Blocking is a critical skill in volleyball. Several teams have won a lot of big tournaments just because they’ve got a great blocker …
However, to practice blocking you need to have many pre-requisites like being in the court with a Net and being in a situation where an opposite player on the other side spikes the ball before you can block it.
As this training situation might not be available for everyone, I’ve chosen to put together this article to help you practice blocking easily at home with a minimum of required equipment.
Hopefully you will find that helpful!
Minimum equipment & environment you will need for blocking
In this paragraph I will include many equipment possibilities that you can utilize at home to practice your blocking skills. You don’t have to buy all these equipment, just pick 2 or 3 that seem to be the most suitable for you and this should be just fine for you:
- Soft Volleyball ball (Check my recommendation Here at Amazon)
- Blocking hands-training pads
- Rectangular volleyball blocking pads
- Tandem bungee blocker training aid
- Volleyball block blaster
For the environment you should make sure that you’ve got enough space, a backyard if possible or a 4 meters square space free from elements that could break.
3 Volleyball blocking drills to do at home by yourself
1. Start building your core
Blocking is about jumping, but it is also about the core strength. This will help you continue to block consistently with the amount of needed strength to force the ball back onto the other side of the court.
A perfect drill for this is an ab exercise that involves sitting on a mat while having a plate in your hands. Then take your feet off the ground and start doing a side-to-side twist, with the plate touching the ground.
Then again, push the plate above your head to give power to your shoulder
Focusing on the shoulders will help enhance your blocking skills.
2. Lateral Lunge with a Press
Lateral lunge with a press is a popular drill for developing blocking skills …
Keep a plate in your hands while doing a lateral side lunge.
Then, when you are down in the lunge, push the plate straight forward in front of you and bring it back again to your chest before moving out of the lunge.
This is a great drill as it helps develop side-to-side movements while also developing your core muscles at both flexed and taut positions.
3. Get the footwork right
It is preferred to practice that with volleyball shoes (Like These) to give you the needed grip…
Indeed, just like learning how to hit properly, it is important to master the footwork as well. Your mind should not have to think about the feet and the footwork. Instead, the single focus should be only on blocking.
The drill to master the footwork involves a side step block, a cross-over step block, and a run jump block. It is possible to master this footwork even without a ball.
Keep in mind that those drills are really helpful to practice volleyball when it is cold!
2 Volleyball blocking drills to do at home with a partner
Here are some volleyball blocking drills you can do at home with a partner. You brother, father or sister could play this role.
1. Mirror Blocking
Mirror blocking is the most popular drill to practice blocking. This drill allows two players to focus on blocking at the same time.
Stand a few steps apart from each other and imagine that there is a net in between, and you are standing on different sides of the net.
You can start by jumping to initiate the blocking move and your partners will mimic your move by mirroring the same move. You can also do it the other way around by you mimicking your partner …
This exercise is great to develop your reaction time and to challenge yourself and your partner to jump as high as possible.
It is preferred to do this exercise with volleyball shoes as they offer good ankle protection. The latter is helpful especially when you land after the jump.
2. Random Blocking Drill
Some people call this drill as “blind blocking”. It is preferred to have 3 partners for this exercise…
You will play the role of the blocker by standing in front of your partner who will play the role of the attacker. The 3rd partner should stand behind you. He will pass the ball to the attacker so he can initiate an attack (mostly in form of spike) and your role is to read the movement of the attacked to be able to block his attack.
The random or blind part is that the 3rd partner in behind you and you don’t know when or where he is going to send the ball to the attacker …
This is great because you will be able to focus solely on the attacker, read his moves and anticipate his attack.
How often should you practice volleyball blocking at home?
There is no strict answer to that; the answer varies from one player to another and from case to case. Indeed, if you feel that your blocking skills are behind the level you should be at already, then you should consider practicing very frequently (like several times a week) …
Also, this depends on whether you are on or off the season. Indeed, during the season you can well practice 3 times a week or more if you feel you need to …
Otherwise, during the off season once or maximum twice a week is more than enough!
Finally, if you are not tall enough and intimidated by this move, then you can learn these tips to block in volleyball even as a short player!
Are those drills enough to be good at blocking?
These drills are enough to notice significant improvement in your blocking skills. They’ll help improve your knees, hands, shoulders, and even visual skills to quickly respond, jump up, block and smash …
However, the regular practice on the court in real situations is probably the foundation. This will give you the feel of real game situations by experiencing the pace, high intensity and pressure that the blocker has to overcome to succeed in his mission and win his team points.
You can check this helpful article to learn about other volleyball drills that you can practice at home!
Final Thoughts …
The tips and drills I’ve shared in this article should not be considered as your main training routine. Instead you can use them as a complementary training in cases where you don’t have access to a court or to training partners …
You can also take advantage of these drills in the off-season to stay in shape and keep your blocking skills sharp.
One last thing I would like you to do, is to learn how to become a professional volleyball player! You will learn couple interesting tips that you probably won’t hear elsewhere …