Practice all aspects of defense.
It is important to have excellent defensive skills to keep a cushion between your team and the opposing team. Preventing the other team from scoring not only keeps your team ahead, but it also boosts morale. Improve your team's defensive skills with these drills. Practice defensive hitting, adjusting to a bad set and reading the opposing hitters.
Adjusting to a Bad Set
Both teams get set up in defensive positions. The coach stands at right front like the setter (the setter is still in the drill but just not setting). The coach tosses a ball to any of the hitters, making the toss either a perfect set or a bad one. This forces the hitters to adjust just like in a game. Play out the rally. Switch sides every five tosses.
Set up both teams in the defensive position. Play begins when the coach tosses a ball in to either side. The middle blocker is not allowed to block or hit; they are only to cover tips. The outside hitters must tip at least one of every three sets. When covering their hitters, all defensive players should take an extra step in. Alternate the side the ball is tossed to and play a rally-score game to between five and 10 points.
Set both teams up in defensive positions. The coach tosses a ball to a player in the front row at the 10-foot line, who must stay on the ground to hit it over (downball), or to a back row player who must pass the ball over (freeball). Once the coach tosses the ball the drill is on. Rotate front to back every five tosses. Switch sides after two rotations. A scoring system can be used if desired.
Reading the Hitter's Eyes
Three blockers start at the net. On the other side of the net there is a setter and two catchers, one at each antenna. The coach tosses a ball to the setter. At this time the blockers watch the setter's hands until the ball is set. When the ball has reached the halfway point to the hitter (catcher), the blockers watch the hitter until the ball is hit (caught). The blockers are not to be allowed to raise their heads to watch the ball once it reaches the halfway point to the hitter. After about five tosses rotate the blockers with the outside hitters blocking left, setters blocking right and middles blocking the center.