Volleyball is best learned from playing in actual game-like situations. Having that said, it isn't always the most way to practice. These are two drills that are great for rewarding good behavior, or for picking your team up when they're down. I recommend using these sparingly, and only at appropriate times.
This is a fairly common serving game that you likely encountered either as a player or as a seasoned coach. However, if you are new to coaching, you may not be aware that such a fun, easy volleyball serving drill exists!
Split up two teams evenly of any number, say 5 vs 5, and have each team go to opposite serving lines. For 5 vs 5 I would recommend about 6 volleyballs. The teams line up and serve one at a time. If their serve goes in, they go back to the end of the line on their own side. If the ball goes out or into the net, they have to go lay down on the opposite side of the net. The objective then is to hit that person to get them back to your side. Have them keep their butts on the ground and in one spot so they can't cheat. This helps by putting pressure on teams when they are down, and by building confidence in serving to specific areas.
READ MORE: Fix a Volleyball Serve in 4 Steps
This game/drill can also run with all players serving whenever they are able to get a ball, instead of one at a time. This is fun for younger players who may not have the attention span to wait their turn and who you want to get more touches on the ball. It is also good if you are going for a more lively and fun vibe and don't want to put too much pressure on your players by going one at a time.
Another serving game that is actually quite effective is placing about three hula hoops in an area on the court, then having all of the girls line up on the opposite side to serve at those hoops. The ball must either land inside of the hoop or hit the edge. The reward? Getting to go over to the hoops and... EAT CANDY!
This provides a great incentive to the girls, because they all want to be the one eating candy, and even teasing the rest of the team by saying how good the candy is. This will turn your team into a very silly group of girls, so it is best to save this for the end of practice. Girls switch out after someone else serves to the spot, and the game usually goes for as long as it takes for everyone to get some candy. Move the hoops around to challenge them. If someone does not make it in the hoop encourage the rest of the team to cheer for them or move the hula hoop to a spot where they tend to serve. Ending the game before everyone makes it in the hoop can be disappointing.
You should check to make sure no one has allergies before bringing in candy (peanut allergies can be serious!) and also make sure parents have no issues with candy. send an email out to parents to request permission, and also ask them to keep the game a secret. the girls still get a nice surprise, and you cover your behind.If you have ANYONE on your team who has braces, make sure you provide some sort of candy that isn't sticky like Starbursts or taffy. They can't eat that kind of food and will be disappointed.Get candy in individual packages so that all of their sweaty hands aren't going into a big bucketful of M&M's. Yuck!
Have you played these games at your practices? Or do you have any other fun serving games you play when your team needs a break from serious practices? Let me know in the comments section! If you have a new/creative drill, it may get featured on my blog!