Taking up any sport is a lifelong arc of learning and practicing. Volleyball is no different. Everyone has to start somewhere though and it is good to start with some easier drills. These drills will help master the sport-specific skills, that are necessary to become an effective player.
Here are some great drills that will help players get started. They are ranked from easy to hard. You need other players and a net for these drills. If you don’t have this, we have discussed drills that you can do at home here.
1) Triangle passing drill
Purpose of the drill: This is an excellent drill for beginners. Players learn how to hold their hands and move their feet.
Requirements for the drill: This drill will involve 3 players and 2 balls.
How to execute the drill: The players must stand in a triangle formation, about 6 feet (1.83 m) to 7 feet (2.13 m) apart. 2 players will pass the ball and stand still and 1 player has to move sideways between these players and pass the ball back. The goal is to do this fast so that players learn to pass under pressure. After 20 passes, it is time to switch so that everyone can take up every position. You can award points for each successful pass and the team that has the most passes, wins this drill. Volleyball players are often very competitive and this can motivate them to work harder.
2) Over-the-net drill: attacking
Purpose of the drill: This drill is a variation of the popular pepper drills. It teaches how to attack more efficiently, along with conditioning and footwork.
Requirements for the drill: This drill will involve 3 players, 1 ball, and 1 court with a net.
How to execute the drill: 1 player must stand at the attack line on one side of the court. This player keeps this position for the entire duration of the drill. The other 2 players occupy the opposite side of the net. 1 player stands near the net and the other right next to this player. The first step is to push the ball over the net. It is then received and passed to the attacker (step 2). That player must spike (step 3). The players that passed and attacked switched positions after this (step 4). This way, the 2 players must keep shuffling between positions and the cycle must continue.
3) Serve relay drill: serving
Purpose of the drill: As the name suggests, this drill helps with the serve and the subsequent follow-up action. The point of this drill is to make sure that players participate in the rally after they have served. In general, jump serves are going to be used.
Requirements for the drill: You need one ball and a net for this drill.
How to execute the drill: The players stand on the serving line. As soon as the signal is given, one player begins to serve the ball over the net. Failing to do so, the player must retrieve the ball and try again. After a successful service, the player must get the ball and pass it to the next player in the line. This cycle is repeated until each player has gone through the drill. It is possible to create two groups and time how long each group takes to complete this drill. During a match, players don’t have a lot of time to prepare their serve either so this makes sure that they don’t take too much time to get started.
4) Blocking form drill: defending
Purpose of the drill: Blocking is stopping the ball at the net. This can even allow a team to start a counterattack immediately. This drill improves the players’ ability to block an attack from the other team at the net. It helps enhance the form and fundamentals of the movements involved. This is generally done by the middle blocker but players can work together during a match to create a double or even triple block. Therefore it is essential that everyone is able to do this.
Requirements for the drill: This drill will involve 4 to 5 players and 1 volleyball court with the net.
How to execute the drill: Have the players line up on one side of the net. From the other side of the net, have one player feed the ball to the other players. The players must jump and mimic the block action. This must be a fast-paced drill. The coach must keep an eye on the technique of the players and ensure that their block action is executed well. Speed is important but good technique is essential. You can ask the players to focus on one specific part of blocking (for example, jumping higher or the correct hand position). After a while, they will be able to combine all these individual techniques in the perfect block. Players have to time their block well.
5) Butterfly drill: defending
Purpose of the drill: Digging is a defensive skill. This is keeping the ball in the air with an underhand pass after the other team has attacked. It is mainly done by liberos and defensive specialists but every player has to be able to do this. The main purpose of this drill is to get better at controlling the ball. It is also great to teach the team how to communicate effectively, as communication is an integral part of volleyball.
Requirements of the drill: This drill will involve 6 players, 1 ball, and a full volleyball court.
How to execute the drill: One player throws the ball over the net. Another player needs to dig the ball using the correct hand position (platform). They also need to pay attention to the position of their feet. The ball is then caught by another player. Once this is done, players switch positions.
For the drill, either side of the court must work at the same time.
These were 5 great drills for beginners. What volleyball drills work for what team is completely dependent on the team, strategy, and the opposing team. Remember, practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to basic foundational skills! Keep practicing!