Passing

COACHING TIPS

FOREARM PASS: Body Position: Feet wide apart, hands in front and palms to the ceiling. Feet should be at least shoulder width apart. Position is low and balanced with feet pointing straight ahead. Arms and shoulders are relaxed. Shoulders are forward and hips are back. Hands ahead of head. Head ahead of shoulders, shoulders ahead of knees, knees ahead of feet. Hands are inside of knees and knees are inside of feet.

Sweet Spot: The ball should come off the same spot on your lower forearm (just above the wrist) each time. Checkpoint: Look to see where your forearms are red after passing.

Hips and One: Keep the hips back throughout the pass. If you need to swing you arms, the arms should swing in only one direction while passing.

Re-direct: Make sure your forearms face in the direction you want the ball to go. Start out facing the server and always face the ball when you pass. The path of the ball should arc to the top of the net.

Consistent Contact Point: Contact every ball at waist height and be as consistent as possible.

Short Ball: Move to a short ball by starting with a left step and ending with a left- right step. Use the same fundamentals if possible.

THE PASSING PLATFORM: Okay, you think you've got passing figured out. You move your feet to anticipate the ball, your body position is pretty good, and your accuracy is improving. However, there are still a few things that you can do to fine tune your passing game. Many of them focus on the passing platform.
 
The "Rule of Thumb"
 
When the ball's on its way, you can't spend a lot of time looking to see if you have the correct form. So here's an easy way to make sure your hands are aligned correctly. I call it the "rule of thumb." Make sure your thumbs are lined up and pressed together from base to tip. After that, it doesn't matter whether you interlace your fingers or wrap them around the other hand. The thumb trick keeps your passing area (the spot between your wrists and the middle of your forearms) level. If one thumb is higher than the other, or wraps over the other, you'll create an uneven surface.

Use Your Thumbs as a Pointer
 
When you receive the ball, the tips of your thumbs should be aimed as far toward the floor as possible. This makes your wrists angle downward, which flares your lower forearms out to create a better passing area. As you follow through on the pass, make sure your thumb tips end up pointing toward your target.
 
Lock Your Elbows
 
The biggest mistake beginners make is letting their elbows get loose while passing. It's a natural instinct to pull your arms back toward the ball, especially when it comes up at your chest. Instead, back away from the ball so you can pass with full arm extension.
Full extension is important for accuracy. Anyone who's taken a high ball with their wrists pulled in close to the chest and elbows out to the side knows it's impossible to control. But locking out your elbows and extending your arms with wrists turned down gives you a solid, flat platform... the foundation for accurate passing.

Make locking your elbows second nature. Envision balancing a board on your arms. If you pull your arm in toward your head and unlock your elbows, the board will fall and the ball will shank.
 
Don't Shrug It Off
 
One final tip: Shrug your shoulders as you go through the motion, keeping them up by your ears as you pass the ball. This helps you extend you platform as far in front of your body as possible and aids in keeping your elbows solid and locked. It also tends to make you lean forward slightly, which counteracts another beginner's tendency: resting your weight on your heels. When passing, you’ll want to keep your weight centered over your mid-foot area, or slightly forward. This helps give the pass forward momentum.

Play hard!

DRILLS:

On Your Toes:

This drill is to keep the players on their toes and have them be prepared for any kind of ball coming at them.

The coach stands on the attack line with his back to the net. The players are lined up on the back line in single file. The coach holds out the ball and the player runs up and touches the ball. The coach then either tips, spikes or throws the ball at the player (whatever comes to mind) and the player must, somehow pass the ball back to the coach (either bump, dig or set) properly. That player shags his/her ball and the next player in line does the same thing.

Passing Drill:
Have three people lay on their stomachs side by side. Have someone serve a ball from the other side of the net. The 3 people them jump up and call the ball the person who calls it first bumps the ball back to the person on the other side. This helps with speed.

Passing:
You have three lines in the gym: one on each side of the net and one in the back where the back middle person is. You have one person at a time in the right spot where their line is lined up. The coach stands on the other side of the net and serves the ball over. The players should pass it and the third pass should go over the net. Run laps for unsuccessful attempts. Give a time limit like two minutes and start with ten laps around the gym, and count down for successful attempts. After two minutes, they run however many laps left over.

