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Why jump-setting is taking over the world of beach volleyball -- and why you should use it

In was in 2004 when the beach volleyball world outside of the United States got its first glimpse of Phil Dalhausser. He and Adam Roberts traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they emerged from the qualifier before competing on the grandest of stages: Center court against the best team in the world, Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego. They’d lose, but come closer than anybody could have reasonably expected from a couple FIVB rookies, falling just 18-21, 19-21.

At that point in time, Dalhausser, at 6-foot-9, was one of the tallest players in the world. And as his dominance grew, so, too, did the world’s adaptation to solve the problem that was Phil Dalhausser.

Take a glimpse at the rankings of the best teams in the world, and what you’ll find is that Dalhausser is no longer the tallest player in the world. In fact, there’s a chance he’s outside of the top 10. Russia’s top two teams boast a pair of 7-foot blockers (Konstantin Semenov, Oleg...

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Volleyball Tips | 5 Volleyball Drills You Can Do at Home

The first day of winter, as of the time of this writing, was, sadly, less than a week ago. Snow abounds. Temperatures drop. It's cold, guys, and beach volleyball, even in Southern California -- it's 48 degrees right now! -- is just not all that appealing to a lot of people. 

And you know what? That's no problem. Because there are dozens and dozens of volleyball drills you can do at home, covering everything from setting to hitting to weird ball control touches, with or without a partner. So if you still want to get better, and get better from the warmth and comfort of your own home or a gym or outside, if you choose to brave the cold, we've got you covered. 

1. Set sauce by yourself, at home -- or wherever!

Don't have a partner? Don't have a beach? Not a great setter but want to fix that? This is the perfect drill for you. It's as easy as one, two, three -- literally. For this setting drill, you'll want a ball, a decent amount of space, a hard surface -- your...

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Volleyball Tips: Secrets to Hitting Harder & Winning More Points (by calling for the right set)

If you spend enough time watching beach volleyball -- and if you're reading this blog, you probably do -- then you'll have likely noticed the differences between many teams and the sets they hit. Some players, like Poland's Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor, run a variety of fast sets in myriad directions. Others, like Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, will run a basic offense featuring mostly up and down sets. Still others, take Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes as an example, will run a hybrid of the two, moving the ball sometimes, playing more traditional others. 

The point is: In order to be successful offensively in beach volleyball, you need to find the set that is most comfortable not only for you, but for your setter as well. We're going to help break down the most optimal sets you should be taking at your respective level of play. 

 Beginner's beach volleyball offense

If you're a beginner in beach volleyball, the set you're going to be hitting most effectively is a...

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How to Get Recruited for NCAA Beach Volleyball: Reaching out to Coaches

You’re a budding beach volleyball player, a promising prospect to NCAA beach volleyball coaches all around the country. You’ve identified roughly 20 schools for which you could see yourself competing -- five reach schools, 10 target, five safety.

Now what?

How do you get the attention of NCAA beach volleyball coaches?

What’s the next step in the NCAA beach volleyball recruiting process?

“Now it’s time to send an introductory email to every single coach on your list,” Better at Beach coach Jo Kremer said.

She should know. Kremer competed for the dynastic program that is USC, where she won three National Championships under Anna Collier and is now competing on the AVP Tour as a professional.

“I know that might sound like a lot of work,” Kremer said, “but if you want to get recruited, you have to put the time in.”

Finding the emails of the coaches is simple, as they are all listed on the school’s staff directory. But...

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Volleyball Tutorial: Passing and Attacking Fundamentals for Beginner Volleyball Players

Before we begin, allow our Better at Beach coach, Brandon Joyner, to inform you that “beach volleyball is not an easy sport. It takes a lot of muscle memory and when you’re starting out, it’s not going to come as easy as you think because there are a lot of cues and keys and concepts that you have to think about all the time. There’s always something that you can be working on with beach volleyball, especially when you’re coming out as a beginner.”

Which is exactly why Mark Burik founded this company, and why Joyner is now a co-owner: It is their mission to help one million people get better at beach volleyball. The sport is booming, with NCAA Beach Volleyball becoming the fastest-growing sport in NCAA history -- if you're interested in the NCAA beach volleyball recruiting process, we got you covered! -- volleyball supplanting soccer as the most-played sport for women in the United States, beach volleyball facilities popping up in states and...

