Passing Drills Volleyball in 2024: Enhance Your Game with These Top Techniques

Passing drills are one of my most favorite drills in the world. When talking to friends and colleagues about the topic “passing drills volleyball” I have the feeling that I am not meeting the opinion of the majority. They like more the hitting drills.

But honestly I’m fascinated by the accuracy you have to bring on the table to get the ball exactly where it belongs. You also have to train your reaction time and you have to position yourself at the right spot to get the ball. And I love these kind of challenges. Let me show you my most favorite drills and let me explain you why passing is so important.

Fundamentals of Passing Drills in Volleyball

When we hit the court, it’s the sharp, precise passes that really set the tone for a winning volley. That’s why we’re zeroing in on the essential element of the game: the art of passing. With the right passing drills volleyball becomes not just a game, but a dance of skill and strategy.

Understanding the Basics of Volleyball Passing

Volleyball is a game of momentum, and it all starts with a solid pass. The act of moving the ball to another player, ideally, the setter, is known as the forearm pass or bump. Essentially, the goal is controlling the ball’s trajectory and pace using the forearms.

The Importance of Proper Technique

Proper technique can’t be overstated. Positioning our arms to create a stable platform ensures the ball can be guided to its intended target accurately. It’s about uniting hand and arm positioning with posture to pass effectively—each element is crucial for ball control and reducing the chance of errors.

passing drills volleyball male volleyball player intense passing pose
by Pinterest

Developing Consistency and Accuracy

Above all, developing consistency and accuracy in passing is what divides good players from great ones. Regular practice of passing drills is the key. This could be the forearm pass to maintain ball control or the overhand pass for a swift change in the play’s pace. By honing these passing skills, we ensure our team can rely on us as consistent players, capable of setting the stage for powerful plays.

Essential Passing Drills Volleyball

In volleyball, the quality of your first touch can change the game. We’re here to guide you through some tried-and-true passing drills volleyball coaches and players use to develop sharp reflexes, accurate passes, and unbeatable team synergy.

Wall Passing Drills for Solo Practice

Objective: Improve your arm platform and passing precision.

  • Drill: Bounce Pass Drill
    • Stand about 2 feet from a wall.
    • Toss the ball to hit just above a spot on the wall, allowing it to bounce once before you pass it back.
  • Drill: Arm Platform Consistency
    • Face the wall and quickly pass the ball to the same spot.
    • Focus on keeping a firm and flat arm platform.

Pro Tip: Count your successful consecutive passes to track improvement over time.

Partner Passing Drills to Enhance Team Communication

Objective: Develop communication skills and movement synchronization.

  • Drill: Pass and Move Drill
    • Stand face to face with a partner, spaced wide enough to allow movement.
    • After each pass, shuffle left or right in a coordinated manner.
  • Drill: Two-Person Serve Receive
    • One partner serves, while the other works on serve receive.
    • Practice verbal and non-verbal signals to improve on-court understanding.

Pro Tip: Keep eye contact to enhance non-verbal communication and anticipate each other’s moves.

Serve Receive Drills for Game-like Scenarios

Objective: Improve muscle memory and serve receive techniques under pressure.

  • Drill: Random Serve Receive
    • Have a server send serves unpredictably across the court.
    • Work on adjusting quickly to different serve types.
  • Drill: Precision Serve Receive
    • Aim to receive serves and direct them to specific areas of the court.
    • Vary the location and strength to mimic real game situations.

Pro Tip: Mimic game stress by setting targets for successful pass percentages.

Advanced Passing Strategies

In the fast-paced game of volleyball, precision and readiness elevate our passing game. Let’s focus on advanced tactics that set us apart.

Mastering the Art of the Forearm and Overhead Pass

The backbone of passing drills volleyball relies on honing skills like the forearm and overhead pass. Forearm passing, or bumping, is essential for low balls, while the overhead pass is crucial for high balls, making it easier for the setter to run the offense. To excel, we must practice footwork and quick reactions. The Russian passing drill is a dynamic exercise we can incorporate to improve these essential passes under pressure.

Strategic Movement and Positioning on Court

It’s not just about how we pass, but where we move on the court. For strategic movement and positioning, focus on movement and coordination to ensure we’re always in the best spot to receive the ball. By mastering effective positioning, we create smooth transitions from defense to setting up attacks.

Anticipating the Ball for Efficient Passes

To make an efficient pass, our ability to anticipate where the ball will land is paramount. Enhancing our reaction time and decision-making speeds up our response to swift serves and spikes. We train our eyes and mind to read the opponent’s movements and the ball’s trajectory, ensuring our passes are both timely and accurate.


In volleyball, mastering the fundamentals can turn a good team into a great one, and it all starts with passing. We’ve compiled some common questions about passing drills volleyball that will help you refine your techniques on the court. These drills are critical in developing a player’s ability to accurately and efficiently receive the ball and provide the setter with optimal opportunities to set up the attack. Let’s get into the specifics of these time-tested exercises!

What are passing drills in volleyball?

Passing drills are exercises designed to improve volleyball players’ ability to accurately and consistently pass the ball to their target, usually the setter. These drills focus on perfecting form, improving footwork, and enhancing communication between players. Drills range from simple partner passing exercises to more complex scenarios that mimic game situations.

What is the passing ladder drill in volleyball?

The passing ladder drill is a focused activity used to improve a player’s footwork and precision in passing. In this drill, players move through a series of lateral steps, resembling a ladder pattern on the floor, while simultaneously passing the ball to their partner or a target. The aim is to maintain control and accuracy of the ball while navigating through the ladder quickly.

What is the Russian passing drill in volleyball?

The Russian passing drill is a high-energy exercise that emphasizes quick movement and strong, accurate passes under pressure. In this drill, players form two lines facing each other across the net. A coach or player initiates the drill by throwing a ball to one side. Players must then pass the ball back and forth over the net without letting it drop, often with a set number of touches, encouraging rapid reactions and teamwork.

We hope you could find some valuable input about Passing Drills Volleyball. Tell us something about you! What is your favorite passing drill? Have you any routines you want to share? Let us know in the comments.

If you liked this article you also might dive deeper into our articles about other Volleyball Drills.

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Julian Faisthuber
Articles: 32

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