Maybe you find yourself counting down the minutes until you are back on the court and playing. Or, maybe you just want to practice your moves. Either way, you can learn to do volleyball drills at home that will better prepare you.
Volleyball Workouts at Home
Just because you aren’t on the volleyball court, doesn’t mean you can’t condition your body. You can get ready so you’re in shape when it comes time to play again.
These are some great workouts to help boost your stamina and endurance during the season. They also work to keep you in conditioned shape during the offseason.
Related: 30 Fun Facts About Volleyball
Before you can jump into running some volleyball drills at home, you need to take the time to warm up and get your body ready to practice. Just as you would in practice or before a game, you will need to do some stretches. Also incorporate some exercises to help build up your stamina.
If you have a little room outside, try to take a few laps around your yard, depending on the size. If you have a really large backyard then one lap will do. In a smaller yard, make a few laps.
This will wake your body up and let it know that it’s time for some exercise. It may not be easy at first. You want to work up to being able to run so you aren’t getting as winded on the court halfway through a game.
After you run, you can have a short rest while you are stretching. Remain standing and begin by stretching your arms out. First, stretch to each side. Then, place your arm behind your head and stretch again.
Next, stretch out your legs and thigh muscles so they are loose and ready to move. It is important to take the time to stretch before you start running a few drills. This helps let your muscles know you are going to be moving them more. This will help reduce the chance of injury when you start moving fast.
Before you pick up the ball, do a few reps of these quick stamina-boosting and muscle-toning exercises. They will help you get into better shape.
Jumping jacks (3 reps of 10)
Mountain Climbers (3 reps of 15)
Push ups (3 reps of 10)
Crunches (3 reps of 10)
Plank (3 times, each for 30 seconds with a 10 second stop to rest)
Kick Out Toe Touches (Walk approximately the distance of half court, kicking your legs out and reaching with your hand to touch your toes)
Lunges (do this across a distance that is equal to half court)
As you continue to work out, add additional reps to each workout. See how much you can gradually add on every week. This will keep your body working out. It will help it from settling into a standard pace.
Volleyball Drills at Home
Here are a few drills you can do at home. It’s great if you have a friend, sibling, or parent who can help you. They could toss or pass the ball back and forth for some passing drills with you. If you don’t, it’s okay.
These drills below are designed for practicing alone or with a partner, and are also good for beginner to intermediate players including high school kids.
Find a Wall
With an adult’s approval, find a wall that doesn’t have any windows close by. This will act as your passing partner while you are running these volleyball drills at home.
Begin by standing a few steps backwards from the wall. Toss the volleyball against the wall and get ready for it to rebound off.
Make sure you are staying low and in ready position. It can take a few tries for you to get used to the rebound speed. Don’t despair if you are only able to keep the ball in play a few times.
Once you adjust to the rebound from the wall, you can start to focus on a target area to to aim your passes at. This will help you learn how to get a constant and accurate pass each time. This is an important drill to practice for players of all levels and ages, including middle schoolers.
You can also make an X with colored tape to be your target. Aim to hit the X each time you pass against the wall.
Instead of standing back, when you are setting you will want to get closer to the wall. Try standing a step or two away from it.
Staying close to the wall helps you focus on getting the ball up in the air and out a little. This will also reinforce the correct way to set.
The main object of setting is to keep the ball above your head at all times. When you are setting, make sure you are looking up. Make sure your setting hands do not go below your nose for the set.
Starting out, do quick sets that don’t go very high. This is to warm up your setting hands and give you a rapid repetitive drill. Continue to do quick sets for 60 seconds.
Next take a step back and continue to set against the wall.
Aim for the X you placed on the wall for passing. See how many times you can accurately hit it in a row.
Find a Partner
If someone is freely available, you can do some partner passing skills. These will help you move and get a better aim for passing.
A good drill to do when you have a partner is a pepper drill. This means you will go through the bump, set, and down ball hit rotation.
To start, the first person will toss the ball to the other.
The second person will bump the ball back.
The first person then sets the ball for their hit.
The final hit is a down ball which forces the other player to get low for a pass that will start the drill again.
This drill is great for helping you practice your controlled hits. It teaches you how to better aim the ball to get it to your target person.
