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Volleyball Training Journal issue 021
January 09, 2009


Just because a certain defense is used by the vast majority of teams at various levels of play doesn't necessarily mean that it will be effective for a particular team. What defense to use depends on who you got and who you're playing against.

Important tips to playing effective defense...

1. Never know just one defensive scheme.

2. Be flexible in what you do.

3. Communication is key. Communication on the court is so difficult and you need comfort on the court. If your players are good at a certain defense, let them do it.

4. Perimeter and Man Up are the only 2 defenses you really need to know well because they are basically the exact opposite of each other.


Perimeter read defense is the most popular defensive scheme. There isn't a lot of movement with perimeter defense. This defense is good for getting in position to dig hard driven balls. This style of defense is popular in the men's game because boys have the physical ability to get tips and many other balls girls normally can't get.


There's a lot of movement in rotational defense. Rotational defense is good for when you're playing a team that tips real well.

Follow the link for my latest article on playing rotational.


Man up (also called red defense) is a good choice because often by the time your opponent figures out they can't dump to the middle, you've scored a lot of points and have a big advantage. Small quick defensive players who are also great at serve receive provide the core of any red defense. Middles need to be active at the net because a middle blocker who doesn't cover the net effectively will expose the setter and back row defenders, especially on the quick. When playing red defense, it's important for the setter to read the play. It's difficult to make plays from the up position so it's important for the setter to read the opposing setter and the play that's developing on the other side of the net.

Follow the link for my latest article on playing man up.

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