Navigate Our Beach Volleyball Blog and Find The Topics You Want to Learn About Most

Attacking / Spiking Blocking and Peeling Travel and Volleyball Destinations Defense Better at Beach in the News Good for Beginners Hand Signals and Positioning Motivation and The Mental Game Online Coaching and Match Analysis Passing and Serve Receive Practice Plans and Coaching Advice Serving Setting Fitness and Injury Prevention

Beach Volleyball Drill of the Week: Master all touches in minutes with one-on-one

Most of my friends and beach volleyball partners are currently in Cancun, competing in an unprecedented back-to-back FIVB tournament series that will be critical in the race to the Tokyo Olympic Games. With all of them gone, it’s been tough to find full training groups. It would have been easy to take a few weeks off. Wait until things settle down.


Rest is important, yes, but my international season begins again – it opened in Doha in February; Adam Roberts and I finished fifth – at the end of May, in Bulgaria. Now is not the time for rest. Now is the time for reps, reps, reps, getting better, improving. So I did not sit on my couch all week. Instead, I called Tim Brewster, one of my favorite training partners and a guy I took a fifth with in an FIVB in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the end of 2019.

For an hour, we went through some light reps, going over all the usual suspects: passing on both the right and the left, hitting line shots, hitting cut shots, swinging...

Continue Reading...

Increase your vertical in beach volleyball to jump higher, hit harder, and win tournaments

If you’re reading this story, it’s more than likely you want to know how to increase your vertical jump for volleyball. It's a complicated question, with many different answers and steps. Worry not. We've got you covered. 

In this blog, we're going to go over:

- How many times a beach volleyball player jumps per match

- The sweet spot for sets and reps to improve your vertical

- The two metrics you must improve to increase your vertical jump

- How long should you rest between sets for vertical jump training? (it's longer than you think)

- How many times should you jump for vertical jump training? 

- How many times a week should you train
- How much weight should I use? 
- The best workout program to increase your vertical jump

How often does a beach volleyball player jump per match? 

It’s highly likely that you want to increase your vertical because you play and watch this beautiful sport, and you...

Continue Reading...

Become a better setter with these three volleyball setting drills

If you watch virtually any beach volleyball tournament, and you take note of the teams that are in the quarterfinals, the semifinals, the finals, the rounds you want to be in, you'll notice one major commonality shared by all of them: They set the ball well, almost every time. 

Now, of course, there are a number of variables determining or influencing what goes into a good set. The pass is the first touch, making it either exponentially easier or more difficult to set the ball to the intended target. Then there's wind and rain and all of the elements that make beach volleyball so dang fun. However, those elements -- the pass, the wind, the sun, the rain -- are all out of our control. What's in our control is what we do with the ball when it's in our hands. 

Our job as the setter is to better the ball, no matter where it is. Good pass? Let's make the set better. Bad pass? Let's give our partner some help and roll it up with some of that fine hand-set nectar honey-butter...

Continue Reading...

Three of the BEST ways shorter players can score MORE points

As much as we would all love to be Phil Dalhausser, or Oleg Stoyanovskiy, or Anders Mol, or Konstantin Semenov, or any of the other dozens of giants populating the FIVB Tour, we can’t. It’s just that simple. We can teach you a lot of skills here at Better at Beach.

Height is not one of them.

However, what we can teach you is this: The best ways shorter beach volleyball players can score more points.

And you know what’s awesome? It isn’t all that hard. It’s just different.

No, your highlights are not going to look like Troy Field’s, with bounces on the six foot line. But with these three tactics to score more points as a shorter volleyball player, you’ll be able to do something far sexier than bounce a ball: You’ll win more matches.

While on that topic, check out our full attacking course: Side out and win tournaments: The attacking master class

Siding out key No. 1: Vision

The first key to siding out is your ability to see the...

Continue Reading...

What Separates a Good Volleyball Player from a GREAT Volleyball Player

Depending on your definition on what is and what is not a sport, there are two sports in the world in which there are two people on a team: doubles tennis, and beach volleyball. Now, to be clear, I am not taking a shot at the All-American Cornhole players, or the All-Star Darts team. If they’re sports to you, so be it, and in actuality, the point of this story remains the same: When playing a two-player sport such as beach volleyball or cornhole or tennis or darts, the answer to this question -- what separates a good volleyball player from a great volleyball player? -- is the same across all two-person sports. 

