Teach Volleyball to Beginners? (5 Drills for Newbies & Kids)


how to teach volleyball to beginners

Teaching beginners (or kids) a sport like volleyball is definitely difficult task. However, if you approach it properly, then it would definitely be much easier to teach and motivate new up comers to get started on the right path …

In this article, I breakdown the best beginner and kids friendly drills I know that will help build their skills slowly and surely.

Hope you will find that helpful!

7 Beginner friendly Volleyball Drills

Keep in mind that a beginner cannot perform drills and undertake the same training as a professional. This is because the body isn’t ready for such intensive training sessions.

Below are some effective drills that beginners can perform with ease to improve their game…

Helpful Tip: It is highly recommended to wear proper knee pads and arm sleeves to protect both knees and arms from being sore after the session. For example these knee pads and these arm sleeves are pretty much what you would need for maximum safety.

1. Triangle passing drill

As the name suggests, here the players need to stand in a triangular formation. 2 players need to stand side by side and face the third player who will be in front of them.

The 2 players will be the receivers and the player in front will be the server. The server will start to bounce the ball in the middle of the two players.

Both the players need to start swapping the places rapidly. They need to stop in the middle, get their foot placed correctly and pass the ball back to the server.

This will continue till each player gets to hit the ball 10 times. This drill will enhance the passing capabilities and the stability of the player.

2. Serve and run drill

Serving is a crucial skill in volleyball. But a server cannot serve and wait at the serving line. He needs to rush back to his position and get ready for any possible counter shot from the opponent.

To ensure that the player can move swiftly back to his position, the coach must use the serve and run drill.

Under this, the players must stand in a line across the serving line. The player will serve the ball as soon as the coach blows the whistle.

After serving he must rush as fast as possible, bring back the ball and pass it to the second player.

If the ball fails to cross the net or goes out of bounds, then the player needs to rush to take the ball back, get back to the position and serve again.

This drill enhances both the serving capabilities and overall volleyball agility

3. Butterfly passing drill

As discussed earlier, passing is by far the most important part of volleyball. Butterfly passing drill enhances this skill of players.

Players need to stand across the outside line of the court. The coach will stand in the middle and coordinate the passing.

Players have to receive and pass the ball back to the coach. This drill also improves the ball handling of the players.

4. Passing and setting drill

This is a classic drill to acclimatize the players to the environment of the court. The coach needs to divide the players into groups of six and place them traditionally across both sides of the court.

Then the game will start in such a way that one side will only pass, while the other will only set.

This way players will gain expertise in the role assigned to them. After a while, the role allotted will be interchanged. This way both the groups will be able to practice as setters as well as passers.

5. Ball bounce drill

This drill helps the player to improve his concentration and ball control. The player needs to stand straight and start bouncing the ball on his hand.

At first, he needs to hit the ball with one hand twice and then change the hand. For example, if the person is starting his drill with his right hand, then he needs to shift to his left hand and bounce twice.

This must go on alternatively. After this, a variation can be added. The person then needs to bounce the ball high once and then low. This will further increase the ball control of the player.

6. Setter drill

As we know how important setting is in the game, this drill helps an individual in this aspect. Here the person will throw the ball up in the air, jump and grab the ball in the setting position.

This will help the beginner player to get into the setter position fast. Also, an individual will gain more control over the ball.

7. Dribble hitting drill

here the player needs to dribble the volleyball like basketball. The only difference here is that the person should not dribble the ball with his fingers, rather he needs to use his whole hand for it.

The ball will force back with force after controlling such force, the player will gain more confidence in his game.

The ball will start sitting in the centre of the hand, and it’ll improve the passing and other aspects of the game as well.

How to motivate a beginner for volleyball

Keeping a player motivated throughout the journey is critical. The motivation graph of a beginner is volatile …

At times it can go sky high and sometimes it can be very low. Below are some tips that a coach can use to keep the player’s motivation high …

Create an intense environment: it is a psychological fact that people work well in an intensely competitive environment. If a coach can create such an environment during a training session, then players are bound to show more interest in the game.

Make drills fun: Tough and intensive training sessions cannot go on for a long time. Players need rejuvenation and a bit of fun as well. The coach must mould the drills accordingly and make the process more enjoyable for players (Check these fun ideas to make volleyball practice enjoyable)

More participation: participation in a tournament also motivates players. Tournaments are not always about winning they offer a lot of valuable learnings to players. Participation in more and more tournaments will provide players with the essential exposure they need and keep them motivated in their journey.

7 kid-friendly Volleyball Drills

There are some kids that find volleyball very hard to learn … The drills below will make the process much easier for them …

1. Bump drill

This drill comes in handy to enhance the ball control of the child. Here every child is given a volleyball and asked to bump it in good hitting form.

The coach has to give callouts about the power to be used. For instance, if the coach says high bump, then the kids have to hit the ball up high.

On the other hand, a low bump means a lower bounce. This was children learned how to control the ball.

2. Bump-set drill

Here the coach needs to divide children into pairs of two. Both the players need to stand at a certain distance.

One player is responsible for bumping the ball, whereas the other is for setting it. The setter will set the ball for the other player then the player has to bump it back.

The setter again needs to get in the setting position and provide the ball back to the other person. The players need to interchange their roles after certain rounds.

3. Serve drill

this drill helps in improving the accuracy of serves. The coach needs to put cones across one half of the court.

The players need to stand behind the serving line and one by one come and serve. They must try to knock down these cones by their serves.

4. Ball chase drill

This drill is similar to a real game but with a fun element. The coach needs to divide children into two equal teams.

Each team can have six players on the court at a time. There will be 12 balls with each team. After every rally, the team which scores takes away a ball from another team. In the end, the team with the maximum ball wins.

5. Floor hitting drill

This drill is a further extension of warmup. After the basic warmup exercises, the coach must line the children across the serving line.

The children must hold a ball and start spot running as fast as possible. The coach needs to whistle, this will indicate that plyers need to hit the ball with maximum force on the ground.

Once the ball hits the ground, it’ll bounce back with equal force. The kids need to catch and control the force of the ball while running.

6. 4 square drill

Here all the players need to stand in a file, and four players need to get in the four squares of the court.

The player in square one will start the drill by calling out one person’s name from the four squares and then pass the ball towards him.

If he is unable to make a precise pass within the player’s square then he will be out of the game and another player will get in. This will continue till each player gets a chance to play.

7. Attackers vs defenders

Here the kids need to be divided into two teams. One team will be of attackers while others will be defenders.

The attackers will start the game. If the defenders can catch the ball or even keep it alive, then they win a point.

How to motivate kids for volleyball

Shaping a child’s mind is quite an intensive task. They are in their growing stage and counter-question on each and everything they hear.

Below are some tips …

Idealizing: Help the kids picturize and idealize a life like their ideal player. This will help them stay motivated throughout.

Watching local games: take the kids out to watch matches of their seniors and other local tournaments. It will give them exposure to real game events.

Mentoring: make the kids interact with their seniors. This will help them see the larger picture of the game and make them aspire to be in that position in the future.

Final Thoughts …

Keep in mind that those drills are generally proven to be effective with beginners and kids who are getting into the sport …

However, you will always need to make the necessary adjustment depending on how the players respond to the drills. Indeed, if you notice that these are too intense for them or are not effective enough, then you should think about making the necessary adjustments and test again how players will respond.

By doing so, you will end figuring out the right formula that will actually help your players grow and (why not) become pros in the future!

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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