How to Teach Volleyball Basics to Beginners

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No matter whether you’re dealing with young kids or mature adults, there are some common principles in teaching volleyball basics to a group of beginners.

Make sure it’s fun

Above everything else, if you don’t make learning to play volleyball fun you’re not going to get very far with your beginners. If it’s a group there voluntarily because they think they’ll enjoy playing the game, not giving them that pretty quickly could mean you won’t see them coming back. And if you’re dealing with non-voluntary participants (P.E. class, for example), if you can’t get them having fun you’ll have a really hard time holding their focus enough to teach them anything. So make sure you keep the dull drills to a minimum.

Be enthusiastic

Especially when dealing with youngsters, but also when dealing with adults, it’s important to show enthusiasm – not just for the sport, but also for their development and progress as players. If you don’t seem to care to be there or that they are making progress, it’s going to be hard to motivate others to participate.

Be positive

Beginners are just looking to learn and enjoy the experience. Negative behavior on your part (or anyone else’s for that matter) will dull that, or even cause them to pack it in. At the same time, there are bound to be many frustrations along the learning path. It will help the players a great deal more if you are being positive and supportive to keep them from getting down on themselves than if you’re yelling at them or being negative.

Focus on serving and passing

At the beginning level the two biggest factors to volleyball performance are serving and passing. There aren’t many points being scored on spikes, so you need to concentrate most of your time and energy on teaching proper serving and passing techniques.

Encourage proper volleyball

The inclination for beginners when they start playing competitive games is to put the ball back over to the other side of the net as quickly as possible. The logic for them is straightforward – the fewer contacts we use, the fewer opportunities we have to make a mistake. Your objective, however, is to eventually get them playing proper 3-contact volleyball, so you need to take the focus off just scoring points.

With the right support, encouragement and directions beginners can make very rapid progress. It is up to you, the coach or teacher, to foster that kind of environment. If you do, you’ll be pleased with the results.

John Forman