Pre-Made Volleyball Practice Plan: Learning Setting and Attacking

The season has started! This means two things. 1) We're all scrambling to figure out what our teams' strengths and weaknesses are, and 2) I will have a lot of practice plans that I'll share with you! The beginning of the year is the best time to review basics with your team (although they should constantly be enforced throughout the season).

I recommend ALWAYS beginning with passing and serving, as these are the two most fundamental skills one needs to play volleyball. This plan is for our second practice of the year, so we've progressed to setting and attacking.


Time: 2-hour practice

Age levels: Any skill level. Adjustments can be made to increase or decrease difficulty

Skills targeted: Setting, attacking, offense

Arrive at gym: 7:30am

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: 8:00am

Blow whistle, call everyone in. Explain that today's practice will focus on the fundamentals of setting and attacking, and then progress into work on offense.

Warm-ups: 8:05am

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


Warm-up drill: 8:20am

Downball Game


Skill Review: 8:35am

Explain and demonstrate setting. Discuss footwork, weight transfer on feet, arms, hands and target ball height.

Partner work:

Set to partner from a toss. Catch each set and focus on form every time. 15 each.

Set back and forth with a partner. 20 each.

Pass to self, set to partner. 20 each.

Set to self, set to partner. 20 each.

Setting zig-zag drill. Cooperative, beat 7 times over the net (You can change this goal, I think this will be a challenge for my team, but is a number they can accomplish).

Have at least two people in the following spots:

Middle of the court (2 on each side)

Setting from right front (2 on each side)

Left front (2 on each side)

The ball is set in this order: Middle back side 1, setter side one, left front side 1, middle back side 2, setter side 2, left front side two, middle back side one, and repeat. This creates a sort of zig-zag pattern and allows your players to work on setting from different areas of the court. It also challenges them to produce good sets since it is cooperative and they have a goal to reach.


Skill review: 9:05am

Explain and demonstrate attacking. Discuss footwork, armswing, hips opening and closing, and follow through.

Review footwork from 10' line (this may take longer with younger girls).

Add jump and full armswing, watching for hip movement.

Run hitting lines from a toss to the setter. This gives setters a controlled environment to work on setting, and attackers a better idea of the sets they'll be working with. Rotate setters for about 8-10 minutes.

Move to Advanced Hitting Lines. Enter the ball from across the net first as a freeball, and progress to a downball.


Game incorporating both skills: 9:25am

Big Point, Little Point. Earn a little point from a kill. Get another kill from that same position on the next ball to earn a big point. 4 big points to win. Each front row position must earn a big point.


Scrimmage: 9:40am

Create lineups ahead of time. Get your players playing as early as possible. If your team is still young and doesn't understand rotating yet, just line them up in base positions and have them play front row and back row, or have them play the position they rotate into.


Cool-down: 9:55am

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

Dismissal: 10:00am

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