Tempo Drill

Need a way to teach tempo and work on multiple skills at once? This two touch tempo drill will help improve a variety of volleyball skills and help players better understand tempo.

In the clip below Marci Sanders, University of Texas-Dallas Head Coach, demonstrates her Two Touch Tempo Drill that helps players understand and recognize different tempos. In order to run specific plays, your players need to control the height of their passes. In this two touch tempo drill, your players will learn and develop an understanding of tempo while they’re gaining touches on the ball.

The drills begins 2v2 on a narrow court and is a cooperative tempo drill. The ball is entered and one player will pass to the other and the second player will send it over the net. Th coach will call out the types of skill and tempo for each of the two hits .  In this clip the coaches uses the following set of passes and tempos.  The drill can obviously be adjusted in many ways. You can call out a wide variety of skill and tempo combinations.

  1. First Touch – 4, Pass Over – 4
  2. First Touch – 4, Set Across – 3
  3. First touch – 4, Down Ball – 3
  4. First touch – 4, Jump and Tip 2
  5. First touch – 4, Jump Tip 2 to 20 feet
  6. First touch – 4, Jump and Roll 3

Clearly you can include a wide variety of combinations as you conduct this Tempo Drill. Simply alter this drill to match your philosophy and your teams needs. This drill will help players learn to identify and name each tempo as well as provide an opportunity to practice several different skills.

This two touch tempo drill is just one on many drills that Coach Sanders shares in her instructional DVD regarding Tempo. If you are looking for a way to take your players to the next level by speeding up (or slowing down) your play but don’t have any idea how to communicate that to your team, take a look at  Coach Sanders’ way of defining tempo and basic drills to teach the language of tempo to your players. For more information about her DVD, click the link Teaching Players How to Read and Understand Tempo


The YouTube video below has audio, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. Note some schools block access to YouTube,

Get drills and techniques for teaching players how to read and understand tempo for all volleyball skills

  • Teach your players how to control tempo by varying the height of ball on sets, passes, serves and more
  • Get a simple system for communicating your tempo scale
  • Learn creative ways to score games and drills to keep players engaged and the competition level high in your gym

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *