Digging Drills – How to Learn Volleyball Digging?
Explore tips for volleyball digging drills. How to learn to
Volleyball digging as all other volleyball skills should be practiced
in the "game-like" scenario.
Players should be defending on
the real volleyball
Players should be digging the balls
sent from the other side of the net - from the real attacking
... But Basic Defensive Techniques Needs to Be
Before defending attacks on the court in the "game-like" situation,
players must have been
introduced to few different volleyball digging techniques.
Learning Digging Techniques One by One
There are several slightly different defensive
To help players to understand the differences, it
is very important to present different
defensive techniques to beginning volleyball players a step by step –
as shown in the other “volleyball digging" pages.
Volleyball Digging Drills - Phase III - Spiking the Ball Over the Net
How to Organize Defensive Drill?
To organize the volleyball digging drills efficiently on the net, it is
important to have at least two spikers to swing the ball for the
defenders. It gives players more repetitions and minimizes
waiting on the line. (Look at the picture below.)
Often it is not possible since teams may not have assistant coaches -
the younger players are not able to swing a targeted ball to the
Basic Set Up for Volleyball Digging Drills
Below there is a typical set up we use in the practice.
We try to minimize waiting in the lines and
maximize the repetitions
for the players.
We use both halves of the court and work on
several positions at the
For example in the picture below we placed two spikers into the drill,
since we try to avoid having several players waiting in line for their
This drill is made for 8-11 players – if you have more or less
players, check down below how to adjust it.
In the picture:
C1=Coach 1 (or Assistant or Player) who spikes the ball to the defender
C2=Coach 2 (or Assistant or Player) who spikes the ball to the defender
D1, D2, D3, D4 = Defenders
T1, T2 = Targets who put the ball into the basket between the target
F1, F2 > Feeders who feed the ball to the coach to maximize the
tempo of hitting
Tasks in Our
The Coach (or player) on position C1 or C2 stands on the box and swings
the ball over the net to the defender on the line and angle, one after
the coach or players are skilled enough, it is the most beneficial to
do this drill without the stand - and use hitters who swing from the
setter's set. It teaches defensive players to read the set and the
hitter. However, the setters and hitters need to be very skilled to be
able to swing accurate balls for the defenders. Also if using setters,
hitters and possibly ball feeders for the setter it is best if sides
are taking turns on hitting - each side hitting one ball at the time.
C1 and C2 spike balls with the fast tempo about 6-12 balls to each
position before switching the defender. C1 spikes to
defenders D1 and D2. C2 spikes to defenders D3 and D4.
T1 is the target for defenders D1 and D2.
T2 is the target for defenders D3 and D4.
Targets catch the balls and place into the ball basket between
the target and the feeder. If using setters and approaching hitters,
the feeder is placed somewhere on the court to feed the ball to the
If the hitter is placed on the stand, it is important to have the ball feeder and target to
feed the balls to C1 and C2. Then they are able to keep up a fast
tempo – and players will get more repetitions done.
Digging Drills Variations – More or Less Players?
On the picture above you have two spikers (C1 and C2). Four
defenders (D1, D2, D3, D4), two targets (T1, T2) and two ball feeders
How to use difference variations of this drills?
If you use only 1 spiker and other half of the court, you are able to
run it with four players.
If you have 12 players in the team you could add the third spiker and use
second court, if available.
If you have 16 players in the team you could add the third and fourth spiker and use
two full courts to run this defensive drill.
If there are extra players left they can be shagging the misshit balls
around the gym. Or you could add an extra defender into each defensive
position to dig
the ball and players take turns when playing the defense.
digging drills – How to learn volleyball digging techniques?
Now we have organized structure for volleyball digging drills.
How to teach different volleyball digging
As mentioned before, techniques should be taught a piece by
piece - by repeating specific technique one after another. In volleyball digging there are several slightly different
techniques – you get best results when teaching those skills one at a
(When practicing the following techniques one at the time, it is
recommended to have an accurate hitter on the stand to swing the
attacks. Most likely that part can't be done with real hitter who
swings from the setter's set. After techniques have been introduced,
the coach should run the drill more game-like: the coach
should use a setter and approaching hitter in the drill.)
For example when running the drill above
players should be..
learning to dig the ball in front of their body.
learning to dig the ball on the side of their
learning to dig the ball above their head (over
learning to dig extremely hard driven ball
.. this list could go on and on..
learning to defend a tip/roll shot
learning to roll/learning to dive
for Volleyball Digging Drills
The picture above shows only how to defend against the outside
hitter. The same drill could be run on the right side. Or
to defend 10 feet attack on the right side.
Also similar drills can be done when learning to defend the middle
attacker or alternatively 10 feet attack on the position 6. (It is
better to practice
defending middle offense on one court side only.)
The coach could also add a middle back player to play defense.
When progressing even further, you could add one/two/three blockers
into the mix and learning how defensive position changes when you have
one vs. two vs. three blockers.
and Counter Attack:
When digging balls becomes easy coach can add setter and counter attack
after the defense.