What Is Butterfly Drill: Significance, Benefits, Tips

A volleyball “butterfly drill” improves passing and communication. It’s a basic but efficient drill in which players form a butterfly-wing design. This drill usually involves a formation of players.

Two players face each other in the center of the court, while others create a queue on each side of the net. These diagonal lines curve back towards the net, mimicking butterfly wings from above.

Butterfly Drill

Butterfly drills involve passing the ball between the two center players. Additionally, the sideline players must pass the ball to the center players properly and communicate effectively. In turn, the central players return the ball to the sides.

This replicates a game where quick, accurate, controlled passes are crucial. Additionally, players improve passing accuracy, body alignment, and collaboration with the butterfly drill.

Moreover, players must shout for the ball and coordinate their moves, fostering effective communication.

This drill improves volleyball fundamentals and teamwork.

Volleyball Passing with the Butterfly Drill

Volleyball is a dynamic team sport that demands a combination of skills, and passing is one of the fundamental skills that can make or break a game. Accurate and efficient passing is vital for successful attacks and maintaining control during rallies.

One effective drill that helps players hone their passing skills is the Butterfly Drill. In this article, we will discover the information which is as follows:

Volleyball Passing with the Butterfly Drill

Significance of Passing in Volleyball

Passing, also known as “bumping” in volleyball, is a fundamental skill that underpins the sport. It involves receiving and accurately delivering the ball to a teammate, typically the setter, to set up an attack.

Good passing ensures the setter can execute precise sets, leading to powerful and well-timed hits.

Effective passing is essential for several key reasons:

Key ReasonsDescription
Serve ReceivePassing is crucial during the serve-receive phase, where players need to control the opponent’s serve and initiate their offense.
DefensePasses are often the first touch in a defensive play, allowing teams to swiftly transition from defense to offense.
ControlAccurate passes provide control over the game’s tempo and momentum, enabling the team to run its offensive plays efficiently.
Minimizing ErrorsGood passes reduce errors, prevent free balls, and force the opposing team to earn points through their plays.
TeamworkPassing encourages collaboration and communication. Passers develop an understanding of their teammates’ preferences and can adapt to various game situations.
Pressure on the OpponentEffective passing applies pressure on the opposing team by forcing them to react to well-executed plays.
With passing’s central role in the game, players and coaches must focus on developing this skill. One effective way is by incorporating passing drills like the Butterfly Drill into training.
Effective passing is essential for several key reasons

Understanding the Butterfly Drill

The drill is a passing drill designed to improve a player’s ability to control and accurately pass the ball to the setter or designated target. Additionally, it emphasizes court coverage, quick reaction, and effective communication among players.

The involves a group of players positioned in the shape of a butterfly or a ‘W’ on the court, hence the name.

The primary objectives are:

  • To enhance players court awareness and positioning.
  • To develop quick reaction times for receiving unexpected passes.
  • To encourage efficient communication between players.
  • To practice accurate passing under game-like conditions.

This drill can be adapted for players of all skill levels, making it an excellent addition to any volleyball training regimen.

How to Execute the Butterfly Drill

To execute this drill, you’ll need a court, a team of players, and a coach or designated leader. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up and run the drill:

1st Step: Formation

  1. Divide your players into two teams. One team will be on the serving side, while the other will be on the receiving side.
  2. The receiving side forms a ‘W’ or butterfly shape on the side of the court. To create this shape, position three players in the back row and two in the front row. The back row players should stand staggered with one player in the center.
  3. The serving side lines up behind the serving line on their side of the court.

2nd Step: Serving

  1. The serving team initiates the drill by serving the ball to the receiving team.
  2. The goal for the serving team is to serve the ball accurately to any of the five players on the receiving team, mimicking a game situation where serves are aimed at various positions on the court.

3rd Step: Receiving

  1. The receiving team’s objective is to pass the served ball accurately to the target player, usually the setter in the center.
  2. Players on the receiving side must communicate effectively to determine who will pass the ball. They should also focus on their court positioning and maintain readiness to react to the serve.
  3. The passer’s aim is to deliver a clean pass to the setter.

