volleyball passing drills

Volleyball Passing Drills For Beginners: Complete Guide

Volleyball passing is a technique for preparing the set and attack patterns. All the six players in your team should be in the right position, wait for the right time and use the right methods to use the minimum number of passes within the allowed limits.

There are certain essentials which your team should follow earnestly to get results.

Individual players need to be fast, flexible, reflexive, alert, and agile. As a team, you should communicate, coordinate, understand each other, plan, and execute the passes intelligently. Developing these skills takes training, practice and working on volleyball drills for passing.

Here below, you’ll find 5 volleyball passing drills that I think can really help beginners in a tremendous way to improve their passing accuracy in a very short period of time.

Let’s get started then.

Drill # 1 – Develop Your Footwork

Goal: Passing requires accurate and fast footwork. You need to follow the ball flight, direction and reach it in the right spot. After passing the ball to the nearest player, you should anticipate her next move and position yourself accordingly. Passing requires two or more players to move in coordination with each other.

Passing the volleyball ball should preferably end with an attacker. So, every player in the front and back rows should move rapidly to minimize the number of balls before an effective shot can be played. So, your footwork has to be flexible to move forward, backward, sideways, and at random angles.

Star-Drill: Star drill is a group drill in which all the team members participate. The six players stand in their respective positions on the court. Get into the stand at ease position. Bend your knees and hip forward and stretch your hands in an underarm passing posture. The entire team should move in all possible directions within a star shape according to the coach instructions.

You can vary the pace from slow to high-speed and back to slow movement. Your back should be bent forward at an angle of 45-degrees to the vertical line passing through your hip. Always keep your head raised up. Your body language should be as if you are expecting a ball within the next few seconds.

Star volleyball footwork drill with movement lines for direction

Drill # 2 – Control Your Body Movement and Action

Goal: The goal of controlling your body action is to orient yourself with the ground, by positioning shoulders, arms, knees, and legs. It may vary according to the direction from which the ball is coming and the player to whom you wish to pass.

By changing position dynamically, you can increase the accuracy of the pass. It will also give you control over the pass and move your feet in the right direction.

Russian-Passing Drill: Russian passing requires three players including you (at the center), standing in a straight line at a distance of 4 to 5 meters from each other. You face the first player who tosses the ball in your direction. You may have to move diagonally, forward or backward to access the ball and pass it back to her.

Then you move to your original position and face the second player. She tosses a ball in your direction and you move randomly to pass it back to her. Three of you repeat the drill for a specific time set by your coach. The speed of tossing and passing can increase as you gain experience.

Russian passing drill with players and movement lines

Drill # 3 – Learn to Make Good and Continuous Passes

Goal: The goal is to achieve consistency in good passes to your teammates during the play. The servers and spikes from the opponents’ end could vary unpredictably. Your goal is to take the ball and pass it to a specific player at a particular position within your team.

In the beginning, you may find it difficult to control the ball and make an accurate pass. You need to apply all the learned skills to get the consistency.

5-3-5-3 Drill:   Three players stand at the back row and one player (to receive the pass) at the right-side hitter position. The fourth player serves the ball from the other side of the net to any of the three. Then you follow the 5-3-5-3 drill.

In the first round, you have to make 5 good passes within a stipulated time. In the second round, you have to make three good passes in a row. Then you make 5 good passes within a stipulated time. Then again you make three good passes in a row. Repeat the drill until you feel satisfied with the results.

Drill # 4 – Improve lateral Movement

Goal: The goal is to improve the lateral body movement ability for tracking the ball flight and landing direction and position from the opponent. Then you pass the ball to your teammate using the over-arm method.

The exercise has multiple benefits. It improves your eye movement and enhances focusing ability. It flexes your body muscles for free lateral movement. It strengthens your shoulders, arms, and hands since you make an over-arm pass. It also streamlines your footwork.

Pipeline-Passing Drill:  The drill requires two players facing each other at a distance of 4 to 5 meters. Place a cone on the left and right side of your sideline at a distance of 3 to 4 meters. The other player tosses a ball anywhere between the two cones. You have to move laterally and make a pass to him. The drill continues for a specific stipulated time.

Pipeline passing drills with movement lines and players in position

Drill # 5 – Achieve Consistency and Accuracy in Passing

Goal: The goal is to make over-arm passes when a series of serves are made within a span of a few seconds from the other side of the net. The drill improves your response speed and accuracy. It will also enhance your footwork and random movement ability.

Ladder-Passing Drill:  Three players stand at the front row one side of the volleyball net. Two players stand in the same row facing the opposite direction. The other players make circular movement from the attack-line of one side through the other side. They toss and pass the ball onto the five players randomly. The five players pass it back to the circling players.

Ladder volleyball drill setup with movement lines


The five drills listed here can improve the physical stamina and mental stability in the initial stages. Then they can help improve concentration and develop perfect coordination between mind and body.

The drills also help developing closer coordination between the team members and anticipating each other’s moves.

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