Many volleyball drills are straight to business. You’ve got a skill that you want to work on, and getting a lot of high-quality reps in is important. But what about those times when your team just needs to have a little fun?
That’s where “Spider” comes in!
This serving game is a great way to spend 15 minutes laughing, cheering, and bonding with your team. Use this game with your young team to keep them engaged at practice, or play with an older group as a reward for hard work.
Whether you’re using this as a drill for volleyball camp or during team practice, you’re sure to share a ton of laughs with your athletes.
Have all of your players line up behind the service line. Everyone should have a ball to make the drill go faster.
And that’s it! Pretty simple!
RUN THE DRILL
Once the first player in line serves the ball, if it lands in, they will go and lay where the ball landed. This is only true for the FIRST server to make their serve IN.
Every server who follows is attempting to aim for the player on the ground. If the player on the ground is able to touch the ball before it lands (must still be in), then the server who hit the player on the ground will run under the net and lay down next to this player, connecting in some way (i.e., feet touching, etc.).
Your athletes are building a “spider web.”
If servers miss their serve or do not hit the growing “web” of players, they will simply shag their ball and return to the end of the serving line.
(This drill is sort of the opposite of Dead Fish).
Once the last player hits the web, the game is over.
I’ve found that most teams enjoy playing about 3 rounds of this game.
WHY RUN THIS DRILL
This drill focuses on aim and more repetitions for your weaker servers. If you’ve got a team who is afraid to aim, I would play the game once or twice before you point out that they are, in fact, aiming their serve.
When players realize that they were able to hit their target, they become more confident in their ability to control their serve. This will open new drill opportunities for you and allow you to raise the level of expectations for your servers.
As I mentioned, this drill is different than Dead Fish (another popular serving game for young teams) where your top servers get most of the “reps” in, because they stay in the game longer. I like spider because it gives weaker servers more opportunities to serve, and as the web grows, it increases their chance of hitting the target.
This may not seem important to you, but in my opinion these players don’t realize that their target is growing as the game goes on, making it easier for them. It seems to me that they believe they hit the target (without factoring in the size), and that’s all that matters to them.
Additionally, if a weaker server hits the target sooner, they are very engaged in the game because they feel proud to have achieved the “goal” so early. They will often be some of the loudest participants, cheering for their teammates, because they are not often in a role where they achieve something before the players who are stronger at serving.
READY TO PROGRESS? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: HIT THE SPOT
As you may have figured out, one of the drawbacks of this drill is that players no longer continue to serve once they become a part of the web. Thankfully, this drill will usually only last about 5 minutes a round, but even then, your best servers may only get a handful of serves in.
That is why I recommend running this drill only on occasion and more as a fun “break” from usually tough practices.
If you’d like to increase the pressure, split the court down the middle and make this a competition! Have two groups of players face off against each other to see who can build a complete web of teammates faster. Play the best 2 out of 3, or 3 out of 5 if you are going through it quickly.
Overall, this is a fun game if played on special occasions with a team or it can be a fun 15 minute station at a volleyball camp. I particularly like using this serving game to teach young players (5th-8th grade) how to aim their serve without specifically pointing out that that’s what we’re working on. Older players or more advanced teams will likely breeze through this drill, so if you find that happening but still want to run a fun drill that gets your players laughing, I highly recommend Dead Fish.