Fun Volleyball Drills

Serious volleyball player holding ball

Repetitive volleyball drills can help the players on your team improve their skills and develop good habits. Avoid boring your team by choosing fun drills that will keep the players engaged. Alternate among drills that emphasize different skills, such as serving, digging and setting.

Dead Fish

The dead fish drill, also known as target practice, helps players improve the consistency of their serve placement. Divide your players into two teams and have the teams line up behind the end lines on either side of the net. Give each player a ball, and place a storage bin full of extra balls near the end line on each side of the court. Use tape to designate certain spots on the court for players to aim for when they serve. Set a time limit for the drill, then blow the whistle to indicate the start of time. All players on both teams should begin serving simultaneously. Whenever a player hits a serve out of bounds or into the net, he must sprint to one of the designated spots on the opposite side of the court and sit down — becoming a “dead fish.” His teammates can then rescue him by hitting a serve that he can catch without standing up. The team with the fewest dead fish at the end of the time limit wins.

Gopher Ball

The gopher ball defensive drill helps players learn to recover quickly and save the ball before it hits the floor. Have half the team line up behind one end line and the other half behind the other end line. Start the drill with two players from each line on the court. The players must lie on their stomachs and wait for you to blow the whistle. When you blow the whistle, the players must jump up and look for the ball. Toss a ball onto one side of the court when you blow the whistle. If the ball hits the ground, the players must return to the ends of their lines. If one of the players saves the ball with a dig, she gets to play out the point. Continue this drill until all the players have cycled through their line several times.

Setting in Place

This challenging setting drill requires players to set the ball many times continuously. Players can do this drill on their own at home as well as in practice. Give each player a ball and have players spread themselves out on both sides of the court. Players should leave plenty of space between each other. When you blow the whistle, all players should begin setting to themselves above their heads. Call out instructions as the players set. Instruct the players to get down on their knees, sit cross-legged and eventually lie down, all while setting in place. Then instruct players to stand up again. Players who drop the ball are out. Continue until only a few players remain, and reward those players by letting them sit out a round of sprints.