Best Volleyball Drills for Middle School

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Teaching volleyball drills for middle school is a great way to introduce your first team of a younger age group to the game. When it comes to junior high volleyball drills, the simpler the better.

​Best Volleyball Drills for Middle School

Since they are new to the game, you will want to focus your volleyball drills on the basics of bump, set, and spike to show them how to get into position, develop communication skills and control the hit. Make sure your first team all in their training volleyball shoes so they’re well equipped and ready to practice these volleyball drills.

These fun volleyball drills will cover a few different areas of how to play volleyball and help set your middle school team up for success as they learn the basics of ball control and moving as they play volleyball.

Serving Drill

To begin the partner serving drill, you will want to pair everyone off in teams of two. Have them stand at the attack line on either side of the net from each other. Give a ball to each pair and have them practice serving the ball to each other.

Each team will start close to the net at the attacking line and serve the ball to their partner.

For each successful serve over the net, the person who serves will take two-three steps backward and repeat. The drill will continue until everyone reaches the back serving line.

​Once you reach the back serving line you will move into a standard serving drill where you work on serving the ball over the net. At this time coaches can walk around and offer pointers and help to those that are struggling.

Woman prepares herself for volleyball service

Once they make the ball over the net a few times in one spot, have them take one step back and serve it over again. The point is to help them learn how to serve and then work them back to the serving line.

While they are primarily working on serving the ball over the net, they are also learning control in their serve and how to better aim it.

This is where the partner comes in, it gives each player someone or something to aim for.

It will be easier to hit their targeted partner in closer proximity, and they will begin to hit a little more off-center as they begin to back up. As a way to help them work on their serving aim, have each kid recall how far they were able to back up while maintaining the controlled hit to their partner.

After a week of volleyball drills, find out how many were able to extend their line of controlled hitting and how far back they can go. This is helpful to building up to learning how to spot serve once they get into high school volleyball. It will also help them control their serve and keep it in bounds, instead of a high average of wild balls that fly out of bounds.

Passing Drill

A great drill for middle schoolers is to line them up in three lines. One on each side of the court and one line down the middle. Have them stand a little ways behind the attack line and have the coach or an experienced helper stand in the middle where a setter would stand.

  • The person in the middle will start with a toss to one of the lines.
  • The person that it comes to will call the ball and then bump it back to the designated setter.
  • The setter will then bump or set the ball to the next person in one of the three lines.

Setting Drill

  1. The coach or helper will toss a high ball towards the player who is in the setter’s position close to the net.
  2. The player setting will move to the ball and set it down the net to a player standing on the end, where a hitter would normally be. This is their target for the set.
  3. The volleyball players in the hitter’s position will catch the ball and then bring the ball to their coach. They place the ball on the coach’s hip so they do not have to break eye contact with the volleyball players as the drill is going.
  4. The player, after handing the coach the ball, will then run around and get in line to be a setter.

Spiking Drill

Almost all spiking volleyball drills will happen at the spike line close to the net. Middle school girls and boys will line up and take turns approaching the net, waiting for a set and then following through with a spike.

Volleyball player spiking a ball

To make the volleyball drills go faster, have each player bring their own ball. They will toss the ball to the person in the setter position, the ball will then be set back to them and they will approach and spike. After the ball goes over the net, the person spiking will chase it down and get back in line.

  • For middle school volleyball drills, you may not have specific hitters for outside and middle hitting. You can line the hitters up on the outside, then shift the line to the middle hitter area. Finally, move the line to the other side of the court.
  • For an even greater challenge, once you feel your volleyball players are improving, you can add in another team to block the ball.

Scrimmage Drill

A favorite game drill you can play is Queen of the Court. This drill is a three-on-three match, where the winner of the set gets to go to the other side of the court to wait to be defeated by the next group.

If they win again then they stay on the back side until a group can defeat them.

For middle schoolers, you will want to keep volleyball drills simple yet engaging for them. Since they are learning ball movement and control, you can state the rules are 2-3 hits to get it over. If they send it over in one hit or fail to get all three hits per the rules, then they are out.

volleyball team forming a circle

​Conclusion

These fun volleyball drills are a great way to get your middle school girls and boys moving on the court, develop communication skills and learn how to control the ball.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.