How to Make Volleyball Practice Fun? (4 Fun Drills & 3 Tips)

how to make volleyball practice fun

Volleyball practice sessions could get very intense and rough at times to the point where everybody is dead serious about performing to impress their coach and teammates …

Indeed, while seriousness is very much required to make sure you can progress and evolve individually and as a team, sometimes it is more beneficial to make practices rather Fun and Enjoyable!

This approach has proven to be highly effective to help stimulate the learning process and reinforce the bond of the team.

In this article, I breakdown practical ways to make volleyball training sessions Fun and Useful all at the same time!

4 Fun Volleyball Drills …

Below I breakdown some Fun Drills you can practice with your teammate. Those drills will also help you improve some specific aspects of your game.

Quick Recommendation: Some of these drills could get a little bit intense, so it is recommended to utilize volleyball shoes with quality soles. For example, this pair of quality shoes will help support high intensity practice sessions.

Dead Fish Drill

  • Two teams are required. There is no specific number of players per team required to successfully execute the drill.
  • Each team receives a bin full of balls and each player receives a ball.
  • The floor of the court should be marked with tape or round stickers, granting the players markers, or targets. Also spots should be marked outside the court, for the „Dead fish“
  • The coach should choose the time span in which the play takes place, or it should last at least until the bins are empty.
  • With a whistle blow, the coach will signalize the start of the game.
  • The players should all simultaneously start hitting the ball, aiming for the markers.
  • A player whose ball goes out of bounds is required to run to the opposite side of the court and sit on one of the markers that is outside the court, playing a „dead fish“, ultimately becoming a marker.
  • His teammates need to aim the ball at him, so that he can catch the ball while sitting, resurrecting him in the process.

The game of Dead Fish is supposed to help players improve their overall precision.

Gopher Ball

  • Players should be divided into two teams, lined up behind the end line.
  • 2 players from each line will go forward and lie down on their stomach.
  • When the coach blows the whistle, players should basically jump up and be ready to receive the ball.
  • The coach will throw the ball randomly at any player.
  • If a player does not save the ball with a dig, he returns to the back of his column, if a player saves the ball he is permitted to stay until he misses the ball, or until the game comes to an end.

This exercise is intended to help players deal with unpredictable balls sent from the opposite team

24 second drill

  • The entire team needs to line up on the baseline and hold hands.
  • The coach will need to set the timer to 24 seconds.
  • After the coach blows the whistle the entire team or the ones holding hands will have to go from one baseline to the other and back in 24 seconds.

This drill seems as a simple one, but it is a good way to help team communication and cooperation.

The role of the coach here is to watch carefully his team, and to notice any changes in pace, or any signs of miss communication so he can correct that.

Ball Sharing Drill

  • The team is split into smaller groups of five to six players.
  • One player on every team receives a ball
  • Every player must touch the ball once during the drill, two players touching the ball at the same time is not permitted
  • The player that has the ball will have to tell the name of the next player that will receive the ball ‘randomly’
  • There is a timer, it starts when the first player calls out the name of one player and stops when the last player gets the ball.

Keep in mind that these drills are effective to teach volleyball for beginners!

3 Coaching Tips for making volleyball Fun?

What most coaches need to keep in mind, is that having fun while training, is one of the best ways for beginners to get better at volleyball faster!

Tracing Fun Drills less enjoyable ones

I’ve just listed above some examples of fun volleyball drills you can practice. So, an obvious idea would be to include those drills in practice sessions …

However, this won’t be as effective unless it is done in a smart way!

Indeed, there are drills that players usually don’t like because they are exhausting or just boring, yet these drills are still important …

So, the tip here is to plan a Fun Drill only after properly executing 2 or 3 regular drills.

This will make players always looking forward to next fun drill by properly executing the more serious ones.

Original Jokes

This does not mean that the coach needs to be a comedian; of course if he has a comedy background then this won’t necessarily hurt, but this is not the purpose …

Instead the coach needs to identify the moments where players have reached an effort peak where they might need a couple minutes break, then surprise players with an original and well placed joke preferably related to what just went out in the training session …

Getting players to authentically laugh after an intense practice sprint is such a great relief that will set them for the next sprint!

Little Reward …

After each practice session, the coach should pick and choose the player who has performed the best throughout the training session …

He shouldn’t choose the best player, because this would mean that probably one or a handful of players will always be selected. He should rather choose the player who is not necessarily the best yet he seems with the will to actually evolve and improve.

This will give all average players the excitement to push themselves and perform.

Rewards might not be that fancy, it could be as simple as a restaurant or cinema ticket. Yet, once in a long while the coach might plan something special!

Which one is more fun: Indoor or beach volleyball?

Beach volleyball can be fun and relaxing if you love the beach, outdoors, beautiful refreshing whether …

Yet, it might not be as fun if you don’t have the physical attributes to handle the extra resistance that comes with the sand.

Indoor volleyball could be fun if you prefer team work and more intense playing sequences that can be either offensively or defensively.

But in general, beach volleyball is more enjoyed by amateurs and recreational players, but indoor volleyball is more enjoyed by more seasoned players.

Finally, I invite you to learn how beach volleyball can help improve your indoor volleyball skills

Final Thoughts …

If you want to join a volleyball club and have the choice between several clubs, then my recommendation would be to first visit a training session of all the clubs you are going to choose from …

Of course, sessions should be of a quality and it should be noticeable that players are properly practicing. However, pay attention whether there is the Fun element in there?

Usually if this is the case, then it means players are probably enjoying what they are doing. This could significantly help you choose the right club for you.

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

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