Brandon Joyner (00:00):
Remember when we're talking about the three players in a line that's only in serve, receive, whenever we're playing defense, we need to have this kind of rotation. And this would be the exact time we would use a diagram, but if we have the net here and our attacker is here, go
Mark Burik (00:15):
Ahead. You got it.
Brandon Joyner (00:16):
And our, It's weird cuz it's member mirrored our defender that's playing right here would have to drop back just a little bit like 12 feet. And then we would have our other defender right next to them , so they would be kind of in this position. And then we have our other defender over here. You're not really gonna be in a line. You're actually gonna be almost between the blocker and the two defenders cross court. It should make a little acute triangle.
Mark Burik (00:46):
Welcome to the Better Beach podcast. My name is Mark, this is Brandon. He just introduced himself on Instagram, but we got everything rocking and rolling. Today we're gonna talk about a topic we haven't really covered yet. Just like you said, I go four on four volleyball. Yeah, I think a lot of people get confused. I still see people in fours leagues who are not in a good servey position. They don't actually know how to set themselves up with the talk of diamonds or squares or what formation you want to have. They don't know where to position their setter or why you should set a certain hitter in any situation. And maybe we could touch a little bit on how to actually recruit for your four beer league so that you can crush it. That's what we're gonna be covering today. Should be fun. Still in New York with my family. You're back in California. Glad you made the trip safe.
Brandon Joyner (01:43):
I am, yeah. Yeah, we had a fun little clinic out in Long Island this weekend. It was cool to see you in your hometown. Very close to your hometown. Obviously raised in Queens, but I feel it too. Whenever I go back to Virginia, there's a little source of pride and it just feels really cool to always bring back what we've learned, what we've accomplished back to our hometowns and states. And for me, looking at you, it was really cool to see, not that you don't always do this, but you could tell that you were a little bit happier to be there. You were a little bit driven to talk to everybody to get it, get your advice to every single person there. So it was really cool for me to see that. So why don't you talk to us about how you felt going home.
Mark Burik (02:29):
I love it. It is cool to try to find younger me and be like, You should show up. I don't know if younger me would've paid for a clinic, which is so stupid. So stupid. I mean, the first thing when we talk about coaches in getting coach, there was a friend of mine from Australia, she was ranked number seventh in the world and trampoline. So she was a gymnast and she was trampoline and she crushed it and she then converted herself to become a beach volleyball player. She just got obsessed with it. And she said that the thing that comes from gymnastics is they in their sport have this obsession with finding the best possible coach is the first thing that you do. You go to the best training gym with the best performance or the best history of performance. And when she said that to me, she's like, Well, I mean there's obviously somebody there who's been through every single problem that you have already tackled it and they can get you there, so why wouldn't you have somebody lead the way?
And so she said that all of her finances, everything that she did, she put it into coaching first. That was the first thing. She goes, How do I afford the best coach that I can find? And she went on three years into the sport and she's finishing in the semis and finals of every single Australian national tournament and I was like, Holy crap. Obviously she's a freak athlete, but the commitment to finding that there are problems that are just easy to solve and somebody's got the answers, why don't I just go to somebody who I can ask and who's gonna make me do the right thing every time? And so if I had found that a little bit early on or somebody, or if I had that mentality, there would've been a lot of skipping through a bunch of pain. Now I'm happy with the people that I find and that I have found and this year I'm still looking for who's gonna lead the way so that I can be an athlete this year less than a coach. And a lot of people get that a little bit backwards where you spend so much time coaching cuz so many of us on the AVP are part-time or full-time coaches. We have to be able to afford the season. But it's so difficult to pull yourself out of coach mentality and just decide to go and play, compete, rip somebody else's head off instead of like, Oh, look at their inefficient footwork while they're spiking at me and I should digging and returning that Anyway, .
Brandon Joyner (04:47):
Yeah, so it's kind of interesting cuz we had a conversation at the clinic, I can't remember who at, maybe it was Ann who asked us but she said, Do you guys get to find joy and playing still even though your lives are so revolved around volleyball and that, that's a question that I get a lot, but having that coach there at practice or having a good group of friends that are willing to train and are really willing to work hard, that is what allows us to keep playing for fun. It gives it a little bit of a different mentality. I know for me, I'm the one that can talk about this. You've been running a lot of our practices recently, so you're still in coach mode running a lot of this and such like that. But eventually we will find somebody to be running our practices and that's how we're able to step back and the learning process becomes something important again and it allows us to just think about playing and enjoying the moment a little bit. So it's definitely a good thing to think about.
Mark Burik (05:50):
Yeah, it's nice now that planning has become so automatic that I can do it in 20 seconds and then return back to athlete mode. Mm-hmm. , here's your drill. Let's go For any of you guys who are out there and you kinda want that for yourselves, you can or you're the person who's leading training or you want to lead training and those ideas or we do have something for you. It's 50 plus we built it for you, we've got a bunch of years under our belt and we're happy to provide it. So just a bitter beach.com board. So check this out, let's get to four on four volleyball, shall we?
Brandon Joyner (06:25):
Four on four. I like it. And that's another reason. So one of the big things that I answered that question with when Ann asked us how do you still have fun? Four on four is actually one of the biggest and easiest ways for me to have fun playing beach volleyball. I have a phenomenal crew in Redondo where we go and play every Friday and it is my time to just not think about work. It is my time to be there with friends, maybe have a couple beverages, not recently, but soon enough. And it really is just fun. It allows you to still work on your game while you have a lighthearted thought process going into it. So love some four B four
Mark Burik (07:08):
And there's so much with four on four that can make you a better two on two player. Just certain scenarios that we'll talk about. Just being able to swing against a double block with no fear once you get over that a single block you just don't care about. So we'll talk about that. But the first thing that I do want to talk about is what types of players you need or you would want on your team to be successful and where you want to put them. So for me this has to start with your top outside hitter, your left side hitter. They're usually gonna be the easiest person to set. You want them to be big, you want them to be courageous with their swings. So you want them to have a big arm and this is the person if you don't have two, but this is the person that you're going to set on matchpoint that you're gonna set when it's 18, 18, 19 18, 20 18 and then 21.
