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Improving Volleyball Athleticism and Footwork

Improving Volleyball Athleticism and Footwork

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Increase your players' foot speed and reaction time with innovative drills that will improve your team defense.

with Karen Paxton, Katy (TX) High School Head Coach

  • Improve your players' reaction time when playing tipped or off-speed shots
  • Learn drills to improve your athlete's first step as well as their coordination while in transition
  • Learn drills that will help your athletes feel comfortable with going to the floor to make a play

If you need ideas on how to improve the athleticism and footwork of your players during preseason and in-season workouts, this is the video for you.

Karen Paxton shows a number of inventive ways to help your team's defense by increasing your players' foot speed. She demonstrates some of her favorite drills that improve:

  • defensive posture
  • reaction time
  • speed and footwork
  • movement to the ball
  • comfort level when hitting the floor

Basic Posture

Basic posture is vital for an athlete to make a proper pass. Coach Paxton puts her players through a warm-up routine focused on posture, balance and increasing foot speed. These drills will help your players understand what good defensive posture looks and feels like, in a fun way.

Hitting the Floor

Many athletes aren't properly trained to hit the floor when going for a ball, and this is where fear creeps in.

Coach Paxton shares innovative drills that will ease the fear of hitting the floor and help develop the confidence needed to make tough plays. Coach Paxton also includes drills that help reinforce the importance of bouncing up quickly.

Tennis Ball Drops Series

The Tennis Ball Drops Series is a creative way to use tennis balls to work on defense. In this drill series, you will learn how to put players into defensive positions and teach them to react quickly, change direction, sprawl and eliminate wasted motion as they attempt to get to the ball as quickly as possible. This type of training improves movement to a tipped or roll shot from a defensive position.

Footwork Workout

Utilizing a court and cones, Coach Paxton shares a footwork workout that will improve your team's quickness and leg strength. She calls this, "weight training without a weight room."

Throughout these drills, she explains and demonstrates the progressions as they get harder for the players. She explains how the drills can be tweaked so different types of defensive skills can be added to the conditioning drills. Every drill presented stresses the importance of good defensive body posture.

Included is a quick conditioning series you can use instead of running lines. Everything involved in these movement drills replicates necessary volleyball skills needed to develop great defensive players.

Coach Paxton goes beyond your typical defensive drills and focuses on what makes an elite player great: fast footwork. This video is packed with a season's worth of drills that are guaranteed to help teams of all levels improve on defense.

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

55 minutes. 2015.