Practicing beach volleyball alone, for many people, doesn’t really make sense since at the end of the day, it is a team sport and it requires at least 2 players to execute any offensive or defensive sequence …
However, there are still some solid benefits when practicing by yourself. This will eventually allow you to focus solely on some specific skills where you feel you are quite lacking.
In this article, I breakdown the kind of skills and drills you can work on solo in beach volleyball.
Practicing beach volleyball by yourself – Good or Bad idea?
Practicing alone can be sometimes repetitive but it is definitely not a bad idea.
When practicing alone you can focus on some of the skills and moves that you want to improve specifically.
The coach is looking at your performance when practicing with partners, and he can point out things you need to improve. However, you might not always have enough time with your partners to work on that. That’s why you can add couple extra hours working on those aspects of your game alone.
Also, keep in mind that some moves and skills cannot be practiced alone effectively, like spiking and receiving …
These skills can be practiced alone, but it is nowhere near as good as practicing with partners.
5 Beach Volleyball Skills & Drills you can improve by yourself …
Some of those drills require having a good grip on sand, that’s why I recommend using sand socks to help for that. For example these quality sand socks provide decent grip and can properly protect your feet from sand heat and sharp objects.
Pass, set, hit
Pass, set, hit is a fun drill that can be practiced alone.
For this drill you will need a low rooftop and a ball. The goal here is to practice your pass, set and hit, as the name implies.
To get started with this drill, you can simply hit the hit the ball, or throw it at the rooftop. When the ball starts coming down that is when the drill begins.
You will first pass the ball to yourself, then set it and then hit it, sending it at the rooftop. When the ball starts coming down again, repeat the process.
Pushup in between
Pushup in between means that you will do a pushup every time you hit the ball. This pushup is an add-on for the first practice.
Doing a pushup in combination with the previous drill can be really beneficial. Every time you do a pushup you will go down with your entire body. When you come up however, you will need to find the ball and the focus that is needed.
The goal of adding the pushup is to help your reflexes, so you can make a comeback during an intense game. This is a similar practice that you can do with your teammates.
Pass, set, head and shoulders, hand
This exercise is both challenging and fun. It will help improving your ball control.
So this drill is performed in the following manner. You will pass the ball to yourself, then set it and after that use your head and after that your shoulder to send it back into the air.
The goal of this drill is to help your overall mobility and your overall motoric skills to improve.
Improving your arm swing
For this drill you will need a tennis ball.
This exercise aims at improving your arm swing and opening up to the ball. It can also help with your hit, but that comes with the improved arm swing.
Using a tennis ball for this drill is practical because it will allow you to focus on your hand movement while holding a solid object in your hand.
You can improve your arm swing in many different ways with this drill, by using your torso or by using your rhomboids. This means that you will have to throw the ball by using your entire shoulder in a precise manner.
Start by lifting your arm at a 90 degree angle. Then try swinging it back above your head, and try to use only your shoulder while performing this action. The movement is similar as to a quarter back when throwing the ball at practice.
When using your rhomboids the movement is also similar to the last description, but your arm will stay at the 90 degree angle when you swing it back. This part of the drill has the goal of helping you open up.
Ten thirty, thoracic, shoulder blades, elbow high and release
This drill is tightly connected to the previous one …
It has the goal of helping you with your arm movement. As you can see it is a five part drill. It is also performed with a tennis ball.
- Take the ball in your hands.
- Make a 90 degree angle with your hand.
- Rotate the hand by using your shoulder.
- Swing it back.
- Release/throw the ball.
It is better to start executing this exercise with a slow pace.
It is worth mentionning that increasing your beach volleyball vertical jump is something you can also do by yourself.
How often should you practice alone?
You should practice alone quite often like 2 to 3 times a week.
Do it in combination with your practices, or the gym. An hour of single practice can help you substantially when combined with your regular practices.
Practicing alone often can help you when it comes to developing your skills, and maintaining other sets of skills.
You should practice alone on the days when you do not have regular practices, because you can improve the skills that you are seem to be lacking at practices, and implement what you have learned by practicing alone.
Beach volleyball Skills you can’t improve alone …
The first skill is about your reflexes, you can improve your speed and quickness, but the reflexes are mainly up to regular practices with your training partners.
You cannot improve your reflexes alone, because you won’t likely face difficult and uncomfortable situations that will require of you to be sharp minded and to react quickly.
In actual games, you will face certain situations that will require you to react quickly and without hesitation.
Another one is your reaction time, the conditions of improving your reaction time are the same as for the improvement of your reflexes.
This means that you will have always to be on the lookout, and be able to anticipate where and how the ball will be going, you will have to predict its trajectory precisely.
Finally, keep in mind that those drills won’t be enough to gain speed for the sport. Indeed, for this you need to check those beach volleyball speed drills …
Final Thoughts …
Practicing alone is very important for beach volleyball because it is a sport that you might not have access to throughout the year, especially during times when the weather bad.
In those cases, you can keep your skills sharp by practicing alone at home, preferably in your back yard if you have one.