You want them to take every swing at that point and the rest of your team should understand that, right? This is kind of like Kobe, LeBron, Michael, Jordan, whose hand do you want the game when it's on the line, everybody else works to set up and open this person who is most likely to get points and kills. The first thing that I do recommend is finding yourself a nice big hitter so that they can hit boom, everything on either the left side or if you guys are playing in wind, put them on the side where they can hit into the wind. That's the person that you want swinging that ball. Most people are like, Oh well we'll put our better athlete on the harder side because they can do that. But in four and four, four you have a choice of who you can set. It's an easier set when you set with the wind and your big can get even bigger when they're hitting into the wind. So whoever your rockstar, big, big time game winning arm is, that's who you put on the good side of the court hitting into the wind and you put them out towards the antenna so that you can set them. If you put them in the middle, you can't set them because the angles don't work out. And I think so many people who came from kind of high school, middle school mentality,
Brandon Joyner (09:29):
A lot of times in kind of putting this into image, whenever we have in California, we have a big ocean wind. So the wind comes from the ocean and it pushes inland. So on one side of the court that strong hitter will be on the left side, but then when they switch sides, that strong hitter will stay on the right, will stay on the same sideline and that will allow that person to be hitting back into the wind every single time. Whenever we're thinking about skill positions and the players that should be playing certain positions, Something that comes to my mind is, especially in California, a lot of the times we have these forced tournaments where they are set up where it is a level player or you have it's A, B, C, and D, and the A player is always the best player is the best hitter.
It's the person that is going to get set like Mark was talking about, you're gonna put them on the good side of the court, good half of the court so that whenever they get set they are swinging into the wind, they're swinging as hard as they can, they're going to be getting a lot of the sets. Normally the B level player or the second best player on the court. And it depends if you're playing in a competitive tournament, this B level player, your first three players might be somewhat similar, but normally the B level player is the setter because we want that person to be able to set that hitter every single time, shouldn't matter where the pass is, shouldn't matter what type of play it's going on. That second player, the B level player, the setter should be able to get to almost every single ball and put it up so that a level player can swing at everything.
The C level player normally is going to be known for their ball control and maybe they're swinging depending on the level of play. So when we think about the C level player, we're thinking about somebody who is going to be playing cross court of the best player on the other side of the net because whenever we think about that best player on the other side of the net, we wanna put one of our better players, diagonal of them because most of the time everyone's favorite swing is cross court. And so we want to go ahead and set up our defense so that our third best player is the person digging. If you're playing in some type of co-ed league or a competitive league, then normally that C level player will also be a threat offensively, meaning that after they get the dig they can be the opposite side hitter on your same side of the net.
But kind of like what Mark was saying before, we still want to set that a level player as much as we can. Obviously if you're up a couple points, that's when you can throw a couple sets back to that C player, but most of the time you're still gonna set that guy. And then finally the fourth person, the D level player, and we don't need to call 'em the worst player on the court, but they're probably not as much of an offensive threat and they're gonna be like if we're thinking about transitioning indoor play indoor skills to the beach, then this would be our libero, somebody who is known for their passing and then they're gonna kind of sit behind that big blocker on your side, who is your A player? They're gonna be ready to run down some shots, they're gonna read the offense a little bit and they're gonna kind of rotate into some positions to allow themselves to help out their team as much as they can.
Whenever we're thinking about those four players, it's really important to think about where they are. So once again, if you're competitive then more than likely all the players on your team are probably right around the same level. But we want to think about skills. If all of you are around the same level, but Johnny is a great setter, then obviously he should be the one setting, we're not gonna make Johnny hit. So it's just important to kind of think about that. I really, really like this style of tournament that we play 'em a lot in California and we don't even know who we're playing with When we show up to the tournament, they do blind draws and you sign up as an A, B as a C as a D and then the morning of the director puts you into these teams and if we didn't have an idea of where these certain players should be playing, then it would take us a long time to figure out a rhythm and figure out where we should be playing. I think that knowing where these players should play, what position and why they're going to be playing that position is something that we're definitely going to be considering before the game even starts.
Mark Burik (14:13):
I think what you're saying is it's a good thing to try to be honest with people as you're recruiting them and saying, our team needs a great setter.
, you're that guy, you're that girl. Our team needs a great digger. You're that guy, you're that girl. Not our team needs a great player or a great anything . You need somebody out there who can cover a lot of court on defense and passing. Hopefully you need somebody who can take big swings and you need somebody who could lay up a decent ball for them, which is that setter. The argument starts, well not the argument, hopefully no one's arguing in force, but when you're setting people up, you said, Hey, let's put the defense if it's the worst person, let's put them kind of in the middle as a libero. And there's a bunch of different ways that you can do this, but there is a chance that you do want, maybe it's not your least athletic, but you do want your best passer taking over most of the court.
And it's okay if are you're a player, your big hitter is also just like the most experienced volleyball player. They've got the most control. It's a good idea to have them pass half the court and have the other two take a quarter of the court. They each got their own quarter. If this person's gonna be able to pass more, they've got more experience. You don't have to share these responsibilities equally. They don't even do it in the Olympics. If you watched Sergio from Brazil years ago as a libero, he would on float serves, kick one of his outside one of his outside hitter passers out. So he would pass half the court and he'd say, I got you. Because he was the best passer he could take over. You could let them hit. So when you're setting this up again, need that power hitter on the outside.
