Fun Games in Volleyball Team Drills -
How to Warm Up?

In the first volleyball team drills page we wrote about warm ups without traditional running-conditioning-stretching routine.

We wrote how junior volleyball teams can save practice time by skipping the traditional warm ups. We continue about the same topic.

Volleyball Team Drills - to Warm Up the Core, Arms and Legs

It is important to warm up the whole body, especially the core which is often ignored when running for warm ups. Volleyball Team Drills Warm Ups

It is also important to use the ball as soon as possible and do the warm ups as gamelike as possible.

Start learning volleyball skills immediately!

Skip running and ball pounding!

Running and Ball Pounding as Volleyball Warm Ups?
When doing the traditional warm up by pounding the ball to the ground, players pretty much work on their arm only. And it is not gamelike at all! Instead of hitting the ball straight to the ground we could do something more game-like.

When doing warm up by running, it is not volleyball movement specific at all and surely doesn't warm up your core effectively.

Players Can Warm Up Their Whole Body Effectively with the Volleyball
Passers should perform passes from the sides, which make playersVolleyball Team Drills - Warm Up Serve Receive rotate their torso and warm up their core area.

Players should do movement and footwork while passing. Volleyball specific movements are better way to warm up legs than traditional running. 

Players perform simple volleyball passing drills, like in the previous page, but making sure they will include torso rotation (passing from the side of the body) in it.

Hitters - Servers
Warming up the torso is also very important for the hitters and servers.

Let's see how we can do a more gamelike warm up which includes serving and hitting.

Volleyball Team Drills - Gamelike Warm Ups

Few Examples

To avoid injuries players need to repeat these as warm ups, not to take a full powered swing.

Warm Up by Serving - Instead of Pounding the Ball to the Ground
  • Instead of pounding the ball to the ground, the volleyball coachVolleyball Team Drills Warm Up Swings could pair the players up and serving the ball over the net – not behind the back line right away, but much closer to the net.

    This is beneficial especially for the junior volleyball players who have an opportunity to work on their serve on it.

    This warms up the arm. Also hitting the volleyball over the net is more game-like than pounding the ball to the ground.

Volleyball Team Drills - Warm Up Serving
  • The players could also toss the ball in the air, do an approach and hit the jump serve over the net – again not behind the back line, but starting closer to the net.  

    This way the coach introduces players to the jump serve. Hitting the ball over the net from the player's own toss can also serve as a good warm up for a hitting drill.

Volleyball Team Drills - Basic Gamelike Warm Up
  • The players form groups of four – one passer, one setter, one hitter and one target in the other side of the net. You can form at least three groups along the net, if players hit “2-balls" or similar sets straight up. 10 feet (3 meter) attacks also work very well on this drill.

    Target tosses or serves the ball over the net to the passer who passes the ball to the setter.

    Hitters approach and take a swing over the net to the target (coach or player) who digs or catches the volleyball.  Players rotate. Hitter to serve, server to pass, etc.

    Make sure time is not wasted on chasing the volleyball.  If players are not accurate hitters, add one more player to each group. Require hitter to chase own volleyball if missed, so the target can send a new ball over the net.

    Everybody receives, sets and spikes. This is a good opportunity to let all the players to work on all around skills.

Volleyball Team Drills - Advanced Gamelike Warm Up
  • Advanced variation of the privious drill for more experienced volleyball players:

    Put two teams of three players both sides of the court.  There is a passer, setter and hitter on the court.  

    The volleyball is served over the net.  Passer receives the volleyball to the setter. The setter sets to the hitter who hits the volleyball to the defender (passer). Defender digs to the setter. The rally continues.

    Players rotate on the own court side after each attack. This is a good opportunity to let all the players do some passing, setting and hitting.

    The same could be done by two players in each group. Hitting 10 feet could make more sense for powerful spikers since those are easier to defend.

    Remember this is a warm up!  Not full powered swings.  Keep the ball flying.

Volleyball Team Drills - To Warm Up with Games

Volleyball Team Drills - Warm Up Games

Another way to make warms ups for volleyball team drills fun is to play one-on-one games on a mini court.  One of these game is called volleyball tennis, in which you bump the ball to the other side of the net with one touch.

You find information about one-on-one volleyball team drills from Volleyball Drills page (under advanced drills section).

Few Examples

Through the previous link you find examples how to play 1 on 1 games.

One more variation about those games is to have 2-3 players on the team and make the court little bit bigger - for example use 10 feet line as a backline and cut the court to two halves. 

  • Teams play a regular volleyball match on the mini court, but players are not allowed to jump at all. You may want to lower the net a little bit if you want them being able to attack without jumping.

  • When players are warm you can allow them to jump regularly.

  • A fun variation of the game is when allowing players to reach toVolleyball Team Drills Warm Up Games opponent's side when attacking and allowing them to "hold and push" the ball longer than the rules normally allow.

    It will teach players to win jousts between the players and is a good way to make the games more fun and competitive. 

How do top volleyball teams warm up for practices and games?

If you think it is absolutely necessary to do a more traditional warm up for volleyball team drills, you save practice time if you require players to show up 15-30 minutes before the practice to warm up. However, there is a much better way to warm up than traditional running-stretching combination.  

If you go and look at the top volleyball teams warming up, they do “injury prevention drills” during the warm ups. For example they will perform squats, hand walks, lunge walks, lateralVolleyball Team Drills - Warm Up Stretching lunges, especially various rubber band exercises for warm ups.  
Many of those drills which are done before practice or games are called “dynamic stretching”; they stretch and warm up your muscles simultaneously (lunge walk being one example).

Important! Those volleyball conditioning drills are performed with very low resistance – they are just warm ups, not strength exercises.

The idea behind those drills is to warm up and strengthen the muscles you need in volleyball.

They often mimic volleyball movements very closely – and prevent injuries by strengthening little muscles that support your shoulders, knees etc. In addition to preventing injuries, they serve as a warm ups for the practice or games.

Volleyball Quote to Remember

Volleyball quote - warm up for the drills.

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