20 Effective Volleyball Passing Drills You Should Always Practice

Passing in volleyball is like the foundation of a sturdy house. It’s the first touch that sets up the entire play.

If you can’t pass, the rest of your game may crumble. But fear not. We’re here to get you on the right track.

This article’s 20 volleyball passing drills will prepare your brain and body for a real competition!

Volleyball Passing Drills

Whether you’re a beginner looking to master the art of passing techniques or a seasoned player wanting to refine your skills, this guide is precisely for you.

Volleyball Passing Fundamentals

Let’s kick things off with the basics.

So, what is passing in volleyball all about? It’s that crucial move where you receive an incoming serve or attack and direct it to your setter. To do this effectively, here are some fundamental concepts to keep in mind:

  • Platform. Your arms and hands create a solid ball control platform. Think of it as your volleyball bat.
  • Angle and Target. Angle your platform toward your target (usually the setter) and use your legs to get under the ball.
  • Absorb and Direct. Soften your arms on impact to absorb the ball’s energy and direct it where you want it to go.
  • Communication. Keep the chatter going on the court. Let your teammates know if you’re going to take the ball or if they should. You can call out “foe” no matter who takes the ball.
  • Consistency. Aim for a consistent, accurate pass every time. It’s all about muscle memory.

Volleyball Passing Techniques

Three everyday bad passing habits will hinder an athlete’s ability to pass consistently to the target:

  • No movement when the ball is coming. Movement is always crucial for consistency Because we need to move our feet to pass the ball in the midline and pass with consistent accuracy. You are not playing volleyball if you stand still.
  • Don’t lean back or swing back. This is the most common mistake when players pass the balls. They need to hold a better platform. Especially when there comes a faster serve than you can get your feet around, you should always forward shoulder when passing balls.
  • Poor passing form. Bad passing form or posture mainly because of the shoulder. It would be best if you used Russian drills to train lousy posture. When you prepare to pass the ball, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly.

Basic Volleyball Passing Drills

Before we dive into the drills, passing is a skill that takes time to develop. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. The good news is that with some practice, you’ll be on your way to becoming a passing pro.

So, why are passing drills important? Well, they:

  • Help you develop an excellent passing technique: You’ll learn the correct posture, movement, platform, and body positioning.
  • Improve your accuracy and consistency: Passing drills help you develop the muscle memory needed for precise passes.

Now, let’s get to the fun part – the drills. We’ll start with the basics and work our way up. These drills will boost your passing game, whether on a sandy beach or an indoor court.

Remember to warm up, stretch those muscles, and prepare for action!

Volleyball Passing Drills for Beginners

If you’ve mastered the basics of passing drills, you can take your passing game to the next level.

You’re new to volleyball, and that’s perfectly fine. We all start somewhere. The best way to learn the art of passing is through practice. Here are some beginner-friendly drills to help you get the hang of it:

Volleyball Wall Passing Drills

This is one of the individual volleyball passing drills and the most basic training. It will help to improve your passing and receiving skills through progressive wall passing drills.

  • Find a sturdy wall
  • Throw the ball against it
  • Get ready to receive the return and pass it up
  • Continue the process

There is a variation for this drill. If you have someone with you, it should be better to let your partner stand behind you and face the wall, then throw the ball against the wall because you cannot see where the ball comes from; it will also train your reaction time and how to stop a fastball.

Souce: Youtube Channel Upward Sports

Remember that forward your shoulder and pass like elongate your arms out.

It simulates real game scenarios and helps you become a more adaptable player.

Shuffling Passing Drills

This drill will help you to work on proper footwork. Sometimes, you move too early, just after the ball comes to you, and you need to know where the ball is going. It would help if you waited a little longer time. Shuffling drills will help you slow movement and catch the right timing. Here is how it works:

  • Start with a passing form, with hands on your knees in ready position
  • Then, work on footwork. You’re going to move to right or left, back or forward.

Or you can try do do some shuffle like the video below, it also tell you how to hold your hands and what’s the correct passing form.

Souce: Istrouma Sports

Shuttle Passing Drills

The shuttle passing drill is fantastic for those who want to adapt quickly to varying distances. It’s like your secret weapon for precise passing.

You can place cones or markers at different distances on the court. Your task is to pass the ball to each one with accuracy and control when you are moving.

Gradually raise the intensity and speed for game-like, fast transitions. You become a versatile and adaptable passer by practising passing at varying distances.

Partner Passing Drills

A great way to practice passing is with a partner. Partner passing drills help you get a good platform and train you to use your legs when passing, which is a good and essential habit when you start passing. It also helps you learn to adjust your position correctly.

This is how it works:

  • Player A and Player B stand apart with 3-5 meters.
  • One of them, A, tosses the ball, and B passes it straight up the A.
  • When B passes the ball, they should adjust their feet and hold an excellent platform to make it go in the body’s midline.
  • Repeat this process ten times.