I need the setter who's waiting at the net and then need a defender floating deep somewhere in the back. Now can we talk about some maybe defensive? Let's talk about offensive formation first, let's talk about how to set up in serve, receive, get rid of this diamond, everybody right now save this video, share this video. Get rid of your diamond formation. It is one setter at the net and three people in one straight line in serve receive. If you want to kick somebody outta serve, receive cuz they're struggling, they're not great, they're embarrassed, they don't wanna pass. Then you got two people in a straight line and this person should be supporting them and building their confidence. Then , you got this , Okay, we have short middle, we're gonna dive in front of you as three passers. If you're dividing it equally in three you have, let's just say that you have your lane going forward and backwards.
You have your forward and backwards lane so you have short and you have deep. Now sometimes you talk about seams especially a lot of indoor players will talk about what happens in the area between us if it hits exactly between us. And this is a conversation that you try to have before every serve. So somebody like maybe the better and more confident pass will say, Hey, I got this ball between us. And that'll give to somebody who's a little less confident, more confidence to say, Okay, this person just said that they're gonna take more court from me. If you got two equal passers, but one of thems the LE or the passer type, they can say, Hey, you go hit, I'll pass your scenes, I'm gonna free you up no more diamond, get in a straight line, put your serve receivers in a straight line and then you can have three hitters.
That little defender, they can come straight forward and hit outta the middle if they need to. And you want to get get them some sets. That's not where your big points and your important points are gonna go to because for you to use a middle hitter, your passing and digging has to be at a very, very, very high level. So if you're putting your best hitter in the middle in four on four, you're probably wasting them If they're also the best pastor, you want them to help a little bit more towards the middle. So again, we go back to that the freak athlete has half of the court and the other two have that quarter of the court, but straight line and serve receive set are waiting at the net and you're trying to set more 10 of than middle balls. The only goal for the middle when you set them is to try to maybe get the other team to stop blocking the outside hitters or to be late to the antenna hitters. And we're just talking basics here. We're gonna go over a few strategies. This isn't the Bible of four on four volleyball, but it is a great starting point that I think nobody covers and everybody needs to
Brandon Joyner (18:50):
Hear. And something I'll add to the positioning, I really like what you said about the passers being in a straight line and that line should be about three quarters of the way back into the court, normal service e depth that you would have in Service Eve. But for some reason we do see those wing defend wing passers, step up a little bit in that middle person back a little bit and fours and I don't understand where that came from, but it definitely does happen. But we also need to talk about the positioning of the setter. We've talked about this a little bit on the podcast before as far as momentum and you always want to set yourself up so that you can move into sets whenever you have. Sometimes what we commonly see for setters in fours is that they stand in the middle of the court facing all of their passers and now you're not able to get around a whole lot of stuff making all of your sets facing your setters because you're not gonna square up if there's no wind.
I think you start on the sideline maybe in between the middle of the court and the sideline opposite of your big hitter. I know that might sound weird because it's like wait, you're making me start further away from the hitter I'm gonna set, But you still tell your passers to pass in the middle of the court, but this will allow you to use your momentum to go into that set, which is gonna make the set easier, which is gonna make your attacker able to read your set a little bit more and you're gonna find a little bit more confidence if you have wind. So now let's say, so a lot of times in California we have that ocean wind like I talked about. And when you flip to the other side of the court, this whole idea of indoor setting is kind of out the window where you don't always have to be square to the left side of the court.
You should always set yourself up so that you are setting your best player. And if my attacker is on the right side and he is swinging or she is swinging hard cross court into the wind, then I'm still gonna be in between the middle and the sideline further away from my attacker because that once again, that wind is going to push balls closer to the attacker and then you'll be able to use your momentum. And we as setters, we love running forwards, but we hate running backwards. I would rather run eight steps forward than have to take one step back. And I think that that's a pretty common thing for most setters, whether you realize it or not. I always talk about it at camp or clinics, whatever we're doing where whenever players pass onto the other half of the court, I call that a no crap set or a no crap pass because that's what the setter does. They start running to the net and then they have to backed and they're like, Oh crap, what am I gonna do now? I think the setup of the setter is just as important if not more important than where the passers are
Mark Burik (21:35):
Gonna be. I love that point. Not having them directly middle right, That's really, really nice. That space to move forward, that's massively, massively important. I think most people will just sit right there in the middle and then there's no, you're not leading anyone where to pass you this does not tell the passer, Hey, if the setter's positioned all the way on the right side of the net, it doesn't tell your passers to pass that way. We still wanna pass towards the middle so that our setter has options. We want to lead their chest so that they move forward into the ball. So just because setter, you need to kind of captain this, you need to say, Hey, I'm gonna start over here you guys, I want you to pass middle.
Brandon Joyner (22:16):
Yeah, I think that's a pretty general theme. And the sport of beach volleyball, that is especially at the lower levels, it's not thought about a lot. We wanna always put the ball where we want our partner to end up, not where they currently are. That sentence solves it all. ,
Mark Burik (22:34):
Definitely. Let's talk about some basic defensive strategies for everybody out there. If you're playing in a four on four league measure all of your jump heights, your players cannot jump and get a full hand, a full hand over the net. They should not block period. You're wasting them by hanging them in the air trying to get them to jump and taking up basically not enough space to be anywhere near effective. So if they can't get their full hand over the net, peel them into the court, don't hide them, take up space, put their hands up, but don't have them jumping for no reason when they're only getting little digits over the net. Yes, one in every 100 balls. They might feel amazing when they get a touch on their fingers and the ball also hits the net and then they call it a block or it rainbows off of their fingers and falls for falls for a high block block point in the other core.
But if you don't have the people who can get full hands over the net, stop blocking, stop blocking, stop blocking, that also goes for the other side of the court. If the other team cannot hit down hard and we'll say front half or front three quarters of the court, if they don't have those athletes, don't block them either. The only time you want to be waiting at that net is if that set is too tight and you can actually grab it or hit it on your own after that. Now, if you do have your blockers first, we'll start with a one blocker scenario, defense positions. Here's where everybody gets confused. I think this becomes a giant hockey substitution because you have your position on defense and your responsibility there and that will put you out of position for your offensive position. So you can be a blocker and a setter, right?
