Sample Early Season Practice Sample Later Season Practice

Introduce the basics (after the 2nd or 3rd day, skip the bounce to floor, set to wall)

  • Overhead passing - bounce to floor, set to wall for a total of no more than 10 minutes for both. Plan on just 3 or 4 minutes for each allowing for a couple minutes of demo. Switch to passing triangle. Players pass clockwise for 3-5 minutes, switch to counter-clockwise. Keywords/phrases to use; ball shaped hands, contact the ball on the forehead, freeze palms at target, face where you want the ball to go.
  • Forearm passing - 2 minute demo of posture and platform. Keyword/phrases; face where the ball came from, platform to target, hold platform (after passing, hold forearms to target for a count of one). Players pass clockwise for 3-5 minutes, switch to counter-clockwise.
  • Demo/explain armswing. Have them practice sideline to sideline with a partner. 3-5 minutes.
  • Play 2 vs 0


  • Touch on a basic skill each day.
  • One day do overhead passing triangles for 10 minutes, the next forearm passing
  • Every day spend ~5 minutes on armswing and approaches.
  • Pass set hit triangle 10-15 minutes
  • Play 2 vs 0

3 contact drill

  • Pass, set, hit triangles. Players spaced ~10 apart. One at 10' line slightly to left of the court. One two steps behind the 10' line on the left sideline, the third with a ball completes the triangle standing ~10' from the 10' line. Player with the ball tosses it to herself and passes to the setter. The setter sets the hitter, and the hitter hits it over the net.
  • With brand new players, allow them to catch the set the first couple of times.
  • By the 2nd or 3rd day, the hitters should attempt to make an approach to hit it. Even if it just the final right/left steps.
  • After a pass, set hit, all three players shag their ball and repeat on the other side of the net, rotating who is the hitter, setter, passer.

3 contact drill

  • Narrow court games
  • 4 on 4 games, played as triple ball. First ball a team receives is a serve, the next two are balls tossed by a coach. Repeat for the other team, then both side rotate.


  • Introduce standing serve and torque serve
  • Practice ~10 minutes


  • Introduce jump serve
  • Practice all serves ~10-15 minutes

3 contact drill

  • Atomic volleyball - set up antenna's to create a court 20' wide
  • Introduce as hot potato. Ball gets thrown over the net, catch and throw it right back over. Every time the ball crosses the net, the players rotate.
  • First couple of days allow a catch on the second contact.

3 contact drill

  • Finish with them playing a game of some sort. Double, fours, 6 on 6. Anytime you playing from a serve, play it as triple ball (serve, plus two tossed balls.)



Overhand passing basics - bounce to floor, set to wall. These are used to introduce the skills the first couple of days. For example, use bounce to floor for ~5 minutes to introduce. Spend another 5 at the wall before going to triangles.

 Passing Platform - A quick video on what passing posture looks like.

Triangle pass, set, hit.

This video is a great warm up. It teaches the players to read the ball coming over the net and to play the ball to a specific place.

The Dutch use "Circulation Volleyball" to teach movement and ball control. The Canandian's have adapted it a bit. For our age level, they call in Atomic


Stages 2 and 3 of Circulation Volleyball are perfect build up games leading to Atomic - Stage 1, because it focuses on developing the serve and the forearm pass. Without some control over these skills, the game quickly breaks down and the fun is lost. When school groups have experienced Circulation Volleyball, then the transition to Atomic will be very easy. However, without this background experience there are a few modifications teachers can use to keep the fun going:

  1. 1. Catch and throw the first contact
  2. 2.  Catch and throw the first two contacts
  3. 3.  Allow the serve to be a toss


A great way for youth to serve the ball over the net is the torque serve.


This is better than underhand, and a natural progression to overhead.

When you scrimmage, use triple ball. This is a serve, then tossed balls to each side