“Why so angry? It’s just the rules, man.” Ever had this conversation on the volleyball court? Nothing can get heated more than an argument on the court about rules. To make sure you do not experience this, we have compiled a condensed version of volleyball rules.
There is a maximum of three touches in volleyball and you want to get all three touches. You want to get one pass that controls the ball for your team, then your setter is designed to set the third touch up for a jump and a spike.
Who is the setter? In indoor volleyball, you have a designated setter, but in beach volleyball everyone is a setter because there are only two people. If you are playing with a few people that are sending the ball back and forth with one or two touches, you are not going to be effective. You should always encourage the...
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...
The best defense in beach volleyball, according to Reid Priddy, a man who knows an awful lot about defense in beach volleyball, is not actual defense. It has nothing to do with running down line shots or how to properly dig a hard driven. It isn’t about positioning or footwork. It isn’t about blocking, where to put your hands and how to time it.
The best defense in beach volleyball is the jump serve.
At any level of the game, if the opposing team is in system -- in system meaning: They’ve made a pass to where they want, and can run the set they want -- they have a significantly higher side out percentage than if they are not. But if they’re out of system? If the serve has forced them to pass behind them or to the left or right?
Now we’re talking.
A good float serve can do the trick, yes. But if any of you were watching the most recent Manhattan Beach Open, won by Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb -- and previously won by Reid Priddy and Trevor Crabb --...
The world’s reaction to the skyball serve when it got its first true glimpse of it, at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, was as you might expect: A blend of amusement, confusion, misunderstanding, and viral videos.
The casual viewer of beach volleyball didn’t understand why a serve hit straight into the air – by Adrian Carambula, in this case – was proving so difficult to pass. On the ESPN Show, Pardon the Interruption, Tony Kornheiser called it a middle school serve. It was a joke, a gimmick, a cute thing this diminutive Italian player did.
It is, in actuality, when done correctly, one of the deadliest serves in beach volleyball.
But why is the skyball serve so effective? And, more important, how do we even hit a skyball?
If you’re reading this article on the skyball serve, you’ve likely tried it, or have had a friend who’s tried it. Chances are, you’ve hit it backwards, sideways, a full football field long. Maybe you've even...
Set up an obstacle (3-4 feet tall) about 6 feet from the back line. We used garbage cans but you can use chairs, beach umbrellas, hurdles etc.
In order to start the drill, the serve must land behind the obstacle without touching it and in the court.
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Remember, where the serve lands is not as important as how it crosses the receiver. Serving over a high obstacle ensures a flight path that forces a receiver to move backwards.
The serve is worth one point and a transition kill without taping is worth one point. The team needs 21 to finish...
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Casey Patterson is known for, among a wide variety of elements of beach volleyball, his personality. He dances. Laughs. Talks more than your typical beach volleyball player -- sometimes, as was the case this past year at AVP Seattle, in the middle of a swing, when he wondered, audibly, what in the world Troy Field was doing when he dared to peel on Patterson.
It didn't end well for Field.
This might not seem to be like strategy in the typical sense of the word. That strategy is the Xs and Os -- who to serve and...
The first time I touched a beach volleyball was in June of 2014. It was a blind draw fours tournament at a little bar off the Gulf of Mexico named Lagerhead’s. I was, as you might be able to guess, quite awful.
Regardless, a month later, I signed up for my first open tournament with my buddy, Shaun Rannals.
Keep in mind, at the time, an open tournament in the southeast was the equivalent of a AA, at best, in California. There was one legitimately open level team, Matt Blanke and JM Plummer, who remain two of my closest buds to this day. There were some other decent players – a teenage Evan Cory, who is now an athletic freak; JD Hamilton, one of my best friends, who was good but still had a long way to go (he has come that long way and then some); Derek Zimmermann, a former AVP main draw level player; Joey Keener, a ball control wizard and the most charismatic man on the planet.
The point I’m making is that it wasn’t quite as egregious as it sounds, a total...
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...
One of the most formidable aspects of AVP pro, and Better at Beach CEO Mark Burik, beach volleyball skill sets is his serve. He has so many different types of serves it's a little difficult to count: jump serve, standing float, jump float, jump serve with side spin, jump serve with no spin. It's difficult for any player, at any level, to be comfortable passing, especially since he...
You don't always need a full team to practice against in beach volleyball. Sometimes, as is the case with this drill for serving and defense in volleyball, you only need a ball, and one other partner.
Below, we describe the serve, dig, set, retreat transition drill.
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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