Explore volleyball drills for beginners to learn basic skills.
Find volleyball team drills to improve your performance in the matches.
Volleyball Basic Stance and Movement Skills
Beginning volleyball players learn movement techniques by learning shuffling and the basic stance.
In the pictures: blocking movement drills, shuffling and basic footwork drills. Volleyball basic stance on the right.
Basic Skills Training in Volleyball Drills - Passing, Setting, Serving, etc.
Work on passing and setting skills first with the beginners.
Those two skills allow players to run more complex drills. When players know how to set and bump, they are able to run game-like drills and start playing volleyball back and forth over the net.
Follow with serving, blocking, spiking and digging skills, etc.
In the bottom of this page you find information how to introduce the basic skills for the beginning volleyball players.
What is important when teaching i.e. passing or hitting skills
for the beginning volleyball players?
For example outside hitting and right side hitting differ from each other: motor skills needed for outside hitting are different from the right side hitting. If a volleyball player practices only left side hitting, the player doesn't effectively learn the motor skills needed for the right side hitting.
Other example: even if top spin serve and float serve
techniques look similar, they are still different. If the
player has honed the top spin serve to perfection, it
doesn't make the player a good float server without working on
In order to learn a skill, you simply need to get enough
When learning basic skills coaches need to make sure players focus on every single contact. This is important and makes a huge difference in the development.
When players focus and keep their mind fully in training (cognitive learning), while performing skills (motor learning), it helps players to learn the skills more effectively.
How to help volleyball players to stay focused in volleyball drills?
The following is important when running volleyball drills in which beginning volleyball players repeat the specific skill one after the other.
Beginning volleyball players tend to lose their attention, if they have to perform too many reps in a row. Break the cycle and make sure players i.e. switch positions constantly.
Also keep up a fast paced tempo - it helps players to stay alert and sharp through the repetitive drills.
This is an extremely important concept.
Players learn to play volleyball by repeating the skills exactly like in the game. Volleyball drills should always be as game-like as possible.
After the basic skills have been introduced, volleyball players are ready to learn how to put the basic skills into the game.In this phase players apply learned basic skills in the drills, which mimic the game as closely as possible.
Let's look at this simple set up to practice defense. On the left there is a basic set up to learn to defend line and angle swings.
Let's assume the coach has introduced digging and wants them to practice digging techniques in position 1 and 5.
What is game-like in this drill?
What is good in it?
This is a better way to introduce the digging skills than hitting the volleyball to the defenders without the net.
Many of us have experienced how challenging it is to put the learned technical skills into the game, even if we may perform skills correctly in practice.
After practicing volleyball serving so much, why sometimes it is difficult to serve floaters or jump serves in the match?
Or after practicing bumping tirelessly, why the ball is shanked in the match?
It takes quite a long time to learn volleyball technical skills properly. Be patient.
Secondly we need to remember that skills needs to be practiced in the game context.
If the player seems to be doing fine in practice, but is having a hard time to repeat skills in the game, it is possible that practices have been less game-like.
Exposing players to game-like volleyball drills helps them to transfer the skills to the game.
After learning the basic volleyball skills, coaches and players need to take skills training to the next level.This next step is to work on techniques in the game-like situation, which mimics the game as much as possible.
The solution for the issue is common sense: "the more game-like the drills are in practice, the more easier it is for players to repeat practiced skills in the match."
Often volleyball serve is practiced in the end of the practice by splitting the teams and serving from the other side to another.
Just like any other volleyball skill, volleyball serving needs to be practiced in the game-like situation!
How to Make Volleyball Serving Drills Game-like?
There needs to be passers to receive the ball. It is different to place the serve on the court between the passers or away from the passers - than placing a serve on the mat, dots or cones.
At the minimum players should always have targets where to place the ball.
Players should focus on every single serve, just like in the game.
Servers should mimic the game situation. They should have the same routines as in the match. For example they should have a little break between each serve. And they should put their full focus on each serve, just like in the game. Players shouldn't serve one ball after another with a fast tempo, without having a clear focus where to serve.
Also there needs to be the same pressure than in the game - an error should cost a point. Make servers compete with the passers.
One of the best serving and serve receive drills are "wash drills". Servers and passers should compete against each other with points, just like offense vs. defense or spikers vs. blockers in wash drills.
To put even more pressure on servers, we can make the target area smaller for them. Servers need to place the ball in specific areas on the court, just like in the match.
Volleyball skills are complex skills, which require great ball handling skills, body and hand eye coordination. For the beginning volleyball players it may feel difficult to coordinate the movement of the arms, legs and torso when i.e. approaching and jumping.
It helps players to learn the complex skills correctly when progressing a piece by piece. Players should not be expected to put all the pieces together at once.
For beginning volleyball players skills training is naturally very simple, but no matter how simple the skill is (i.e. top spin serve or float serve), it helps players to learn the skill properly when progressing a little by little, a piece by piece.
