Many advanced volleyball players specialize as hitters, setters or defenders. Beginners, however, should develop a variety of techniques so they can perform all of volleyball’s basic requirements, including passing, hitting, serving and blocking. Teaching young players a variety of skills helps them better enjoy all aspects of the game and promotes better competition within a volleyball club or a physical education class.
Two players stand facing each other on the court. One player tosses the ball in the air toward the second player, who passes it back to the first. After a designated number of passes, the second player begins tossing the ball to the first. Tossing the ball makes it easier for beginners to put the ball in a good passing position. When players become more advanced they can pass the ball back and forth. The players begin with overhead passes, placing their hands close together above their forehead so their thumbs and index finger form a triangle. Then they hit the ball with their fingers.
Serving and Hitting Drill
One player can practice both serving and hitting techniques by bouncing the ball against a wall. For serving practice, the player stands farther back and serves the ball while aiming for a spot on the wall. Beginning players serve underhand, holding the ball in one hand, then swinging the other arm forward in an underhand motion to strike the ball. The player stands closer to the wall for the hitting drill. She tosses the ball in the air to simulate a pass, brings her hand and elbow behind her head, then hits the ball while aiming for a specific point on the wall.
To help teach players to block a shot without touching the net -- which is illegal in volleyball -- a player stands as close to a wall as she would to the net. The player jumps straight up with her arms extended over her head and touches the wall with her hands at the peak of her jump, without touching the wall with any other part of her body.
Line Passing Drill
Players face each other in two lines. A player at the end of one line passes to the opposite player in the second line, then runs to the far end of her line. The player who receives the pass returns the ball to the opposite player in the first line, then runs to the end of her line. The pattern continues for a set amount of time, or until the ball hits the ground. This drill teaches passing and is interesting for beginners as they try to complete as many good passes as possible.
Volleyball players serve from behind the baseline, but beginners may not be able to hit it that far until they’ve developed proper technique. To begin learning how to serve, two players begin on opposite sides of the net and serve back and forth, standing as close to the net as necessary to complete an otherwise legal serve. The returner catches the ball, then serves it back. The players gradually increase the distances of their serves, until they can serve successfully from behind the baseline.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.