Souce: Rochester Youth Volleyball League

If you want to get some challenge, turn your right or left facing to the tosser and pass the ball with an angled passing platform when the ball comes. You can also train yourself between short, quick, and high passes. Or stand in a far distance between you.

Four Direction Drills

This drill helps you practise your footwork and platform and trains you to pass the ball at the position you want. How it works:

  • A good tosser stands in a corner on the volleyball court, like in position 2, doing an underhand toss.
  • First, you should step back, keep that ball right in your midline, and catch it. Then, you are going to go back to the middle.
  • Next, our ball goes right over your left shoulder, and you will keep that ball right in your midline when you step back left, and your right foot stays forward.
  • Then, the ball will be a half step before your forward right or left side.
  • Finally, repeat the drill, pay attention to weight transfer and stay low throughout each movement.

This is a four-direction drill with tiny steps. We do five balls and pass the ball in the middle at the beginning. Remember to keep a good shoulder and forward shoulder; don’t lean back or swing back.

Pipeline Passing Drills

This drill helps to Improve your lateral movement while passing. How it works:

  • Passing between two dotted lines about 10 feet apart
  • When your partner passes the ball, you must shuffle to your right and touch the sideline.
  • After your partner passes the back to you, you need to shuffle back to the beginning position, and you pass the ball again and shuffle sideways.
  • When you and your partner do ten passes each, next, you start shuffling to the left and do the same drills.

This drill helps you get into the proper position and improve your movement speed, agility, and condition. You can challenge yourself or your partner in two ways:

  • Increasing the distance between the lines
  • Increase the repetitions of passing when shuffling.

Bounce Pass Drills

This drill is suitable for making you comfortable getting up off the ground and quickly holding a defence position, requiring good conditioning.

This is how it works:

  • First, you are lying on the end line on the court, looking at your coach or partner.
  • Your coach or partner stands in the middle front position.
  • They slap the ball, and you begin to get up with arms pushed up; when they bounce the ball in your direction, you start a run-through technique, catch the ball and pass it to the target.

You can challenge yourself by letting your partner stand near you and start the defence.

Pass and Bump Relay

Gather your fellow beginners and form a relay line. Pass the ball to the person behind you, and they bump it back to you. Keep the ball moving and challenge yourselves to maintain a consistent pass. It’s like a friendly game of hot potato!

Pass and Move Drills

This drill encourages continuous movement on the court. Pass the ball to your partner, and you move to different positions after each pass. It sharpens your mobility and adaptability.

Low Catch Passing Drills

Find a partner and stand about ten feet apart. Your partner will toss the ball low towards your legs. Your task is to pass it back to them while keeping it low. This drill is excellent for refining your low passes.

So, why should you focus on these beginner drills?

Well, they’re the building blocks of your volleyball journey. Each of these drills emphasizes a different aspect of passing, from accuracy to teamwork. As a beginner, mastering these fundamental skills will set you on the path to becoming a well-rounded player.

Remember, don’t get discouraged by the occasional mishap. It’s all part of the learning process.

Youth Volleyball Passing Drills

If you’re a young player or coaching a youth team, making passing drills engaging and age-appropriate is crucial. Here are some exercises that work well for youth players:

  • Balloon Volleyball: Yes, you read that right! Replace the regular volleyball with a balloon. It moves more slowly, making it easier for young players to pass. It’s a fun way to introduce the basics.
  • Obstacle Course Passing: Create an obstacle course with cones, hoops, or other markers. Players must pass the ball accurately through the system. It’s like a passing adventure!
  • Passing to Targets: Set up targets or hoops at different heights and distances. Encourage young players to aim their passes at the targets. It’s a fantastic way to develop accuracy

Of course, if you are a years old player, you are in 4th grade. You can learn to toss the ball and discover the spirit to get athleticism, which is more important. You may need essential coordination to track the ball.

And there you have it, a collection of volleyball passing drills perfect for beginners and youth players. The key is to practice regularly, stay patient, and have fun while you’re at it.

In the next section, we’ll ramp up the intensity. We’ll explore volleyball passing drills for more advanced players, including middle school, high school or college athletes. But don’t worry, you’ve got this. Keep honing your skills; before you know it, you’ll be ready for the next level of passing drills. So, stay enthusiastic, stay positive, and keep those passing skills on point!

Advanced Volleyball Passing Drills

You’ve already mastered the basics and sharpened your skills in the previous sections. Now, it’s time to level up.

This section will explore advanced volleyball passing drills designed for more experienced players. It’s where the real fun begins!

