Secrets to Better Volleyball Defense

  • December 28, 2016

Most volleyball coaches assume that the success of a volleyball team depends a lot on its defense. Obviously, volleyball team’s defenders should get as many digs per game as possible. In other words, defensive players shouldn’t allow the opponent team to get easy points.

Players, who are responsible for volleyball defence, need to get special training. Also, it’s incredibly important for athletes to know the keys to better volleyball defence. In this blog, we are going to share some secrets to better volleyball defense as well as some volleyball defensive drills. Follow our tips and take your volleyball defence to the next level!

Tips to Improve Volleyball Defense

– A defender must watch the opposite team’s attacker carefully. It goes without saying that the opposite team’s hitter has to be under the defender’s watch. When watching an attacker of the opposite team a defender needs to pay a close attention to the speed of hitter’s approach, hitter’s shoulders, speed of hitter’s arms, heights of hitter’s elbow as well as hitter’s contact point. Keep in mind that if a defender watches an attacker during the game carefully he/she will be able to figure out where the ball will be hit.

– It’s crucial for a defensive player to see the ball all the time. Without a doubt, watching the ball helps a defender prepare for the dig properly. By doing so, a defensive player can predict the situation easily. As a result, the chance of digging the ball successfully increases dramatically.

Oftentimes defenders find it hard to see the ball during the game. If this is the case, a defensive player has to change his/her position on the court as soon as possible. As a volleyball defender, you need to find the place where you’ll be able to see the ball properly.

– A defender need to be still before a hitter contacts the ball. As previously mentioned, it’s crucial for defender to watch the opposite team’s hitter carefully. On the other hand, as a defender you shouldn’t change your position until an attacker makes a contact with the ball. Keep in mind that if you start moving before the opposite team’s attacker contacts the ball you’ll certainly make it easy for him/her to carry out a successful attack hit.

The reality is it may take you some time to get the right position and dig the ball successfully if you start moving before an attacker connects the ball. That’s why it makes sense for you to stop and stay still before the hitter contacts the ball. By doing this, you’ll be able to see and read an opposite team’s hitter properly. Finally, you will begin to move to the right direction and will be able to resist an attack hit of the opposite team successfully.

– A defensive player has to be fast on feet. As it was mentioned above, as a defender you must be able to stop when an attacker is making the contact with the ball. At this moment, it’s very important for a defender to watch a hitter and the ball carefully. After the hit is made by an opposite team’s attacker, you need to see where the ball goes and then take the right position on the volleyball court quickly to dig the ball successfully. All that means that if you are responsible for defence of your volleyball team then you must be definitely fast on feet and be able to move quickly. Therefore, exercises for developing explosive power have to be a key part of defender’s training program.                

– Defenders should stay on their toes before resisting an attack. Some of volleyball defenders think that it’s best to stay on heels. Apparently, that’s not the truth. If you choose to stay on heels you’ll probably not be able to resist an attack hit of the opposite team. As a result, your volleyball team will lose the point. Obviously, as a defensive player you’ll have to do everything you can to prevent such situation from happening.

In order to be fast on feet and move quickly on the volleyball court during the game, a defender has to shift his/her weight on feet. Of course, it’s best for defensive volleyball players to stay on toes. By doing so, defenders will be able to improve their explosive power significantly and move on the court quickly.

– Volleyball defenders have to position their hands properly. It’s important to point out that the success of defensive play depends a lot on how player’s hands are positioned. Obviously, defenders have to keep their hands in the right position.

It’s worth noting that the position of player’s hands depends on a dig technique he/she is going to use for resisting the opposite team’s attack hit. Let’s imagine that you choose to use a forearm dig technique. That means that you will receive a hit with your arms. In this case, it’s best for you to take the low hand position to execute a forearm dig successfully. However, if so called overhand dig technique is more to your liking, then it’s not a good idea to take a low hand position. You also need to know that some volleyball coaches recommend defensive players taking the neutral position. It’s important to note that such hand position is suitable both for a forearm dig and overhand dig.

– A defensive volleyball player has to look at the blocker’s hands. There is no doubt that a defensive volleyball player has to watch the opposite team’s attacker carefully during the game. However, after the ball is hit by the attacker it’s time for a defender has to watch the blocker’s hands. As a defender you need to pay a close attention to blocker’s hands. Keep in mind, looking at blocker’s hands will certainly help you predict where the ball is likely to go after block. At the next stage, you heed to react to a blocked ball quickly and dig the ball successfully.             

Volleyball Defensive Drills

Needless to say that practicing volleyball defence drills is vital for a successful defence play. That means that volleyball defensive drills have to be a key part of defender’s training program. Here are a few volleyball defensive drills that you need to practise on a regular basis to make great defensive game.

Balancing the court. This drill is designed to teach defensive volleyball players to take the correct positions on the court to dig the ball successfully. Balancing the court drill is done by three volleyball players and coach. The task of the coach is to hit a ball to the unoccupied areas of the court. Defensive players have to do everything they can to dig the ball. While one of players is trying to dig the ball, other two players have to occupy open spots on the court.

Low-ball drill. It’s another drill that needs to be done for improving defense play. The drill is done by six players. One of players has to stand on a raised platform. Other five players have to stay on other part of the court.

The player, who stands on a raised platform, needs to choose one of five players on the opposite side of the court and hit the ball to him/her. The defensive player has to dig the ball and try to pass it to another player.

Five-on-five drill. This drill has to be practiced by two volleyball teams. Each team consists of five players. Three of team’s players have to occupy positions in the back row of the court. Two of team’s players play in the front row. A coach tosses the ball to one of teams and the drill begins. When practicing the drill one of teams focuses on carrying out an attack hit. Another team has to focus on defence. According to the five-on-five drill’s rules, the defending team will lose all its points if the ball is landed untouched on its side of the court. So, players of defensive team will do everything they can to prevent this from happening. There is the evidence that practicing this drill helps volleyball players develop their defense skills successfully.

Secrets to Better Volleyball Defence from Cary Wendell Wallin

A famous volleyball player, Cary Wendell Wallin (also known as the NCAA Player of the Year), is happy to share her secrets for better volleyball defence. She says that it’s best for a volleyball team to have two defense players. So, if one of players has to move towards that ball the second player has to stand behind him. According to Cary’s opinion, a defensive volleyball player shouldn’t fall down when trying to dig the ball. She thinks it’s best to use feet to get to the ball. Cary also points out that defenders shouldn’t stay on heels. Obviously, defensive players need to stay on toes.

Thanks for reading our secrets to better volleyball defence. Follow the tips provided in this article and improve your volleyball defensive skills! Best of luck!

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