The first step to being an effective middle blocker is taking an explosive first step. In this video, Art of Coaching Volleyball contributor Jim Stone teaches the technique for that first step and explains how it can speed up lateral movement in a way that will allow middle blockers to block more balls.
Stone, a former head coach at Ohio State and currently the head coach of the USA Youth National Team, emphasizes the following points:
- Initially, the middle blocker’s feet should be in a neutral position, facing forward, as they watch the setter.
- Next, they should take a first step in the opposite direction of where they will be going. For instance, if they are closing to the left outside blocker, their first step will be to the right. This helps create a more explosive lateral movement.
- As that initial step is taken, their upper body should lean in the direction they want to go.