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

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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 at the net, and controlling the net, is the blocker's first, second, and third priority. 

But if we're all being realistic here, there are going to be plays where the set from the opposing volleyball team is too far off the net for you to be doing much service if you were to stay at the net and block. In fact, in some cases, you may actually be doing the other team a favor if you stay at the net and block -- you're providing them with a target to use as a tool.

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Peeling, or pulling off the net -- your choice in verbiage -- is a must-have skill in any blocker's toolbox, and especially for the smaller, undersized blockers. To help with our pulling, AVP professional beach volleyball player Mark Burik designed a drill specifically for blockers to improve their feet. 

The feet are, of course, the most important aspect of a peel dig. With slow feet, you won't get back in time. With uncontrolled, haphazard footwork, you won't be in a good position to dig a volleyball. 

In this drill, we're working on moving our feet, opening up to the long shots, and reversing direction for the short ones -- both of which will be crucial if you're going to dig a bunch of balls. 

Check out the video below for our drill to get better at peeling.  

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Transcript of the above beach volleyball drill video

What's up guys? It's Mark from Better at Beach!

Today we are doing a little warm-up drill. It's a two-touch drill to get better at peeling, but we've put lines to separate the front and back halves of the beach volleyball court.

If you go over on one touch, it needs to be in the front half of the court. If you go on the second touch, then it needs to be in the deep half of the court.

This is good because it gets our defenders footwork moving. Make sure that our defenders are protecting the short ball and then retreating to defense. This teaches our players that if you need to go over with a free ball, if we're in trouble we like to go deep because it puts the other team a little bit more off-balance

Anytime we put a short ball on two, it's not going to be to our advantage.


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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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