Volleyball is one of many team sports that are easy to set your foot in. The kids find it fun to play, and within a few days of playing, the game turns out to be addictive. However, if the game is not played correctly, the middle school kids can be exposed to injuries that could lead to end their motivation.
Middle school volleyball drills should be effective enough in introducing the kids to the correct skillset. On top of that, they should be fun to practice so that the kids could develop a love for the game at an early stage.
We have enlisted the following volleyball simple drills that could instill volleyball-specific skills, together with timings, footwork, agility, and stamina. The skills are chosen to make sure that the kids learn individually, as well as teamwork and coordination with it.
The Service Drill
Service is an essential part of the game that could give you an edge in the matches if it is a strong suit of your team. Weak serves can not only be attacked, but they could also turn out to be devastating in clutch moments. This drill gets the players acquainted with serving. It starts easy and then increases the difficulty level gradually. It effectively works for four to six players.
Have the four players split into two pairs? Each pair will then stand at the attack line on two sides of the court with a space of around one meter. For this drill, the pairs would be required to serve at each other. When the pairs successfully manage to target one another, they would take a step back and repeat the drill. During this procedure, the coach would shuffle the position of players in pairs, together with the position of the pairs laterally. The goal of this drill is to make the players reach the service line eventually. Once the players hit the service line, they will begin doing the standard serve.
The Fan Drill
This is one of the volleyball easy drills that want the players to get comfortable with setting the ball. Even though not every player can be a competent setter, it is very important to get them all to try the drill. This drill works for two players at one time; however, it goes in loops so it can accommodate numerous players throughout the drill.
For this drill, the coach will direct the ball towards the setter. The setter would be expected to set the ball towards a player at the hitting position. The ball should be high and right above the attacker to spike the ball quickly. The attacker won’t spike the ball; instead, he/she will grab the ball and run back to the coach to return it. Afterward, the attacker will take the position of the setter, and his/her position will be replaced by another player. As the players make noticeable progress in this drill, the coach could throw the ball further away so that the setter will have to move a little to get underneath the ball.
The Leg Passing
Although hands are the most immediate body parts used in volleyball games, there could be situations where it doesn’t get feasible to use them. Many players leave the ball in such situations or dive unnecessarily. This drill employs the use of feet to get the players used to of them in the volleyball games. Also, it even fortifies the feet movement that aids in getting solid footwork.
Have three players line up on any side of the court. The coach will then step in the vacant side. The players will be required to spread out and have their hands locked behind their backs. The coach will then throw the ball across the net to the players sequentially. The players will be required to get the ball up in the air by using their feet only. When the players appear to be doing the drill effectively, the coach could then begin throwing the ball randomly instead of sending it sequentially.
Rise and Pass
In addition to the major volleyball strokes, the players should be, like any other sports, light on the feet. This drill intends to impart agility, stamina, and controlled-passing ability among the middle school volleyball players. Though a little demanding drill physically, it promises to prepare the kids into becoming complete volleyball players.
Make four to five players line up on either side of the net and let them lie down with their heads pointing the net. An experienced helper will stand at the net towards the middle. As the coach blows the whistle, the helper will release the ball just in the front of each player. The player would then get on the feet, pass the ball back at the helper and lie down again. This will be continued for the remaining players. After five minutes, the players could leave and rest so that the remaining players could be accommodated.
Hit and Block Drill
This is one of the most versatile drills, incorporating spiking, blocking, and setting all at once. The keystone of this drill, however, is the spiking. Players would be worked on their timings, form, and coordination with the setter as they spike the ball over the net. On the other side, players would anticipate the ball and try to block it out.
Initially, the players would be lined up along the middle hitting positions. Three to four players would be sent over to the other side of the net and lined up by the net. A setter would be introduced who will set the balls for the hitters to spike it over. Each hitter would be expected to bring along a separate ball so that the drill could remain rhythmic. Upon his/her turn, the hitter will pass the ball to the setter who, in turn, would set it up. The hitter will move in, jump and spike it across the net. The players on the other side would intercept and obstruct it from getting past them. The setters, additionally, will be rotated so that the next player could practice it as well. The attackers would be then moved to the outside hitting position to allow them to get a flavor of spiking from different positions.
Passing: Middle or Lateral
If you are looking for volleyball passing drills for middle school, this drill could come in handy. It is very beneficial in reinforcing the accuracy on serves and making a controlled middle or lateral pass. As the ball would be shooting towards the passers, this drill would allow them to get used of the speedy serves and make a precise pass to the appropriate target. It requires three pairs of passers, servers, and targets.
The servers will stand at the serving line on one side of the court—one at the left and one at the right. On the other side, two targets stand at the net, along the direction of the server. Lastly, two servers would face the targets and stand just inside the serving line. The server will be expected to serve down the ball or towards the sideline. If the ball comes towards the middle, the passer would rotate and pass it to the target using the mid-line of the body; if it is towards the sideline, the passer will make a lateral pass to relay to back to the target.
The Jump Serve Drill
One of the key challenges in the game is to have diversity. With jump-serving, players can release bullet serves across the net. By the end of this drill, the kids would get a little comfortable with jump serves. In this drill, the player will serve and leave the spot for another player; hence, numerous players can be entertained in it.
The coach stands inside the court and touches the foot to the service line that would be adjacent to it. Next, a player would step away from the line and wait well beyond the service line. The coach tosses the ball up and exclaims either “left” or “right.” The player would approach and jump to contact the ball. If the call was “left,” the player hits the ball to the left side of the court; otherwise, towards the right side. The server will follow through inside the court. The coach should monitor if the arm swing is correct, together with the arrangement of the hand while making contact.
The above-mentioned drills have a moderate difficulty level to keep the players hooked in with the game. However, when the coaches find the players getting well apt at them, the drills could be made more challenging. To yield commendable results, the drills have to be carried out consistently for prolonged durations.
Lastly, it is very important to keep the players well-equipped throughout activities. Make sure they have their volleyball shoes, knee and ankle braces on whenever they hit the court.