Or you can be a hitter and a setter. So if you're only playing with two blockers, you're allowed to block two. So one person will block the left and maybe the middle one person will block the right and maybe the middle. If we're playing with our two big hitters up front or our two big people up front. And then you have your setter back, you'd like to put your setter away from where the best hitter is. So if they're defensively, you wanna put them back, you wanna put them opposite of where they're going to set the most people the most balls because you want them to move forward into it. Like you just said, a lot of times the setter than who's on defense, they'll have to dig a ball. That's when you might ask your defender, that ball control person to come in and try to set the big people, try to set the big hitter again, try to figure out a system or a secondary setter where we can get the ball to the person who's gonna score points. So if the setter digs the first ball, your team should have a designated person that sets the ball when your setter is not available, that happens in a very rushed manner. It doesn't always work out, but they should want to take over the setting responsibilities if your true setter digs the first ball. Because if your big athletic person then has to set the second ball, you don't have a great chance at a kill
Brandon Joyner (25:40):
. And unfortunately, I'm gonna go ahead and call everybody out on this podcast right now. You're gonna have this conversation after you lose a point when your setter dug the ball . So just remember this moment , and then after that moment happens, be like, I'll darn it, he even told me this was gonna happen . So from now on, if the setter gets a dig, this person's gonna be in charge of setting .
Mark Burik (26:03):
Great. A hundred percent.
Brandon Joyner (26:07):
And it still happens to us. I'm not just calling you guys out. It happened to be two weeks ago, .
Mark Burik (26:11):
Oh yeah, yeah. I mean the plays are gonna get random. Somebody else is gonna have to sit besides those two players. And if the person who maybe wants to take control of the game at that point is the like zero ball controlled, drill killer, random shanks, every time they touch the ball, you wanna see them involved. But that's not what's gonna help you win , right? So the set takes the first ball or digs it somebody else. One person should be responsible for the second ball to set it and should be designated before you lose the first point because of it Also for the setter, when they don't dig the first ball, if they're still on the ground or if they just blocked, you want them to take control, they're your quarterback. So you want them to have the set in their hands, you want them to be bumping and setting to the right people.
So they should be that hustle person. Your setter should be the person that will literally shove somebody out of the way in order to set the ball. That responsibility has evidence. It's not like, hey, well went to the middle. Hey well went to the right. No, no, no, no. Your setter is your setter, setter set. So you have to let them do that. You have to get out their way and setters be bossy, scream mine. And there's one laro. When I was trying out in Italy, I was about to pass a free ball. I was playing outside and he was trying out for Laro and we were both about to pass a free ball and he came right next to me and he screamed mine and he did it so sharp and so fast that he literally scared me off of the ball, kind of jumped away. And then I ran and I hit and I actually got a kill. I went to him, I go, I love that, I love that you took control of your passing responsibilities. And that allowed me to get into a better approach. It hit. But he did it with such a way that there was no confusion over who wanted and who had that ball. , he let me know. And I liked when he screamed that loud and he took over. If you're a pass or pass, if you're
Brandon Joyner (28:12):
A setter set, when we're thinking about defense and we're thinking about the setup, what I think about a lot, and I kind of wanna get into this rotation idea cuz I think a lot of people don't pick up on that. So I think the setup should be almost like a square, let's say yes on.
Mark Burik (28:29):
So we're playing defense,
Brandon Joyner (28:30):
So we're back on defense and this is when we're at the net. We have both of our blockers at the net cuz I think most of the time in fours we only see one blocker. And so this would be the case for one blocker. If we have two blockers, that means you're playing a really high level and the defenders are gonna kind of move around those blockers. But when we have a one single blocker at the net, then we have the person at the net who is the blocker, obviously they're not gonna be leaving the net, they're gonna be the person that's up there. Hopefully they're big like Mark was talking about before, where they can get both those hands clearly over the net. They can shut down a player if they're on a hot streak. But the other three players need to think about rotating and it's just a little slide where they're going to be sliding into the most opportune area to where the attacker on the other side can hit.
So if we have that other person who is at the net with the blocker, they don't wanna stay at the net because now they're pretty useless. If they stay there, you're really just staying there for some kind of cut shot. You're almost gonna become the third defender in the back row. And so if you think about it, maybe 12 feet off the net should not be getting further than I would say right around that area. If you are, then you're probably taking that to other person who's going to be cross court. So the defender, now we know that the person at the net is going to rotate off the net about 12 feet. So now they're kind of in a very sharp, hard driven area from the tacker on the other side.
Mark Burik (30:04):
So let's restart. So we got two blockers at the net, two defenders in the back and we're facing the net. They set our left hand so that person stays our left blocker stays
Brandon Joyner (30:15):
Mark Burik (30:16):
Our right blocker,
Brandon Joyner (30:18):
Right blocker pulls off the net about 12 feet.
Mark Burik (30:22):
Okay, cool. Right?
Brandon Joyner (30:23):
Yep. The person that is also on the right side of the court but is also is in the back row back right behind the person. Yeah. So back right behind the blocker who pulled, you're gonna be playing very, very close to that person, maybe about four or five feet apart from one another. But you are going to place yourself in what I call the danger zone. That person, the attacker on the other side, if they hit that ball as hard as they could cross court outside of the hands of the blocker that's up there, then you should be sitting right in that zone every single time and you're just ready to wear that hard hit. That attacker is going, that's two players or three players. We have the blocker who's staying, we have the opposite side of the net, who's gonna pull off and play defense with that cross court defender.
