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Drills and Strategies for Improving Transition

Drills and Strategies for Improving Transition

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Strengthen your team's transition offense with practical ideas, concepts and progressive drills.

with Anna Howle, Oklahoma Baptist University Head Coach;
3x Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year; 4x SAC Champions (2010-13) winning 53 consecutive conference games; featured as an AVCA "Thirty Under 30."

  • Train your middles to transition and be available to attack even when out of system
  • Enable your pin hitters to see the set and get their feet to the ball to create swings
  • Ensure your front row players are a threat in transition to keep opposing blockers honest

Transitioning in volleyball is an important skill that causes problems for many players. Because many points are played out of system, scoring in transition is a must if you want to be successful on the court. Three-time AVCA "Thirty Under 30" award winner Anna Howle shares strategies, games and drills for improving your team's transition game and for getting more productive swings.

Through a series of progressive drills, Coach Howle works on each position individually before bringing it all together with game-like drills for all players.

Setting Out of System

Coach Howle discusses basic concepts that lead to success in transition offense. Because teams are out of system a high percentage of the time, Howle places an emphasis on training all players to set the ball at the "45." The drills shown will train your players for these scenarios and help ensure that everyone on the court can get the ball to the right spot.

Outside Hitter Transition

Coach Howle emphasizes the need to have outside hitters transition "behind the pass," so they can see all of their teammates on the court. This technique trains players to transition and make adjustments based on what is happening on the court, rather than just moving to a spot on the floor.

Middle Hitter Transition

In this segment, you'll see ideas for transitioning your middle blocker off the net and making her available to attack even in an "out of system" situation. Emphasis is put on being creative in your attack routes. Through a series of drills, Howle teaches middles that if they "locate the pass" and then "locate the setter" in transition, they can always put themselves in position to attack.

Team Drills

Using a variety of drills with creative scoring, you can put pressure on your team to score in transition.

A few examples of the drills used in this section include:

  • Set at the 45 - This drill includes four variations that work on transition off the net and setting while out of system.
  • Transition Hitting - Both sides of the net get involved in this fast-paced drill that has players going from block, to transition, to attack and back to block. The pace of the drill is even faster than game speed, which forces players to think quickly and allows for a high amount of touches on the ball.

Coach Howle's presentation is an effective and comprehensive tool for training one of the most critical parts of the game. Whether your players are beginners or have been playing for years, they will certainly benefit from the philosophies and drills presented in this video.

Produced at the 2014 AVCA Annual Convention in Oklahoma City, OK.

49 minutes. 2015.