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When you are looking for volleyball drills for kids, you want to focus on the simple types of volleyball drills that children can master and enjoy. These drills will focus on very basic learning how to pass, set, hit, and serve. They will still be fun and engaging for your much younger audience.
Volleyball Drills for Kids
Typically youth volleyball drills will run a little faster than the volleyball drills you would encounter in high school and college. Those more advanced drills will focus more on precision and technique while these drills below have more of a fun factor and will go faster. This is to ensure your younger attention spans stay engaged on the court.
Adding time limits to volleyball drills for kids will also help them focus on the task at hand and introduce the feeling of pressure on the court. When pressure is introduced, players can learn to help encourage each other and learn better team skills.
Hit the Floor
This is a great warm-up exercise for kids. After you finish doing your standard routine of running and simple exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and push ups, have your kids line up across the serving line.
You will need a whistle for this drill. If you don’t have a whistle then you can yell “hit the floor” when it is time. However, a whistle is a good instrument for better precision starting and stopping drills. This is a good investment if you will be coaching volleyball or running drills with kids.
When you blow the whistle the first time, the kids will begin running as fast as they can towards the other side of the court. While they are running, you will randomly blow your whistle before they reach the end.
Once they hear the second whistle or you yelling “hit the floor”, then kids should do a diving action on the ground (Make sure knee pads are on!) You will want them to go down like they are diving for the ball.
Since this is for a younger age group, there doesn’t have to be a big level of technique, just have them at least reach a hand out like they are reaching to save the ball. Make sure that they aren’t slamming down on their knees, since this repetitive knee bashing can cause pain.
After kids dive, have them get up fast and continue running to the other side of the court. Remind them that they don’t want to be last in this drill. Run, dive, get up fast, and continue running. It’s also important to let them know that if they really want to pursue volleyball, they should invest in good volleyball shoes for running to equip them well in drills and games.
In this drill you can have them run it a few times together, or base it on the odd man out. The slowest player to hit the floor is out on each round until only two remain.
When kids are practicing this drill, they are working on their reaction time as well as their agility and speed on the court. During the game of volleyball there will be many times where they will have to hit the floor and then get back up quickly. This drill helps prepare them for that speed they will need in later years.
Beach Ball Volleyball
When you are working on volleyball drills for elementary students, sometimes they may have trouble connecting well with the actual volleyball. It is good to mix in this drill, especially in the beginning, to help kids learn the right way to hit the ball.
You will need a medium sized blow up beach ball for this drill. You want it to be larger than a volleyball, but not a massive size that ruins the proper way that youth need to work on passing and setting the ball.
Gather all the elementary kids in a circle and have them pass the ball around. With this drill, there isn’t really a target. Instead, have kids focus on using the right form and reaction time to hit the beach ball.
Since a beach ball is a lighter ball, it won’t fall as fast as a volleyball. This gives players a few seconds extra to move to the ball and call it. They also have extra time to get set in their low stance and have their arms together in the correct passing form.
You can add more advanced levels to this drill by having a group of elementary students focus solely on setting for awhile. Then have them alternate between spreading out and doing big bumps, or coming closer for little controlled bumps. This big-to-little bumping exercise will help them find a better medium feel for controlling the ball versus over and under hitting it.
If the circle ends up being large due to the amount of youth playing, then you can add in a more controlled hitter to the middle. This will give the young players a target to start aiming for.
The person in the middle can also control where the ball is going. You can choose to hit back and forth around the circle, or shake it up by sending the ball to random players to make sure that they are focused and ready to pass the ball.
Work with them on keeping control of the ball if there is a person in the middle. Sometimes the ball may go astray, but make sure that the entire group is talking and encouraging each other to get the ball back under control again.
Pass and Swing
No matter what age or skill level, the one thing that players want to do is spike the ball. It’s definitely one of the fun elements of the game. However, when you are dealing with finding easy volleyball drills for kids, it can be hard to find a drill that they can keep up with in terms of skill level.