And then we have our fourth player who is going to set themselves up behind the blocker. And this is where it's really useful to have somebody who has a really high IQ of beach volleyball because they're going to be in charge for the tips over the block or the pokes over the block, depending on what type of rules you're following. And four, sometimes people are allowed to tip a ball like indoor but illegal on the beach or they might have to sit into the line if that blocker decides to give up some line to where they could swing hard down the line. So the person who's playing be behind that blocker, they're not really gonna be moving too much , but they're going to be reading the attacker a lot. If they feel like there's a threat of them turning it down the line, they need to sit down the line and be ready to make that dig. If you feel like that area is taken away, then more than likely you're looking to take what we call the honey pot, which is the middle of the court. It's a kind of an easy little princess cut right over the block. that
Mark Burik (32:11):
Brandon Joyner (32:12):
Yeah, so whatever you want to call it. The honey pot, the donut, the
Mark Burik (32:16):
Brandon Joyner (32:17):
The black hole where everyone kind of thinks it's their ball. But if you're playing cross court, you're kind of dug in. So it's kind of hard to move forward. But we would like that fourth player, the person right behind the blocker to make that move and go get that dig. Hopefully that was a good explanation without diagrams,
Mark Burik (32:35):
, visualize, but
Set up a box on defense, whichever side they set, that person stays. The person who's at the opposite side has to get off the court and help out on defense . Now we'll also say, so when we're talking about four on four strategy, we still wanna have the signs that we have in two on two, whether I'm gonna block line or I'm gonna block cross, the majority of the hits will be hard cross. So theoretically we want to get the most bodies diagonal from the person who's hitting that means maybe blocker, maybe two defenders. Now I'll give away my big secret for my championship winning four strategy.
Brandon Joyner (33:16):
It's too early .
Mark Burik (33:18):
I know bud's
Brandon Joyner (33:19):
Coming, I know,
Mark Burik (33:20):
But if you have a solo blocker, we still want two defenders in the diagonal and one down the line. I usually dare people to hit hard down the line. I think it needs to be a really tight set. They need to have a really good approach and I'm forcing them towards the sideline. But I don't want to block cross and then have two of my defenders down the line cuz now I only have two bodies in the diagonal. Instead I'm gonna leave my defenders in the diagonal, I'm gonna leave one down the line for tips and that line swing and I'm gonna run fours. That's a blocker. I'm gonna dive angle maybe 6, 7, 8 outta 10 times. Hitters want to hit cross unless they're really tight and on the net and the balls leading up there, most hitters will go cross. So I'm gonna keep showing him that it might be open. And then diving cross as a blocker, that makes me end up with three people in the diagonal and hopefully I have a really quick person down the line who can pick up a chippy line or a tip over.
Brandon Joyner (34:15):
I like that. That's a really good play. And I think a lot of people do get stuck on that idea of I'm not gonna dive in front of my defenders because there's two people back there and I want wanna let them get some digs. Fours. The area of the court is a little bit bigger. I don't think we touched on that yet, but normally the court is a little bit larger for fours. It's closer to, is it the same size as indoor?
Mark Burik (34:36):
Yeah, nine by nine
Brandon Joyner (34:38):
Mark Burik (34:38):
Or 30 by 30
Brandon Joyner (34:39):
Feet. But there's not a whole lot of defenders out there where if you dive across and you get a touch on the ball, even if they don't get the, a lot of times they're not gonna be like, What are you doing up there? They might ask every now and then to be like, Hey, leave this one and let me see if I can get 'em. But for the most part they're gonna say, Hey, good touch. We'll get 'em next time. . So yeah,
Mark Burik (35:02):
Brandon Joyner (35:02):
Mark Burik (35:05):
They get the stolen balls like, Oh, you stole that from me. And you gotta touch, You gotta, you slowed it down. It means you put yourself in the right position. But yes, instead of yelling, saying Don't do that, you're stealing my balls. Say let me get him, say something that's cooler, a little more confident. I want this guy lead him straight to me. And we do that in twos as well. The blocker will very obviously leave something open. So this defender's saying, I want him one on one. I used to say that as a libero in college, leave that line wide open, bring him to me, I'm going to dig him all night. And that's a better way than saying, don't dive into our, you're stealing my ball. Because then you're encouraging somebody to say when they see a swing or a play about to happen that they're not allowed to go for it. Even though they know they can stop it and win the point right there. There's a quick difference
Brandon Joyner (36:00):
Gotta which can become a very slippery slope.
Mark Burik (36:04):
Brandon Joyner (36:05):
And I think that happens a lot in twos as well. I know sometimes you'll feel like you're in a rhythm and then all of a sudden you stop making instinct moves and you start thinking about things too much. But the conversation is important
Mark Burik (36:21):
And don't make rules, make a, Hey, let's try this for three point instead of the don't do this, don't do this ever. Let me try to take it one on one for the next three. I think I can dig it or I'm gonna go with whatever I see as a blocker for the next 3, 4, 5 point. And you can do whatever you want back there. But I think I can get, if you try that experiment, make sure that there is a set end to the experiment where you decide is it working, is it not? Did we even get the opportunity to implement it if you should carry on with it or not. Or if it didn't work, three balls in a row. Fine. Okay, move on to the next little mini strategy.
Brandon Joyner (36:56):
We got a pretty good comment from Steiner as so cold. So it sounds like no rotating and
Mark Burik (37:04):
Know Steiner is so cool.
Brandon Joyner (37:06):
Mark Burik (37:06):
. I wonder, is that a plan word? Steiner, okay, .
Brandon Joyner (37:10):
But if you are in a league where you are rotating, I love those leagues. I think that that's great. You give everybody an opportunity to perform a skill, but it's important to still remember that you can still make each position responsible for something. I think a lot of times whenever we have teams rotating a lot, that's where we get this idea of sharing touches. And that can be really, really tough because you never really get into a rhythm even before the game. Whether you have somebody who's gonna stay as the big hitter on your team, that's great. If you don't and you're gonna rotate, that's okay. But still keep that one position as your big hitter. So make it your big left side or the person who's gonna be swinging into the win. Obviously the person at the net make them be the setter. Make them start from that position that you want them to.
