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

Do you have a quiet team? Or a team that forgets to cover their hitter? Do you need some team bonding activities to help them support and encourage each other? This is the perfect drill for you!

Seriously, my team changed after running this drill, which I found on YouTube one day:


In the video, it is explained that a team of 6 will play to 25. They can earn up to three points from each freeball by:

  1. Communicating;
  2. Covering; and
  3. Celebrating

You have to define what the girls need to do in order to win each point before you start the game. For example, here's how I defined each point with my girls:

  1. Communicating
    1. Everyone must yell "free!" when the freeball comes over;
    2. Every passer must call the ball and say who they are passing to;
    3. The setter must call the ball and say who they are setting to; and
    4. The hitter must call the ball (we've had a problem with hitters running into each other) while everyone else yells "cover!"
  2. Covering
    1. Everyone must be low and moving towards the hitter
  3. Celebrating
    1. Everyone must immediately turn into the middle of the court following the hit (whether it was successful or not);
    2. Everyone needed to say something; and
    3. Everyone should give a high-five or pat on the back to at least two teammates

You can create your own definitions that fit what your team needs to work on, but this worked for my sophomores well.


Because keeping track of the score can be hard, I also had the girls who were off the court assigned to tracking different aspects of the game. I had one or two girls judging whether the team earned their communication point, another one or two tracking covering, someone evaluating celebrations, and another girl tallying score. This allowed me as the only coach the freedom to encourage and correct mistakes without keeping my mind on the scoring.

After each group (we did four different lineups) the girls playing would get critiqued by the scorers. This meant feedback such as, "your celebrations took a while to get going, but you got better at the end," and, "sometimes our front row would forget to cover." This gave good honest feedback, and then pushed the girls who gave it to make sure they weren't making the same mistakes which they deducted points.

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As I said, my team did four lineups. I would recommend keeping it to four, maybe even three. The enthusiasm visibly slowed after the third group. However, our next game showed dramatic improvement. Our team chemistry had been off to a slow start and during our match the next day the girls were celebrating each point and coming together after every rally.

This drill is a game changer.

Pancakers: Watch the video above and try running it at your next practice. Tell me what you think! Did you have success with it? Did you make any modifications? Are there similar drills you like to run? Let me know in the comments section! Please share this with your friends who are coaching and have said they need help getting their team to communicate, cover, or celebrate.

Please share this with your friends who are coaching and have said they need help getting their team to communicate, cover, or celebrate!