Volleyball requires a wide range of skills and while players can fill specific roles, it is important for players to develop versatility that allows them to fill any role during a rally if needed. Throughout the game it is important for players to react quickly which requires practice. The following drills can be used to help volleyball players react quickly during matches.
4 by 2 pepper: Pepper is a two player game where the players take turns hitting the ball with a series of different strikes. To start, the first player hits the ball overhand to the second player, who in turn digs the ball to themselves and performs an overhand tomahawk. The same player then punches with their left hand, then their right, sets themselves and returns to the starting player with an overhand hit. The second player repeats the process until one player misplays the ball. Players react quickly to the ball to ensure they are in position for each hit.
Eye check: In eye check, three players participate with the setter having the most difficult job. A thrower sets up in the back row with a setter and a spiker in the front row. The thrower tosses the ball forward, simulating a dig and as he does so a coach on the other side of the net holds up a signal from the game ‘rock, paper, scissors’ over his head. The setter looks through the net, calls out the signal and sets the hitter for a spike. Drilling teaches the setter how to look across the net, which in a game allows her to find weaknesses in the defence and then react.
Net save: The net save is a simple drill to convert into competition, it is also quite fun. Each team has a hitter set off to one side and a setter in position to feed the balls to him. The remaining players line up along the net rear the other sideline. Coaches on each side of the net throw balls off the net. The front player in line must react to the way the ball plays off the net and dig the ball off the net to the setter who must play the ball where the hitter could go for the kill, though the hitter does not actually hit. Every successful set earns a point.
Rapid set drill: The rapid set drill is a three player drill that allows the active player to practice her reception of balls that come over the net from the other team. Two players stand on one side, with a player in a setting position and the other in a back position. The third player stands on the opposite side of the net. The third player throws balls across the net near the player in the back, but not directly at her forcing her to reach to one side to play them. The receiving player aims her hit to the setting position player who sends the balls under the net back to the player throwing the balls. A new ball is thrown as soon as the receiving player passes meaning she must react quickly to adjust for the new ball.