Plan Your Attack: Stop Line and Angle Hits

Great defens­es are made of good block­ing, dig­ging and a noth­ing hits the floor” men­tal­i­ty. In the sec­ond of our six-part series, we’ll show you how to bring them all together.

Plan Your Attack: Stop Line and Angle Hits

Great defens­es are made of good block­ing, dig­ging and a noth­ing hits the floor” men­tal­i­ty. In the sec­ond of our six-part series, we’ll show you how to bring them all together.

In all my years of coach­ing, I always felt that defense — indi­vid­ual play­er and team — is the tac­ti­cal area that will deter­mine what team will ulti­mate­ly win.” — Ter­ry Liskevych, for­mer USA Olympic coach and Ore­gon State Uni­ver­si­ty coach

There’s no doubt you’ve heard the coach­ing cliché, defense wins cham­pi­onships.” Now you’ll see it with our new attack ten­den­cies report. We’ll use this data to show how your team block and dig more balls, then dive into how Penn State vol­ley­ball teach­es its ath­letes to pro­tect the floor and the net. 

The Prob­lem

You lost your last match and it’s easy to see why when you look at the data — your opponent’s attack per­cent­age was over .350. Your play­ers couldn’t fig­ure out how to shut them down and your efforts to sub in dif­fer­ent block­ers and defen­sive spe­cial­ists didn’t make a dif­fer­ence. What can you do to keep this from hap­pen­ing again? Head to your attack ten­den­cies report to find out. 

The Diag­no­sis

You select your oppo­nent to see their play­ers’ effi­cien­cies. The report lights up blue (because blue lines are kills). You fil­ter by their out­side hit­ters and real­ize that every­thing was land­ing down the line, where your team isn’t used to defend­ing. Your block­ers were too far inside and your right back was right behind your block­ers instead of hav­ing her foot on the line. 

Next, you fil­ter by your opponent’s right sides. This time every­thing is going cross-court. Even when your block­ers seemed to be lined up well, the right side would hit a sharp angle. 

The Solu­tion

The drill below from The Art of Coach­ing Vol­ley­ball and Penn State breaks down the mechan­ics of dig­ging on the right side. Use this to help your play­ers focus on their form, and get their shoul­ders around the ball to face the tar­get with their platform. 

Now they know how to pro­tect the line. So it’s time to work on defend­ing angle attacks — both in the front row and the back. In this video, you’ll see a com­pet­i­tive five-on-five drill that teach­es one-on-one block­ing and dig­ging with an aggres­sive attitude. 

Want to see more drills and coach­ing tips? Head over to The Art of Coach­ing Vol­ley­ball to start learn­ing. And if you missed it, be sure to check out blog one in this series, Improve Shot Place­ment.