Friday, November 28th, 2014

Volleyball Transitions

Published on November 5, 2010 by   ·   2 Comments

Volleyball transitions refer to the switch between offense and defense that players make throughout every single game, and they’re one of the hardest parts of the game to master. mastering volleyball transitions

Beginning the Transition

When your team is serving you start out on defense since the opponents will be attacking first. Front row players are in defensive positions at the net, preparing to block the opposing hitters. It’s helpful to start out facing the other team’s passers so you can be prepared for whatever might happen, which may also give you a head start on your transition.

You remain on defense until the other team attacks, at which point your team either loses the point or moves to offense. From row players will either block or pull off the net depending on where the ball gets set, while back row players will only be moving around the back court to get into position.

Defense to Offense

If you’re a hitter, there are few things you’ll be doing on defense: passing, blocking or not being involved in the play.

  1. Passing: If you pass you must focus on that first. Many hitters mess up an easy attack because they’re more worried about hitting than passing. But if you can’t pass accurately to your setter you won’t ever get to hit anyway. Once you’ve pulled off an excellent pass move immediately to your attack position. Don’t wait to see if the setter looks like s/he will set you – get to your spot ASAP.
  2. Blocking: If you block the ball completely you’re still on defense and will stay at the net. If you just touch the ball you’ll either need to move toward it to pass or open up toward your court to see where it’s gone. Look at your teammates, and if they’re passing you go to your attack position.
  3. Not Involved: If you’re not passing or blocking the ball, get into attack position right away once you’re sure you don’t need to help out an errant pass.

After the pass is complete most back row players should be moving toward the net to cover their hitter in case s/he gets blocked. At least one player needs to stay deep in the court, however, in case of a deep block or the ball being sent back over the net right away.

Front row players who don’t get set will also converge on the hitter who is attacking to cover in case of a block.

Offense to Defense

After your team successfully attacks you must get back to your base defensive position right away. That will either be at the net to block (for front row players) or in a defensive ready position in the back court (for back row players).

Getting caught napping is an all-too-common cause of the other team getting an easy kill. Don’t admire your teammate’s excellent hit – get back into position and be ready for the next attack.

The hardest part about transitioning is probably avoiding the setter; or, if you’re the setter, avoiding everyone else. The front row players are concentrating on getting back to their attack positions near the 10-foot line while you’re trying to get into the target position, which can make lanes of traffic very crowded.

Practice transitioning in a controlled situation, like a practice or before a game, so you can get familiar with the paths that everyone will be traveling. Move into defensive positions for left, right and middle attacks and then transition to offense, including any plays that you’ll be running.

You should also try and be aware of the court, your teammates and the ball at all times. This is a lot easier said than done, but court awareness is a key part of the teamwork that makes outstanding teams look like a seamless unit.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by shawna walker, shawna walker. shawna walker said: Mastering Volleyball Transitions from Offense to Defense …: Volleyball transitions refer to the switch between… http://bit.ly/bDqOzr [...]

  2. [...] before you know it the other team will be sending the ball right back over. This is part of the transition work that I covered in an earlier post. In volleyball you’re almost never standing still; you [...]




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