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?
Close your eyes for a second and imagine you're in serve receive: You're standing in...
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.
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...
“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.
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.
“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...
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...
There’s a trait worth noting when taking inventory of some of the best offensive players in beach volleyball, namely Phil Dalhausser and Karch Kiraly: They’re goofy-footed.
Goofy-footed is a term not often associated with positive thoughts. Coaches immediately try to “fix” the condition, in fear that it might become permanent. Players are constantly taught that one approach, and one approach only, is the correct one. But to see that Dalhausser and Kiraly, perhaps the two best American players of all-time, are both goofy-footed, it would be impossible to argue that you cannot succeed with a goofy-footed approach.
Dalhausser and Kiraly, after all, have both notched more than 100 wins and are the owners of five Olympic gold medals.
Avery Drost does not have 100 wins, nor does he have a gold medal, but he is currently one of the best players in the game who is using a goofy-footed approach, alongside Troy Field and Russian blocker and 2021 Olympic silver medalist...
The very personification of this week’s video on on-two attacking in beach volleyball was being played out on Friday morning – evening in Cagliari, Italy – in the final round of pool play of the World Tour Finals. On the court were Canadians and World Champions Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan, and Americans Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil.
It’s a matchup that features virtually every type of on-two attacking in beach volleyball, from the right-hander on the left side (that’s Claes) to the lefty on the right (Pavan) to the sneaky over on-twos, either via dumping in front or back-setting (Sponcil). It featured aggressive options, placement options, sneaky options and poke options.
It featured the way that beach volleyball is going, with a heavy dose of on-two attacking and much less frequent traditional style.
It’s been going this way for some time now. Tri Bourne and John Hyden were one of the first to use...
John Mayer and Billy Allen are two of the most brilliant minds in beach volleyball. Fortunately for the beach volleyball community, the two host a beach volleyball podcast, Coach Your Brains Out, breaking down, essentially, how to improve in the most efficient ways possible. Frequently they’ll open up the podcast to questions from fans, one of which was: What is the most underrated skill in beach volleyball?
Mayer’s answer: The short serve.
The short serve is one of the most deadly – and risk-free – skills in beach volleyball. There is little that is sexy about the short serve: It doesn’t come with pace; the point is actually that it doesn’t come with pace. It doesn’t blow anyone up. It isn’t flashy.
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But it is one of the easiest ways to throw a team off its offensive rhythm. When you serve a...
With a sweep of gold medals in the Netherlands on Sunday afternoon – Troy Field and Miles Evans, and Delaney Mewhirter and Terese Cannon – off-season is, alas, upon the professional beach volleyball world.
But off-season also means something else: It’s camp season.
In less than two months, Better at Beach is returning to host its popular week-long camps, featuring a full team of professional coaches to help players of all levels, from beginner to open, have an unforgettable beach volleyball experience.
“Our camps are all about getting better and improving so we dedicate ourselves to coaching a lot,” AVP professional beach volleyball player Mark Burik said. “You get a lot of reps and a lot of touches. You can come to our beach volleyball camps wherever you are. If you’re a beginner, we’re going to put you on the beginner court. If you’re a B player, you’re going to be surrounded by B opponents. If you’re an open...
We're different. We're the weirdos, the unconventional ones. We give blockers nightmares and, for whatever reason, are almost always the wristiest ones on the beach. You think you have a read on us, but you don't, because that angle we were showing just became a line chisel. We're in short supply but in high demand.
We're the lefties.
Being left-handed on the beach is, in my opinion, a tremendous advantage. First and foremost, we're on the right side of the rule of supply and demand: There are so few of us, yet we always present an additional threat. Being left-handed gives you a built-in edge, the threat of not one option, but two. It gives defenses a different look and a completely new arsenal of threats on offense.
But to unlock all of the tools and advantages of being left-handed, you first must understand how to properly make use of everything before you.
Currently, I'm in Sofia,...
Included are diagrams and written explanations of the 36 MOST IMPORTANT EXERCISES you NEED to win more matches!
Get the all the keys and drills for:
Serve & Serve Receive
Bump Setting & Hand Setting
Attacking, Spacing, Vision & Swing Mechanics
Defense + Blocking & Peeling
Ball Control & Emergency Technique
Game Situations & Competitive Drills