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Top 5 Things that are killing your game part 4: Not digging the easy balls

 

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball, and how to play defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course, which, of course, is the first line of defense in, ahem, defense. It will have you serving more accurately, with more power, in just a few weeks! We'd also love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!
 
We have to start with an apology.
 
I started this beach volleyball blog series back in the summer with the intent to finish it inside of 10 weeks. The responsibilities of running a company, working with athletes and my personal competitive schedule took precedence over the blog series. Better at Beach has grown to be so much more than I thought it would and that is an amazing thing but our popularity brings about a need to bring our guests and our athletes the very best. 

We now have 7...

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Should I Stay or Should I Go: Peel Footwork for Blockers

 

If you're interested in this blog on peel digging and how to play defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course, which, of course, is the first line of defense in, ahem, defense. It'll will have you serving more accurately, with more power, in just a few weeks! We'd also love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!

Blockers block in beach volleyball, right? They're the big goons at the net who are supposed to stay at the net. Correct? 

Yes and no. 

In an ideal world, a blocker would never have to leave the net -- or peel, in volleyball vernacular. In the ideal world, a blocker stays at the net, and the defender covers whatever the blocker doesn't in the back court. Simple. 

But if you've played beach volleyball -- and if you're reading this blog dedicated exclusively to beach volleyball -- you know that ideal worlds...

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Beach Volleyball Defense Drill: Four Steps to Paradise

 

If you're interested in this blog on serving and how to play defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course, which, of course, is the first line of defense in, ahem, defense. It'll will have you serving more accurately, with more power, in just a few weeks! We'd also love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!

Defense is desire. You've heard that phrase, right? If not, do yourself a favor and watch this clip from Remember the Titans, because if you weren't ready to play defense before, well, you will be now. 

Defense in beach volleyball is similar to defense in many other sports: It's all about desire. How bad do you want it? Lebron James wouldn't have his infamous full-court chasedown block in game seven of the NBA finals without desire. 

In beach volleyball, we don't need to do a full-court chasedown block -- but you...

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Beach Volleyball Blocking Calls 101

If you're interested in this blog on blocking and how to play defense in beach volleyball, you may be interested in our serving course, which, of course, is the first line of defense in, ahem, defense. It will have you serving more accurately, with more power, in just a few weeks! We'd also love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay! 

If you've ever watched a beach volleyball match with someone who doesn't play beach volleyball at a decently high level, you'll inevitably be asked the question: What do those numbers mean? 

By "numbers," we are referencing what the blocker at the net is signaling to the defender. Typically, these signals could be a one, two, three, four, fist or five, or "shaka." 

To the uninitiated beach volleyball player, this is complete gibberish. Allow us to translate. 

Before we begin, let us note: The signal is for the...

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Beach Volleyball Tutorial: Ball Control Obstacle Course Challenge!

 

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! And, now that the beaches are open again, we'd love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!

Ball control, we admit, can be on the boring side when it comes to beach volleyball drills. It isn't going to draw the attention of a big swing or bounce, doesn't lead to any direct kills, and won't be found anywhere on social media. But it's the foundation upon which a beach volleyball player's success, and skill set, is built. 

And, yes, there are fun ways to practice ball control in beach volleyball. It's why we invent little challenges like the one below. Enjoy, get better this week, and Make Ball Control Fun Again! 

4 Quadrant Drill for ball control in beach volleyball 

How to do the drill:...

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Beach Volleyball Advanced Passing Tutorial: How soon should I put my hands together in serve receive?

 

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! And, now that the beaches are open again, we'd love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or anywhere in the South Bay!

One of the trickier elements of serve receive is the timing of your platform: When do you put your hands together to form your platform? Every player has his or her own technique. Watch a video of John Mayer, an AVP champion and former MVP and now the head coach at LMU, and he puts his hands together before the serve. Watch Kim Hildreth and Sarah Schermerhorn, AVP finalists at Austin in 2019, and their arms are wide as can be, like birds of prey, until virtually the last possible moment. 

Point is: Everyone is different. It's mostly a comfort thing. However, we do have our recommendations here at Better at...

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Every drill you need to become the best beach volleyball setter

 

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball setting, you may also want to check out our comprehensive setting course! You may also want to take a look at our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach or the South Bay!

This is a long blog. But it's long because it's comprehensive: If you want to learn how to set a volleyball, this is the blog for you. You don't have to read it all in one sitting -- or two or three. It'll be here for as long as we have the internet, so take your time. 

In this blog, you'll find any drill you could possibly need to become a better setter on the beach. You'll find drills to do on your own, drills with a partner, drills with other teams, drills with lots of other teams. You'll find drills for bump setting and drills for hand setting. You'll see videos that will help you to determine when it is more advisable to bump set and when it may be better to let the nectar flow. 

If you're looking...

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Beach Volleyball Setting | How to set series | How far from the net is the perfect set?

If you're interested in this blog on setting in beach volleyball, you may want to check out our comprehensive online setting course, which will get you setting the nectar (or butter or sauce or juicy McNugget, whatever you want to call it) in no time.  

Beach volleyball partners can argue a lot, but I'd like to save you a fight and teach you how to set and where the best players in the world prefer to get set. This video does look at some great players with big verticals and quick arms which means they can hit sets hard and down from far away. 

Most volleyball players try to overcome their lack of accuracy in their spikes by hitting hard. If you're a shorter player or you don't have a massive vertical jump, it can be frustrating to hit balls that aren't on top of the net because you never get the feeling of hitting down. 

In the video below, we show you examples where there is a big physical blocker at the net, which means tight sets will be gobbled up....

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How to Set a Volleyball: 9 keys to being an excellent setter in beach volleyball

 

If you're looking to learn how to be one of the best setters in beach volleyball, you've come to the right place! At Better at Beach, headquartered in Hermosa Beach, CA we run beach volleyball setting drills every day! And if you'd like to enroll in our online setting course, you can do that year-round, day in and day out, partner or no partner. 

However, you don't have to wait for one of our beach volleyball classes to start learning the fundamentals. We mainly teach sand volleyball but if you play indoor volleyball, fear not! The principles and drills are almost exactly the same for bump setting and hand setting in the two sports. 

Yes, the first thing nearly every coach preaches is pass first, pass first, pass first. There’s a reason for that: Every single offensive action you could possibly take, whether in serve receive or defense or waiting for the beloved free ball, begins with the pass.

Yet it’s the second – and likely most...

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How to set in beach volleyball: A comprehensive study on the art of setting

 

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball setting, you may want to consider our comprehensive course on setting in beach volleyball. We promise that you'll be setting the nectar in no time, and that your partner will love you for it!

Bump setting in beach volleyball is a skill that should come pretty naturally if you learn how to pass before learning how to set; they use most of the same keys and technique. There are a few slight differences, but as long as you keep a few keys in mind it should be a quick learn.

Keys:

1. Platform straight and hands together - This is a technique that should be the exact same as passing in beach volleyball. It is important that you hold your hand tight and keep your arms straight throughout the entire process of the set, just as you would the pass.

2. Net foot forward - When approaching the ball to set, you should think about getting your net foot forward. The reason we say ‘net foot’ is because throughout a play you...

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