You don’t want to stand too far apart. The extra wide distance allows the ball to end up more wild than controlled, since you will be hitting it harder trying to cover the large distance between you. It will also be a good idea to wear high quality volleyball shoes with traction to aid you in these exercises.
You will want to stand about ten feet away from each other. This gives you a good enough distance. You can have a proper volley without it being too far apart. Yet, it makes you hit the ball harder than you normally would in a game situation.
Toss to Move
In the same distance and partner facing stance as the pepper drill, have your partner toss the ball to you. Instead of tossing the ball exactly to you, their aim is to make you move by tossing the ball a little further behind you or short so you have to move forward or dive for it.
Have them alternate the short and long tosses so that it isn’t a predictable back and forth. This drill is important to help you learn how to better move to the ball and get there with your feet first. It helps you get a good controlled pass back to them.
Find a Ball
Sometimes it is just you and a volleyball. Don’t let this discourage you or make you think there is nothing that you can work on. All you need is a volleyball and a little instruction to run a few drills.
Pass to Yourself
Bumping or setting to yourself is a great way to start working on your own ball control. Keep your feet planted and stay low as you work to alternate bumping and setting the ball.
You can bump it a few times and then alternate to setting it a few times. Then go back to bumping. Or you can go from a bump to a set and back to a bump before you set the ball again.
Count aloud how many times you are able to successfully keep the ball in play with yourself. In the beginning, it may only be a handful of successful hits. However, as you continue, you will begin to adjust your bumps and sets to gain better control over the ball.
Practice your Spiking Approach
Just because you are not at a net, doesn’t mean you can’t practice your footwork. Repeatedly practice your spike approach. Then, when it comes time to perform it in a game, your muscle memory takes over. You will have the correct approach without having to think about it too much.
A correct spiking approach is important. It not only provides the correct positioning, it also builds momentum for you as you step and jump in the arm to deliver a powerful spike, and hopefully score.
You will notice that your non-hitting arm comes up and takes aim at the ball while your hitting arm draws back for the spike. Make sure you are squaring your shoulders up to the net. Take note of where your aiming arm is pointing towards. That is the direction that you will be hitting the ball.
Aim to practice your approach ten times in a row. Do another drill and then come back and work on your approach for ten more times.
Whether you are serving overhand or just working on your underhand serve, this is a skill where you can warm up. Practice the stance and swing.
You will hold the ball but do not hit it out of your hands. For this warm-up you will be working on making sure your feet are placed correctly and working on your swing.
The two biggest mistakes players make during the serve is swinging their arm off center. This is what makes the ball go to the side and out of bounds.
For underhand serves, hold the ball firmly in your hand. Work on the syncing of your arm swinging and your foot stepping forward at the same time. Bring your swinging arm all the way up to meet the ball and then back down again. Watch to see how your arm swings. Make sure that it stays straight and that your body doesn’t allow it to rotate your swing to the side.
Overhand serves have a few more mechanics since you will be tossing the ball up. First, you will want to work on your toss. Aim your serving arm back in it’s ready position and have the ball upright in your tossing hand.
While in this position, start to toss the ball. Start low, don’t toss it up as high as you would for a serve. The point of this is to just get used to the ball and learn how to tone your control for the toss.
Gradually, after a few minutes you will start to make the toss higher. It will then be an acceptable height for your serve.
Next, you will begin your step and swing. When you toss the ball up, step forward and aim to catch the ball where your swing is. Your tossing hand will come up and your swinging hand will go forward to hit. The two hands should meet the ball at almost the same time.
Your aim in this is to catch the ball while it is up high in front of you. The catch area is where your hit occurs. If you are catching the ball anywhere below your head, this serve would not go over the net. That’s because the angle you are hitting it is straight and not at a raised arc.
Toss, step forward and catch the ball twenty times to see how accurate your serve swing is. Also take note if your body is allowing you to turn as you are swinging. This would result in a ball that does not go straight.
Once you have exhausted your body with these volleyball drills at home, you can work your mind a little by watching a volleyball game on TV. Try to watch some professional and college level volleyball games during the season.
You can learn a lot just by watching other players on the court. See how they react and pass the ball. This can also help you understand a mistake you are making. It can also help you see if your footing is wrong when you are approaching the net.