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Volleyball Strength & Conditioning: Speed, Agility and Explosiveness Drills

7 Strength & Conditioning Drills to Increase Speed, Agility and Explosiveness

Here at Alpha Athletics, we have years of experience working with volleyball sports performance training. Here are 7 volleyball strength and conditioning drills to improve speed, agility and explosiveness – helping them reach that next level performance.

Drill 1:  Lateral First Step Foot Work

Lateral first step drill to add speed and agility for volleyball playersIn volleyball, a quick, explosive first step can be the difference between making the play or not. This is a great drill to add speed and agility.

Using a resistance band, have your athlete stand in ready position with feet about shoulder width apart. Have them take a strong, quick lateral step to a designated spot roughly 12-18 inches away, and then return to starting position. Repeat 20x each side.

Drill 2:  Reaction Ball

Reaction ball drill to develop reaction and hand eye coordination for volleyball playersGaining the winning edge in sports is often a matter of mastering the basics: quick feet, rapid change of direction and sharp hand-eye coordination. The Reaction Ball drill is aimed at developing these basics with a fun challenge. The Reaction Ball is a specially designed ball that makes it randomly bounce in different directions.


Drill 3:  More Lateral First Step Quickness

Lateral first step quickness drills for volleyball playersHere’s another favorite using a resistance band. For this drill we place two rings about a foot away from the athlete on both sides. We place a small change plate (5 lbs should work) between the athlete and the ring. The athlete will be the ready position, and the coach will yell either right or left (or point in either direction). The athlete needs to react quickly, and explode laterally with their foot landing inside the ring, before returning to the original position.


Drill 4:  Power Band Broad Jumps

Power band broad jumps develops explosiveness for volleyball playersTake a regular light or average band and wrap it around a pole that’s waist height, or a partner’s waist. Placing the band around your own waist, assume an athletic position (chest out, knees slightly bent, feet hips width apart), throw your hands down as quickly as you can and leap forward. Be careful when you land, however, because the band will immediately pull back, so be sure to stick the landing.

Equally as important, you should still land in an athletic position as well. A good tip is to “land how you start.” So, if you start with chest high, knees slightly bent, shoulders back, etc. You should land with your chest high, knees bent, shoulders back.


Drill 5:  Circle Shuffles

Circle shuffle run drill for lateral quickness for volleyball playersPair your athletes up on opposite sides of the circle. At the call, have them both start shuffling right, quickly, but in a good, athletic position. At the call, have them switch directions. Continue having them change directions until time expires.


Drill 6:  5-10-5 Shuttle Competition

5-10-5 shuttle run competitionThe 5-10-5 is a preferred method to test an athlete’s quickness. Three cones are lined up 5 yards apart. Start at the middle cone.

Start by having your athlete’s straddling the line, facing each other. At the whistle, they should explode laterally, running 5 yards either to the right or the left (depending on which direction they are facing), and touch the line with their hand. They then reverse direction and sprint 10 yards to the far line, touching it with their hand, and sprint back to the middle.


Drill 7:  Carioca Circle Runs

Carioca Circle runsPosition two players at opposite ends of the circle. At the whistle, have them start running the Carioca right. At random times, yell SWITCH, and they should react quickly, changing directions. Be sure they are practicing good form with quick feet.

As always, we encourage your feedback and questions are always welcome. If you’d like to get in touch with us, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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