TEAM PASSING DRILLS:

2 players, one at setter position and the other at left back. Coach tosses ball to back row player who must pass it to the setter who catches it and gives it back to the coach. The setter then runs to back left while that person runs to the setter spot. After this is done, repeat several times and then passer moves on to the back middle position and finally to the back right spot. The goal is to successfully pass to a target under pressure and while being tired.

4 Point Passing:
Players get in groups of 4.

  • Station 1: Player stand at the net in the left or right corner. As coach slaps the ball, the player jumps for a block and then swings around to pass a low ball.
  • Station 2: The same player runs down the side line and digs a hard driven ball in the back right corner.
  • Station 3: The player then runs across the baseline and passes a low-tossed ball.
  • Station 4: Then the player comes up the opposite sideline and hits a tossed ball at the net.

Players go through four times. Drill works on conditioning and control while doing a variety of skills.

Getting Even Serving Drill:
You get on teams. Then one person serves and if they miss then they have to go and lay on the other side of the net. Then the other team goes. If team 1 hits one of there players on the other side then that person comes back to serve. Then who ever has all there people on the other side then the other team wins!

Army Drill:
3 people on each side in a line and 1 person passes it to the other side and that person that just passed the ball goes in the back of their line and then the person who it was passed to goes to the back of their line and you repeat that over and over, and count how many times you can get it going without messing up.

The Sock Drill:
Get those feet moving in the right direction to get those short balls.

1. Pick three players to pass. Then they should each put a pair of long socks on their arms. (The socks should go up to their elbows)

2. The players then stand in the back-row on the court (Just like in serve-receive in a real game). The players then should get into a mountain climb position and start moving their feet like their doing a mountain climb. (Meanwhile the coach should be in front of them hitting balls at them while the other players are shagging).

3. The players continue to dig the balls as they are being hit to them. (The players should be hitting the floor going aggressively towards the ball).

4. Most coaches do this drill for time or quantity of balls dug. The idea of this drill is to keep the player's feet moving towards the ball and getting the ball up.

COACH ON ONE:

Coach throws ball at player from a distance of 15 feet. Player must make a drop step and turn body in the angle from which the ball is coming from. Passer needs to pass the ball getting good height so the setter has ample time to get under the ball. What is important here is the angle at which the passer drops his foot. He or she must get the body square to the incoming ball, if not, the forearms at least must be square to the ball in order to redirect it to the desired target.

PARTNER DIG DRILL:

2 players are 20-25 feet apart. One player mixes throwing (or hitting) fast moving balls and slow moving balls at the digger.
Body Position: Feet wide apart, hands in front and palms to the ceiling. Feet should be at least shoulder width apart. Position is low and balanced with feet pointing straight ahead. Arms and shoulders are relaxed. Shoulders are forward and hips are back. Hands ahead of head. Head ahead of shoulders, shoulders ahead of knees, knees ahead of feet. Hands are inside of knees and
knees are inside of feet.
Key: Keep body and feet still while waiting to dig and whenever possible during the dig.

20’ AND 3’:

2 players are 20-25 feet apart. One player mixes throwing or hitting a ball at the digger. The object is for the digger to pass the ball twenty feet high and three feet off of the net because this gives the setter time to run under the ball in a game allowing the team to transition successfully. In this drill, the emphasis is placed on adjusting the forearms so that the ball goes up twenty feet and stays three feet off of the net. It is important that the player throwing or hitting the ball is critically watching the height of the ball to make sure it reaches 20 feet.

L DRILL:

In pairs, one player tosses balls to the other. The passer will move to the ball, pass it and return to original point and repeat. Tosser must throw balls in all four directions (forward, backward, left, right).

One player is the passer for five minutes at a time. He must get to all balls and pass them back to tosser making sure to keep them high (at least 8 feet). If done correctly, this serves as a good conditioning exercise for the passer. Switch up after 5 minutes. This drill is also an effective way to help passers adjust to balls from all different angles.

LATERAL DIG DRILL:

2 players are 15 feet apart. One player mixes throwing (or hitting) balls to the left and to the right of the digger. Object is to hit the ball at least three feet either side of digger to make him or her move laterally. Digger must make every attempt possible to move their feet and get in the proper passing position Also, make sure to occasionally toss a ball softly in front of the digger to simulate a dink or cut shot.