Learning technical skills can be challenging for beginning volleyball players. It is a well-known fact that young athletes often give up on volleyball since it simply feels difficult.
Especially at the younger age, it is beneficial for the players to play multiple positions and work on all the skills. For example the coach should give the middle blocker an opportunity to pass and play defense in the back row. In the match the coach could replace some other player with the libero, not always the middle. Often coaches focus too much on winning right now and do not pay enough attention to the skill development of individuals.
Practicing fundamentals should be progressive and can be progressed much further into details than the basics of setting or passing. At the top level, the skills training looks a whole lot different when comparing to the junior level.
In other ball games there are positions you can play even at the professional level without having great ball handling skills, just by being physically gifted. On the volleyball court great technical skills are definitely needed.
Learning to play volleyball requires dedication and perseverance.
How can volleyball players learn skills more effectively?
And how to make sure players learn skills without becoming extremely frustrated?
Focusing and Thinking
When players focus and think about the technique they are working on, it helps them to learn the skill effectively.
"Thinking" means keeping their mind on the training and being aware of the skill they are working on.
Players should NOT need to think how to perform skills. If players are confused and they have to think how to perform the skill, it is a sign that you have to "break it down" more.
When players keep the full focus through the skills training, it helps them to visualize the skills. Players start seeing a picture in their mind how the skill should be done. Eventually players learn to correct the errors themselves since they start noticing little mistakes they do on the court.
Teaching skills progressively and focusing on one piece at the time helps players to see this picture of the skill in their minds.
Progress a Piece by Piece
By progressing one piece at the time, even complex skills will became a natural habit for the players. Athletes who are able to pick up i.e. the coordination and technique for hitting instantly are very rare - most athletes need a different approach.
To ease up the learning process, it is recommended to keep everything very simple and “break down the technical drill” for players to catch every aspect of it.
Practicing skills should be progressive; learning one piece at the time. The best way to describe this "breaking down" is to give an example. Below there is an example about the volleyball hitting drill - and how to progress from the simple toward more complex drills.
(this list is not complete, various other items could be added on it..)
There is lots of buzz in the volleyball community about game-like volleyball drills. There are strong opinions that coaches should never run anything else but serve-pass-set-spike-cover-block drills. That is absolutely correct.
However, do not make it too complex for the beginners!
Notice that the most complex levels i.e. in the previous hitting drill are not for the beginning volleyball players. Only highly skilled players are able to perform the more complex drills effectively.
For example, there is no sense to practice hitting by combining it with serving, passing and setting, if a good set rarely reaches the hitter. It could be more beneficial to toss the ball to the setter, so we get more quality repetitions for the hitter.
Breaking down skills and drills helps coaches to focus on the aspect they want to work on. Keep it simple!!
Volleyball Passing Drills
Explore basic volleyball passing drills - and tips how you can learn proper fundamentals of passing.
Volleyball Passing Drills II
More volleyball passing drills - and tips to help you organize those drills.
Passing Drills for Advanced Volleyball Serve Receive Techniques
Drills to improve your volleyball skills by extending your passing range.
Passing Drills for Overhead Volleyball Passing
Drills to teach overhead serve receive techniques.
Drills - Setting and Passing Games
Learn setting and passing by few simple games.
Beginner Drills - Setting Drills
Simple setting drills for beginners. Learn what is "Volleybal Juggling".
Beginner Drills - Passing Drills
Simple passing drills for beginners. Learn how to "juggle" with volleyball.
Digging Drills Example
How to set up volleyball defensive drills? How to run digging drills?
Drills - Learning Techniques
Various defensive techniques. Learn volleyball digging skills.
Blocking Drills Example
How to set up a volleyball blocking drill? How to practice volleyball blocking skills?
These fun drills include exciting team building aspect. These drills teach teamwork and volleyball strategies about team’s offense and defense.
Youth Volleyball Drills
Most volleyball teams pepper in practice? Is there a better way to pepper?
Examples of fun drills which are enjoyable for the team and help to understand the importance of teamwork. These are advanced offensive drills.
How to learn volleyball strategies? How to teach tactical understanding of the game?
Setting Drills - How to Play Fast Game?
Volleyball has become faster. You find tips how setters, passers and hitters learn to play faster game.
Setting Drills - How to Set Up Timing with Hitters?
Learn how setters and hitters can learn to set up the timing.
Team Drills - Warm Ups
Save practice time by skipping traditional running-stretching warm ups and make practices more fun.
Team Drills - Fun Games for Warm Ups
Check out how you can play fun games for warm ups and how to warm up for the matches.
Steps to Improve Volleyball Players Self Confidence
Special Article by a Leading Expert in the Field. You find it in Sports Psychology Section. Access only by newsletter subscribers on the Friends List. Join the Friends List to get the password.
How to improve your offense through volleyball transition drills? Access only by newsletter subscribers on the Friend's List. Join the Friends' List to get the password.