Beach Volleyball Defense Drills (For Back Court Domination)

Professional beach volleyball player defending the ball during a drill

If you're able to dig up a few extra balls on defense during every set, it can make the difference between you losing or winning the whole game.

That's why it's a great idea to practice this element of your game with beach volleyball specific drills! Here are 7 of the best -- from our own professional training, as well as our classes for beginner to advanced players.

Have fun using these, and consider getting the free drill book as well:

36 Beach Volleyball Drills In a PDF!

Get the free drill book with 36 hand-picked drills:

7 Defensive Drills for Your Next Beach Volleyball Practice

Work hard at improving your defensive skills using the following drills - and I promise that soon you'll be one of the most effective defenders at the beach.

1. 4 Steps to Paradise

This beginner-friendly drill has you defending balls from two different attackers. You'll be switching over to the other side of the court after each hit.

There's a conditioning aspect to this as well, because you'll be moving fast between contacts. You should be taking four steps to the other side -- hence the name "4 Steps to Paradise".

2. Double Juke Defense Drill

With at least three players in your practice squad, you can work on faking out the hitter and picking up an easy line shot.

The drill is beginner-friendly, but teaches a more advanced defensive move you can use to stump your next opponent.

3. Dig The Cutty

Many beach volleyball players struggle with reacting to a cut shot and getting there with proper, fast footwork.

This easy training exercise gives you many repetitions to really hammer in this part of your game. And -- you only need two players to do it!

4. Two-Person Serve & Defend

Another duo-drill to work on your defensive beach volleyball technique. This one is more game-like, because it combines defense practice with other touches.

It's less beginner-friendly, but great for upping the intensity and tying your digging moves into your overall game-play. You'll find it a pretty good cardio exercise as well.

Become The Ultimate Defender

Are you ready to dive even deeper into defense skills and athleticism?

This full-on video course inside our Better at Beach members' area has everything you need to reach the next level.

Build Elite Defense Skills

5. Defensive Footwork Drill

As a blocker in beach volleyball, you'll often find yourself peeling back from the net when the other team makes a less-than-perfect set.

It's important to learn and practice the correct footwork for doing that. With at least three players, you can use this multi-touch 'block & peel' drill to dial in your movement and technique.

6. Peeling Practice

This is another two+ player drill focused on backwards movement on defense (as well as smart in-game decision-making).

Especially at lower levels of beach volleyball play, retreating and playing 'down defense' is so so crucial. Trainings like this will make that second nature for you.

7. Dig, Set, Hit

If you have a bigger group, and you're ready to integrate defensive touches with setting and attacking, use what we show you in this video.

It has six players work in teams and alternating who hits, defends, and sets. This allows you to get into a nice flow and focus on perfecting your defensive, but also setting and offensive techniques.

Bonus Drill Videos

Video Poster Image
Video Poster Image

I hope you've enjoyed learning about these defensive drills, and that you'll put them to good use in your own training!

P.S.: If you're looking to have complete practices laid out for you, check out our Practice Planning Superpack:

36 Beach Volleyball Drills In a PDF!

Get the free drill book with 36 hand-picked drills: