11 Volleyball Passing Drills for Beginner: Pass Like a Pro

Want to improve your passing skills in volleyball? But, don’t know about the best volleyball passing drills.

In this blog post, I’ll share 13 volleyball drills for passing to take your game to the next level.

11 Best Volleyball Passing Drills:

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, these drills will help you develop precision and accuracy in both forearm and overhand passes.

So grab your volleyball and get ready to master the art of passing…

1. Forearm Pass:

The Forearm Pass is a fundamental skill in volleyball that involves using the forearms to control and direct the ball. This technique is essential for receiving serves and passing the ball accurately to set up attacks.

How to do the Forearm Pass:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  2. Place hands together with palms facing upward.
  3. Lock wrists and extend arms forward to create a platform.
  4. Move quickly into position as the ball approaches.
  5. Make contact with the ball using the fleshy part of your forearms.
  6. Maintain a firm but relaxed grip on the ball.
  7. Absorb some of the ball’s momentum while directing it accurately.

The Forearm Pass drill offers several benefits to setters. It improves ball control and accuracy, allowing setters to receive serves and pass the ball precisely to their teammates. Effective forearm passing also enhances communication and coordination on the court, facilitating smooth and efficient gameplay.

Related Article: Best Volleyball Shoes for Setters

2. Overhand Pass:

The overhand pass is a crucial skill in the game of volleyball that allows players to set up their teammates for successful attacks. With this technique, you can showcase their ability to control and direct the ball effectively.

Here’s how to perform the overhand pass:

  1. Begin by positioning yourself with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Extend your arms fully above your head, creating a diamond shape with your hands to provide a target for the ball.
  3. As the ball approaches, use your wrists and fingers to cushion its impact and direct it towards your intended target.
  4. Throughout the pass, maintain a good body position by keeping your eyes on the ball and staying balanced.
  5. Dedicate ample practice time during training sessions to hone your overhand passing skills.

Practicing the overhand pass has several advantages for setters. It helps improve their ball control and accuracy, enabling them to effectively set up their teammates for attacks.

3. Setter Dump:

The Setter Dump is a clever manoeuvre that can catch opponents off guard, providing an opportunity to secure easy points. It involves the setter quickly and unexpectedly passing the ball themselves, instead of setting it up for an attacker.

Here’s how to perform a setter dump…

  1. Position yourself close to the net, ready to receive the ball.
  2. As soon as you receive the ball, quickly decide to execute the Setter Dump instead of setting it up for an attacker.
  3. With a swift motion, use your hands to pass the ball over the net, aiming for an open space on the opposing team’s side.
  4. Coordinate with your teammates to ensure they are prepared for the Setter Dump and adjust their positioning accordingly.
  5. Emphasize the element of surprise by deceiving the opponents into expecting a set or attack.
  6. Take advantage of the opponents’ defensive confusion to earn easy points.

Deception plays a vital role in the Setter Dump’s effectiveness. The aim is to mislead opponents into thinking that a set or attack is imminent, only to surprise them by dumping the ball over the net.

4. Passing Lines Drill:

The Passing Lines Drill is an essential exercise designed to enhance passing accuracy and communication skills among players. It involves two rows of players facing each other, with one row serving the ball to the other.

Executing the Passing Lines Drill:

  1. Organize players into two rows facing each other, with enough space between them to allow for proper ball movement.
  2. One row will serve the ball to the other row to initiate the drill.
  3. The serving player tosses or serves the ball to a player on the receiving team.
  4. The receiving player quickly moves into position and uses a forearm pass to accurately return the ball to the serving team.
  5. The ball continues to be passed back and forth between the teams, with each player focusing on maintaining control and accuracy.

The Passing Lines Drill not only improves passing technique and timing but also fosters teamwork and communication on the court.

5. Three-Man Weave Drill:

The Three-Man Weave Drill is a highly effective passing exercise that not only enhances passing accuracy but also promotes communication and teamwork on the court. This dynamic drill involves three players moving in a weaving pattern, passing the ball to each other with precision.

Executing the Three-Man Weave Drill:

  1. Start by forming a line with three players at one end of the court.
  2. The first player initiates the drill by passing the ball diagonally across the net to their teammate on the opposite side.
  3. After making the pass, the first player quickly moves behind their teammate, ready to receive a return pass.
  4. The second player, who received the initial pass, promptly passes the ball to the third player.
  5. The third player then passes the ball back to the first player, completing the weaving pattern.
  6. The drill continues in a back-and-forth fashion, with players constantly moving and passing the ball to their teammates with accuracy and precision.

To add variation and challenge, the Three-Man Weave Drill can be modified by incorporating additional passes or integrating movement patterns such as backpedalling or shuffling sideways while passing.

6. Star Passing Drill:

The Star Passing Drill is an exceptional practice exercise designed to enhance passing skills in volleyball. This drill specifically focuses on improving accuracy and developing quick reactions, making it suitable for players of all skill levels.

Executing the Star Passing Drill:

  1. Set up the drill by arranging five cones in a star-shaped pattern, ensuring they are equidistant from each other. Each cone represents a different target towards which you will pass the ball.
  2. Begin at one of the cones and have a partner toss or serve the ball towards you.
  3. Your objective is to pass the ball accurately towards each target cone in succession before returning to your starting position.
  4. Concentrate on maintaining proper technique, such as using forearm passes, and aim for precision in your passes to hit each target cone.
  5. As you become more proficient, challenge yourself by gradually increasing the speed and power of the tosses or serves.

