Volleyball is a team sport that is focused on players timing their passes, sets, spikes and pretty much any kind of contact with the ball to chain a series of strikes that hopefully lead to getting the ball to hit the floor on the other end of the court to score points.
For those who are just beginning, it’s one thing to teach them how to play on the court but not before they master the basic movements and motions necessary to create and execute the series needed to gain a scoring opportunity while making sure not to have the body make contact with the net and getting the ball to go over said net.
The following drills offer a chance for beginning volleyball players to build up the skills necessary to play competitively in a game situation.
Toss and Pass – This two-player drill is a simple passing exercise from one to the next and back again with a set number of repetitions in mind to help develop the proper passing techniques that will become second nature when it comes time for regular games.
The first step is to practice passing to a teammate with a toss volley before eventually moving on to faster and harder hits to the ball.
Line passing – With two lines of players facing each other – balls are passed from one side to the alternate side as each person passes to the person directly in front of them. It’s a fun and somewhat competitive drill where duos keep track of their good passes.
Wall hitting – This is a more individual-centered drill where all the player needs is a ball and a section of a wall where the person tosses the ball to themselves and try to hit a specific spot on the wall. One way of doing this exercise is called mimic hitting which requires swinging your arm as an attacker and hitting the ball so it bounces back to you for another turn.
Wall blocks – The focus of this drill is to block without hitting the net with their arms on the way back down, which will count as a penalty in a game situation. Players perform the block jumps in front of a wall without their arms hitting the wall to teach proper technique early on rather than working on bad habits later down the road.
Setting drill – One of the keys to an offensive spike on the attack is properly setting up the ball for a teammate. It also provides the person on the other side to practice blocking shots. But the object of this drill is for the two players to practice setting up the ball for as long as possible.
Serving–With someone on each end of the court, this drill allows both to practice serving on each other starting inside the baseline until they are close enough to get the ball over the net to the other side. Gradually, move them back until they are behind the baseline – improving the strength they put behind the serve and aiming in the different parts of the opponent’s end of the court.
Set to box – A player standing on a box or chair keeps their hands to the height of an attacker with a setter getting the ball up to them to practice setting up a spike attempt for a score. Eventually this drill can be combined with the previous passing drills to better simulate how things should be done during a game.
Blocker movement setting – The coach will toss the ball up to the setter from the backcourt and just as the ball gets there, a blocker will go to the left or right of the setter, who must be aware of where their opponent is to keep the ball set up in an area away from them.
Watching the coach – In another exercise that improves a player’s peripheral vision, they must watch the coach tell the setting player where the ball needs to be set to – the middle, outside or back. Tosses to the setter will come gradually faster to make it harder to keep complete sight on the ball and the coach, forcing the use of peripheral vision.
Set with a sideways walk – With two players on each side of the net and facing each other on the sideline. As they volley the ball back and forth over the net, each set of players take a couple of sideways steps to the other sideline. After reaching that opposite sideline, they repeat back to the original.
Two pile – With one player lying on top of another, the coach slaps the ball high into the court – at that point the players come out of the pile with the bottom passing to the other who makes the set to their partner in a fun, yet challenging drill focused on speed, reacting quickly, awareness and player communication.