How to practice volleyball alone or by yourself: get better at volleyball

Volleyball is a team sport but it is also important that you practice alone from time to time to improve your skills. Let’s discuss how you can practice volleyball alone.

You will see that this really improves your game if you do it frequently. It is something that is often forgotten about or a type of practice that a lot of volleyball players don’t do. If you practice volleyball alone for a few hours every single week, you will make a lot of progress. Let’s discuss some good ways to practice volleyball alone.

How can I get better at volleyball by myself? Volleyball games without net

Let’s start with an overview of the skills that are needed to play volleyball:

Serving: you have to hit the ball and get it over the net. You have to use the right amount of force as the ball has to land inside the field of the opponent. You have to find the right balance between hitting the ball too hard and not hitting it hard enough. 

This video also provides some ideas:

Passing: here you pass the ball to another team member. It is important that you make it easy for your teammate to get the ball and 

Setting: this is the second contact that is made with the ball. So someone else on your team already touched the ball. Then it is your turn and you have to pass it to another member of your team. Typically this will be a high pass. So it is similar to passing but you will typically aim higher so that it is easy for your team member to attack.

Attacking: This is hitting the ball over the net inside the court of the opponent. You can use a lot of force to do this. There are several ways to attack. You can smash or you can use a lot of precision and hit the ball softer. This is a lot of trial-and-error to see what works for you.

Blocking: Here you try to block the attack of your opponent. If possible, they get the ball back immediately and are not able to hit the ball over the net. You have to be able to jump quite high if you want to do this. Therefore there are some drills that will help you with this.

Digging: If the ball is close to the ground, you can try to get it back up before the other team scores a point. This could involve a lot of running and leaping. This is an important part of volleyball but can be quite challenging as you have to be able to get the ball but also pass it to another team member so that they can attack.

How can you practice these volleyball skills alone at home? Get better at Passing and serving

If you want to become really good at volleyball, you have to be able to perform these skills really well. Some of these are better practiced alone as you can repeat the same drill over and over again until you get better at it. Repetition is the mother of success here.

 We will go over each skill and discuss the exercises you can do alone to improve them. 

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

Puredrop volleyball trainer

This product helps you to catch the ball faster. This allows you to practice more often and you will improve at a much more rapid pace. Serving is really important in a volleyball match as it can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Your coach might keep you on the bench if your service is not good. Therefore it is really important that you spend enough time practicing this. During volleyball training, there might not be enough time to practice this. You can often work on your passing, setting, digging, and blocking during training but you might have to practice your serve on your own.

Passing: You can throw the ball against the wall and keep it up in the air by passing to the wall again. You can also just pass vertically and keep the ball in the air. This will allow you to practice a lot of passing without having to run to get the ball all the time. It is also possible to buy a lot of balls and train this way but this is a more expensive way to do it.  

Setting:  This is quite similar to passing. You can again train against a wall and experiment with how hard you hit the ball and in what direction. If you change the direction up, you can combine practicing setting with improving your digging skills. 

Attacking:  Attacking is a skill that you have to develop over time. Some players lack the confidence to do this and prefer to pass it to someone else. There is nothing wrong with this at first but you have to grow over time. If you experiment with different attacks, you will start to see what style works best for you. Give it time and your attacking skills will improve a lot!

At home, you can try this by visualizing how you can handle the ball. It has been proven by pro athletes that visualizations are important and can improve your performance. If this is nothing for you, you can practice attacking at home by buying a net and trying several attacks. 

Footwork is an essential part of attacking. You can work on this alone at home. Coaches often don’t have enough time for this during a training session so you can work on this individually.

The following video discusses some great basic drills for this:

Blocking:  Here jumping drills can help a lot. You can jump a few times in a row and try to make yourself as tall as possible. Make sure that you have good shoes if you do this. This is not an exercise that you can perform for a long time so try to spread it out over multiple training sessions.  More jumping drills are discussed in the following video.

It is best to spread these out over time as it can take some days or weeks to get used to this. You might not see a lot of progress at first but if you keep practicing, you will see that you can jump higher and eventually block better. There is often no time to work on this during a training session so doing this at home can give you an edge over other players that don’t spend any time on this.

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. Be careful that there are no walls or other objects close by that could make it hard to dig the ball.

You have to train to get the ball back up, pointing it at the location where your other team member would be, and also exercise getting back up as soon as possible as your team member might pass to you again. So there are several aspects of digging that you can improve by performing this exercise alone. 

To conclude, practicing volleyball by yourself or with a small group of friends is really important as you can improve aspects of your game that take a lot of repetition. There might not be enough time for this during volleyball training.

Small steps grow big over time and if you practice every week for a few hours at home, you will grow a lot. Especially setting and attacking can improve a lot if you practice this at home. You can also learn a lot by watching other people play volleyball. It can be long hours if you practice by yourself but you have to make sacrifices if you really want to improve your volleyball game.