If you’ve been playing volleyball for a while and want to take your passing game to the next level. You’re in the right place. Here are some challenging drills to enhance your passing skills:

Serve and Pass Volleyball Drills

Imagine you’re in a high-stakes game, and it’s your job to receive the opponent’s serves and deliver precise passes. Serve and pass drills simulate these scenarios, allowing you to practice under pressure:

  • Serve and Pass Drills: In this drill, you and your partner take turns serving and passing. It’s not just about getting the ball over the net; it’s about delivering serves that challenge the receiver. It works on communication, accuracy, and adaptability. It will benefit your movement and footwork.
  • Passing to Target Volleyball Drills: Imagine you’re in the middle of an intense match and must deliver a pinpoint pass to your setter. These drills involve setting up targets or hoops at different heights and distances. Your mission is to aim your passes accurately at these targets, enhancing your precision.
  • Volleyball Forearm Pass Drills: At the advanced level, you want to ensure your forearm pass is on point. These drills fine-tune your forearm passing technique, honing its accuracy, direction, and power.

Russian Passing Drills

This drill involves passing a ball while you and your partner are in a squat position. It’s a challenging workout for your legs and a great way to improve your passing technique under pressure. How it works:

  • Two tossers stand apart and face to face, about 3-5 meters away.
  • You stand in the middle between them and start to pass the ball over your shoulder from one of them.
  • After the pass from the first tosser, you turn back and pass the ball from the other tosser.
  • After passing the second toss, you return to the first tosser and pass again.
  • Repeat this and do it constantly.

Souce: Upward Sports

When you start this drill, you should focus on keeping the ball in front of you and maintaining a forward shoulder position. You should continue fighting and pushing yourself, even when it becomes easy, keep moving and not underestimate your speed. Tossers can challenge passers and push themselves to improve, urging them to keep going and take one more step while maintaining control and not swinging during the drill.

Two-Person Serve Receive

This is a two-person service received with one person behind. It will improve your communication on the court; this is how it works:

  • Two-person serve receive with one person back, one setter on the position 2
  • One server serving on the opponent’s court
  • When you find you are suited for passing the ball, call out “foe”.

When you do this drill, only move after the ball is served because you can easily guess what the server will do unless you know what the servers or attackers will do. You can make your shoulder a little apart and your arms in front of you.

Basket Passing Drills

This drill requires one server and three passers, which can help improve your passing accuracy.

How it works:

  • Make a basket as the target position.
  • Three passers line up on the back row court.
  • The server stands close to passers for accurate and consistent serving using topspin.
  • Passers use forearm passing skills to pass the ball. Count the excellent pass if the ball lands in the target position.

You can challenge yourself by letting the server serve as hard as he can or make it servers versus passers game.

Elementary Volleyball Passing Drills:

These drills are designed for those moving from beginner to more competitive play. They include exercises for accuracy, quick reactions, and rapid passing.

Butterfly Passing Drills

Picture a butterfly flying in different directions. In this drill, you’ll need to precisely pass the ball in various directions. It’s challenging but an excellent way to fine-tune your skills.

Free Ball Passing Drills Volleyball

In team practice or coaching sessions, it’s essential to have drills that involve a dynamic element. Free ball passing drills replicate game scenarios with greater precision.

In this drill, you practice receiving and passing balls your coach or teammate sends over the net. It’s an excellent way to work on your game sense and adaptability.

Circle Passing Drills

Get into a circle with your teammates or friends. Pass the ball to the person on your right, who passes it to the next, and so on. The ball goes around until it reaches you again. It’s a fun way to work on your passing skills and teamwork.

The circle passing drill is also great for advanced players. You’ll need to pass the ball with more speed and accuracy as the level of play increases.

Beach Volleyball Passing Drills

Beach volleyball offers a unique environment with its own set of challenges, such as dig pass drills. It often involves diving for digs. These drills help you become a master of the dig, which is essential for retrieving low fastballs.

Why should you take the time to work on advanced passing drills?

Well, it’s all about raising your game to the next level. These drills challenge your accuracy, adaptability, and overall skill. When you master these drills, you become an invaluable asset to your team.

Remember, as you move into advanced passing drills, it’s vital to maintain a positive attitude, be patient with yourself, and stay committed to improvement. Keep challenging yourself, and you’ll see remarkable progress in your passing skills.


And there you have it, folks! You’ve journeyed through the world of volleyball passing drills, from basics to advanced techniques. No matter where you are in your volleyball journey, the key to success is practice, patience, and a love for the game.

So, grab your teammates, head to the court, and let the passing games begin. The more you practice, the more you’ll fall in love with this beautiful sport. Whether you’re the coach of a youth team or a dedicated player striving for excellence, remember that passing is the foundation of all great plays in volleyball.

With dedication and passion, you’re on your way to becoming a true Volleyball Addict. Keep those passes accurate and those spirits high. Happy passing!

About The Author

Carlos Sun

Carlos Sun

I have been practicing and studying volleyball for more than 18 years, and now a high school volleyball coach in LA. I am passionate about the sport and my love for volleyball has encouraged me to start writing for Volleyball Addict. I look for ways to further my personal and professional endeavors by combining my experiences as a player and coach into unique and insightful perspectives in my content.

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