Volleyball Passing Drills: Techniques, Fundamentals, Importance

Passing drills, also known as the bump drills in volleyball, is one of the foundational skills that every player must master. It’s the art of receiving the serve or attack from the opposing team and accurately delivering the ball to a teammate, setting the stage for a successful offensive play.

Passing is like the first domino in a chain reaction, where a precise pass leads to a well-executed set and, ultimately, a powerful attack.

Passing is crucial for various aspects of the game, including serving, serve-receive, Rotational defense and perimeter defense. It’s a skill that demands focus, precision, and consistent practice. Let’s begin by understanding the fundamentals of volleyball passing.

Volleyball Passing Drills

Essential Drills and Techniques

Teamwork is essential in volleyball, and passing is a crucial ability. Good passing, or “bumping” in volleyball, prepares for setting and attacking. This blog covers volleyball passing drills, giving you the essential methods, drills, and strategies to become a skilled passer.

Drill NameObjective
Wall Pass DrillImprove passing accuracy and strength
3-Person Pepper DrillDevelop teamwork and adaptability
Movement Pattern DrillImprove footwork and positioning
Serve and Receive DrillIntegrate passing with effective serve reception
Circle Passing DrillEnhance communication and quick reflexes
Volleyball Passing Drills

Volleyball Passing Fundamentals

Before we delve into the specific passing techniques and drills, it’s essential to grasp the fundamental principles of volleyball passing. Key points are as follows:

  1. Body Positioning: Proper body positioning is crucial for passing. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bent knees, and weight forward. This stance makes balance, mobility, and a lower center of gravity possible.
  2. Hand and Arm Position: Hold your hands together, forming a flat, platform-like surface with your forearms. Your thumbs should point downward, and your wrists should be firm but not rigid. The goal is to create a stable platform for the ball to make contact with.
  3. Ball Contact: When the ball approaches, move your body to align with the ball’s trajectory. Time your pass to make contact with the ball on your forearms, just above your wrists. The communication should be clean, with the ball hitting the center of your platform.
  4. Targeting: Aim to pass the ball accurately to your intended target, usually the team’s setter. To control the pass’s direction, adjust your platform’s angle. For instance, tilting your platform slightly upward can send the ball higher, while angling it downward will keep the pass lower.
  5. Movement After the Pass: After delivering the pass, be ready to transition to your next position, whether moving to cover an attacking teammate or preparing for the next play. Quick recovery is essential.
Volleyball Passing Fundamentals

Volleyball Passing Techniques

Volleyball passing techniques are the building blocks of accurate and controlled passes. Let’s explore the primary techniques that players use to achieve successful passes:

Platform Pass:

The platform pass is the most common and fundamental passing technique in volleyball. To execute a platform pass:

Sr NoSteps
1Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight forward.
2Keep your arms straight and together, forming a platform with your forearms.
3Adjust the angle of your platform to control the direction of the pass.
4Use your legs and core to move your platform into the ball’s path.
The platform pass is versatile and allows for accurate and controlled passes. It’s an essential skill for all volleyball players, regardless of their position on the court.

Overhead Pass (Overhead Pass):

The overhead pass, also known as the “volley,” is another passing technique that can be effective in certain situations. It’s commonly used in beach volleyball. To perform an overhead pass:

Sr NoSteps
1Position yourself under the ball with your hands above your head.
2Touch the ball with your fingertips.
3Get the ball to your objective.
The overhead pass is effective for quick, precise redirections of high balls. Beach volleyball players use it.

Forearm Pass (Underhand Pass):

The forearm pass, similar to the platform pass, is executed with the forearms. It’s often used when the ball is lower and closer to the ground. To perform a forearm pass:

Sr NoSteps
1Bend your knees and lower your body to get under the ball.
2Use your forearms to make contact with the ball.
3Adjust the angle and direction of your pass by angling your forearms.
The forearm pass benefits low serves or digs and allows quick and controlled ball movement.
Volleyball Passing Techniques

Common Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Players often repeat the same mistakes during passing, making improving difficult. Learn how to solve these mistakes:

  1. Incorrect Hand Position: The platform becomes uneven when you stand with your thumbs up or to the sides. Position your thumbs downward and maintain your wrists tight but not locked to fix this.
  2. Poor Ball Contact: Inaccurate ball contact, on the other hand, results in unpredictable passes. To enhance ball contact, practice passing with a consistent and stable platform. Additionally, focus on making contact just above your wrists for more controlled and effective passes.
  3. Misjudging the Ball: Misreading the ball’s trajectory can lead to mistimed passes. However, by diligently working on your ball-reading skills—tracking the ball’s path from the server’s hand and anticipating its movement—you can significantly improve your accuracy on the court.
  4. Inconsistent Footwork: Inadequate footwork can result in difficulty reaching the ball. Ensure you move your feet quickly and adjust your positioning to align with the ball’s path.
  5. Lack of Communication: Effective communication with teammates is vital. Use verbal cues or hand signals to indicate your intentions and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  6. Overcomplicated Passes: Keep your passes simple and efficient. However, overcomplicating passes with unnecessary movements can lead to errors. Therefore, focus on directing the ball accurately to your target.

