How To Become A Better Middle Blocker For Your Volleyball Team
Each position on the court requires a different set of specialized abilities. As a middle blocker, you will need to possess many skills. I'm going to tell you what you need to know to improve your game as a middle blocker.
First and Foremost....
You need to be able to jump. Plain and simple. If you're not the tallest girl on the team, this is a must, if you ARE the tallest girl on the team but don't jump, the coaches and team will see that as a lack of effort and even though you may still get playing time, everyone else will only be watching and wondering, "What if..." Having a high vertical is important in putting up a block and for getting up above the other team's blockers and hitting the ball down hard. The higher you get, the more options you have for where you're going to hit it on the court at full speed. And let's face it; getting a kill from a well placed tip or chip is still a kill and gets your team the point, but think of the momentum you alone could be in control of when you jump even an extra three inches and get those hard, straight down kills. You would get set more often and become someone your team relied upon. I'd think that's worth a little extra effort!
Although most people associate defensive plays with a libero, YOU, the middle blocker, are always on the first line of defense. Putting up a great block will force the opposite team to resort to tipping or chipping around you, which is usually much easier to dig up if your defense is ready for it. One way to become better at blocking it to line yourself up well with the ball. Before you learn the opposing team's hitting tendencies, line yourself up so that the middle of your block (the gap between your hands) is center with the ball. Once into the game, maybe you'll notice that their right side hitter always hits cross. To take away that angle, line your left hand up with the ball, and put your right hand in a position to take cross away from them. Make sure you tell your team what you're going to be doing, so that they can adjust ot the hit as well and work around where you'll be. Likewise, if they were hitting line, you'd push over towards the line and try to line up your right hand with the ball. Pass these strategies on and help your team out! If everyone knows how to do this, your team will become a better blocking team!
In addition to being able to jump high and knowing how to put up a block, you need to be quick. If you are too slow to get to the block or run a quick play, your team will have to make up for your slowness, and that's not something they'll be happy about! Work on very short bursts of speed, because you rarely have to travel farther than ten feet at a time. Also work on stamina, because you are one of the most active players on the court!
There is a lot of movement in volleyball, and you are right in the middle of it. There will be rallies where you feel like a ballerina spinning in circles at the net, and if your balance gets off, you basically become ineffective for these kinds of rallies. One balance workout to try (possibly with another middle blocker on your team?) is to stand facing each other, each standing on your left leg, and pushing the other person's right leg with your own, trying to get them off balance. After a few duels like this, switch to the other leg.
To be a great middle blocker, here are the things you need to focus on
- Vertical Jump to get higher than the other team
- Blocking as your team's first line of defense
- Quickness to become a real threat at the net and be involved in more plays
- Balance to keep up with long rallies going back and forth over your head
Good luck with becoming a middle blocker! Thank you for reading!