List Of Volleyball Drills
The sport of volleyball requires lots of skill and practice. There are many drills coaches and players can use to improve their game. The list below contains drills that deal with serving, passing, setting, blocking, and hitting. These skills are very useful to all positions on the court, which will strengthen your overall ability.
- Serve and Shag
- Target Practice
- Toss and Drop
- Butterfly Drill
- Bombs Away
- Around the World
Serve and Shag
This drill can be performed either alone or in a group. The purpose is to warm up the arm by serving the ball over the net. After you serve, you are required to retrieve the ball that you just hit. After finding your ball, go back to the serving line closest to you and repeat.
This serving drill focuses on the ability of servers to place the ball in a certain spot on the court. Place a ball cart in a desired location on one side of the court, with the team lined up on the other side. From the serving line, allow players to serve individually. Award points to players who hit the cart. Once a player reaches the desired number of points, the drill is over. The winning player is often rewarded with not having to participate in cardio exercises shortly after the drill.
Toss and Drop
This drill allows players to master their timing when serving. Line players up at the end line with a ball. Place markers below them indicating where the ball should land. Have the players toss the ball in the air and let it drop onto the floor. It is important to remember that the toss should be an arm's length away from the hitting arm.
Each side of the net will have a server, passer, and setter. At the same time, servers will hit the ball to the passer across the net, who will then pass to the setter. The setter will catch the ball and begin the rotation. Setters join the line of servers, while servers become passers and passers become setters.
This drill helps players to practice short serves.Three players serve from one side, and three players stand on the endline on the other side. The servers attempt to serve short serves that drop just over the net, and the players on the other side must try to run and catch the ball before it hits the floor. If the serve hits the floor before the other side can catch it, they get a point. If the team catches it, they get a point. Whatever team has more points at the end of a time period wins.
Around the World
In this drill, players practice serving to all of the zones on the court. Two teams compete to serve into all of the zones. Players take turns serving. Once they land the ball in a zone, they go and sit in that zone. Their teammates have to then try to serve in the other zones. Once one team fills up each zone, they win!
- Toss Catch
- Passing out of the Net
- Shuffle Steps
- Pipeline Passing
- Basket Passing
This drill works on the fundamentals of passing, and is generally used with two players. The first player starts by tossing the ball in the air to their partner. Player two returns the ball with a pass (bump). The first player then tries to set the ball back. If this is accomplished, the third hit (from player two) will be in the form of a spike. Player one will then attempt to restart the cycle with a bump pass.
Two players are partnered with one ball. One player will toss the ball to the other who responds with a bump pass. The player who tossed the ball will catch the bump pass and repeat the process. This allows one player to focus on their passing form and improve pass accuracy so that the catcher doesn't have to move to catch the pass.
Passing out of the Net
This drill helps players practice passing balls that have hit the net. Line up three players (passers) at the ten-foot line. Behind them will be three more players (tossers). With the passers facing the net in a ready position, the tossers will throw the balls off of the net. The goal for the passers is to stay low enough in order to get underneath the ball as it falls off of the net, resulting in a pass to the appropriate player. This is a highly helpful skill to have during a game.
This drill emphasizes the shuffle movement used while passing in a game. It requires two players. One throws the ball to another, but throws it several steps away from them. The passer must shuffle to get to the ball in order to pass it back. Players can switch back and forth, practicing these shuffle steps.
Two players do this drill, with each of them passing the ball back and forth to one another. Once they pass the ball, they have to run to touch the sideline and come back before their partner passes the ball back. Both players will do this, practicing accurate passing, and passing position when tired.
This passing drill is used to improve passer's accuracy. Three players line up in the back court and must pass served balls into a basket at a target position. When they make it into the basket, they can switch out for another player.
- Wall Setting
- Rapid Pass & Set
- Set and Sprint
- Overhead Set
- Long Distance Sets
- Have a Seat
- Set and Freeze
Set up about five feet from a wall with a ball in hand. Mark a location on the wall as your target. Repeatedly set the ball while aiming for this target. Using the wall allows for a lot of repetition, one of the quickest ways to develop a certain skill.
Rapid Pass & Set
This drill requires three passers, one setter, and one outside hitter. The passers will take turns passing tossed balls towards the setter, who will then set the ball up for the hitter. The main aim of this drill is accuracy, as the setter will repeatedly be placing the ball in the same location for the hit.
Set and Sprint
The setter practices setting as balls are thrown to them down a line; they must move constantly to get to each ball. This drill can be timed by the coach, or they can determine a number of sets the setter must make before finishing. Coaches or other players can throw the ball to the setter depending on availability.
A setter throws the ball up to themselves and practices setting the ball over and over, trying to set directly above their head. This helps with ball control, as the setter must place the ball directly above or near themselves to continue to set the ball multiple times.
Long Distance Sets
In this drill, two players stand across the court from one another and set the ball back and forth. This is meant to strengthen set accuracy and improve wrist strength. It mimics a set from one side of the court to a hitter on the other side in a game.
Have a Seat
This drill is done by two seated players. They will set the ball back and forth, only relying on their arm strength to push the ball to one another. This will increase arm and wrist strength as well as improve accuracy with sets that rely on the arms pushing a ball in a direction.
