Game-Tempo Ball Control Drills

Game-Tempo Ball Control Drills

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  • Lean how to prepare your athletes for competition by running ball control drills at game speed
  • Learn how to train "second ball touchers" (non-setters) to set high and inside balls in order to get swings when your team is out of system
  • Teach your team be an offensive threat when out of system instead of just sending the ball back to the other team
  • Discover how ball control skills can make players more aggressive and help them get more swings

with Jen Fry, Elon University Assistant Coach;
former assistant coach at Washington State University, University of Illinois (Final four team) and the USA Volleyball High Performance Championship Junior Continental team

In the fast-moving sport of volleyball, players are expected to do and see many things at once. However, coaches often times do not cover this aspect of the game in practice. In this dynamic presentation, Jen Fry demonstrates ways to teach players to get all their senses involved in the volleyball action. She also covers ways to improve players' ball control skills so they can be more aggressive and get more swings. These drills will help teams improve their eye work, passing, setting, court movement and out-of-system offense.

The first series of drills helps players train their eyes to transition back and forth when playing. This skill helps athletes play the ball while taking note of their surroundings. Coach Fry demonstrates three variations of a basic partner ball control drill using a white ball and a colored ball. The focus of these drills is to train players to quickly move their eyes from one ball to another, which helps them see the whole court and all of the activity on it including the location of the ball, where the block is, how the other team is set up and so on. In addition, these drills add an element of chaos that teaches players to remain calm and in control during pressure game situations.

Improving "second ball touches" or out-of-system balls can lead to more swings and less free balls. The majority of a volleyball match is played out of system but many coaches neglect training their players in this area. Coach Fry demonstrates bounce drills to practice setting out-of-system balls high and inside so hitters can get swings. Players will work with ball control using their platform and hands from all different locations on the court. Setter drills are shown that can also be run using "second ball touchers" or non-setters to get more reps setting out of system balls. These drills increase non-setters' confidence in their ability to set up a hitter when the setter cannot take second ball.

In addition, Coach Fry shows variations of 2-on-2 drills, using two balls, then adding a third ball, and even a fourth, to train players to think and move their eyes quickly.

As players progress from younger teams to high school, the biggest change is the speed of the game. These drills help the players keep up with that increase in speed by training them to transfer their eyes quickly and be ready for the next play.

Produced at the 2014 AVCA Spring Clinic in Chicago, IL.

48 minutes. 2015.