Best basic volleyball drills for beginners (Do THIS!)

To improve your volleyball skills, you will have to repeat the same drills over and over again. The goal is to get better at serving, setting, spiking, blocking, and digging. In this post, we will discuss what exercises can help you to improve each of these skills. It can take a long time before you are able to do so but you will notice progress quite soon. Let’s discuss some drills that will get you started. 

Best volleyball warm-up drills

The first step in warming up is to make sure that everyone is focused on volleyball. Players often have a lot of things going on in their life that can distract them. When you start warming up, it is essential that these distractions disappear so that everyone can focus on what is going to happen. This can be done by a cheer by the team or by talking about the upcoming training or match and its importance.  Playing a song can also help the players to focus on what needs to happen.

In volleyball, you will have to run a lot. Therefore a great warm-up drill is to run back and forth on the court. This will bring your legs up to speed and allow them to deal with the pressure that they have to experience later on. Running around for five minutes is a great way to get started. You can use the competitive spirit that a lot of volleyball players have to push them to run faster. For example, the goal can be to run back and forth as fast as possible. After this, you can stretch so that you are prepared for the training or match. Some players hate warming up without a ball but it is part of it. 

Once this is done, you can take a ball and three players have to pass to each other without dropping the ball. They can use underhand or overhand passes. One player is standing in the middle and has to try and catch the ball. You can start slowly and after a while players have to pass faster. This can be done by counting or using music. The goal is to warm up your arms and fingers so that you are ready to use them during the following drills. 

Below is another great warm-up drill:

Volleyball drills for beginners serving

Serving is restarting the game after your team has scored a point. This has to be done behind the lines of your court. The goal is to push the ball over the net at once and inside the court of the other team. The ball has to land inside the court of the other team so you can’t use too much power either. Serving is all about power and precision.

The whole team can stand behind the court with a ball. They have to aim the ball in a basket that is standing behind the net. The basket is moving around so players have to adjust their aim over time. Every player has a chance to try and get the ball in the target before it moves. This makes sure that players work on their power but also their aim. A lot of drills only focus on pushing the ball over the net without paying attention to the direction that the ball is going in. A server has to be able to see holes in the defense and take advantage of them. If you can’t aim well, you will not be able to do so. 

You can practice the different types of serves to make sure that you master them all. Each type of serve has its own advantages and disadvantages and you have to be able to use them all so that you can find ways to break the defense of the other team.  

 Practicing serving by yourself is quite challenging as the ball can fly quite far and you lose a lot of time by running to get it. Luckily Puredrop has a great product for this. You can learn more about this here.

This product helps you to retrieve the ball faster. This allows you to practice more often and you will improve at a much more rapid pace.  This is great for players that are just beginning out as they still need to learn the technique and how to hold their hands. You can waste a lot of time finding the ball. This product allows you to practice in rapid succession so that you can see the impact of small nuances on the outcome. 

Drills in passing and setting in volleyball  

Passing is essential in volleyball. Every player on the team needs to improve this by practicing. You have underhand (you lay the palm of your hand in the back of the other hand and fold them so that your thumbs touch) and overhand (you touch the ball with the palm of your hands under the ball) passes. A lot of players think that they are good at passing but you need to be great at it as you need to be able to do this in a lot of situations, even when you receive a ball that is totally out of your zone. Volleyball is a fast-paced sport and you have to be able to deal with a lot of situations. Let’s look at some drills that can help you with this.

 Passing:  You can start out by just pass the ball to yourself. This is done by throwing the ball vertically and keeping the ball in the air.  It is also possible to practice this by standing in a circle. The players have to pass to each other and make sure that they don’t drop the ball. At first, they can start out quite slow. Gradually, they have to speed up their passes and keep the ball in the air. You can switch between underhand and overhand passes so that both are being practiced and improved. 

Setting: This is a special type of pass as you have to send the ball higher to provide an assist. This can be trained by asking a player to pass to you and then you have to pass back to that player but the ball has to arrive quite high so that it is possible to attack. You have to learn the preferences of the attacker if you want to get great at this. Some attackers want to receive the ball really high whereas others prefer to receive the ball lower. A great setter knows these things and can adjust their pass to this. 

What are the drills of spiking in volleyball?

Spiking is pushing the ball over the net after you have received an assist (or set). This is often done by hitters as they specialize in this. These players have to jump high enough and often evade blocks so that they can score. Once again the correct combination of force and aim is needed. You can do this by setting up a basket behind the net. One player passes the ball and the other player has to spike. The goal is to push the ball in the basket. Once the player was able to do so, the basket moves around the court so that it is possible to practice the aim of the player.

 Once a player masters this, it is time to make it harder. Other players on the opposite side of the net can start to block the ball. This can be quite challenging for an attacker as you have to find a way around it. This needs to be done by trial and error. You can also instruct the player to use a tip instead of a spike. A tip is a soft push of the ball to make it land just behind the net. Players have to use different types of attacks to surprise the defense of the other team. A lot of teams use attacks that are too predictable. This can make it easy to defend. Switching it up and using multiple types of attack, makes it a lot harder for the defenders. 

In the following video Olympic athlete Jordan Larson discusses how you can improve your spiking skills. 

What are some defense drills?

There are two main defensive skills in volleyball. First, you have blocked, with the goal of stopping the ball at the net. Second, there is also digging which is using an underhand pass to control the ball and slow it down so that you can pass it to another player on your team. This can be challenging as you might have to dive to keep the ball in the air.

Blocking:  Here jumping drills are important. One player can throw the ball over the net and the other player has to jump and stop the ball. You first have to work on your technique before you can get great at this. Therefore it is great to start quite slow so that you can perfect the steps and jump before you start speeding things up. In essence, this is a simple drill as one player just has to drop the ball over the net. You can use different angles, power, and heights to do so. This makes it more challenging for the blocker and these are also things that will happen during a match. Olympic volleyball athlete Raechel Adams explains this in more detail below:

Digging: You can throw the ball in front of you and try to get it back up. You start by throwing it quite close by and you throw it farther and farther away to make it more challenging. If you have another person to help you out, this person can throw the ball for you. Once again, it has to be unpredictable where the ball will land as this mimics what happens in a match. You can start out slow again to perfect the diving and digging techniques. Once you feel that you master these, you can start to speed things up again. 

To conclude, we can state that there are several drills that can take your volleyball skills to the next level. It is often better to repeat the same ones until you fully master them than just randomly switching between drills because you got bored. Mastery takes a lot of time and repetition. A lot of coaches offer too many exercises to their players, making it confusing and limiting the results.