Develop your volleyball skills and improve your fitness by playing games with your friends.
Summer training shouldn’t consist solely of traditional weight room workouts. Instead, gather a group of friends and play some games. Here is a game that not only provides a fun break from your regular routine, but can also help you achieve your volleyball performance goals.
Medicine Ball Volleyball
Aerobic/anaerobic conditioning, agility, manipulative skills, strength and speed
Medicine balls of different sizes and weights, an adjustable height volleyball net or 8-12 cones
Playing Area and Set-up:
• Volleyball court or open area of approximately the same size, with the net lowered. Game can also be played in a gym or other large area with a row of cones set up to substitute for a net.
The game is played using volleyball rules. It can be played one-on-one, but it’s better with teams of two to four athletes. The object is to throw the medicine ball back and forth over the net using a variety of overhead, underhand and side throws or tosses.
• The receiver must catch the ball before it bounces twice and return it over the net. If the ball bounces twice before it’s caught, the offense scores a point. If it doesn’t bounce twice, play continues.
• To ensure safety, players must allow the ball to bounce once before catching it.
• Once the ball is caught, the athlete may take only one step before either returning the ball over the net or passing it to a teammate.
• The game ends when one team scores a set number of points.
• Play using a Swiss ball or other exercise ball to add a challenge due to its size and the speed at which it can be thrown.
More Performance-Improvement Games
Find more enjoyable games to supplement your traditional sports training at the following links. Most of them can be adapted to deliver a total volleyball training session.
Baseball Training Games
Basketball Training Games
Soccer Training Games
Track Training Games
Football Training Games
Source: Dawes, Jay, and Chris Mooney. 101 games and Drills for Conditioning Athletes. Monterey, Calif.: Coaches Choice, 2006.
Mark Roozen, STACK’s senior content editor, has been in the strength, conditioning and performance field for more than 28 years. He holds a Master degree in exercise physiology and several certifications as a strength and conditioning coach, including CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT and FNSCA.