Passing in volleyball is one of the game's more complicated -- and important -- skills, as it is often the first type of hit on both the offensive and defensive sides. Many beginners complain about the bruises and sore spots they get practicing. However, by doing the right practice drills and maintaining good form, players can improve their performance and reduce injuries.
Passing To Yourself
This is a particularly excellent drill for beginners hoping to improve outside of regular practice as it will help improve ball control and form. With a ball in hand, keep your legs bent as though you were preparing to pass to another player in a game. Continually pass the ball to yourself while moving front to back and side to side.
Three Pass Team Drill
Many passing drills depend on passing to a partner or rebounding off a wall, which is ineffective practice for playing on the court, because balls rarely come back from the place you originally placed them. Team USA recommends passing drills to follow the pass-set-hit structure in order to ensure that the person passing the volleyball is unaware of where the ball will land. However, beginners should aim for just three passes. In teams of three, enter the court and receive a free ball from the other side of the net. One player passes the ball to another player, and a third player passes the ball over the net.
The frustration drill is another variation on the maxi-volleyball drill, but it recruits the entire team. Position two lines, each comprised of half the team, on either side of the net. Six players should be on the court at any given time. On each side, one player passes, another sets and the last hits the ball over the net. The person who hit the ball then leaves the court and each player moves up one spot, so one player joins the end of the line and the passer becomes the setter and the setter becomes the hitter. In this drill, everyone has the opportunity to improve their passing skills.
Concentration Passing Drill
Set up three groups, each with four players. As with previous drills, one player in each group will be a server, another a passer and another the setter. However, the fourth player in this drill is the distractor. The distractor’s job is to ruin the concentration of the players as they try to pass to one another. This drill is meant to improve the players’ focus on game day, when they can’t count on a quiet setting.