It’s a simple math equation, really: You are 50 percent of the team, your partner is 50 percent of the team. With that considered, it doesn’t much matter if you’re playing up to 100 percent of your capability as a player. Even if you’re at your peak, the team is still only at 50 percent of its potential peak.

What separates a good...

Continue Reading...

AVP Coach Teaches Athlete the KEYS TO GREAT Footwork for Spiking a Volleyball

If anybody had watched me walk my dog – a 140-pound timber wolf-malamute mix named Sam – when I was living in Navarre Beach, Fla. in 2014, it’s more than possible they’d have thought me to be insane. I wouldn’t just walk Sam, you see. I’d practice my approach footwork for spiking a volleyball: left, right, left-right. Then I’d do it again and again, obsessively correcting my approach.

The first time I picked up a beach volleyball was just a few months earlier. A man named Judd Smith noticed that my approach footwork for spiking a volleyball was, as it is known in the beach volleyball world, goofy. I’m left-handed, and instead of the standard left, right, left-right approach, I was doing the opposite: right, left, right-left.

Judd told me to correct it, and so, to fix it, I’d simply walk Sam the Wolfdog while practicing my approach footwork for spiking a volleyball instead.

Approach footwork in beach volleyball is a small, nuanced...

Continue Reading...

Volleyball Rules: What's legal (and what isn't) with hand setting

There is a great scene in the movie Rat Race, where the organizer of the race is going over the rules of a cross-country trek that will end at a locker filled with $2 million.

“The first one there keeps it all,” he says. “That’s it. Go. There’s only one rule. Are you ready? Here it is. There are no rules! Go!”

When it comes to hand setting in beach volleyball, it can sometimes feel that way. Does anybody really know what’s legal and what is not legal with hand-setting? Can anyone actually explain a double? Can a single person properly identify a lift? How do we know when a hit is hard-driven enough to take open-handed?

In many cases, particularly in player-reffed tournaments, rules are enforced on a “I know it when I see it” basis. Ask why they called a double, or a lift, and their explanation will be the supremely unhelpful “because it was a double (or lift).”

Watch enough beach volleyball on YouTube streams or...

Continue Reading...

Volleyball Serving: IMPORTANT TIPS to Make Your Overhand Serve More Powerful

When Reid Priddy was first making his transition from indoor to the beach, he did so leaving no stone unturned. “Hacking the beach,” he called it, which is the shortform version of saying: Nearing 40 years old, he was going to find the most efficient and effective way to climb the ranks as fast as a human being possibly could.

He did just that, winning the Manhattan Beach Open in 2019.

If you were to watch his practices in those early days, they may have looked a bit unconventional to you. Many times, for an hour, he’d set up cones down the lines, creating alleys on the left and right side. And he’d serve and he’d serve and he’d serve.

“Serving,” he said at a practice one morning, “is our first and best line of defense.”  

You can have the biggest blocker in the world, the fastest defender on the planet. But when a team is consistently in system, the offense just has too many weapons, too much of an advantage, for the...

Continue Reading...

AVP Coach teaches player the secret of spiking a volleyball hard

How to hit in beach volleyball is a complicated question to tackle. It involves quite a few steps, a whole mess of mechanics, timing, various skills, navigating nature’s elements, and jumping out of the sand to hit a ball floating in the air after bouncing off of someone else’s forearms.

All of that, and we haven’t even mentioned that there's a defender to avoid!

So, we’re going to break down how to spike a volleyball, one element at a time. Today’s element is this: Rotation.

If you want the full course on How to Fix Your Arm Swing, we've got you covered with the most-inclusive course out there!

Rotation is everything when it comes to generating power in a beach volleyball spike. While beach volleyball players do not actually ever throw a ball in a match, we do perform a throwing motion while we spike a volleyball.

Think of your favorite pitcher – Clayton Kershaw, perhaps, for the Dodgers fans among us? – or quarterback – Tom...

Continue Reading...

Advanced Beach Volleyball Passing Concepts: Lift the ball


Whether someone is just learning how to play volleyball or has been playing for years, the most common question we get is "How high should I pass?'  In the sand volleyball world, this question can be answered many different ways, but the information below should give you all the answers you're looking for!  

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball serve receive and passing, you may want to take a look at our passing and serve receive course! We'd love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes, private lessons and training camps for adults and juniors in Hermosa Beach, CA and Salt Lake City, Utah. We run volleyball vacations in exotic locations around the world. We can even run beach volleyball clinics for your group, club or team in your hometown! Send an email to [email protected]

At every level in beach volleyball -- from BB to co-ed to the ball at your local bar to the...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.