a row so I can really feel planted in the ground.
Speaker 1: (49:11)
Speaker 2: (49:11)
And then I think you also kind of said stay in the middle and I'm approaching from the right side, kind of not stepping outside first and then coming in.
Speaker 1: (49:19)
Yeah. Yeah. Maybe a little bit easier. I think. I thought Steve did a really good job of finding your right arm really consistently, but I think most people want to have more of an up and down sets to see if he can move to him more consistently and not get just stuck in the momentum or in the spot. Is that the server serve you in? That's how we design serve strategy is if I take him, if I serve from the middle and serve him short sideline, I'm hoping that he gets stuck or continues that momentum out there because that's where I want him to be. You know? So if people are kind of, maybe they're not thinking that in depth, but if your where you start your approach from is heavily affected by where they serve too.
Speaker 2: (50:05)
It really is. Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. I'll, I'm going to keep that in mind too. If you don't think I should be passing more straight in front of me though, just adjusting more to my past as it is.
Speaker 1: (50:18)
If you get served outside, still try to pass, you know, one step on your side of middle. If he gets served right in your midline, keep it one step on your side of middle. If you get served into the middle where they forced you to move over, then that passing target moves over as much as you got moved over. Okay. So that if you're here, you're set or never has to run across you to set,
Speaker 3: (50:46)
Speaker 1: (50:46)
Their job was wider with you and now like your center is different. So the rule is like always off of your insight. But
Speaker 2: (50:55)
that's a good rule. Yeah, I'm writing that down. That's a good one. I've never thought of it that way. Just the amount that you move, translate your past to that. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (51:02)
Yeah, definitely on that middle surf. Other than that, if they serve you like where you're only one step away, um, or they serve all the way to your sideline, see if you can get that ball back to the one step from the middle, um, and then work yourself back so that you can have that straight on approach my body there. Okay. Got it. Cool. You can see, um, if you want, that guy's still a gap for that. Todd Rogers is a master of it. Um, I think it's pretty good at it. Uh, Wilson is really does it really religiously. Uh, Oh Gorman grant O'Gorman from Canada. I'm just watching. I mean watch five minutes of him and you'll see it super obvious.
Speaker 2: (51:50)
Alright. I wrote his name. Danielle, check it out.
Speaker 1: (51:52)
Speaker 2: (51:55)
All right, sounds good.
Speaker 1: (51:57)
Are we going to see it again next year?
Speaker 2: (51:59)
Oh yeah. Yeah, I'm planning on coming out, uh, the first couple of months before season I'll probably hang out with Billy again and do another week. And, uh, I actually want to do one of the four week long things, but, uh, I just gotta plan it out. But, uh, I'm definitely going to, this has been helpful. I'm going to try and when I'm planning the next week or two, if I can get a recording from back middle, maybe do this again. Try and implement some of the stuff you said and let's see if, uh, see if I can learn new tricks here
Speaker 1: (52:25)
for sure. Um, is this a on a GoPro? Okay. Um, if you can do it. Uh, I don't know if your GoPro has a setting where it's not fish eye. Yeah. Um, that's, that's always a little bit nicer cause it kinda gets like a weird angle. But yeah, back the middle of the court and always as high as possible. Do you know if he had like a second or third story that's where you would want to film from? For sure. Uh, the ground angle. It works, but it doesn't work as well as, as a high angle. Cause you can see some different things from there.
Speaker 2: (52:57)
Got it. I'll see what I can do. Yeah. Hopefully we'll be doing this again shortly.
Speaker 1: (53:01)
Yeah, yeah. Sounds good to me, ma'am. Alright. Thanks buddy. All right, Darius, have a good one. And.
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Included are diagrams and written explanations of the most important exercises that EVERY pro player does or has done at one point or another.
The five skill sections covered are:
Serve Receive & Passing
Ball Control And Emergency Technique