Volleyball defense for blockers and men's beach volleyball and women's beach volleyball

How to Play Defense in Volleyball When You're NOT a Blocker



Peeling off the net may be one of the most under-appreciated 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.


Brandon explains what you should be doing in these scenarios in the video below.




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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, or net protectors. 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.  



 Defense in volleyball is only a small part of the overall game.  If you want to elevate your game and rise to the NEXT LEVEL, you have to join us in our Ultimate Defender Course.  You will get access to our Complete Course Collection and have the opportunity to gain insight and feedback from AVP Pros and Coaches that are playing the game today!





 Now, that you have figured out if you will be the "net protector" or the blocker, where should you be during the rest of the defensive play?

It is crucial that you know where to place yourself on the court during defense.  You will need to be able to read the offense as well as how to react to every play.  If your job is to put yourself in a position to dig as many balls as possible.  You should set yourself up for success and, depending on what your blocker is call, put your body in a position where you can see the attacker at all times. Don't get too ingrained in just sticking in "Your Spot". 


Watch as Brandon really dives into blocking and defending and how you should be positioning yourself for the most conversions.




Recording your matches will give you the opportunity to watch and analyze where you may have some holes in your defense and offense.  It truly is one of the most valuable tools from beginners to AVP Professionals. Yes, even the PROs, record their matches!  We offer game analysis by our team of AVP pros and coaches with our Complete Player Program as well as 1-on-1 coaching through specialized consultations and training opportunities. 


The video below is the match -- Mark Burik and Ian Satterfield -- vs. Sean Rosenthal and Chase Budinger at a previous AVP San Francisco event. What we're covering in the video below is the positioning of the blocker and where the defender should be, or could be, throughout the extent of a point.

Watch and listen to this video, and then watch one of your own and see if you are able to recognize where you can make changes.



There are many facets about Beach Volleyball defense positioning that are critical to master for leveling up your game.  We spend countless hours, days, weeks making sure to deliver the information that will help elevate your skills to your desired goals.  One of the best ways to sky rocket in beach volleyball is by attending one of our renowned training camps where you will get personalized training for SEVEN WHOLE DAYS! 

 Our camps are designed to get you Better at Beach Volleyball... 


We offer over 20 hours of group training! Our world class coaches and pro players will take you through 3 hour practice sessions that include full warm ups, tutorials, demonstrations, drills and competitive training!

You'll also have the opportunity to book private & semi-private lessons for extra attention!



Are you wanting more information on blocking and peeling? When should you peel? What does Peeling Footwork look like? Check out our previous blog "Blocking in Volleyball: TO BLOCK OR TO PEEL? 


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