Work on placement relative to the adverse run up

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6 to 8 players - 4 to 6 balls
One court

Aim of the task:

Place the block in front of the spiker's arm Then counter the spike.


For the spiker: simulate a real attack, then attack the target with a spike.

The work is focused on the reading of the spiker's run-up and the rhythm of the impulsion and the counter. The pointers are:

  • place yourself at arms length from the attacker in the axis of his run to find yourself in front of his hand and not in front of him.
  • take impulsion upon the action of the spiker's arm.
  • Pass your hands on the other side of the net without touching it , fingers spread and straight.

Beware, these points are the opposite of a spontaneous behaviour which would be:

  • to place oneself symmetrically facing the player on the other side of the net, whereas it is the hand that strikes. You must therefore move sideways towards the hand to close the angle of the court to defend.
  • to jump at the same time as the attacker whereas it is the hit that we are blocking. It is therefore the trigger of the hit that must constitute a signal for the impulse.

It is to make this organisation easy that the blocker uses his arm on the spiker's side to evaluate the distance.

The ball catches all the attention and sometimes causes fear in the blocker. In order to put the first pointers into place and avoid badly synchronised first trials that could be painful for the fingers, we can do a few passages in attack simulation without a ball. However, only a real spike will enable to control success or failure.

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We will observe two distinct criteria:

  • is the blocker in time with the hit to intercept the ball?
  • is the blocker placed to block the attacking angle facing the hitting arm?

Besides, as we can see here, a lag in movement can induce different errors:

  • The blocker, due to his momentum, moves past the spiker and is caught by a spike into the inside of the court.
  • The late blocker doesn't have time to place himself facing the spike and deviates the ball to the outside without blocking it which helps the attack.

We must consider that sometimes the block is successful even if the ball goes over the net. This happens when the spiker had to avoid the block:

  • When he has to move away from the net to find room to pass the ball
  • When he has to pass above with an indirect trajectory which gives the defence time to intervene.

In these situations the block defended well the angle it was allotted and slowed the attack.

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