With Star Passing Drill, you can significantly improve your passing accuracy and develop quicker reactions on the court. Plus, this drill is also an excellent way to simulate game scenarios and enhance your overall performance during matches.

7. Pepper Passing Drill:

The Pepper Passing Drill is a widely recognized and effective exercise in volleyball that emphasizes communication and ball control between two players. It serves as an excellent warm-up activity before games or practice sessions.

Executing the Pepper Passing Drill:

  1. Begin by positioning yourself and your partner approximately 10-15 feet apart on the court.
  2. One player initiates the drill by tossing the ball to their partner using an underhand pass.
  3. The receiving player then passes the ball back using their forearms.
  4. Continue the drill by alternating the roles of the players, ensuring a back-and-forth passing sequence.
  5. To enhance skill development, introduce variations in the passes by adding more power or angling the passes in different directions.
  6. Throughout the drill, maintain constant communication with your partner. Use vocal cues such as calling out “mine” when you intend to play the ball.

With Pepper Passing Drill, you will enhance communication, develop precise ball control, and foster a deeper understanding of your partner’s movements on the volleyball court.

8. Serve Receive 10-Pass Drill:

The Serve Receive 10-Pass Drill is a crucial exercise designed to elevate passing skills in volleyball. It focuses on receiving serves and executing accurate passes to teammates, contributing to the development of quick reflexes and improved hand-eye coordination.

Executing the Serve Receive 10-Pass Drill:

  1. Divide the team into two groups: servers and passers.
  2. The servers take turns serving the ball, while the passers line up in receive formation.
  3. The primary objective of each passer is to make ten consecutive perfect passes without any errors.
  4. Focus on the techniques and forms when receiving services. Passers should utilize their forearm platform to control the ball’s trajectory and accurately direct it towards their intended target.

During the drill, passers have to maintain focus and concentration, adjusting their body position and footwork to effectively receive and pass the ball.

9. Setting Up Your Partner Drill:

The Setting Up Your Partner drill is an excellent method to enhance volleyball passing skills while also refining communication and teamwork with a partner. This drill places emphasis on accuracy, control, and the ability to set up your teammate for success.

Executing the Setting Up Your Partner Drill:

  1. Find a willing partner and position yourselves about 10-15 feet apart, facing each other. Designate one person as the setter and the other as the passer.
  2. The setter starts the drill by tossing the ball into the air and executing a set towards their partner.
  3. The passer’s objective is to quickly move into position and pass the ball back to their partner, utilizing proper forearm passing technique.
  4. Both participants should prioritize accuracy and consistency. The setter should strive for high-quality sets that are easily manageable for their partner, while the passer aims for clean passes that facilitate smooth setting opportunities.
  5. As you progress with the drill, increase the difficulty by incorporating movement or introducing different types of sets, such as overhead or bump sets.
  6. Challenge yourselves by varying the distance and angles between partners or by introducing obstacles like cones or targets.

If you practice this drill consistently, you’ll enhance your passing skills, strengthen communication, and foster a stronger sense of teamwork. This drill replicates real-game scenarios and prepares you to efficiently set up your teammates for successful attacks during matches.

10. Bump, Set, Spike Drill:

The Bump, Set, Spike drill is a fundamental and crucial exercise in volleyball, focusing on improving passing, setting, and hitting skills — the three essential components of a successful offensive play.

How to do the Bump, Set, Spike Drill?

  1. Form small groups with one player designated as the setter and another as the hitter.
  2. The drill begins with a bump pass from one player to the setter.
  3. The setter then sets the ball for the hitter to spike over the net.
  4. Maintain a consistent rhythm throughout the drill, replicating real game situations where quick decision-making is crucial.
  5. Players should concentrate on developing coordination, timing, and communication skills while executing each phase of the drill.

During this exercise, encourage players to focus on their technique and form. The passer should aim for an accurate bump pass to set up the setter for a precise set.

11. Two-Ball Control Drill:

The Two-Ball Control Volleyball Drill is a highly effective exercise that improves passing skills, enhances reaction time, and sharpens decision-making on the court.

Here’s how to perform the Two-Ball Control Volleyball Drill…

  1. Divide the team into groups of three or four players.
  2. Each group will have two balls in play simultaneously throughout the drill.
  3. One player initiates the drill by tossing a ball to another player in the group.
  4. The receiving player must pass the ball back using either a forearm pass or an overhand pass.
  5. While this exchange takes place, another player in the group tosses the second ball, creating simultaneous action.
  6. Players must rapidly adjust their positioning and make split-second decisions regarding which ball to prioritize.
  7. The objective is to maintain control of both balls and execute accurate passes.

With this Two-Ball Control Drill, you can easily elevate your passing skills, enhance your ability to make quick decisions and refine your ball control techniques.


Having passing drills training is essential for developing strong passing skills and improving overall team performance. These drills not only help players enhance their technique and footwork but also promote effective communication, teamwork, and coordination on the court.

Kyle Parker

About Author:

I'm Kyle Parker, a former professional volleyball player turned coach. Here, I shares in-depth guides and practical tips to elevate your volleyball game. Learn more...

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