For this simple drill, you will have the players form a single file line off to the right side of the court. The person running the drill will stand in the setter’s front middle position area.
- One player will step into the court, around the ten foot line.
- The person running the drill will give them a toss. The player has to pass the ball back to the tosser.
- The person tossing will catch the ball and then toss the ball up at the net for a potential spike from the same player who passed it.
- The play will then approach the net and spike the ball over for the third hit.
When you incorporate the stand-in setter catching the ball, it gives the player a few extra seconds to go from passing to approaching the net to spike. By the time the tosser gives them a good toss for a spike, the player has moved closer to the net and is doing an approach to hit the ball over.
This is also good practice for the passer to learn where to hit the first ball, since the setter position doesn’t change. If they player sends the ball over the net on the first pass or out of bounds, then they don’t get a spike attempt. Instead they have to chase their ball down and return to the line.
The lack of being able to spike with a bad pass will help them take the drill more seriously so that they can spike the ball.
You are also teaching young players how to set up the three hits of volleyball, going from a pass to a set and then a finishing spike. No matter the age, it is good to instill in volleyball players that settling for a single bump back over the net is not what they should aim for.
Serving drills can get a little boring since there isn’t much movement involved in the drill. To help keep young players more diligently working on their serve, then this is one of the best fun volleyball drills for youth to help them work on their serve.
To start, have a helper or the coach go and sit in the back middle of the opposite side of the court. This is serving zone number 6 and a good target for children to learn how to serve to.
Get all of the players to line up on the serving line and at the blow of a whistle, everyone will serve, aiming for the back middle. Once the serves go over, the single person sitting in serving zone 6 has to try and catch a serve.
The catch being, they cannot stretch beyond their sitting position. Whoever hit the ball they catch gets to stop serving and come sit next to them. Players will get another ball and serve again.
As more balls are caught, players will go and sit next to the others in serving zone 6 until everyone has served and had a ball caught by the sitting “Amoebas.”
To really get this drill moving fast, you can set a time limit. If the players can get the balls all served and caught within the time limit then they can choose a fun volleyball drill to play next.
With the added time limit, the servers may get more stressed trying to hit the target. This is a good time to work on team encouragement. Have the sitting players call the others out by name and encourage them to get a good serve within the time limit.
This helps kids build confidence within each other and learn how to work more as a team instead of as individuals, since the rewarded volleyball drill of choice only happens when all the players have succeeded. This is a great example of a drill that builds camaraderie within a team, and is good even for beginner volleyball players.
When you are building out your youth volleyball practice plans, you will always want to fit in scrimmage type drills. This helps young players get into a game situation setup so that they can better learn how to navigate around the court.
For this scrimmage drill you will set up 6 players on each side of the net in their respective positions. If there are more than 12 youth playing, then you will split the extras into a rotating substitution.
Place six balls on the side of each court. These will be the balls that are played during the scrimmage. Instead of going by a point system, the players will be working to take each others balls.
Begin with one side, they will serve their first ball. When the ball hits the floor, the team who gained a point wins the ball. It will then switch to the other team serving one of their balls.
The game will continue in this taking turns serving fashion until one team holds all of the balls, or a time limit is reached.
As an added bonus you can let the winning team decide what fun drill they want to do next. Or, if you want to run the Greed Scrimmage drill again then the winning team can pick an exercise for the losing team to do a few reps of.
By eliminating the standard scoring system, it adds a new competitiveness on the court since the points are now tangible balls. If one team runs out of balls then they are no longer able to continue serving and therefore lose the game.
The one main different from this drill and a real game situation is that the serves will not take turns like this. No matter who wins the point, after every play the side that was serve receive will rotate and claim their turn to serve the ball over.
This serve play allows for a more even scoring so that the game is not over after only a few serves from one person.
Volleyball drills for kids are a great way to get them into the game and learning more about how volleyball works. With fun and engaging drills, youth will be able to develop the right technique while having a good time learning more about volleyball.
Each of these drills offers a simple and basic design that you can build on further as young kids get the hang of how to play the game.