Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Tips for Tooling the Block


Welcome to, your go-to resource for expert advice on all things volleyball. In this article, we will discuss valuable tips for tooling the block to enhance your performance on the court. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, understanding how to utilize the block effectively can make a significant difference in your game.

Tips from the Pros

Let’s dive into the insights shared by renowned volleyball experts on how to master the art of tooling the block.

David Lee – Three-time Olympian

David Lee, a three-time Olympian and gold medalist, emphasizes the importance of speed in defeating the block. According to Lee, beating the block with quick hits can often lead to successful kills. He advises players to focus on attacking swiftly, without major consideration for the block, unless there is a full commit from the opposing player. Lee suggests aiming for a hard-hitting wrist-away shot as the primary strategy.

Pete Hanson – Ohio State University Men’s Head Coach

Pete Hanson, head coach of the Ohio State University men’s volleyball team, highlights the significance of versatility for outside attackers. Hanson recommends developing the ability to both tool the block and avoid it altogether. He teaches his players two key shots: hitting the ball off the outside hand of the end blocker or hitting it hard off the top of both blockers. To execute these shots effectively, attackers must position their feet and body correctly, enabling them to assess the block and select the best shot option. Hanson encourages players to maintain an aggressive approach, ensuring that their hits are powerful enough to prevent the ball from being blocked back.

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Jennifer Petrie – University of San Diego Women’s Head Coach

Jennifer Petrie, head coach of the University of San Diego women’s volleyball team, focuses on the technique of wiping the ball off the block to score points. Petrie emphasizes the importance of footwork and positioning when attempting to tool the block on a tight set. By closing your feet to the ball, you create an opportunity to wipe it off the block and score. Petrie suggests using specialized training drills, such as playing doubles in a smaller court space in front of the 10-foot line, to develop this skill effectively.

Rob Heidger – 2000 U.S. Olympian (Beach Volleyball)

Rob Heidger, a 2000 U.S. Olympian in beach volleyball, offers valuable advice for effectively tooling the block in the beach game. He recommends starting the match by hitting high and hard to the deep middle or angle. This strategy can cause blockers to reach up high instead of penetrating. Once you sense this happening, you can quickly switch gears and attack with a low line shot. By doing so, you can specifically target the blocker’s outside elbow, creating frustration for the opposition.


How can I improve my ability to tool the block effectively?

To enhance your skill in tooling the block, focus on improving your footwork and body positioning. Work on recognizing the block and selecting the best shot option. Practice various specialized drills, such as tight set tooling exercises, and play in smaller court spaces to simulate real-game scenarios.

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Can tooling the block be effective in the beach volleyball game?

Yes, tooling the block is equally valuable in beach volleyball. By utilizing strategies like hitting high and switching to a low line shot, you can frustrate your opponent and score points effectively.


Mastering the art of tooling the block is crucial for any volleyball player looking to elevate their game. By incorporating the advice offered by experts like David Lee, Pete Hanson, Jennifer Petrie, and Rob Heidger, you can enhance your skills and increase your chances of success on the court. So, start implementing these techniques today and take your volleyball performance to new heights!

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