And so I think all of the ideas that we gave you about rotation and offense, those can still be the same, but it's important to realize what you're going to be doing when you're in each position. That way your team can find a rhythm and you can figure out ways to score. I like that question cause we don't rotate a whole lot in our fours. We kind of have a specific area where we want to play and we want, I wanna be a right side, I wanna be a setter. I want to be a left side. But if you do rotate, it's fine. But the responsibilities of those positions still stay.
Mark Burik (38:29):
If we're putting family fun, chill, barbecue, beach day four on four, rotate. Just know that when we're on offense that serve receive lineup, everybody still stays in the same line and the person who's front, middle, they become this setter that has to stay. We're still never getting into this diamond nonsense. But that way you can rotate equally. But if you're trying to actually win, if you're getting competitive and you need that or you need the free pitchers for a month or whatever, you get
Brandon Joyner (39:01):
, Oh yeah
Mark Burik (39:03):
You gotta have positions and you try 'em out for a little bit and then maybe put a couple people in different positions, but everybody still serves. Remember that you still serve in order. So the person who's serving is obviously not in his position yet. The other three are going to be waiting in their positions. And then whoever serves, as soon as you serve it over, you run to your position. When we were playing four on four at Fuds in Florida, we had some of our servers who were, I think I did sometimes where we served and then we ran all the way to the net to play blocker. Is it tiring? Yes. Is it most advantageous or your defensive line up? Yeah, it can be. So you still rotate servers, but once you serve, technically when we say that we serve, we say that we're on defense. So when you serve, you're on defense. You get into those immediate defensive
Brandon Joyner (39:51):
Positions. I like it. I think that's pretty good.
Mark Burik (39:53):
I think that's a good summary,
Brandon Joyner (39:54):
Pretty good little summary.
Mark Burik (39:56):
We've got some questions here that we'll tackle in the q and a section. And if we divvy this video up into a q and a section, just look for volleyball positions for B four, how to win your Beer league and look for the q and a section. But I think we can get into the q and a after this because this is, maybe we should switch our company, man. This is our highest live attended show.
Brandon Joyner (40:20):
I know people love fours well, and it kind of makes sense to me to be honest because the volleyball community is so cool and these fours leagues are so relaxed and are usually just good entertainment, good people. And a lot of people that play twos can play fours. So it makes sense to me
Mark Burik (40:39):
In the recorded version. Guys, if you're checking out on YouTube and in the show notes on podcast, we are going to include our four on four fun match from one of our camps in Florida where we have three pros and one camper who gets a spirit of the camp award getting to play with the pros in four on four. Sometimes we go into positions, but when we're doing these matches, this is for fun. And we do know that McKibbon volleyball, if you have not seen them on YouTube, I'm shocked, but they have a ton of legit good four on four,
Brandon Joyner (41:12):
Oh my gosh.
Mark Burik (41:13):
Where you will see specific people in specific positions. One of the best side out players in the country is setting full time and that's Casey Patterson. He decides to be a setter cuz he wants some bigger, stronger, higher jumping hitters out there. Or maybe he just wanted to chill for the full on four who does, There's a couple places to see this. You can check out what our camps are like and you get a really good idea of how fun they are by this link that we just posted. And you can check that out in the show note. And of course you can check out the McKibbon Volleyballs series of four on four videos, which are super
Brandon Joyner (41:49):
Fun. Those videos, they do a great job with them. I think most of them are in Texas, like in Austin or something like that.
Mark Burik (41:57):
They ran a few in Hermosa and a couple in Texas. They ran a nice big event because business is easy in Texas.
Brandon Joyner (42:03):
And hey, if you guys ever watch this and you need two more guys, let us know. We love some fours. All right, let's answer some questions. I'm gonna start down at the bottom. Are
Mark Burik (42:13):
Brandon Joyner (42:13):
What are you saying? I'm just trying to find a question. A lot of these are just statements. Oh, okay. I've played a few of reverse co-ed fours. Any suggestions for that particular format? Reverse. So I guess I don't think I've ever played that, but I would assume
Mark Burik (42:27):
Block and they can hit front row. Okay, men cannot block and they have to hit from behind the 10
Brandon Joyner (42:32):
Foot line. I think the positioning and everything is still the same, but is it on a women's net?
Mark Burik (42:39):
Yeah. Okay. If you get any sort of quality open level male players out there, they're gonna be absolutely detonating. Oh yeah. And all it is is the idea of having, you don't even need a passer in that game. You just need somebody who can put up a consistent set at seven feet every time and then just have your dude detonate if you got an older level
Brandon Joyner (43:00):
Squad. So it sounds like we would put, instead of having our best player at the net, we would put our best player cross court of the hitter on the other side so that they can dig and then hopefully get set. But for those players, you probably want to have the guys hitting a little bit more inside, not completely at the pins because then they'd be running into girls that are hitting at the pins. So if we think about the A is on the antenna and then a B, then a C, then a D kind of sideways on a court, maybe those men want to be hitting more of the B and C balls rather than A and D balls. But I think it could also work with the A and D. It just a matter of you having that conversation and figuring out where that front row player wants to hit because the female is still gonna be a very valuable option in that idea.
Mark Burik (43:48):
Front row, probably one on one. I don't when is that, but when you're in trouble, you're probably still gonna sit. If you had a big boy on your team back row, you should be annihilating on a revco net.
Brandon Joyner (44:00):
This is like a two parter. There's a four on four tournament set for this Saturday and I have a team signed up. We were going to play diamond, but I like what you said about having back three more in a line. It makes sense. Also. I like the idea of the two strongest players being next to each other. The diamond throw it out right now and the two strongest players being next to each other. That one's kind of getting me a little bit because I'm assuming that this is talking about rotating. This is probably a rotating tournament, but if you aren't rotating and you have your strong hitter and your setter up there, I think that that's completely correct. If you're rotating a little bit, you might wanna flop it so that your best players are opposite of each other.
