4 Effective Drills to Practice Volleyball at Home

how to practice volleyball at home

When it comes to practicing volleyball, first thing that comes to mind is usually a court with a net and training partners. While there is nothing wrong with, few people consider or are considering practicing at home…

This might sound weird or inconvenient, yet this is totally possible and even encouraged to help correct some holes in your game and to give you more opportunities to practice.

In this short article, I share some helpful tips to practice your volleyball skills at the comfort of your home without making your mom mad at you!

What will you need to practice volleyball at home?

 You can practice volleyball at home without a net and with or without a partner.

But obviously you will need a ball to practice. My recommendation is to use a soft ball (Check this example) …

You will also need a wall (not mandatory, but it will open up more practicing options for you), and of course some space … a backyard would be the best option, but if not available just make sure you’ve got access to at least 4 meters square space with no valuable objects around.

You can also use a rope as a net, if you are practicing with a friend at home.

Volleyball skills you can easily improve at home

1. Passing to Yourself

Passing is a fundamental skill in volleyball that all players (regardless of their position) should learn and even master …

An important term is the “bump”, in other words, it is when you pass the ball to another player. But, in this case you should pass it to yourself as a first step in the learning process.

2. Setting to Yourself

Setting is a particular variation of passing which is in 99% of the cases the last step before an attack (usually spike) …

Setting is an underrated skill … Many people think it is an easy one. Well, while it might look easy, it is in reality a difficult skill which is responsible to over 60% of the success of the attack.

In this case, the goal is to practice setting the ball to yourself.

3. Blocking

Blocking is a critical skill to prevent the opponent from a successful attack hit. A block technique is used to deflect the ball coming from an attacker.

The main responsibility of a blocker is to block the ball back into the opposing team’s court. Effective volleyball blocking takes strategy and speed.

4. Serving skills

how to practice serving a volleyball without a net

That’s the starting touch of each volleyball point. A great serve will usually give you and your team the momentum to finish the sequence in your team’s favor.

Keep in mind that serving is the only skill in volleyball where the player has complete control … Indeed, you can execute it literally however you want … You can jump while serving or you can serve in a simple way by hitting the ball without your feet leaving the ground.

Keep in mind, there are 3 main serving techniques:

  • Underhand serve
  • Overhand
  • Overhand float serve.

Detailed Volleyball Drills and Exercises to do at home!

Solo drill 1: Passing to Yourself

First of all, you need to adopt the correct body position. It should be with knees slightly bent and your shoulders kept over your knees. Hands and arms should be extended in front of you with palms turned up towards the ceiling.

Your arms should be kept high enough, but not too high and not too close to your body to allow you to move quickly in any direction.

Once you feel you’ve satisfied this passing position, then you can start passing the ball to the air to yourself by trying to avoid the ball touching the ground as much as possible.

As a first step try to not move your feet too much until you start feeling comfortable, then you can start moving and experiencing this drill in a dynamic way. You can also, practice this drill by passing the ball to the wall so it can be reflected back to you, like if you are passing to yourself!

This drill is particularly important for beginners

Solo drill 2: Setting to Yourself

Place both hands above your head and hit the ball straight up with your fingers. Toss the ball up lightly and set the ball when it comes down.

Do the same exercise and keep the ball up for as long as you can with sets.

Start by hitting the ball straight up. Then pass it more off to the side so you have to run to pass it again.

This is a physical workout as well as a passing drill

To add a level of difficulty would be but lying your back on the ground, the start setting the ball.

Don’t forget that you should form something like a triangle window by your thumb and your forefingers for proper setting.

The goal is to set the ball as much time as possible without having to move.

Solo drill 3: Blocking

In this exercise you will need a wall. Indeed, try to extend your hands, then have a distance of half a meter with the wall.

Try to jump as high as possible so you can reach the highest possible point in the wall. Put a sticker once you‘ve reached your maximum point so you can aim to break that max point in your next attempt.

The challenge here is to obviously reach higher spots over the sticker you’ve placed.

Quick Tip: This is not necessary, yet in this exercise I recommend using proper volleyball shoes. Indeed, these shoes have the grip and the cushioning that will help promote higher vertical jumps. This grip will stabilize you before you jump and the cushioning will help make a safer landing after the jump. For example these quality volleyball shoes come with a solid grip and cushioning that you can actually rely on.

Solo Drill 4: Serving skills

The Underhand Serve

Try to lean your upper body a little forward and hold the ball with your weaker hand (preferably) below your waist.

Swing back your stronger arm backward, look forward and aim for the position where you want to place the ball, and then swing your arm forward to hit the ball.

Fist and thumb area is what must touch the ball in this move.

In this case, you can aim for a specific spot in the wall to make sure you have full control over your serves.

Overhand float serve  

Hold the ball with your weaker hand (right arm for left hand people and vice versa) … The air-hole should be places right in the middle of your palm as this area has usually the highest air pressure. By doing so, you will make sure the ball can float much easier …

In this exercise you should aim for the middle back of the ball using your palms to ensure maximum strength and control.

Keep in mind that in this move, only your palms should be used, your fingers shouldn’t be involved at all. Otherwise, your serve will be weaker and your control will be lost.

You can learn about those other serving drills that you can practice alone!

How often you can practice volleyball at home?

This pretty much depends on you and your preferences. However, if you’ve got an access to a court with partners, then you probably don’t have to train at home too much, maybe just occasionally and even for fun …

But, if this is not really possible for you, then you may want to practice at home a little more to keep your skills sharp (maybe twice a week should be just fine)

For beginners, I highly invite them to practice whenever they’ve got the opportunity to do so, whether at home or in the court. This will definitely help them faster their learning process and learn the basics as soon as possible.

Finally, if those drills are a little boring for you, then I invite you to check these tips to make volleyball practice fun!

Final Thoughts…

A great advantage that comes with practicing volleyball at home and/or by yourself is that you don’t have any distractions from other players, thus you can really focus on the skills you feel you are struggling with…

That’s why I highly invite you to pay close attention to the things you are suffering from and lacking in, note them, and then figure out way to practice them privately, that’s a great growth strategy.

Finally, I highly invite you to learn how you can become a professional volleyball player! You will learn a lot …

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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