Strategies for Effective Use of Volleyball Drills

Face it, volleyball drills can be a real drag, whether you are a coach or a player. The players continually drill, essentially doing the same thing everyday, while the coach watches them to see if they are working hard and doing what they are supposed to. In reality, volleyball drills are not fun, and can cause burnout rather quickly. There are many ways that you as a coach can make these inevitable occurrences a little more bearable, if not downright fun at times.

One way to relieve the boredom of volleyball drills is to make a competition of them. Throw in some friendly competition, and you will notice that your players seem to work just that little bit harder. Faster runners, harder hitters, higher jumpers, all of these can play into the overall game. A good way to promote this is to provide a grand prize that your team can shoot for. Perhaps find a way to have a weekend stay at a nice hotel at the end of the season. For every competition that a player wins, they can have their name put in a raffle. After the season, at the awards dinner, the winner is drawn from all entries. You could even have second, third ad so on winners. This gives a tangible goal for players to shoot for. To keep everyone interested, you might even have intermediate drawings for smaller prizes throughout the season. Before you know it, you will see your players working extra hard to improve in their volleyball drills.

Because your players know that they are going to be doing volleyball drills for every practice, it will be easy for them to burn out. Instead of letting them burn out, take a few days each season “off”. Rather than doing drills on a hot day, take the team to the community pool and let them just splash around and have some fun. There is no greater exercise than being in the water. Every movement is met with resistance from the water around you. This is actually a really good physical workout, disguised as a day of fun. In keeping with the sport itself, feel free to toss a ball in the pool with them to hit over the net. This can also serve a secondary purpose. Because of the resistance of the water, the players’ moves will be slowed down more than normal. Watch them and take note of little things that may need to be worked on. That will give you something to work on the next day, when you return to volleyball drills. After all, improving form and skill is the reason you practice your team in the first place.

A favorite way to make volleyball drills more enjoyable is to have the players teach them to younger players. It is a well-known fact that you can’t teach something if you don’t know it well. Teaching a set of drills to a younger player is a great way to see if your players understand exactly what the purposes of the drills are. Your players will find themselves looking at the volleyball drills from the same point of view as you are. You will shortly find that they are able to grasp the reasoning behind them much quicker when you start teaching them new and harder drills. If your players know why they are working on a particular set of drills, they will be able to understand the best way to get the most out of them. You may even find that your players begin to offer suggestions on how to make certain drills better for the team that you have missed.

In the end, the volleyball season will consist of a long stream of volleyball drills, repeated over and over. They will become second nature to your team. That doesn’t mean that they have to be boring and repetitive. Using just a little bit of creativity, you can make your volleyball drills more enjoyable and less work. Since they are more enjoyable, your team will have less reluctance to try their hardest. Before long, you will find every member of your team improving, and chances are, they won’t even realize it until their next game. When they win their next game, and see the ease with which they did it, you will find the biggest factor in making the incessant drilling more bearable: Your team’s sense of pride.

Volleyball Drills for Blocking and Defense

There are many aspects to the sport of volleyball. To many coaches, the most important skill to work on is defense. Creating and running volleyball drills for blocking will help your team become much stronger in their defense. If your team has strong defensive skills, they will be able to keep their opponents from scoring. Any lack of score on their side makes it that much easier to score, and ultimately, win on your own side. Here are a few volleyball drills designed to help with blocking that will go a long way toward building that winning team.

When running volleyball drills to strengthen blocking skills, it is important to remember that most blocking will take place right at the net. It is often a one on one play, with the blocker and the hitter virtually face to face. Anticipating where the player in front of the blocker is going to go, going to be, and going to hit is paramount to success. This is just a simple matter of being able to read the hitter. To that end, one of the great volleyball drills to use is the mirror drill. In this drill, two players face each other on either side of the net. They will actually both be playing the part of blockers. The players must mirror the movements of each other. This helps with anticipating where the opponent is going to be, and what he is going to do. Have each player take turns being the lead, so the other blocker is the mirror. Breaking the mirror, or not being able to keep movements symmetrical, three times will result in a penalty. You will find that your players begin to motivate themselves to do the best they can. Be sure to have your players mix things up quite a bit and throw in some surprise moves to be sure the players are kept on their toes.

Another of my favorite blocking volleyball drills is the joust. Jousting is a simple game that pits two blockers against each other. Have your blockers stand on either side of the net. You will then toss the ball in such a way that it will be centered over the net between the two defenders. The defenders then have the option to decide if they want to defend the shot of go for the kill. Ultimately, either way is going to have the ball get through one of the players. The players score one point for each successful block, and one point for each successful kill. The first player to 10 points wins. The loser will be penalized. For added interest, you can divide the team into 2 teams and keep a running total of the team score, penalizing the losing team. The reason that this drill works so well is because it teaches the players to look at the dynamics of their opponent. A shorter player will find that their strategy, whether to block or score, will change if they are facing a taller player. Two players of roughly the same height will have to decide what to do based on what they feel their opponent is going to do. To this end, it is important that you mix up the couplings, to give each player a variety of opponent types to face off with.

