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...
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,...
HERMOSA BEACH, California – To watch Trevor Crabb play beach volleyball from 2013-2017 was to witness a master class in the art of hitting the high line shot. Not just the high line, actually: Crabb, a right-handed left-side player, would hit every variation of a line shot you could imagine. He’d hit high lines. He’d chisel low lines. He’d hit short lines and fast lines and he’d occasionally even bounce line.
“50 shades of line,” Casey Patterson once quipped on a livestream when Crabb was competing in a country quota in The Netherlands.
It’s a devastating shot, the line. Even when everyone knew Crabb was going to be hitting some variation of a line shot, few could stop it consistently enough to beat him. When we master the high line shot, it opens up a wealth of other offensive opportunities. If the defender is now shading towards the line, we have an open cut or high angle; if the defender shifts back, our line opens up once more.
There is one main skill in beach volleyball that is noticed before almost any other: The spike. There has not been a single player in the history of beach volleyball who has looked at the other side of the net in fear because someone on the other team bump set well. Nor has anyone, as far as I can tell, been trembling because of a crisp line shot.
We notice spikes. Whether we want to or not, whether we care to spike hard or not, we just notice them, no different than how we notice dunks before we would a mid-range jumper. They’re spectacular, and everyone wants to spike a volleyball harder because of this (and because it’s the most effective way to score).
However, we have some news for you: Before you can spike a volleyball, you must make your approach. Your approach is 99 percent of spiking anyway.
You may as well learn where to start.
There are many different schools of thought on where to begin your approach, and there is no particular school of thought that you...
Think of all of the biggest hitters in beach volleyball you know. Take a minute. No hurry here. Your list and ours likely look the same. If you're a guy, the list likely includes, if not all, at least a few of these names: Taylor Crabb, Anders Mol, Phil Dalhausser, Casey Patterson, Chase Budinger, Steven van de Velde, Robert Meeuwsen, Alex Brouwer. If you're a gal, name such as April Ross, Alix Klineman, Sarah Pavan, Kelly Claes, Sarah Sponcil, Kelley Kolinske, likely came to mind.
All of these players mentioned have phenomenal swings, and it's no wonder why almost every single one of them will be competing in the Tokyo Olympic Games next month. But thinking of those names is the easy part. Most anyone who watches beach volleyball knows that those players can spike a volleyball as well as anyone on the planet.
The key question here is why.
What separates Taylor Crabb from, say, his brother, Trevor? How come Casey Patterson, who loves to make fun of his...
So often, I’m asked questions about the best ways to warm up or workout for beach volleyball. Professionals have extensive warm up routines that armor their joints and work on their weaknesses. If you’ve been anywhere near a volleyball court in your life, you’ve seen somebody rubbing and rotating their hitting shoulder while their face winces in pain. Even after you've learned how to how to hit a volleyball properly, you can still experience some pain and injuries.
Injuries in beach usually develop because of muscular imbalances. Micro-tears in your muscle fibers develop into scar tissue when they aren’t given time to heal properly. If you’re pushing your body to the max, that just becomes a part of the game. BUT, when a muscle becomes less pliable, other muscles take over for it and these compensations have a tendency to build on top of each other.
Don’t ignore the...
If you're interested in this drill on setting and digging, you may also be interested in 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]
All of us beach volleyball players are looking for that one big thing -- the one lift to get us stronger, the one way to make money so we can continue pursuing this life on the beach, the one thing that'll get us hitting harder, jumping higher, running faster. Sadly, we do not have the answer for some of those things -- you can, however, take our 60-day strength and conditioning program to get you bouncing balls and swat-blocking and running around like Taylor Crabb.
Want to show your...
Beach volleyball spiking drill for parents and partners: Pass, Set, Spike, Catch
Here's a great beginner drill for volleyball that works on ball control and spiking. I get to meet lots of volleyball parents who just want to help their kids get better but they don't know how. This basic hitting drill for volleyball is an easy way for parents, coaches and friends to help the volleyball players in their lives get some extra reps.
If you want to practice attacking on your own and do some drills at home, you can also think about drawing a big box on a wall somewhere. If you can throw a very high ball to yourself, bump it, set it and then spike it into the box, you get a point!
Basically what we're going to do is have one person, the player, use three touches. They have to pass to themselves, set to themselves, and then hit at a target or a catcher.
Parent: If you're a non volleyball player, if you can catch it, that qualifies as a good hit from the player. Just...
So often, I’m asked questions about the best ways to warm up or workout for beach volleyball. Professionals have extensive warm up routines that armor their joints and work on their weaknesses. Most players want to know how to hit harder and we have plenty of technical cues for that but first, you should start doing the shoulder exercises that will protect you and strengthen you.
If you’ve been anywhere near a volleyball court in your life, you’ve seen somebody rubbing and rotating their hitting shoulder while their face winces in pain. You can't keep hitting hard if your joints and muscles aren't primed to handle that load over time.
In this article, we are going to prepare you to spike harder. You can have the best technique in the world but without the proper volleyball training OFF the court, you'll only hurt yourself and lose weeks of practice in the process.
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