Beach volleyball is a lot of fun to play casually, but the sport is actually incredibly hard work to play competitively. It’s explosive, requires technique and communication, and good cardio too.
Here are seven tips to help you improve your beach volleyball game.
1 – Try the 4 Touch Drill
The 4-touch drill is a drill for ball control and helps you to learn how to set and control the ball. The coach starts the drill, hitting a ball to the digger. The digger will then dig to the middle of the court, and run to bump-set back to the coach. The coach will then hit another ball and the play will dig again, and hand-set to an attacker. It’s a hard, fast-paced drill!
2 – Play Without Jumps
Take the athleticism out of the equation and force yourself to play creatively by playing ‘no jumping allowed’ volleyball.
3 – Volleyball ‘keep-em-up’
Try to bump and set the ball to yourself as many times as you can. Aim to hit 50. It’s hard to hit 50 touches at first but you will find that you get better fast by doing this!
4 – Pass Against the Wall
If you can’t get to the beach often but you want to get better fast, then try putting a piece of tape against the wall, at around 8 feet high, and pass against it. Aim to do 15 minutes of passing against the wall every day. You’ll quickly get a feel for how the ball moves. It’s a stress-free way of getting a lot of reps in and it really does work!
5 – Don’t Neglect Your Footwork
Time in the sand is vital if you really want to get good at beach volleyball. The hardest part of beach volleyball is coping with the beach itself. Playing in sand is vastly different to playing on a court. So, spend as much time as you can on the sand. Do movement drills, run, sprint and jump until you learn how the sand affects your movement.
Yes, this is an excuse to go to the beach and just ‘play around’. Exposure to the sand can make a huge difference, especially if you’re a decent volleyball player and are moving from indoor courts onto the beach for the first time.
6 – Resistance Work is Fun
For a bit of variety, head to an indoor gym and do some footwork and resistance work. Resisted sprints at a CrossFit gym are a good way of improving your explosive power, and if you’re a bit burned out on volleyball itself then you will enjoy playing with a new toy and getting a good workout. You can try ladders and Theraband workouts too just to improve your agility and get a bit of exposure to new skills.
7 – Learn to Slow Down
This one tip could well be the most important. Learn to slow down and to leave space between you and the ball. Getting too far under the ball too soon will kill your power. Don’t move forward until after your partner has set.
Beach Volleyball Attacking Tip – The Batter’s Box
Playing slow-paced, casual games is a good way to get used to doing this, and will help you to calm down and get better angles. It’s tough to break the habit of racing to the ball, but your attacks will get a lot better once you learn to do it.
Remember, volleyball should be fun. Break up your training, play with new skills and new techniques, and above all, remember to have fun. Even if you’re aiming to play for a big team, you still need to enjoy practice!