Essential Volleyball Drills for High School

Build a fundamentally sound volleyball team with drills from STACK Expert Sarah Coffey.


For volleyball players to succeed and play well together as a team, they must be prepared for any game situation. Here are some volleyball drills for high school players aimed at improving your skills on the court.

Volleyball Drills for High School


High school players can learn to communicate through two variations of one drill.

  • Play a regular 6-on-6 game, but call out the name of the opposing player to whom you are hitting the ball.
  • Have the coach call out one player from each team. Only those players may talk. The coach eventually calls out each player on the court. This helps to improve everyone's communication skills.

Bump, Set, Send

This is a drill is for working on control. It's also a great drill for warming up before practice or a game.

  • Each player has a partner.
  • First player bumps to herself, sets to herself and hits to partner.
  • Partner digs the ball and repeats.

Serve and Receive

  • Two teams of six, one on each side of the net.
  • Three back-row passers, one target and two servers.
  • Each team serves.
  • Passer receives and sends to the target (target must not move from center of the net).
  • When the target catches the ball, the passer takes the target's place and the target serves.
  • If the passer fails to pass ball to the target, the target rotates with the server, and the server replaces the passer.

Black Sheep

This drill is to improve serving and receiving with designated passers.

  • Two teams of six, one on each side of the net.
  • Teams set up in game positions.
  • One player wears a different colored jersey.
  • As the ball is served, player with the different jersey is the only one allowed to make the first pass.
  • Other players must adjust accordingly.
  • To add a twist, set 2 minutes on the clock.

Footwork Drills

This drill consists of many steps to improve footwork.

  • Each player has a partner.
  • Using the full volleyball court, one partner (A) stands on the serving line while the other partner (B) stands on the 10-foot line.
  • Shuffle Pass: Partners face each other. Partner A has the ball first and tosses to the left.
  • Partner B shuffles from middle to left side and passes the ball back.
  • Partner A tosses the ball to the right.
  • Partner B shuffles from left to right, staying low, and passes directly to Partner A.
  • This drill is fast (10 x each side, switch).
  • Toe touch: Same positions as the Shuffle Pass.
  • Players focus on running through the ball and backpedaling to pass the ball.
  • Partner A begins by tossing the ball short (around 3 feet).
  • Partner B begins on the server line and runs through the ball to pass.
  • After passing the ball, Partner B touches the toe of Partner A to ensure she is staying low.
  • As soon as Partner A receives the ball, she tosses it deep (behind server line).
  • Partner B backpedals to make a successful pass (10x short and deep, rotate).
Read more:


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock