Build More Efficient Volleyball Practice Plans

May 18, 2013 | Sarah Coffey

Must See Volleyball Videos

A volleyball team is only as good as its leader, meaning the coach needs to step up. Players will only improve if their coach has the ability to run consistently effective practices. It doesn't matter how strong their spikes, how quick their digs or how adept their serves. If practice is disorganized, soon their game will be too.

Run a killer volleyball practice with the following outline. It combines stretching, cardiovascular, strength and sport-specific drills.

Effective Volleyball Practice Plan Outline

The Warm-Up

Before playing any sport, it's important to warm up. A strong warm-up gets your body moving, elevates your heart rate, loosens your joints and helps prevent injuries.

Volleyball players must move constantly, so it's vital for them to have quick feet. After a few light laps around the court, perform the following drill:

Quick Feet Warm-Up Drill

  • Have players pair up in groups of two, each pair with two volleyballs (one for backup).
  • One player is the roller and the other actively performs the drill.
  • The roller rolls a ball from side to side.
  • The active player touches the ball while shuffling from side to side.
  • The object is to roll the ball back to the roller.
  • If the active player misses the ball, the backup ball comes into play.

This drill allows players not only to develop quick feet but also to increase their heart rate and train their knees and legs to stay low for a longer duration.

Another essential for volleyball is to warm up the players' arms for hitting and serving.

Arm Warm-Up Drills

Hitting lines with a setter

  • Position your setter in the front row and have your team divide into three lines on the back line.
  • Players at the front of each line stand in ready position.
  • Toss the ball to the setter and have her set the ball to one of the players in ready position.
  • The player hits the ball back to the setter, then moves back to the end of the line.

Partner Pass and Hit

  • Have each player pair up to bump back and forth.

Side-out drills

Rotate and Hit

  • All the players line up by the ten-foot line.
  • The first player in each line moves forward using a proper approach and swings through as if she is hitting the ball.

Volleyball Strength Work

Daily workouts will strengthen the athletes' bodies for performance on the court. But it's especially important for volleyball players to develop lower-body and core strength. Your front line players need the highest vertical possible, while your defensive specialists must be able to quickly rebound off the floor after a dig.

To enhance lower-body strength, use plyometric exercises. (Get Plyo Advice from Stanford Volleyball. Then read What You Need to Know About Plyometrics Training and Increase Your Vert for Volleyball With 3 Plyos.) Create a weekly workout plan. Set up a chart and increase time and reps for each objective—strength, conditioning and vertical power.

Sample Volleyball Strength Workout

Sport-Specific Drills

Serving

It's so basic it's silly, but the team with the most points wins the match. Sure, you can score from winning volleys, but having strong servers guarantees victories. That's why it's essential to have serving drills like the following in each volleyball practice. Devote at least 20 minutes of each practice to serving drills. (See Develop a More Powerful Volleyball Serve and 3 Fun and Effective Volleyball Serving Drills.)

Serve and sprint

  • Each player serves the ball.
  • After the serve, the player sprints to retrieve the ball and serves from other side.
  • Complete ten successful serves.

Pressure serving

  • Designate specific spots on the opposite court.
  • Each player serves to the spot.
  • Make this either a timed drill (e.g., 10 minutes) or a goal-based drill (e.g. hit each spot five times).

Passing 

Besides strong servers, you also need skilled passers, especially in the backcourt to set up good hits. Set aside at least 30 minutes of practice for passing drills.

Control passing with partner

  • Players partner up and stand 20 to 25 feet apart.
  • Player one tosses the ball to player two.
  • Player two passes it straight up in the air to herself, then passes it back to player one who does the same thing.
  • Continuously pass back and forth for at least a minute without the ball hitting the ground.

Side-Out drill

  • See above description.

Caterpillar drill

Hitting and Setting

There's nothing more impressive and intimidating than a team that can set up a successful dig, set and spike. No one will want to face up against your squad when each girl can drill the volleyball over the net. Luckily, setting and hitting go hand-in-hand, so you can combine the workload for efficiency. A solid thirty minutes each practice is more than enough time to build a few ace hitters.

  • Position hitters with setters.
  • All players get into their specific positions on one side of the court.
  • Setter sets the ball to where the coach specifies (e.g., left back, right front).
  • Hitter hits the ball over the net.
  • Live play at the net with hitter, setter, and blocker: all players get into their specific positions on one side of the court, with a few on the other side to serve.
  • Run a game simulation by having a player on the opposite side serve to the team.

Finishing

You can't get more sport-specific than ending practice with a short scrimmage. They are fun for your players, and they give you a chance to see how well your athletes transfer their skills to game play. Scrimmages can help you determine what you need to work on in subsequent practices. Spend the final ten to twenty minutes on a six-on-six scrimmage.

Topics: VOLLEYBALL
Sarah Coffey
- Sarah Coffey graduated from Christopher Newport University (Hampton Roads, Va.) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Teaching. While attending...
Sarah Coffey
- Sarah Coffey graduated from Christopher Newport University (Hampton Roads, Va.) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Teaching. While attending...
Must See
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 7,990,013
RGIII Talks About His Legacy RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 29,693,134
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,229,574

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Views: 200,441
Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,013,872
Joe Mauer's On-Field Baseball Skill Development Joe Mauer's On-Field Baseball Skill Development Views: 643,932
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,829
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,196,073
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,429
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 890,276
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,792

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Some of you may have heard the UNDERLOAD/ OVERLOAD buzzwords around baseball gurus the last bunch of years for velocity training for pitchers in...

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

The Football Route Tree, Explained

The Football Route Tree, Explained

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

4 Tips for Coaching Low-Velocity Softball Pitchers

4 Tips for Coaching Low-Velocity Softball Pitchers

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

How Stephen Curry Became the Best Shooter in the NBA

How Stephen Curry Became the Best Shooter in the NBA

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

Basketball Speed Drills for Offense

Basketball Speed Drills for Offense

Learn from Steph Curry: Stay the Course to Beat the Defense

Learn from Steph Curry: Stay the Course to Beat the Defense

Become a Better Baserunner With This Agility Drill

Become a Better Baserunner With This Agility Drill

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

'Squash the Bug' and Other Softball Batting Tips That Don't Work

'Squash the Bug' and Other Softball Batting Tips That Don't Work

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

YardBarker