The block / spike sequence

See the video


1/2 court in length
4 to 6 players
2 to 6 balls

Aim of the task:

Attack the opposite court with a spike, starting from a block position.

Roles and instructions

  • The blocker / attacker simulates a block then repositions himself in readiness for the passer. After the spike he moves to defence on the other side of the net.
  • The setter throws the ball for a spike attack.
  • The defender in the opposing court catches the ball or realises a defence followed by a control with both hands then gives the ball to the setter and places himself in position to move on to working on the block / spike.


  • In the beginning we can mark the run-up position with a physical mark (red cone on the photo). Later, players will have to take their bearings from the lines on the court.
  • If the block is not simulated properly we can create an "attacking opponent" post (placed in the rota after the defender) who, feet on the ground, throws the ball just above the net then collects his ball and follows the circuit. This way, the blocker / spiker really blocks the ball before continuing.
  • The attacking opponent can also throw the ball vertically with two hands in his camp but close to the net. The blocker must come and touch the ball with both hands before moving on.

We then put the sequence in situation with a 9 player workshop:

  • Upon a throw, an attacker lobs the block (if the block isn't there or is late, he spikes).
  • Upon the lob, the spiker moves back to make himself available to the passer for the attack.
  • Behind him, reception is assured towards the passer.
  • Upon the pass, the attacker plays diagonally towards the players who take turns to defend the opposite court.

L'enchaînement contre / smash

The action of pivoting and moving away outside the court for the run-up allows a right handed player in position 4:

  • To participate immediately in the next phase of the game when the block did not block the ball.
  • To have the court in his angle of vision and make himself available to the passer.
  • To open his angle of attack while naturally facing to the passer.

For a left handed player, these advantages are found in position 2.

The presence of a mark on the ground encourages the players to look down, or even to turn their backs to the court which is not logical behaviour in a game. This is why, as soon as the distance bearings are taken, the cone is taken away.

We watch that:

  • The block simulation is done in an realistic manner by passing the hands over the net
  • The run-up keeps its range and is not gradually reduced to a step back.

Block / spike on opponent's attack sequence:

The thrower must facilitate the attack. For the work to be efficient there must be a majority of lobs but every time the blocker doesn't play his role the attacker hits straight where the block should have been. See systematic situations.

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See the video

In a first stage, the players take their marks on the sequence of actions and the area of play.

Then we make sure the actions are authentic for the block as well as the smash.

  • If the block is only half hearted this influences at the same time the quality of technical learning and on the energy required. We can ask to either pass the hands on the other side of the net, or, if necessary, add a post of attack simulation by a simple throw that must be blocked before moving on.
  • Information gathering: in volley-ball there is no action without an intake of visual information and a decision. In order to maintain this requirement, we introduce, if the player is turning his back, an uncertainty in the exercise. For this, the thrower can, while the player turns his back, move two steps towards the player or the centre of the court, as this can happen in a match. The spiker notices then that he has lost a piece of information needed for his placement.
  • True spike : the spiking action is attractive and pupils rarely neglect it. However we check that the attack aims the opposing target. The presence of a defender in the circuit must create a real face-off spiker /defender.
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