PROVIDING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE SPORT OF VOLLEYBALL
Middle Hitter Training
May 1, 2013
The middle hitting/blocing position is technical. Most kids at a young age don't enjoy training for it because it doesn't offer instant success. There is quite a bit of footwork patterns that have to be learned. As middles develop and play on strong teams they will discover that their primary job is to hold the opponents middle block opening up a one on one situation for their pin hitters. If the outside gets the kill everyone runs over to the outside and cheers for her and the middle is still standing in her landing positin scratching her head. Its OK middles, I was a middle in college, I share your thoughts. A successful middle hitter will think why is the setter not setting me. I can tell you why because you are doing such a great job at your job "holding the blocker" that your setter sees how open the outside hitter is and she dishes it outside. Middles are crucial to the success of any team. It is really a selfless job but a highly sought after one from college coaches.
Not many 12, 13 and 14 year old are willing to spend their Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon hearing me say....Step cross hop, dont float, hands high, don't look at ball, pike, press, jump, land, turn find the ball, drive toward your setter, get up in the air and be available, swing, land and repeat. Over and over and over.
Although success isn't felt until years down the road during a players career, success does come and in huge rewards. Middle attacking and blocking at the high end high school and college level is extradoniarly fun and rewarding if you have been trained. I can also say that it is the most dreadful position if you haven't been trained. Untrained middles just spin in circles and never catch up to the actual speed of the game. Often untrained middles aren't really sure what is even going on. Being a midde myself, I always feel so sorry for the players who are thrown in that position without prior warning. I can remember being switched over from a pin hitter to a middle. I spent so much time practicing footwork and blocking on my own. Getting on the net and getting off the net and getting to the antanae and getting off and getting back on. It seems so crazy until that magical moment when you get it!
The greatest thing about your coach asking you to play middle is that once you have played middle the outside and rightide hitting position seem so easy if you get to go back to those. You get to transition off and wait on the ball as an outside however a middle NEVER gets to wait. For those of you who are thinking about being a middle learn your footwork and gather strong coaching advice. If you dive into this positin and end up being good at it...you will be in love!
The video attached is several lessons with 13 and 14 year olds who started training weeks ago. I am very excited to see them prosper!