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Volleyball Tips | 3 IMPORTANT Things You NEED to Know for Passing, Setting, and Hitting Locations!

 It isn’t enough in beach volleyball to simply get a good touch on the ball. That’s half the battle, yes, but only half. The remaining 50 percent of the task?

Where are we supposed to put the ball?

Our touches in beach volleyball must have intention, a direction, a target. Your pass could hit your platform perfectly – but it doesn’t matter if you don’t send the ball to where it will be easiest for your partner to set you. You could have the pearliest of sets, so clean a ref would never once consider blowing the whistle – but it doesn’t matter if you set it behind you or too far outside. You could hit the crispiest of shots, with perfect hand contact – but it doesn’t matter if you hit a balloon to the middle of the court, directly into the laps of the defender.

So, then: Where should we be putting the ball?

Where to pass in beach volleyball

Close your eyes for a second and imagine you're in serve receive: You're standing in...

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How to get recruited to play NCAA beach volleyball: Searching for colleges

Kudos of three-time NCAA Champion beach volleyball player Jo Kremer, who is now competing on the AVP Tour, we’ve given you the overview of the beach volleyball recruiting process. But that was just the grand view, the macros of it all.

Now, over the next several months, we’ll zoom in a bit, taking a closer look at each step of the beach volleyball recruiting process.

The first step of competing for a USC or UCLA, or a smaller Division I like Coastal Carolina or even a Division II Tampa?

Just figuring out how the heck to search for a college in the first place.

How to get recruited to play NCAA Beach Volleyball

There are now more than 100 schools offering beach volleyball at the collegiate level, ranging from junior colleges, NAIA, and Divisions I, II, and III. Regardless of whether you’re a freshman in high school or a junior – seniors, we’ll discuss you in a few moments – you need to be honest with yourself and your abilities, both academically...

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Volleyball Tips: 3 EASY Ways You Can Level Up Your Game (by going from fast to slow!)

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

It’s a cliché we hear often in life, not just in sports, yet when you get down to it, what in the world does it mean? In the beach volleyball world, you can hear this phrase on virtually every beach in the country, whether you’re strolling up and down the Hermosa Beach Strand or taking shelter under an umbrella – either for shade or rain – in St. Petersburg, Florida, or tipping back a cold one at a Texas bar.

Listen long enough and you'll hear it: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

It’s the essence of so much we do in this sport: Be quick with your feet when passing, but don’t hurry at the last minute. Be quick when getting to your point of preparation, but don’t hurry your approach. Be quick to begin moving towards your partner’s target passing area when you’re setting, but don’t hurry and get both you and your partner in trouble for overrunning it.

...

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Volleyball Quiz Part 2! How Well Can You Read the Attacker? We Made it Tougher!

Alright, alright, we get it: Our first defensive quiz was too easy. The players were making it too obvious if they were hitting or shooting. Or maybe y’all are just that good at beach volleyball, reading hitters, making the right plays.

Either way: We’re upping the difficulty for our second beach volleyball defensive quiz. No longer is this quiz just a -- pretty easy -- guess on whether the opponent is attacking or shooting. Now, you have to identify not only if they’re hitting or shooting, but where they are hitting or shooting: hard cross, cut shot, or high line. 

Little tougher, huh?

That's beach volleyball. 

Tips on reading the hitter in beach volleyball

“Some things I want you to keep in mind while you’re watching this and reading what the attacker is doing on the other side is, first off: What does their approach look like? If their approach is quick and powerful, then more than likely that is going to be an attack,” AVP...

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How to get recruited to play NCAA beach volleyball

In 2014, when the NCAA approved beach volleyball as a championship sport, elevating it from its previous status as an “emerging sport,” there was no telling the immediate and vast impact it would have at the grassroots level.

Just seven years later, 148 schools sponsored beach volleyball programs: 62 Division I, 16 Division II, 5 Division III, 20 NAIA, 36 CCCAA, 9 NJCAA.

The result? Volleyball is now the most played sport by girls and young women in the United States.

With how quickly the sport has changed the landscape of the NCAA, and with how many programs are added every year, it begs the question: How do you get recruited to play NCAA beach volleyball? As with any sport, there is no single answer. But there is a progression you can take, whether you’re a junior in high school or an incoming freshman, that will get you on the map.

“Colleges are starting the recruiting process earlier and earlier,” said Jo Kremer, a current professional player on the...

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