Volleyball Drill Classics: Dead Fish | Fun Serving Games

If you are a new volleyball coach, you’re in for a treat! Whether you’re getting ready for your first volleyball practice or are in the middle of your first season, I’ve got a fun and easy volleyball drill which your team will LOVE!

OK, so…. Let’s just get this out of the way real quick...

Yes: The drill really IS named “Dead Fish.”

Read More

Run a Half-Court Round Robin Tournament at Your Next Volleyball Practice

Although I’m big on creating drills to suit my team and their specific needs each season, there’s a classic drill that I always make time for! 

Running a half-court round robin with your team is a simple way to let your players lighten up a little and enjoy competing against one another. Best of all, it’s pretty simple!

Read More

1 Touch - 2 Touch- 3 Touch - Columbus

Normally I’m all for keeping drill names short and sweet, but sometimes a long descriptive name helps players remember a drill better (and it makes me laugh hearing them repeat it).

But that’s not WHY I like 1 touch, 2 touch, 3 touch, Columbus (sort of a “left foot, left foot, left foot, right” ring to it, no?). I like this drill because it gets my players MOVING, and it helps players who are new to the concept of “pass-set-hit” transition from “bump ball.” 

For you new coaches, bump ball is an affectionate name for teams who pass the ball back and forth over the net without trying to do anything other than pass it back over. This is NOT what we want! We want to (despite losses and frustration with the learning process) teach our teams to use all three hits as early as they can successfully do so.

Read More

Pre-Made Practice Plan: Serve Receive and Using Three Hits

Last night I had practice and thought it went.... great! Going into it though, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. See, I had run a practice with this team last week, and my plan didn't go as I expected. I was expecting a group of players who didn't know each other very well, and that was NOT what I got. Here's what caught me off guard:

  • All loud and friendly (except two quiet players),

  • Already established friend group (again, except for the two),

  • Fundamental skills were decent, but in a game setting, everything went out the window, and

  • A lack of understanding of how to use all three hits. It was like watching tennis!

I think this is something you'll see in a school setting more often than a club setting, just because in a school they all see each other every day, and in club, they usually come from different schools. 

Read More

“Hitting Survivor” Tricks Your Players Into Being Better Hitters and Passers!

Think back to the mid/late 2000’s, when Survivor was the biggest TV show out there (at least, it dominated the screen in our house every Thursday night)! Essentially, there was a large group of people who had to face challenges and, one by one, they were voted off. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way, and tons of drama. 

OK, using those concepts, I’m going to teach you a volleyball game using these same principles! (Except the drama part… I’d say there’s humor, but no drama lol).

Read More

Hit The Spot – Easy Serving Game To Learn Zones on the Volleyball Court

Learning how to serve to zones on a volleyball court can be intimidating for young players. In youth volleyball and middle school volleyball, often times the girls are working on just getting the ball over with lots of power! They might not feel ready to start working on serving to zones yet, but that is why we have fun games! To make it less intimidating!

Hit The Spot is a fun team drill, meaning there’s less overall pressure on the individual, but at the same time, there’s motivation to get their serve to the right spot. Players who have are ready to start serving to zones will enjoy this game as well, because they will often carry their team and feel a sense of pride in their serving.

Read More

Volleyball Scrimmage Alternative: Vegas

While I love creating my own drills, sometimes you just need to peruse the internet and find some new inspiration. Two weeks ago I was looking for high-intensity drills and found “Vegas.” While the title was intriguing, it didn’t really explain what the drill focused on. Strictly out of curiosity, I watched.

My initial reaction was that it looked fun, but was nothing too special. It had competitive elements to it that was something I felt my girls needed a big dose of, so I added it to our practice plan with 20 minutes dedicated to learning and finishing the drill.

Read More

The 3 C's Drill: Communication, Coverage, and Celebration

Is your team struggling to communicate, cover, or celebrate? Read how I run the 3 C's Drill (presented by Judy Green, video in article) and try it out for yourself! It seriously impacted my girls and we have been a different team ever since!

Read More

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.

Read More

Pre-Made Practice Plan: Jousting and Tip Coverage

Often times, the motivation for a practice plan will come from major weaknesses witnessed during a match or even over the course of a tournament. This practice plan, practicing jousting and tip coverage, came after a particularly frustrating match during which my team lost to a team who lacked the power to send us fast-paced hits, yet bested our defenses via wimpy tips. The entire match.

Now, if you read more of my articles and practice plans, you'll see that I am actually a fan of a well-placed and well-timed tip. And if that has to be your main offense to defeat a team, then so be it. However, when you know the opponent is not doing this on purpose, it can be infuriating to watch ball after ball drop in the middle of the court.

Read More

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.

Read More

Advanced Hitting Lines

This volleyball drill gets your players moving and warmed up, going all out, and practicing actual game-like movements.

Traditional hitting lines just don't cut it anymore. If you're using the old version, you are practicing how to hit from a perfect toss. How often does that happen during a game? Well, zero. Your setter never gets a nice high toss, and they can NEVER complain about a toss and refuse to set it.

This drill advances your team much quicker than traditional hitting lines for two reasons.

Read More

Volleyball Warm-Up Drill: Tip and Chip

Some of the greatest overlooked skills in volleyball are the tip and the chip shot. After a beautiful pass and a perfect set, a crowd will go nuts to see the ball smashed to the floor. But a well-placed tip which still results in a kill? It will get applause, but not the crazy jumping up and down from the masses.

And that's too bad. There have been countless matches where my front row will get blocked, dug, and just plain hit the ball out of bounds trying to avoid a rock-solid defense. The trick here is to realize that a great defense for these attacks often has a weak spot, right around the blockers or in the middle of the court. The only way to get to these places efficiently? A tip or chip. 

Read More