A Faster 1st Step - Begins Today

To Split or not to Split?

Comment below your thoughts on the Split Step. As I have said in the past and will continue to repeat "there is no right way to pass." There are many schools of volleyball that differ, contrast and produce great receivers. I will be very honest about my journey as a passer - as my life, career depends on me being as simple/optimized/consistent as possible.

Day 1 in the Passing Course is all about the Split Step and the 4 different ways, I see it used at the highest level. If you haven't gotten the Passing Course yet, there is a Free version and there is the full video course - feel free to email me at dustinwatten@gmail.com - I'll create a discount code for you. Click Learn more to get the course, continue reading on the changes I've made this year on my Split Step.

The split step is something I was never taught - I was always taught to be still. But being still, left me getting aced on short jump serves and short float serves alike in my 1st season in Poland - I needed to find a better way, as I wasn't going to increase my speed over night. While writing the Passing Course, I realized that there was another way to split.. the 1 footed Split Step - I had never heard about this before nor seen it before watching Damian Wojtaszek and Michal Ruciak who play in the Polish Plus-Liga (where I am playing now)

I used the 1 footed split last year but only for jump serves with a ton of success - I went from being aced on short serves, to helping my passers on short serves meant for them - WOW! I began noticing in film that I was leaning on floats (with a normal split) - I see now in working with Zoe Fleck (UCLA All-American Libero) but this changed proved to be very difficult to make mid-season due to the difficult balance of grooving in this new approach with my feet and needing to be great for my team (with regards to the quality of my pass)


Fast forward to this pre-season - it was go time! Time to re-wire my subconscious and incorporate a 1-footed split step into my float approach, knowing I had the time to fail, to struggle and to groove in this new technique.

 

 

As you can see in the video, having a good, consistent split step that has my legs balanced and primed is great and can help me get to short balls... but we can actually get MORE out of our split by timing it correctly. This game was tricky as Josh's serve is a hybrid - meaning he can spin and float on the same toss. This means as passers, we have to prepare like a jump serves (deeper into the court) even though he was mixing in short floats to our back row Outside Hitter to pull him out of the pipe.


You can see the difference in a well timed split step and a perfectly timed split step in the video.. where both feet don't land, here's how.

1. Approach into the split step as he is tossing

2. Right before he hits the ball, hop (we know that what we see/perceive is a .20th of a second slower that what we believe. Our goal is having both feet in the air as the ball comes off his hand

3. Once we see the line, instead of landing with 2 feet, we only land and push with one foot.

For example: If we see the ball on our left side, we only land on our right foot as soon as we touch the floor, we are using that foot to push and move towards the ball.

The 1st pass (landing on two feet) was good but the other two, where I land on just one, I am able to get more steps and I more balanced upon contact. As we know, the more balanced we are, passing a float, the higher percentage we will have in keeping our intended angle. When I was able to time this right (with both feet in the air -  I can (and you) can get an extra step on the ball.


If we are faster, we can cover more court.
If we can cover more court, we can help our team sideout out at a better efficiency %.

In working with both Mason Briggs (CSULB) and Zoe Fleck (UCLA) - I want to push them to run serve receive and as much as possible - give their setters 4 options with a perfect pass.

🗯 What do you think about the Split Step, should it be trained?

✅ What Split Step have you seen have the most success with your athletes?

🗯 I always love hearing alternate opinions on the game - as I am still playing, learning, growing and trying to find how I can be simpler, quicker and more efficient in helping my team sideout. 

 

If you want to know more about working with me on a 1v1 basis, email me at dustinwatten@gmail.com. My team and I will see if you're a right fit.
Have the best day ever!

1 comment

  • i’d love to get to work with you and your team. i went to a camp already and it was one of the best experiences i’ve had! but i’m definitely wanting to elevate my game before going into college!

    Kambree Rodriguez

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