To teach his hitters the value of diversity, University of San Diego women’s volleyball coach Brent Hilliard often creates a blocking dummy at the net, holding up a large pad that he borrowed from the basketball and football teams. The basketball team uses it to practice taking charges, the football team uses it for offensive line drills.
For Hilliard, a former Olympian and NCAA Player of the Year, the foam pad is the perfect tool for encouraging players to see the court better and hit away from the block. As he explains in the video, high school and club players often develop hitting patterns that rely too much on one shot. The blocking-pad drill is a great way to force hitters to mix it up and adjust to what the block-defense is showing them.
As you’ll see in the second part of the video, USD incorporates a pass and set into this drill. A coach start things off by throwing a ball in from across the net.