High Rep Serve Receive Drill

How many times have you gotten STUCK in a bad serve receive rotation? Either one of your players is having an off-day, or the server on the other team is just picking you apart. No matter what the reason, it stinks to be stuck there. Waiting, praying that the other team will just miss their serve and let you move on! Instead of trying the tactic of "wait and see," switch to being proactive!

This high rep serve receive drill will help your team understand the options they have when they can't get out of a certain serve receive rotation. Even better, if you coach them through it correctly, they'll often times make the change before you even realize it's time to switch things up!

I'm going to give you the short and sweet version of this drill here, but if you'd like a little more in-depth explanation and want to see what my whiteboard looks like for this drill, check out my YouTube video here:


Drill Setup:

Have your starting lineup get on one side of the net and setup in serve receive. All remaining players (and possibly assistant coaches if you have them) will head to the other side of the net to form a serving line.

Have a ball cart with the servers to speed up the pace of the drill.

You should also have a whiteboard on the serve receive side with two options written down for each rotation of serve receive. Your number one option will be how you normally rotate into serve receive. Option two will show who you would move if the team you were facing had a tough server. An example I talk about in my video would be to have a player deep in serve receive move up short, and switch with another player who would drop back from protecting short.

Tip: You'll want to plan the second options out ahead of time because it can be hard to do on the spot!

Set a Goal:

I like to have my team get three pass-set-hit from the front row sequences in a row before they rotate. Depending on our rotation, this can take anywhere from 1 minute to 6 minutes per rotation. An average skill level team might take 20-25 minutes total to run this drill. If it takes longer, don't give up! That means your team needs the work!

Run the Drill:

Servers will serve tough at serve receive, moving the ball around and trying to find the open spots. If the serve receive side is not able to meet the goal established (three pass-set-hit sequences) in three serves, they will rotate into the second option you have written down for that particular serve receive.