Mark Burik (44:42):
So if your league makes you put one person, front, middle, one person, and then you have to rotate into those positions for whatever reason. If they make you do that, separate your best players, make them go away from each other so that they can connect and take up more area. But if you're in a situation where you're playing, it's played at the highest level and you can serve and you can go wherever you want on the court, then you don't sit up to the two best players are next to each other. The rotation in that actually doesn't matter anymore because everybody's going to have their locations where they hit and where they play defense. So if you're playing the normal way, which is you don't have to rotate and stay and the server is not officially a back row person. Cuz when we play four on four, the server can hit front row, right?
That's fine. They don't have to stay back row or anything. And that's usually not a rule. But if it is, then it makes a difference. So if your server, if you can rotate wherever you want, you don't need your best players next to each other, you end up having to rotate and a left person has to stay left, a front middle person has to set. Never really seen that again other than kind of family ball, then you wanna separate your best players so that they can take over more court. And that way you can just mash your cousin in the face.
Brandon Joyner (45:57):
It's just a game. .
Okay, where does the setter stand during the serve? We covered this, but really you want to avoid standing directly in the middle of the court. The way that I like it is if you're always gonna be setting the left side of the court, then you should be starting between the middle of the court and the sideline away from that attacker. And then your passer should still be passing in the middle of the court allowing you to move into that set so that you're always facing the attacker, you're going to be setting. And that just depends on what side you're on. If the wind is in your favor, then just make sure that you're setting up on the other half of where your attacker is so that way you can always be moving and looking at the person you're gonna be setting. Not a whole lot. Do you wanna be back setting every single ball to that person?
Mark Burik (46:50):
We need that chess board with its own camera for next time. Little magnet board. Let us know guys in the comments. If you wanna see us diagram this, do a whiteboard
Brandon Joyner (46:59):
Session, little whiteboard and
Mark Burik (47:01):
. We can do it. You guys you guys just let us know we can do it. And just shoot us in the comments and tell us what you want and if you have any ideas or you want us to cover a certain topic, go ahead, shoot a message. We have an entire Excel sheet of questions that come from our vo chat group on Facebook comes from our members in beach volleyball mastery. And that's what we pick from when we're doing these podcasts in these episodes. So if you have anything that you want us to talk about or riff on, shoot them up on vol chat, shoot them into these comments and hopefully we get 'em up into the
Brandon Joyner (47:32):
Excel sheet. All right, we got a good one. Where did I find it? Okay, we find B level that if three defenders are back in a line, then the cut shot is too powerful. Remember when we're talking about the three players in a line that's only in serve, receive, whenever we're playing defense, we need to have this kind of rotation. And this would be the exact time we would use a diagram. But if we have the net here and our attacker is here,
Mark Burik (47:57):
Go ahead. You got it Brandon
Brandon Joyner (47:58):
And our, It's weird cuz it's member mirrored our defender that's playing right here would have to drop back just a little bit like 12 feet. And then we would have our other defender right next to them . So they would be kind of in this position. And then we have our other defender over here. So you're not really gonna be in a line, you're actually gonna be almost between the blocker and the two defenders cross court. It should make a little acute triangle going back to geometry class. Let's go look at that. So the circle on Mark's screen is the attacker on the other side of the net. And then this would be the defensive structure. So the person that is the closer X to the net would be the other blocker or the setter on your team and they would pull back to play defense, but at no point are they gonna be in a straight line. Nice diagram. I think for me to be honest, the X that pulled off the net, I would like for them to be a little bit closer to that sideline. I don't want 'em to be in a straight line. I want 'em to make a little curve. Yeah, . So maybe a little bit further to the sideline, but if I'm being picky and Mark, I know Mark, you had to draw that in a hurry.
Mark Burik (49:10):
And art is not my specialty.
Brandon Joyner (49:12):
Okay. Oh, I know. So yeah, to clear that up in serve, receive, we're straight in defense, we're making that rotation happen. All right,
Mark Burik (49:21):
I'll show you just one. When we're in serve, receive here, this is what we're talking about when we're in serve receive. You got that set. See that's why I don't do art. I can't draw straight line. Yeah, the curvy lines
Brandon Joyner (49:34):
Mark Burik (49:36):
But we got the off center center and then this player here, this player here in this situation would be your best, your strongest hitter because the setter is furthest away from them, which means that they can move into the set so they can set forward towards the monster, which is this person right here. This is tough. Yeah. I wonder how weathermen and meteorologists do this.
Brandon Joyner (50:01):
I have no, I have so much respect for them now. Not that I didn't before, cuz they're so accurate
Mark Burik (50:06):
All the time. ,
Brandon Joyner (50:09):
There's a 3% chance there's gonna be a rain. All right, When you are attacking, what are your main thoughts? Where you are about to hit the ball where the set is, block is hitting on top of the ball, swinging hard, et cetera.
Mark Burik (50:21):
Let's go over that another time.
Brandon Joyner (50:23):
Yeah, that's a pretty
Mark Burik (50:24):
Brandon Joyner (50:24):
Away question. I think swing hard when in doubt high. Just go high. Yeah, don't go low.
Mark Burik (50:30):
And when we say high, like swing hard, make the ball. Try to make the ball cross if you can. So that's still going down. Try to make the ball cross 18 inches, two feet above the net so that even if you do get a block touch, even if they make a crazy move, it goes off their fingers and either rebounds to you or it continues onto their player. You don't really wanna swing low. And steep is dangerous for just all volleyball players. And I know that everybody likes to see bounces and people hitting straight down, but there's high risk in that. Instead, give a bunch of people haircuts, aim high deep in their heads and then once they sit all the way back, then you still load as fast as you can and give a little brush waterfall over that block once you got them on your heels.