Set and Freeze
In this drill, setters will freeze their arm position after setting the ball to determine if they are using proper form. In freezing their position, they show where their arms and body are facing just after completing a set. Then, the coach can show them where to adjust in order to improve their setting.
- Shadow Blocking
- Mirror Blocking
- Block on Box
- Attack the Hole
Line up players at the left side of the ten foot line. The first player will run up to the net and block, even though there is no one hitting a ball at them. They will then rotate back to the ten foot line, but this time in the middle of the court. As the first player runs back to the net to block again, the next player in line at the left side joins in. Three players should be blocking at the same time when this drill is in full motion.
This drill is practiced with two blockers, one on either side of the net. One blocker will go through the blocking motion, and the other player will mirror their movements. This helps blockers learn to move with their opponent and practice the proper blocking technique.
This drill helps blockers practice what to do when there is a ball above the net between two blockers. This is called a "50/50" ball and it is the blocker's job to push the ball to their opponent's side of the court. In this drill, the coach throws up a ball, and the two blockers must jump up and try to push the ball over the net. This allows players to practice jousting tactics to use in games.
Block on Box
In this drill, blockers practice their form while standing on boxes at the net. The coach will hit a ball at the blocker and they must use good form to block the ball back over the net. By standing on a box, blockers can focus just on their arms, and not get tired from repetitively jumping at the net.
Attack the Hole
This drill can be both a blocking and a hitting drill. There will be two blockers at the net on one side of the court, and one hitter on the other side. It is the hitter's job to hit the ball in the "hole" between the two blockers' arms, and the blockers must try to close the gap and block the ball back to the hitter's side of the court. If the hitter gets through the gap, they get a point, and if the blockers block the ball, they receive a point.
- Approach Step Drill
- Hitting Lines
- Location Hitting
- Tip Drill
- Offensive Kill Drill
- Team Approach Jumps
- Back Row Attacks
- Hitting from the Box
Approach Step Drill
Focusing on footwork, lines of players at the ten foot line will approach the net and go through the hitting motion. Importance is placed on the steps more so than the actual hitting motion while in the air. If players are right handed, their first step will be with their left. Left handers will use their right foot as their foundation.
One setter will be located near the net while the rest of the players line up along a side of the ten foot line with a ball in hand. Players will toss the ball to the setter, who will then set the ball up for a hit. It is important that hitters do not start their approach until the ball leaves the setter's hands. Hitters can either retrieve their own ball or shaggers can be placed on the side of the net where the balls land.
Using the same setup as hitting lines, players will have a specific target when hitting the ball. Common locations include the outside lines of the court, the ten foot line, or the back line. This improves accuracy among players and will help create close calls in a game that may confuse the opposing team.
Place players in normal hitting lines with a setter. On the approach, instead of hitting the ball with full power, players are instructed to lightly tip the ball over the net. Tipping the ball to the side rather than forwards is more effective. This will allow hitters to avoid getting blocked. The ball will also fall closer to the net, making it more difficult for the opposing team to return the ball.
This drill helps hitters transition from passing to hitting. On the court, the player will start in a passing position and pass the ball to a setter. Once they have passed the ball, they will transition to a hitting position and then hit the ball over the net. The repetition in this drill helps hitters to better know their positioning on the court and how to move into a hitting position.
Offensive Kill Drill
This drill is a game simulation where hitters get points by getting kills against the other team. On one side of the court are lines of hitters, and on the other side is a team of six defenders. If a hitter can get a kill against the defensive side, they gain a point. Teams play to a determined amount of points, and whoever reaches that line first wins.
Team Approach Jumps
This is a drill to help hitters practice their hitting approach from anywhere on the court. No volleyballs are used for this drill. Instead, players simply practice the movements that lead up to a hit. They will start on one side of the court and make a hitting approach to the net. Then, they will shift over, and approach from another part of the court. They will do this from several positions on the court, to practice movement from anywhere.
Back Row Attacks
This drill is built to help players hit from the back row. There will be two players on each side of the court: a middle back and a setter. The coach will send the ball into play and the middle back must pass to the setter, and then hit the set ball from the back row to the other side of the court. Then, the other side does the same. When the play ends, the middle back player will rotate out and another player will come in.
Hitting from the Box
This drill is used to practice a hitter's form when swinging at the ball. Rather than make an approach and jump at the net, they stand on a box at the net and just practice their swing. This way, their coach can watch their swing and give them instructions on how to adjust. They can also practice hitting specific spots during this drill.
Drills For Beginners
While all of these drills can be extremely beneficial to developing one's volleyball skills, some may be too complex for beginners. Certain drills that focus on only one aspect of volleyball are usually easier to perform and focus on fine tuning specific skills. From all of the drills above, here is a list of drills that would be even more beneficial to beginners:
- Serve and shag
- Toss and drop
- Toss catch
- Shuffle steps
- Wall setting
- Overhead set
- Shadow blocking
- Block on box
- Approach step drill
- Hitting lines
- Team approach jumps
- Hitting from the box
What are the different types of volleyball drills?
Volleyball drills are separated into five different categories: serving, blocking, passing, hitting, and setting. Each drill is separated into these categories as they are the five most fundamental aspects of volleyball. While it can be useful for every player to practice each of these five types of drills, some drills such as setting can be position-specific. Many volleyball drills combine multiple different aspects, making them efficient for learning multiple skills at once. Others tend to isolate certain fundamentals to hone in technique.