Volleyball drills at home with a partner. Tips for beginners

At home, you don’t have all the equipment that you would have at a volleyball club. Therefore, it can be necessary to get creative if you want to do this. We will discuss some drills that you can do in this situation so that you can improve your volleyball skills (serving, setting, spiking, digging, and blocking) at home. 

Volleyball drills to improve serving

Serving is restarting the game behind your court after you have scored a point. You might consider making a makeshift net using a cord. Make sure that you don’t attach it to anything that can break. The net is at 3 feet 9.28 inches for men and at 3 feet 5.34 inches for women. If you attach a cord at this height, you can see if your serve goes over the net or not. This is essential in volleyball so you have to make sure that you serve high enough. It is also possible to go to a park that has a net or ask your local school if you can train there. 

You can work on several types of serving: floater and spin serve. A floater is hitting the middle of the ball with the palm of your hand. The goal is to hit the other side of the court in a specific location. This can be great if you have identified a weakness in the defense of the other team. A spin serve on the other hand is more focused on speed. You hit the ball on the top and curl your hand around it to add effect and power. This can surprise the defense if they are not prepared. You have to be able to use both types of serves if you want to be a great volleyball player. You can start out slow so that you master the technique. The other player can catch the ball and provide feedback on your technique. Once you have mastered this, you can increase the speed at which you serve. It is also possible to jump instead of stand. Once again, this can only be practiced after a lot of repetitions. 

Passing drills

 Passing is essential in volleyball. Your hand underhand passes (where your hands are folded) and overhand passes (where your hands are flat). Since you are with two people, you can pass to each other. Every time you pass, you have to switch between underhand and overhand passes. Start out by making sure that you master the techniques. In the following video, the essentials are explained.

 You can start slow and gradually speed up the rhythm. The goal is to keep the ball in the air at all costs. Following the rhythm of a song can be great as this will push you to play faster and faster. You have to keep pushing until you can react very fast to a ball. 

Volleyball drills to improve setting

Setting is giving an assist to another player, it is quite similar to passing. You have to pass the ball quite high so that the other player can push it over the net. You can discuss with the other player where they want to receive the ball and make sure that it gets there. This can require a lot of trial and error.

One player passes to the other one and makes sure that it is quite difficult to catch the ball. The other player has to set and send the ball at the desired height. You can experiment with different approaches and see what works best. 

You can pass against the wall as well. This is demonstrated in the following video by Olympic medal winner for team USA, Rachael Adams:

Drills to improve your attack

Attacking is a skill that you have to develop over time. It can be difficult to spike without a net. We discussed making a makeshift net with a cord before. If this is not possible, you can ask one of your friends to indicate with their arm how high the net is. This will make sure that your spike goes over it. 

If you have a net, one player can pass to the other one and spike. If you have a basket, you can set it on different places on the court. The goal is to practice your aim by hitting the ball in the basket. Once you have succeeded, you move the basket around over the court so that it is possible to improve your aim. This can really help if you see a weak spot in the defense of the other team and want to use this to score points. You often can attack the same spot over and over again. 

If you have more friends, you can ask them to try and block the ball. As an attacker, you have to be able to evade blocks. This can be challenging but you will get the hang of it over time. 

 You have to switch between spiking and tipping. Tipping is just pushing the ball over the net. If you diversify between this, it is a lot harder to defend these things. 

Footwork is also essential when you want to attack. A lot of players neglect this while you should spend quite a lot of time working on this. This is something that you can practice at home.

What are some defensive volleyball drills?

There are two main defenses in volleyball: blocking and digging. Blocking is stopping the attack before it can go over the net. This is done by jumping and holding your arms over the net. Digging is using an underhand pass to control the ball and pass it to someone on your team. This can be challenging as you might have to jump and dive to do this. 

Blocking:  Here jumping drills can help a lot. You can practice your technique together. Furthermore, it is also possible that one player spikes on one side of the net, and the other player blocks on the other side of the net. This is an intense exercise as you have to jump a lot but it can be a great way to improve your blocking skills.  

Digging: One player can throw the ball in front of the other player. The last player has to try to pass the ball back. You start by throwing it quite close by and you throw it further and further 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. Make sure that you control the ball and that the pass is easy to receive. This is also demonstrated in the video below:

In this post, we shared some drills that you can do at home with a friend to improve your volleyball skills. You might notice that we haven’t shared a lot of drills as it is often best to get really good at the basic drills. A lot of players work on too many drills at the same time and don’t get good at anything. It is often better to focus on one or two drills and repeat these over and over again until you master them.