Oh, that being said, when you don't know where to put the ball we just go a little bit strategy. If you don't know where to put the ball, you don't know where to hit. You have to think number one, where is their worst player? Always positioned, How do I attack the area around them, right? Number two, another option that a lot of indoor teams use is, how do I put the ball on the setter? If they have one quality setter, how do I take them? Or one quality athlete, you don't really want to pick on the athlete in this one, you wanna pick on the setter. So if they have one quality setter, try to make them move. Make them dive so that their set isn't gonna be as good and that neutralizes the attacker. What you don't really, really want is to put the ball on the best player.
If he's clearing away the best player, because then the best player has the opportunity to touch the ball twice, you've given their best player 66% of their offense and might not be a good scenario. So find and memorize the area where their worst player is and put the ball around them. Attack them or figure out if you have to send a free ball or you have to just chip a ball in. Pick on their setter. Don't hit it right to them. Make them move. Make them scramble a little bit so that they're still struggling, but locate their setter and have a discussion about that as a team. Hey, the guy who always wants to set is positioned back, left all the time. So if you're in trouble, send it there. If you're in trouble, send it there.
Brandon Joyner (52:36):
And next question, how do I encourage more timid setters to take charge of the play setter? Set? Your job is to set. That's it. Your job isn't to call. Help your job's to set. And if you 100% can't get to a ball, then you need to set. And if you aren't doing that, then you're just lazy . So either they need to figure out a way to set every single ball that they can, or you need to find a new setter.
Mark Burik (53:00):
You don't wanna put the timid shy person or the immobile, less athletic person at Setter. The setter really should be the most mobile person. . People think that they just sit at front, middle and do nothing. That person has gotta move to get their hands on the ball suit. They should be super agile. If you were to pick qualities, that setter would be agile, a F, and then your hitter is gonna be the one that can jump and hit hard.
Brandon Joyner (53:28):
Mark Burik (53:29):
They might not have to be agile, but they can hit and jump.
Brandon Joyner (53:32):
And when we were naming our skills, so when we did the A, B, C, D, our setter was our B I mean, so it should be, if not the, it's probably the second best player on your court. One more is there wisdom and defense to having one blocker, two players back, and one player coming forward to get any short angle cut shot. That player can also cover the middle hole little shorts
Mark Burik (53:56):
Like this as an experimentation. . Again, we don't wanna give you guys rules, but try it out. Say they've been tipping a lot on us, so hey, for the next five points, you cover that area kind of right behind the blocker. The big problem that people have with this, and I saw this , I saw this with that person. I was help coach in their college team. They took one of their players out so that she couldn't dig a ball so that she could set. And when they kind of took her out in defense, I was like, Why is she right behind the blockers? Like, Oh, we don't want her to dig this ball. I'm like, Okay. But she's literally snuffing like sniffing the blocker's butts. She can't even get that short ball. The short tip, which she's supposed to be covering. When you're covering an area, you want to leave yourself just behind that area so that you can move forward into it.
So if you're playing in that donut, don't sit on the donut, sit right around the donut, then you can move forward. But there's a ton of wisdom in that. If a team's just crushing you on tips and they're not hitting extreme cuties and sharp angles, then you don't need it. Cuz a lot of teams don't have quality cut shots or sharp angles along the net. So kind of peeling off that blocker. Instead, you can move them into the center of the court and you say, Hey, my two defenders are gonna play deep and you're gonna cover somewhere behind the blocker. So don't mind that at all. That's a great
Brandon Joyner (55:16):
Strategy. All right, we got a couple whiteboard and diagram statements, so we got you guys. Don't you worry. Appreciate
Mark Burik (55:23):
Brandon Joyner (55:24):
Up. Is fours more like twos or sixes? I would say sixes. I think people who played six on six have a better understanding of the the natural rotations of defenders in figuring out where they should
Mark Burik (55:37):
Be and to hit
Brandon Joyner (55:39):
With the blocker touch.
Mark Burik (55:41):
Yes, they're trying to shoot around in fours. There's not enough space for you. So if you're one of those people who has lived and died by their shots in on two volleyball, your game is not yet built for four on four, you gotta be able to rock that ball.
Brandon Joyner (55:54):
All right, Ditch the diamond. Playing off paying dividends. We love dividends. That's great. The donut hole is called the campfire shot in Texas. That's perfect. Yeah, I like it. That's really good.
Mark Burik (56:07):
It's run, campfire and washes.
Brandon Joyner (56:09):
All right, and last one, thanks. Extremely helpful. We have a tournament this weekend, so this class was super timely. I will look for one of your live workshops and hope to attend this year. Do you live in Santa Cruz? No, we live in Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. But that's awesome. Let us know how it goes. If you get a chance, take a picture of your team and tag us on Instagram. We love seeing people that are playing and that listen to our stuff. So holding
Mark Burik (56:34):
Brandon Joyner (56:34):
The cup and best of luck. We hope you guys take it down. All right. I think that's it. Good session. Yeah, that was good.
Mark Burik (56:40):
People like this. Guys, if you liked it, if you loved it, you have to let us know. Comments, shares, subscribes. We got stats on all of this. So if people are watching this, if people are sharing it, if people are commenting on it, we know we got some topics that you want to hear about. But anytime you reach out, reach out helps us give you guys the stuff that you want. If you guys are in Ohio, we will see you this weekend. I think we have two, maybe three spots left in Ohio.
Brandon Joyner (57:04):
I think we might actually have a wait list now. Oh
Mark Burik (57:07):
Yeah, it's done.
Brandon Joyner (57:08):
Okay. So if you are interested, join the wait list, see what we can do. All right man. Well I hope you enjoy some more time with your family. Let 'em know I miss 'em already. I will. And I'll see you on Wednesday. Yeah,
Mark Burik (57:20):
Man. See you on Wednesday. Yep. Everybody else. See you on the stand.
Brandon Joyner (57:23):
See you on the sand. Have a good one guys.
Mark Burik (57:25):