A good set of volleyball drills for blocking will help your team go a long way toward becoming a winning team. These two drills alone will help your blockers have the edge over any other team in your league. They will help build anticipation and analysis skills, which count for so much more than simple brute strength and repetition of basic skills. There are many more defensive volleyball drills that you will learn, but adding these two in your practice book will ensure that you have some of the best blockers in the game.

Volleyball Drills You Can Do Alone

Volleyball is a team sport. It requires the effort and support of everyone on the team in order to be successful. To this end, most volleyball drills are designed for the team to work together on. However, much like any other sport out there, the more an individual can practice, the more they will bring to the team as a whole. Because most players don’t live with each other, it is important to work on a set of volleyball drills that a player can work on when alone. These are drills that can be done between practices or even in the off season. While they are generally beginning drills, they will help even advanced players stay sharp the year round.

One of the skills taught be volleyball drills is accuracy. A good solo drill you can work on is simply standing in front of a wall and hitting a certain spot on the wall. This sounds simple enough, but in practice there is much more to it than this. The player will pick a spot on the wall and aim to hit it. They will want to work on perfect form to get the most out of this drill. While a simple exercise, the wall-hitting is one of those very versatile volleyball drills that a player can do alone. They can work on spiking, serving, and even setting. Each type of hit will present the player with a set of challenges that ensure the ball travels to the spot they have chosen.

Before leaving the wall behind, your players can use the wall for other volleyball drills too. The wall-block is a very good drill that can be accomplished solo. The object of this drill is to start in a blocking position, jump and “block” the wall at a spot that is higher than the height of the net, and land in the block position again. Players should change the height and angle of the spot they hit in order to remain flexible. One of the best parts of this drill is that it teaches your players how to block a ball without causing a net foul. If your player isn’t careful performing this drill, they will scrape their arms and elbows on the wall. Since this would equate to the net in a real situation, you will find that your players learn very quickly the correct form to use when blocking. That means that they will drag their arms across the net a lot less.

Volleyball drills for passing and setting are a staple in any coach’s repertoire. Unfortunately, most drills require at least two people in order to pass the ball back and forth. A player can work on this alone, however. The player should toss the ball up in the air and bump it back up with both arms. Then they can rotate hits, switching to individual hands, setting the ball, and even using their forehead. This will teach total and complete ball control for them. The object is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible using only legal moves to do so. Just the ball control learned from this is worth the time invested in teaching this drill.

It is important for your players, as well as coaches, to learn that they can work on some volleyball drills on their own. The more that a player drills, the better their performance will be. A team is made up of the sum of each player’s individual performance. Using solo volleyball drills will also show the team that a player feels the sport, therefore the team, is important enough to put in a little extra effort. The effort will pay off for the team as a whole when it comes to game time.

Volleyball Drills for Positions

Volleyball drills consist mainly of various ways to hit a ball. The classic formula of pass, set, spike is the main theme of these drills. Volleyball has a lot more finesse than just knowing HOW to hit the ball correctly. Knowing when to hit it, where to hit it, and where to be to hit it correctly are probably the most important fundamental skills that all players must possess. Devising volleyball drills that will help instill these facts into your players’ mind becomes of utmost importance.

When looking at the design of realistic volleyball drills, it is essential to get your team to understand the difference between their rotational positions and their playing positions. After each volley, the team all rotates one position clockwise. This gives each team member several chances to play at each rotational position, including server. It is important for your players to know where they are playing in the rotation, as that is the spot they have to return to after each play. After the team rotates, this is the position that the players will stand at until the ball is served. Having your players scatter on the court, then quickly return to their positions is one of the basic volleyball drills that will help instill this into your players.

After the ball is served, the players will then change to their played positions. Volleyball drills that stress the importance of being mobile are the key to getting these movements down. As you coach your team, you will invariably find a few players that are better at setting than the rest, while you will find strong spikers and passers from other players. Obviously you want your strongest players with each skillset to play in to their respective strengths. You may find that your strongest setters have been rotated to an outside blocker position. Since you want those players to be able to quickly get to the center of the court, you can run volleyball drills that will teach the players how to quickly move from any position in the rotation to their respective played positions. This will help your team members know how to get to their played positions quickly.

One for the best volleyball drills that will work on player position control would involve going through he standard rotation, then holding it for a bit while waiting for the ball to be served. You can start out fairly small and have a single player run through all positions in a rotation, then running to be in position to cover their played positions, then quickly returning to their rotation place. As your team members become more confident in their movements, you can begin to have more of your team join in on these volleyball drills until you have your whole team in on the rotations. At this point, you can even start throwing the ball over the net to simulate an actual play set in a real game.

Each player on your team needs to work hard on your volleyball drills while you are showing them how to play their rotational and played positions. This will help keep their mind focused on where they should be at pretty much any given moment in the game. The purpose of all volleyball drills si to instill a sense of automatic movement in your players. The same holds true in these movement drills. You want your team to be able to move and cover either of their two simultaneous positions at a moment’s notice. The less your players have to think about these things, the smoother their play will become.