Volleyball Passing Drills for Success

Let’s try some volleyball passing drills after covering the basics and typical faults. These activities promote passing, collaboration, and court performance. These workouts can help coaches and players train better.

Three-Person Passing Drill:

This drill involves three players in a passing triangle. It focuses on communication, movement, and passing accuracy. Here’s how to conduct the three-person passing drill:

Sr NoDescription
1Set up three people in a triangle shape, leaving five to six feet between each.
2The drill starts with one person serving the ball to the player across from them.
3The person getting the ball gives it to the third player in the triangle.
4The third player then passes the ball back to the initial server.
5Continue this passing sequence for a set duration or until a specific passing goal is achieved.
This drill encourages players to communicate effectively, move to the ball, and deliver accurate passes. It’s a great way to develop passing skills in a dynamic setting.
Three-Person Passing Drill

Target Passing Drill:

The target passing drill is designed to improve accuracy and consistency in passing. Setting an objective for passers is especially useful. Setting up and running the drill:

Sr NoSteps
1A square or other clear place on the wall or court can be a target.
2Players take turns throwing the ball to score.
3Each person gets a limited amount of passes.
4Good passes earn points.
This drill enhances passing skills and adds an element of competition and focus on precision.

Passing and Movement Drill:

The passing and movement drill is excellent for improving court awareness, footwork, and passing under pressure. Here’s how to conduct the drill:

Sr NoDescription
1Mark a designated area on the court, such as a 10×10 square.
2Assign players to positions within the region.
3The coach or a nominated player initiates the drill by serving the ball randomly within the area.
4Players must pass the ball accurately to their teammates while constantly moving within the designated area.
5Focus on maintaining proper positioning and communication while executing passes.
This drill simulates in-game movement and the need to make accurate passes while moving. It’s an effective way to enhance overall passing skills and teamwork.

Serve-Receive Drill:

The serve-receive drill focuses on improving a team’s ability to handle serves effectively. It’s essential for strengthening serve-receive techniques and communication. Here’s how to conduct the drill:

Sr NoSteps
1Divide the team into servers and receivers.
2The servers serve the ball to the receivers, simulating game-like serves.
3The receivers must pass the serves accurately to a designated target area on the court.
4Rotate players through the serving and receiving positions.
This drill allows players to practice their serve-receive skills in a controlled setting and prepares them for real-game scenarios.

Pressure Passing Drill:

The pressure passing drill is designed to simulate game pressure and increase players’ ability to pass accurately in challenging situations. Here’s how to conduct the drill:

Sr NoDescription
1Create a game-like problem, such as a tied game with the last point determining the winner.
2Players take turns passing the ball under the pressure of the case.
3The coach or teammates can create distractions or additional pressure to simulate real-game conditions.
This drill helps players improve their focus, composure, and ability to pass accurately when the game is on the line.
Volleyball Passing Drills

Importance of Consistent Passing

Consistency in passing is paramount in volleyball. Moreover, a team with consistent and accurate passers has a significant advantage over its opponents. Now, let’s delve into the key reasons why consistent passing is crucial:

  1. Setting Up the Attack: Consistent passes allow the setter to deliver precise sets to the attackers. This results in forceful, well-timed attacks that pressure the other team.
  2. Control of the Game: A team with strong passers can control the game’s pace. They can effectively manage serve-receive situations, making it challenging for the opponents to break their rhythm.
  3. Minimizing Errors: Accurate passes reduce errors and prevent free balls or easy points for the opposing team. It forces the opponent to earn their points through their plays.
  4. Teamwork and Communication: Consistent passing fosters better teamwork and communication. Passers develop a strong understanding of their teammates’ preferences and can adapt to various game situations.
  5. Pressure on the Opponent: Effective passing applies pressure on the opposing team. It requires them to be on their toes defensively and respond to well-executed plays.


How do you pass more accurately in volleyball?

To pass more accurately in volleyball, focus on maintaining a proper platform by clasping your hands together, bending your knees, and angling your arms forward. Additionally, keep your eye on the ball, stay balanced, and practice consistent and controlled movements to enhance passing accuracy.

What is the 2 person volleyball defense drill?

In this two-person exercise, volleyball players practice defensive strategies, emphasizing passing and digging to enhance teamwork and reaction. Additionally, it places a strong emphasis on team communication and individual skill development, fostering a more unified defensive approach.

What is a waterfall in volleyball?

A waterfall in volleyball refers to a series of consecutive and rapid spikes executed by multiple players from the same team. This strategic offensive maneuver aims to overwhelm the opposing team’s defense and create scoring opportunities.

How can I be a good passer?

Maintaining a low stance, precise hand positioning, and alertness are key to volleyball passing. To become a reliable volleyball passer, practice, reflexes, and court awareness are essential.


Volleyball passing is the backbone of successful plays on the court. By mastering the art of passing, you become a valuable asset to your team, contributing to its offensive prowess and overall success.

As a coach, instilling passing fundamentals and incorporating passing drills into your training sessions is essential for developing well-rounded players.

Remember that consistent practice, dedication, and a focus on precision are the keys to becoming an adept passer. Whether you’re aiming to improve your skills or elevate your team’s performance, passing drills are the pathway to success in the world of volleyball.

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