Volleyball Warm-Up Drills

Loosen up in the warm-up

The warm-up is a critically important part of volleyball practice. It allows the players a chance to get their muscles ready for the impending workout while giving them an opportunity to ease back into the skills they’ll be developing throughout the practice session. A typical warm-up consists of a light jog, a full-body stretching session, and a series of volleyball warm-up drills.

Remember, these volleyball warm-up drills shouldn’t be too intense. They are not designed for athletic conditioning or muscle strengthening. Rather, they have been developed to reawaken everyone’s muscle memory and get them accustomed to the basics of the game like serving, setting, and bumping.

Pass the Pepper!

Pepper is one of the most useful volleyball warm-up drills since it covers a variety of skills in a fast-paced manner. This variation of Pepper involves 4 players. To begin, divide the team into groups of 4. For this drill, player 1 is the hitter, player 2 is the setter, and players 3 and 4 are diggers, and they stand in a circle facing each other.

At the start of the drill, player 1 has the ball. They toss it up in the air, and hit it towards one of the two diggers. The digger pops the ball back up towards the setter, who sets it back to the hitter, who hits it towards one of the diggers. Play continues in this manner until the coach blows the whistle, signaling a change in positions.

If one of the players misses the ball and it falls to the ground, each member of the Pepper team must drop and do 10 push-ups or run to the nearest line and back 3 times. This will lead players to become more accurate with their hits, sets and digs, and prevents laziness when reaching for the more difficult shots.

Serves and Bumps

A good serve can make or break a volleyball game. Since serving is one of those key skills in volleyball, it’s important to include a volleyball serving drills or two in the volleyball warm-up drills. This serving drills focuses on developing accuracy.

To begin, have the players stand in a line at the serving area. The player at the front of the line starts a bucket of balls. The purpose of the drill is to serve the ball into each of the 6 areas on the opposite side of the court. Area 1 is the back right of the court, area 2 is the front right, area 3 is the front center, area 4 is the front left, area 5 is the back left, and area 6 is the back central area of the court.

While serving, the player keeps track of how many serves it takes for them to complete the circuit and serve to all 6 areas on the court. If running this drill as a mini-competition, the player with the lowest score at the end of the drill is the winner.

Finally, here’s a simple drills that focuses on bumping called the “Two-Line Bump”. Divide the team into 2 groups, and have each group stand in a line facing the other group approximately 10 feet apart.

The player at the start of the line has the ball, and they bump it to the player facing them on the other line. That player bumps it to the next person on the line across from them, and so on. If the ball falls or is bumped to the wrong player, play starts over from the beginning of the line.