7 Easy Volleyball Passing Drills For Beginners

If you are going to win in volleyball, you must be able to pass the ball. This will let you get the ball to a setter. From there, you will be able to create an attack.

Passing can be a difficult skill to master. The good news is that, like all skills, it can be improved with practice. Keep reading to get some simple passing drills that your team can use.

practice ball for volleyball

Finding Good Passing Form

Before we go into the drills, let’s briefly talk about what a good pass looks like. First, you’ll need to prepare your hands and elbows. Make sure that your thumbs are pressed together. Your wrists should be pointed towards the floor. This will give you the widest possible area for the ball to hit. You’ll also need to lock your elbows together. By doing this, you will have more control over where the ball is going.

It’s also important to look at your posture. You’ll need to make sure that your legs are shoulder-width apart. As you are doing this, you’ll need to lean forward a little. You must move your body, so the ball is coming down right in front of you. Next, you’ll need to use your knees to push up, creating the force on the ball. As you are hitting it, it can be a good idea to shrug your shoulders.

Finally, you’ll need to make sure that you keep your eye on the ball, even after you hit it. This will ensure that you are prepared to take further action if you have made a wayward hit. Some people prefer a visual guide, if this is the case check out this video.

Shuffle Passing

This drill is a good way of practicing both correct passing form and your footwork. It’s also a good way of getting good form, even when you are feeling fatigued. Thirdly, it will allow you to improve your conditioning and physical fitness. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place two lines on the court. They should be ten feet apart.
  2. Two players will need to pass the ball to each other.
  3. Between each pass, the players will need to run and shuffle to the right line. They need to be back into position in time to return the pass.
  4. After ten passes, switch to shuffling left.
  5. Keep going until one of the players is unable to return the pass.

Passing into the Basket

Just passing the ball isn’t enough. You will need to make sure that the pass is accurate enough to hit the target. That is where this drill comes in. Here’s how you can implement it:

  1. Set the court up, putting a basket at the target position.
  2. Have a setter serve the ball to the passer. They should try to make the service is as easy to hit as possible.
  3. The passer needs to hit the ball, trying to get it to land in the basket.
  4. When you first start this drill, it’s a good idea to bring the basket in fairly close. This will make it easier to hit. You can also count the balls that bounce on the rim of the basket as successful.
  5. If you have been doing the drill for a while, and want to make it more difficult, you can try to move the basket further away. You can also allow the setter to make their serves as difficult as they want.

Quick up Passing

Part of the training is making sure that players are physically fit. This drill will do this while improving their reflexes. To do this, you will need to do the following:

  1. The players start by lying face-down in a line, facing the coach.
  2. The coach will slap the ball. Once the player hears that sound, it’s their cue to get to their feet, pushing with their arms.
  3. Once the coach has slapped the ball, they will need to bounce it immediately after.
  4. This process is repeated for the next player down the line until everyone has had a turn.

If you want, you can vary this over time. You can have the coach standing closer to the players, giving them less time to get into the right position.

Rotating Passing

This is a simple way that you test your passer’s ability to react quickly to incoming balls. This is a crucial skill, often they will only have a few seconds in which to get into the right position. Here’s how you can apply this drill at your next training session:

  1. Have two players standing opposite each other, with the passer in the middle.
  2. The players will need to take turns throwing the ball. Between throws, the passer will need to rotate 180 degrees and get into position to hit the balls.
  3. This process keeps going until the passer misses the ball.
  4. If you want to make this process more challenging, the tossers can start throwing the balls faster.

Passing in a Line

This is another simple drill that will test passing accuracy and physical fitness. Plus, it’s a great way to bring the whole team together. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Have the team form two staggered lines in the middle of the court. Leave a shoulder-width gap between each player.
  2. Pass the ball down the line.
  3. When each player has successfully passed the ball, they need to run from one end of the line to the other.
  4. The aim of the drill is to keep passing for as long as you can.

Back in Bounds

No matter how much training you do, there is still a risk that you will have a rouge pass. This can send the ball flying out of the court, and there is a chance that you will lose the point. This drill is designed to replicate this scenario. Here’s how to do it. 

  1. Have the team standing in their positions.
  2. A coach will throw the ball over the sidelines. This is the first hit.
  3. The players will have two passes left to get the ball to the setter, who needs to remain in the middle of the court.
  4. From there, they will have just one hit to get it over the net.

This is a good drill for you to start talking about teamwork. You’ll need to be communicating. For example, you’ll need to have players calling out who is going to get the ball. If this isn’t happening, there is a good chance that players will end up running into each other. This level of communication should continue into your competition games.

No Stop Passing

Finally, players must be able to pass the ball, while they are running. That’s where this drill comes in. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Have the team standing in a line out of bounds.
  2. The coach will blow a whistle or slap the ball. This is the player’s cue to start running. They’ll need to make a semi-circle around the court, passing close to the net.
  3. As they come near the net, the coach will throw a low ball.
  4. Without stopping, the player will need to pass the ball.
  5. If you want to make this a little harder, you can set up a target that they will need to pass the ball to. Alternatively, the coach can vary when they throw the ball, making the drill more unpredictable.

Click here for 16 Volleyball Tips for Beginners

Final Thoughts

Passing is key to the game of volleyball. Thankfully, there are plenty of drills that you can use to develop your ability to pass successfully. If you practice regularly, you should see clear progress within a few weeks. 

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