Top 5 Beginner Volleyball Passing Drills

Top 5 Beginner Volleyball Passing Drills

These beginner volleyball passing drills will set the foundation for players to become effective passers and benefit beginner volleyball players and advanced players by working on volleyball passing basics.  These beginner volleyball passing drills are sequenced so that they build on each other and the techniques learned in the previous passing drills will be expanded upon in future drills.  Enjoy this list of the best beginner volleyball passing drills designed to ensure players develop proper volleyball passing fundamentals.

First begin by teaching players the proper passing form or posture, this is the foundation that will lead players to develop skills and the proper volleyball passing technique.  It is much easier to take the time required to train players early to use proper form than to change poor habits later in their development.  Proper volleyball passing form is:

  • Feet slightly wider than shoulder width
  • The right foot is slightly in front of the left with toes pointing forward
  • Knees slightly bent tracking above or just in front of a player’s toes
  • Weight should be placed on the balls of the feet
  • Pitch the torso forward causing shoulders to track in front of the knees
  • Arms placed out in front of the body parallel to the player’s thigh
  • Palms up
Passing Ready Position
Ready Position

This posture is known as the “ready position”, ensure that players are correctly assuming the ready position throughout all of these beginner volleyball drills and get them into good habits early.  Once the ready position is established players should work on getting into the re
ady position before the volleyball arrives to them.  This means that players must move to the ball and learn to be efficient with their movements by using their feet to get them to the correct spot on the court quickly.

The first beginner volleyball drill in the top five will work on getting into the ready position and moving swiftly to the volleyball.  During this drill the coach should focus on players moving their feet quickly to the ball and getting into the ready position.  Both feet should be planted before the volleyball arrives and as players move to the volleyball their head must remain at the same level.  Discourage any head bobbing, the movement toward the ball should be quick and fluid with little variation in the head’s distance from the floor.  Once the feet are set the shoulders should be perpendicular to the path of the oncoming volleyball.


Between the Legs

This volleyball passing drill will work on player’s body positioning to correctly pass a volleyball.  Players line up at one end of the court and the coach sets up about fifteen to twenty feet away.  The passing drill begins with the coach tossing a volleyball with a high arc into the air.  The first player in line must position themselves correctly in the ready position and allow the volleyball to pass through their arms and bounce between their legs.  The players do not make contact with the ball, but must focus on staying low and positioning themselves in a manner that allows the ball to bounce through their legs.

Between the Legs

After the first player takes their repetition the coach tosses the next volleyball to the next player in line.  To make this volleyball passing drill more engaging toss volleyballs to different areas on the court forcing players to move to the volleyball and get in their ready position before the volleyball arrives.


Passing Straight
Passing Position

Once players are able to move to a volleyball quickly and get into the ready position before the volleyball arrives they are ready to learn how to make proper contact with the volleyball.  The next beginner volleyball drill in the top five will work on developing the proper form when making contact with the volleyball.  Focus on the positioning of the arms and body movements when contact with the volleyball ball is made.  Players should place one ha
nd on top of the other with the palms facing up.  Then lock the elbows causing arms to be as straight as possible and the back should be slightly curved.  This is the position before contact is made with the volleyball.  Contact the volleyball by lifting the arms into the ball by thrusting the upper body upwards with the legs and by shrugging the shoulders.  Players should not swing their arms to hit the ball, their arms should not be the only part of their body moving to make contact with the volleyball.  Contact with the ball should be made with the fleshy part of the forearms halfway between the wrists and elbows.

 


Wall Ball

Players will pair up and start by hitting a volleyball against a wall.  The players take turns hitting the volleyball against the wall without the volleyball touching the ground.

Wall Ball

If this volleyball passing drill is too challenging allow the volleyball to bounce once before the next player must hit the volleyball into the wall.  Challenge players to see how many times they can pass the volleyball against the wall with their partner without it touching the ground or bouncing more than once.


Now that your players have mastered the ready position, getting to the ball before is arrives, and using the proper form to make contact with the ball they can begin to work on passing to a target.  The next beginner volleyball passing drill will work on passing accuracy and using the proper form to pass a volleyball to a target directly in front of a player.  When the volleyball arrives players should be in the ready position and make contact with the volleyball when it falls to about the height of their belly button.  The coach should focus on players using the proper technique during this volleyball passing drill, errant passes should not be worrisome or the focus.  As players get more repetitions they will become more accurate, ensure that the proper form is being used and reinforce those good habits!


Pass and Go

Players form two lines about fifteen to twenty feet away from each other.  Begin by having a player pass a volleyball to the first player in the opposite line.  After the pass the player who passed the ball runs to the back of the opposite line.

