Pre-Made Practice Plan: Introducing Plays

Hey everyone, I decided I'm going to feature regular practice plans for you all, so if you ever need to get to the gym ASAP but didn't have time to sit down and plan out your practice, I've got your back! I'll be adding more regularly, so make sure to check out Get The Pancake often! This practice plan will focus on introducing quick sets to your team, and defending against quick attacks.

Time: 2-hour practice

Age levels: Advanced 7th and 8th grade teams, advanced freshman teams, junior varsity and varsity teams.

Skills targeted: Running offensive plays, defense.

Arrive at gym: 5:40pm

Set-up net (if necessary), sweep floors, check balls for air.

Girls arrive and get ready, let them play tip and chip, talk to parents.

Review practice plan with assistant coach.

Start time: 6:00pm

Blow whistle, call everyone in. Explain that tonight's practice will focus on learning plays, and then defending against those plays.

Warm-ups: 6:05pm

Begin warm-ups. 3 laps around court, dynamic stretching, and 5 sets of sprints.


Warm-up drill: 6:20pm

Downball game


New skill instruction: 6:35pm

Traditional hitting lines with the assistant tossing to the setter(s) and head coach critiquing form, moving from tips and chips the first two times through, to soft swings, to full attack.

After everyone has gotten in a few good swings, move to play calling. Start with quicks, instructing your setter to set just along the top of the net with more power directed towards pushing the ball out for outside hits, and soft touches on the ball for middle and back quick sets.

If your team is younger or struggling through this, continue this type of hitting line for the full 30 minutes. However, if your team catches on, or if this is a review of quick sets for them, change the last ten minutes of this drill to an advanced hitting line format.


Old skill review: 7:05pm


Create a line-up (before practice) and have one or two hitters and a setter on the opposite side of the net. You will be reviewing defensive positions, and discuss reading the hitter/setter. Instruct your setter to mix up their sets so it is not a giveaway where the set is going. Only set regular height sets at this point. Have your lineup call out loud where they believe the set is going as the setter begins to set the ball. Rotate every five or six sets and sub all players in.

READ MORE: Pre-Made Volleyball Practice Plan: Learning Setting and Attacking

After your rotation is back to the beginning and everyone has gone through, add quick sets into the mix. Have players call out "quick" or "shoot" for quick sets to the middle/back and outside respectively. They will get better as practice continues.


Scrimmage: 7:40pm

Implement serving, and play with the purpose of adding quick sets to attacks and calling where the sets are going. Keeping score is optional, though I never choose to as the drill is about learning. Keeping score discourages mistakes made in the learning process.


Cool-down: 7:55pm

3 slow laps and give details on next practice or match during stretching.

Dismissal: 8:00pm

Pancakers: Let me know what you think about this practice plan in the comments! Give it a shot and report back!