What you need to know to get to the next level… One player’s experience with us.

Dan’s been playing club for his college team and trying to pick up beach volleyball at the same time. A few weeks ago he played at the same Great American Volleyball tournament me and I was playing with my good friend, Shane Donohue. Shane wins about 99% of the tournaments on the Jersey Shore and we’ve played a lot of ball together so we played loose and fast with a lot of combinations in our offense. Dan had heard about our training camps so he came up to me with a few questions and basically booked his trip that day!

He took some of our group classes but he knew he wanted training specific to his game with a lot of focus so he purchase a set of private lessons. He wrote down EVERYTHING he learned throughout his week here and was generous enough to share what he took away:


“Hi Mark,

Below are the notes I remember from working with you the afternoon of Friday the 13th and the morning of Saturday the 14th. Despite the novel I just wrote, I feel like I’m forgetting something. Check it out:

Passing and Ball Control:

  • Create more space between your torso and platform, reach  and push forward so that your shoulders are at your ears WITHOUT shrugging your shoulders up, if anything lower your head
    • Try to emulate Karch’s extension
  • Hips and glutes back away from the ball when passing, will help platform extension
  • Ball contact should be on the flattest part of your arm, away from your wrists due to the unpredictable surface
  • Be patient with how long this will take to correct, but never waver from progress, even if it’s slow and frustrating at times!
Passing Mentality
  • Provide “lift” to the ball
  • Pass ~6 feet off when in serve-receive, ~10 feet off for a dig
  • Every single pass should have an apex, where your setter can point to the ball and say “that’s the peak of the pass”. However, this does not necessarily mean you’re passing higher!

Digging the Cut Shot:
  • Wrap your hand under the ball and lift it to the location
    • don’t bounce it off your palm
    • don’t paint brush it with fingertips
  • Get back up immediately to sell a potential option on 2
  • You are looking to option ball your partner on this
    • Dig on the right to a right- handed player:
      • put the ball about antenna height, maybe higher, towards the middle of the court  about 3ft off the net
    • Dig on the left to a right-handed player:
      • push the ball towards your partner’s right shoulder so they can quickly hop up and put the ball down
Attacking Mentality
  • Aim to always get yourself in a physical position to get the ball in such a great position that you would start drooling if you got that set for game point
  • Get to your POH and actually hesitate while your setter sets it

Serve Receive
  • Ideal situation – get in your correct, low position behind the ball, then step forward into the ball, extend your arms during the pass
  • If the ball “is going to burn your throat or chest” side step out of the way as soon as you recognize it, extend your platform and push to your partner
  • work REALLY hard to get into your POH



  • General Principles:
    • Always point shoulders and hips to the antenna
    • push the set to the right place, get behind the ball a bit to do so
    • Use your feet to help aim your set – the foot closer to the net should be slightly in front of the other to help error off the net.
    • a set should hang in the air for your partner
  • Bump setting:
    • Elongate your touch- the longer you have [good] contact with the ball, the more control you have on it
    • “walk” into the set, get low to lift it up
    • Do not hop into a set. Just don’t.
  • Hand Setting
    • Start with hands at face level –
      • the “down” movement is an optical illusion because although the hands move down, the wrists and arms do not
    • Extend elbows all the way every time
  • You get 3-4 steps, you’re not trying to get to a spot, necessarily
  • Move fast, take a big first two steps
  • Get stopped
  • Eyes and chest on the attacker at all times
  • Get Stopped
  • Hands up, not at your sides
    • The lowest your hands are allowed to be is with your elbow at a 90 degree angle
  • Get stopped
Overall – need to be able to ‘breathe’ during a point, as a passer you should be able to breathe and flow during the pass’ apex, as a hitter you breathe
Favorite quote from the training: “Hitting? No, we’re not going to get to hitting. We’ll work on the the third contact once you’ve got the first two down.”
2nd Favorite quote: “You should really bring an entire jar of pickles anytime you play volleyball.”
Thanks for everything again, I’ll get you those reviews by Sunday for your review.
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VolleyCamp Hermosa
Pacific Coast Highway
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Tel: (234) 752-9824
Email: [email protected]