Beach Volleyball Drill of the Week: Master all touches in minutes with one-on-one

Most of my friends and beach volleyball partners are currently in Cancun, competing in an unprecedented back-to-back FIVB tournament series that will be critical in the race to the Tokyo Olympic Games. With all of them gone, it’s been tough to find full training groups. It would have been easy to take a few weeks off. Wait until things settle down.


Rest is important, yes, but my international season begins again – it opened in Doha in February; Adam Roberts and I finished fifth – at the end of May, in Bulgaria. Now is not the time for rest. Now is the time for reps, reps, reps, getting better, improving. So I did not sit on my couch all week. Instead, I called Tim Brewster, one of my favorite training partners and a guy I took a fifth with in an FIVB in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the end of 2019.

For an hour, we went through some light reps, going over all the usual suspects: passing on both the right and the left, hitting line shots, hitting cut shots, swinging line, swinging angle.

Want to show your support and help us make more content? Buy a cool beach volleyball

Women's Boyfriend Tee Home Court 2-inch Adjustable 8-Meter
Sand Court Line

For the last hour, we did the beach volleyball drill on which I am about to elaborate: We played one-on-one.

One of the main reasons the Drills of the Week I post about have been focused on practices with smaller numbers – one person, two people, three people – is because it’s tough to get four people together for two hours. Most adults have jobs, kids, responsibilities to attend to. Playing beach volleyball for two hours does not take care of those responsibilities.

But you can almost always find one other person.

You can always play one-on-one.

The drill is as simple as it sounds: You cut the court in half -- you can do this hamburger or hot dog style, and I recommend you do both -- and you play one-on-one. It’s completely normal volleyball: each play begins with a serve, each player gets three touches. You play to 21 points and switch every seven.

It is exhausting and thrilling, an absolute blast as you improve every single possible touch in the game. You must learn to serve on a fairly slim portion of the court. Your passes must be controlled enough so you can set yourself. Vision is imperative on offense, as the court is now tiny, and you have to know where the open spot is. You’ll learn to dig balls in the most unusual of fashions; anything that keeps the ball in the air and off the sand will do. You’ll poke, tomahawk, scoop, gator, hand-dig, even use your platform on occasion.

Most importantly: This drill teaches you to always, always, always keep the ball moving forward. If you keep your pass in front of you, you can keep your set in front of you. If you can keep your set in front of you, you can see the entire court, knowing where to hit the ball. If you know where to hit the ball, you score.

If you score, you win.

If you want to learn how to pass dimes, check out our Serve Receive Master Class, which will have you passing with consistency and accuracy in just a few weeks.

As you play, you’ll notice how critical it is to keep the ball moving forward. One pass behind your head and now you’re in desperation mode: Just keep the ball alive. You’ll be blind to what the defender is doing, and you won’t be able to get your set anywhere near the net for a smooth attack.

Of all the fancy ball control drills there are, this is my favorite. You get every kind of touch in the game. If you control the ball, you win. If you don’t, you lose. Simple as that.

Scale that out to a real match and what will you find? The team with the best ball control almost invariably wins.

So finetune your ball control. Can’t find a group of four? No problem. Actually, it’s kind of awesome.

Go play some one-on-one.

Previous Beach Volleyball Drills of the Week

Serve tough and win

Perfect your shots with the trash can drill

Master the art of setting

Approach on time, every time

Pass better than you ever have in 10 minutes

Get to EVERYTHING -- even trickle serves!


Join our email list and Get your FREE Drill Book >

If you want to set perfect every time and become a digging machine, keep reading. We are going to help you set with more accuracy, more consistency and more confidence! Not just get the positioning and the mechanics to control the first touch against any server, in any weather but you'll also master all of the defensive positioning, mechanics, reading and tactics for defenders!

We take you through the basics and then work all the way up to eyework and advanced mechanics so you pass every ball right where it needs to go! We'll also show you when to use different defensive play calls to beat certain types of players. You’re going to learn how to flat-out SHUT ATTACKERS DOWN! All you have to do is sign up for our Beach Volleyball Mastery.

Once inside the membership, you’ll be able to unlock “Pass with Consistency and Confidence: The Serve Receive Master Class” which will build your footwork and passing platform from the ground up. It comes complete with footwork drills, solo drills, partner exercises and passing charts so you can measure your progress!

Have access to the “Ultimate Defender: Skills, Drills and Strategies for Defenders” as well along with 8 more skill courses AND our 60 Day At-Home Max Vertical Jump Training Program.

Once you sign up, you'll be able to watch the in-depth tutorials, film your “before” videos, start and film your at-home drills and begin posting to our Private Facebook Group. Then, our coaches will break down your mechanics and positioning at our weekly online meetings. Yes, that means we look at YOUR videos and we coach YOU!

Facebook Group CTA VolleyChat! Get Better at Beach Volleyball for posts about common questions/ problems >


Join our email list today and we'll send you a FREE BEACH VOLLEYBALL DRILL BOOK!!!

Also receive new drills, tutorials, tips, special discounts and updates from our team. Your information will not be shared.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.