You've mastered your serve and can set up a killer spike. It's everything in-between, however, that's keeping your volleyball team from the winners' circle. You really can't put enough emphasis on the importance of transitioning, moving from the offensive to defensive positions. With regular, focused volleyball transitioning drills, you and yours can speed your movements and hone your communication and preparedness skills to become a winning team.
Warm-Up Transition Drill
Begin practice with this drill that teaches transition movements while running through plays against pretend players. This transition drill also gets the blood pumping. Three players take the left front, right front and middle front positions at the net. Players pretend to block an imaginary hitter on the left side. The left side player prepares to dig while the right side player steps to block the line and the middle player uses a cross-over step to close the right side player. When the middle arrives in the correct position, the blockers jump at the same time while the left side player assumes the digging position. Once the blockers land, they quickly back off from the net to prepare for a hit. The left side player prepares for a high outside set. These movements will prepare you for the quickness of games and condition your team to get in position quickly.
Overpass Transition Drill
Split players into two teams that both take defensive positions on opposite sides of the court. The coach throws an overpass to a front-row player. The player can pass the ball to the setter or hit it. All rallies should be played until a mistake is made and the ball hits the floor. Teams play until one team reaches 15 points and wins.
Combo Hitting Transition Drill
Six players take the court for this team drill. Two passers form the back line, two middle hitters guard the center of the court and two setters stand near the net. The coach throws a ball to one passer, who then passes to the setter. The middle hitter hits the set. Once the ball hits the court, the coach throws a second ball to the passer, who hits it into the net. The middle hitter digs the ball out of the net and passes it to the setter. The set is hit by the middle hitter and the drill is repeated 10 times.
Single Transition Drill
Three players -- a tosser, passer and setter -- form a line outside the court at the net. When the tosser slaps the ball, the passer and setter quickly take position. The tosser throws the ball from the opposite court's back left side. The passer receives the ball and bumps it to the setter, who sets it back to the passer. The passer then spikes the ball and retrieves it, trading places with the tosser and beginning the drill again. Variations of this drill can be made by making a back set or setting toward the middle.
Poppy Carpenter graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In addition to teaching journalism to junior high students, she also covers health and fitness for "PUSH Monthly" and Angie's List.