4th Step: Setting

  1. The designated setter on the receiving team takes the pass and sets the ball to a target player for an attack.
  2. After setting, the setter joins the back row, and the passer moves to the front row.

5th Step: Rotation

  1. The drill continues with the serving side rotating to the receiving side and vice versa.
  2. Each player gets the opportunity to serve, receive, pass, and set, ensuring that all team members participate actively.

6th Step: Repetition

  1. The drill is typically conducted in a series of repetitions, with players taking turns serving, receiving, and transitioning through the various positions.

7th Step: Feedback and Analysis

  1. Coaches or team leaders should provide feedback and guidance to players as they execute the drill. Focus on the quality of passes, communication, and positioning.
  2. Encourage players to be alert, call for the ball, and maintain proper court coverage.
How to Execute the Butterfly Drill

Benefits of Incorporating the Butterfly Drill

The Butterfly Drill offers several benefits to players and teams:

Court AwarenessPlayers learn to read the game and position themselves effectively on the court, ensuring they’re ready to receive serves and passes.
Quick Reaction TimesThe drill sharpens players’ reflexes as they must react to serves and passes in real time, preparing them for fast-paced game situations.
Communication SkillsEffective communication is essential in volleyball, and this drill encourages players to communicate clearly and efficiently.
Accurate PassingPlayers develop the ability to pass accurately and deliver clean passes to the setter or target, setting up successful plays.
TeamworkThe drill fosters collaboration and encourages players to work together to achieve a common goal.
Game-Like ConditionsThis drill simulates game-like conditions, ensuring players practice under pressure and develop skills directly applicable to matches.
Benefits of Butterfly Drill

Tips for Success in the Butterfly Drill

To make the most, consider these tips:

Effective CommunicationEncourage players to communicate loudly and clearly. Call for the ball and signal your intentions to avoid confusion.
Court AwarenessRemind players to maintain proper court coverage and know their positioning.
Quick TransitionEmphasize the importance of transitioning quickly between positions. Additionally, smooth transitions ensure that players are always ready to make their next move.
Focus on Quality PassesEmphasize the significance of delivering accurate and clean passes. Furthermore, quality passes set the stage for successful plays.
Rotate PositionsEnsure that all players have the opportunity to experience different positions within the drill, including serving, receiving, passing, and setting.
Tips for butterfly Drills

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Coaches and players should be aware of mistakes that make things less valuable:

Common MistakesImpact On Butterfly Drill
Lack of CommunicationIneffective or silent communication can lead to confusion and missed passes.
Poor Court PositioningFailing to maintain the ‘W’ or butterfly formation can disrupt the drill’s flow.
Slow TransitionsDelayed transitions between positions can lead to players being out of position during the drill.
Inaccurate PassesOff-target or mishandled Passes can disrupt the drill flow and impede its purpose.
Lack of FocusPlayers must stay alert and focused throughout the drill to react quickly to incoming serves and passes.


What is mirror drill in volleyball?

In volleyball, a mirror drill is a way to train where players copy and mirror the movements of a partner. The goal is to improve coordination, positioning, and teamwork so that players can move more smoothly together on the court.

What does drill mean in volleyball?

In volleyball, a “drill” is an organized, repeated practice session that is meant to help players get better at certain skills, work together better, or just do better overall. These drills help volleyball players get better at their skills, understand strategy, and work together better.

What is middle blocker in volleyball?

In volleyball, a middle blocker is a player who stands near the net and blocks the other team’s charges in the middle of the court. They are very important for both defense and stopping the other team’s offence.

Why can’t I spike a volleyball?

Not being able to spike a volleyball could be because of bad technique, not having enough strength, or bad time. Getting better at spiking can be helped by practicing and getting help with these skills.


Passing is a foundational skill in volleyball that can dictate a team’s success. Additionally, the Butterfly Drill is an invaluable tool for developing and honing passing skills.

By incorporating this drill into your training regimen, you can enhance court awareness, communication, and the ability to pass accurately in a dynamic, game-like setting.

Remember that consistent practice, effective communication, and an unwavering focus on precision are the keys to becoming a proficient passer.

Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to refine your skills or a coach aiming to elevate your team’s passing game, this is a valuable resource on your journey to volleyball mastery.

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