Body Position: Feet wide apart, hands in front and palms to the ceiling. Feet should be at least shoulder width apart. Position is low and balanced with feet pointing straight ahead. Arms and shoulders are relaxed. Shoulders are forward and hips are back. Hands ahead of head. Head ahead of shoulders, shoulders ahead of knees, knees ahead of feet. Hands are inside of knees and
knees are inside of feet.

MOVE TO THE BALL:

2 players are 20-25 feet apart. One player mixes throwing (or hitting) fast moving balls at the digger and slow moving balls away from the digger.Digger waits in the correct defense posture for the fast moving ball and moves out of position for the slow moving ball. This drill should help to train reflexes and reaction times. It can be combined with other digging drills to complete the defensive portion of a practice.

Body Position: Feet wide apart, hands in front and palms to the ceiling. Feet should be at least shoulder width apart. Position is low and balanced with feet pointing straight ahead. Arms and shoulders are relaxed. Shoulders are forward and hips are back. Hands ahead of head. Head ahead of shoulders, shoulders ahead of knees, knees ahead of feet. Hands are inside of knees and knees are inside of feet.

PASSING/WALL PASSES:

One player stands eight to ten feet away from the wall and repeatedly passes the ball against the wall. The target area is the top of the net height. 
Body Position: Wait with arms at a 90-degree angle from your upper body. Bend at the waist so that your shoulders are forward and hips are back (but maintain 90-degree angle between arms and upper body). Legs should also be bent to create an athletic stance ready to react and move.

SHUFFLE STEPS:

This drill, designed for beginners, emphasizes the fundamentals of 'shuffling' a player's feet. Although, shuffling is not a motion that can always be executed in competition, it is a good way to teach young volleyball players body control and a smooth approach.

One player tosses the ball at another who passes it back. The tosser lobs the ball high in the air, at least ten feet away from passer who must get to the ball. Passer must shuffle step to get to the ball without crossing their feet. Try to get to the spot before the ball does. Vary to which side the ball is thrown so the passer does not cheat to the anticipated side. After five tosses, switch so that the tosser now passes, and the passer now tosses.

THREE’S AND TWO’S:

Two players (#1 and #2) stand on the opposite side of the net as the third. Player #2 stands where the setter would line up (front middle preferably) and player #1 stands in a back row position on same side. Player #3 lines up on opposite side of the net as #1 and #2 and tosses ball over the net to player #1 who passes it to setter (#2). Setter bounce passes ball under net back to player #3. Meanwhile player 3 throws the second ball immediately after player 1 passes the first ball. The drill is fast paced and designed to get a lot of passing done in a short time period. 
Note: player #3 should toss the second ball before #2 has caught the first. That way the drill is executed rapidly.

TOSS CATCH DRILL:

One player tosses the ball at another who passes it back. The idea is to develop consistency in basic passing skills and to make sure passer is correctly using legs not arms and wrist when they pass. To develop correct fundamentals, this drill requires one player to simply catch the ball and throw it back.

Body Position: Wait with arms at a 90-degree angle from your upper body. Bend at the waist so that your shoulders are forward and hips are back (but maintain 90-degree angle between arms and upper body). Legs should also be bent.

OVERHEAD PASSING

ONE AND FREEZE:
One player stands on opposite side of net and serves to another. A third player stands in the receiver’s side setting position. Receiving player must set serve. The correct contact point is just above the forehead (hairline). When contacting the ball, the hands move in one direction only. Freeze with arms fully extended in the direction you want the ball to go. (Hands are same distance apart upon completion as they were during contact.) Hands follow the ball. Receiving player must set the ball to a third player standing in the setter position. After three successful passes, the threesome rotates and setter goes to serve etc.

OVERHEAD SERVE RECEPTION-SETTING:
Players may set a served ball instead of passing it but this is a difficult skill. There are three main keys to the overhead serve reception:

1. Keep your hands smaller than the ball. In other words, keep your hands close together. A served ball is coming fast and keeping your hands close together prevents the ball from going right between them.

2. Keep fingers and wrists stiff.

3. Quick release. Do not hold on to the ball. A quick release allows the speed of the serve to be redirected into your pass and creates for a more effective serve return.