Simple skills like passing the ball are generally executed with success. However, sometimes in the heat of battle simple tasks become more difficult. In the video below Jeff Meeker, Cornell College Head Coach and Sports Psychology Professor, provides coaches with the tools they need to sharpen and toughen their team’s mental game while developing volleyball-specific skills. In this sample clip he shows a progression of drills to sharpen a player’s focus on the fundamental act of passing the ball.
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If you are interested in learning more about the DVD that this sample came from click the link Spikeology: Mental Toughness Drills for
The first drill is called 2 ball passing. In this drill, players pass one ball to and from each other will also rolling a second ball back and forth. This requires the players to stay focused on the ball their are passing so that it hits their platform and they are able to make a controlled pass to their partner. They must do this while being distracted by the ball that is rolling towards them. Also by being forced to get low to roll the ball back, the player is in a perfect low position to pass the next ball.
In the second drill Coach Meeker uses a ball that has 6 different numbers marked on 6 sides of the ball. Initially, players are asked to call out the last number they see before the ball strikes their platform. This obviously requires them to focus on the ball until it reaches them. He then progress to having the players call out the first number they see as the ball passes over the net and the last number before it strikes the platform. This gets their eyes on the ball early and their platform prepared earlier.
A third drill involves the use of a smaller or mini-volleyball. Requiring the players to practice passing a much smaller ball is very helpful in teaching the player to center their passes.
The sequence concludes with players passing live balls.