Pass and Go1Pass and Go2

The process is repeated over and over.  Challenge the players to see how many passes they can complete without the ball touching the ground in this volleyball passing drill.


The next beginner volleyball passing drill will work on player’s ability to accurately pass a volleyball to a target after receiving the ball from different angles.  This drill builds on players previous skills of getting into the ready position and setting their shoulders perpendicular to the path of the ball.  Remind players during the next volleyball passing drill to get their shoulders set in the proper position perpendicular to the path of the incoming ball before contact with the ball is made.

If a volleyball is played into a player and they are attempting a pass to a target that is to their left the proper form is to position themselves to make contact with the volleyball on the right side of their body.  Extend both arms to the right side of the body, lock both elbows, and drop the left shoulder below the left shoulder.  Make contact with the volleyball by thrusting the legs upwards causing the arms to lift and shrug

Passing to Left
Passing to Left

ging the shoulders.  The left foot should be placed in front of the right foot and contact with the volleyball should be made when the volleyball is in front of the right hip.

If a volleyball is played into a player and they are attempting to pass to a target that is to their right the proper form is similar as when to passing to the left, the position is reversed.  Players should make contact with the volleyball when it is just in front of their left hip.  Drop the right shoulder below the left shoulder and place both arms out to the left side of the body.  The right foot should be in front of the left foot and contact is made by thrusting the legs upwards causing the arms to lift and shrugging the shoulders.  Work on players technique by using the next volleyball drill.


Basic Passing Drill

Set up players on one side of the court and the coach on the opposite side.  The coach plays a volleyball into the player in the back court who then passes the volleyball to a target player at the net.
Basic Passing1Basic Passing2

A successful pass is one that reaches the target player without them having to take more than one step to catch the ball.  After the pass is made players rotate with the passer becoming the target, the target going to the back of the line, and the next player in line becoming the new passer.  Allow each player to get at least twenty repetitions and move the target player periodically to work on passing both to the left and right.


Let’s bring it all together with the final beginner volleyball passing drill in the top five beginner volleyball passing drills.  After running through the previous four beginner volleyball drills your players should have the start of a solid foundation, but they will need continuous work and maintenance to get to the point where proper volleyball passing technique becomes second nature.  Patience is key when working with beginner volleyball players, they will develop slowly, but it is important to take the long term approach to develop the proper technique that will serve them long into their playing days.

Volleyball players and volleyball coaches love to compete and this next passing drill will use all of the skills and techniques learned in the previous four drills in a competitive setting.  Knowing the fundamentals and having a solid foundation are needed to progress and execute properly in games.  Volleyball coaches must also attempt to simulate game like situations and a game like atmosphere in practice to get players comfortable so that when it comes time to perform in a game players are relaxed and confident.  A great way to do this is by adding a competition component to your drills and practices.  The last beginner volleyball passing drill in this series offers players the opportunity to compete while reinforcing all of the skills they have learned in the other volleyball passing drills.


First to 11

Two players will compete against each other to be the first to successfully pass a volleyball to the coach 11 times.  Players will pair up with opposite pairs on each side of the net, the coach positions themselves at the net as the target player.  One pair of players serves a volleyball into the opposite pair who takes turns attempting to pass the volleyball to the coach.  Every successful pass to the coach that does not require the coach to move to reach the ball earns a point.  The first player to 11 wins.

First to 11

After a player reaches 11 successful passes the pairs switch roles and the other pair competes.  To make this volleyball drill more challenging the coach can change locations forcing the players to work on passing to different areas of the court and remain engaged mentally.


These beginner volleyball passing drills will ensure that your players are well on their way to making accurate passes and building confidence in their abilities.  Coaches need to continue to develop beginner player’s passing skills because it is a crucial component to player development and staying competitive with your opponents.  Many volleyball matches are won or lost on a team’s serve reception and the ability to accurately pass the ball to set up your attack.  If players are able to successfully receive a serve and accurately pass the volleyball to a setter you increase the effectiveness of your offense.  Attacking begins with the ability to receive serves and accurately pass to setters at the net.  An accurate pass does not limit the options that your setters have to play the ball to your hitters.  For quick play and a high tempo offense a pass should not reach a height above the antenna, for younger or beginner players a height a few feet above the antenna is acceptable.  Passes with a lower trajectory allow an offense to move quicker and is harder to defend, but the pass must have a trajectory that allows setters to get under them to properly set the volleyball for an attack.  Use these top five beginner volleyball passing drills to develop the fundamentals of passing a volleyball and your team will be well on its way to consistently returning serves and players will develop confidence in their abilities.

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