Competitive control drill

Competitive control drill

Last Updated: September 1, 2021By


This is a good drill that combines control and shot making with game play.

Number of players: Minimum 4.

The scoring system for this drill is standard “king of the court”. I.e. one end of the court is designated as the Kings end. The teams that are not at this end, serve on the “King” team until they win a point, and then themselves become Kings, moving over to the king side of the court. First team to make 15 side outs from the King end wins.

This is how it works:

  1. The serving team (Team RED) serves normally
  2. The team that receives the ball (Team BLUE) must play a line shot – (No power hitting allowed)
  3. The blocker (Team RED) must block at the net, regardless of the quality of set – (This forces the defender to cover the whole court)
  4. Once the dig has been made by team RED, they must also play a line shot
  5. When Team BLUE receives the line shot, then the normal game play commences, i.e. anything is allowed from this point on
  6. The winning team takes the King side of the court and receives the next serve

What does this drill teach us?

  1. It encourages good control on the pass and set, and makes us concentrate on hitting a nice high line shot. The blocker knows it’s coming, so he or she is jumping high and late making it harder than normal.
  2. In each rally there is an opportunity for each team to practice a perfect transition play, from a line dig, again control being the focus.
  3. It creates a good opportunity to work on blocking shots, and getting the later timing just right.
  4. It makes you think about how to hit a winning line shot when the defender is onto it. We found that once the scores got closer, we started mixing up the line shots. Short, flat and deep, angled to the line from an inside set, etc. Sometimes playing it really short and a bit higher to force the blocker to make the dig, (If we thought he was more likely than his partner to miss the next shot)
  5. Lastly, it’s great preparation for match fitness, because just about every rally goes at least three times over the net.

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