Defence / assist / attack on distribution flow

See the video


1 or 2 teams of 4 players
1 thrower
1 court
3 to 6 balls

Aim of the task:

Attack opposing court from a situation of defence.

Roles and instructions:

  • The thrower sends the balls to different places in the court.
  • The team must defend and move into attack.
  • The team on the thrower side defends and attacks too but in case of error it is replaced by the thrower who sends a ball in the timing of the game.


If there is only one team and one thrower, the thrower feeds the game with balls in the time of the game from the opposite court, every time there is an error or in response to each attack of the working team. This way, he simulates an error-free opposing team.

The work focuses on movements and replacements according to the phases and situations of the game. Anticipating requires to identify information and signals of impending actions.

To achieve this, players must:

  • Place themselves in defence positions (front and back) to cover the court with blocks or front defence or back defence without getting in each-others' way. To this end, the position of the ball with the opponents is key. See on this subject the 4-a-side game.
  • Announce "Got it" as soon as possible to enable partners to anticipate their support.
  • Placed within intervention distance of the defender who announced "Got it" and facing him in a position of attention and support to react to his trajectory.
  • On the first hit if the ball goes towards a passer, align (towards the back) on the ball to enable him to serve a pass in front of one of the players between him and the net.
  • Wait for the trajectory to be clear before hitting the ball, unless patterns of attack with quick timing have been rehearsed. See the resource on

One of the main difficulties resides in the flow of movement from front to and their accurate timing. Players have a tendancy to being late on defence timings and early on attack timings. When the action lasts, which is the aim of this work on continuity, their attention often "lapses" after a few exchanges.

Let's note here that this situation is not reserved to intermediate level as it is fun and even when the solutions are not in place it enables to identify problems.

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See the video

We insist on the signals and the decision making rhythm. Video analysis shows that some errors which could be attributed to technical problems or inaccuracies are essentially due tu delays in communication and decisions. All situations shown here could be solved efficiently with timely communication and moves.

We intervenr through questions:

  • Who says "Got it"? (one of the defenders takes the role)
  • What should you do when the catcher announces "Got it"? (placement and orientation in assistance)
  • Where should we go when the passer says "Got it"? (placement in attack enabling to send the ball in front of the attacker)
  • When can the attacker move to hit? (as soon as he can clearly read the pass trajectory, obviously after the pass (except rapid attack pattern)
  • What choices can the defender make at the net? (block or defend on the ground, pivoting to see the ball and his own court)
  • When does he chose? (before the opponents hit depending on the position of the ball and of the opponent)

It is essential to praise communications and actions which happen at the right time even if there are technical errors in the intervention on the ball.

A player who is well placed with the right timing will rapidly achieve correct then good technical efficiency. A player who takes the habit of playing late or off-time is locked in behaviours of compensation with limited effectiveness.

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