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Ball control, we admit, can be on the boring side when it comes to beach volleyball drills. It isn't going to draw the attention of a big swing or bounce, doesn't lead to any direct kills, and won't be found anywhere on social media. But it's the foundation upon which a beach volleyball player's success, and skill set, is built.
And, yes, there are fun ways to practice ball control in beach volleyball. It's why we invent little challenges like the one below. Enjoy, get better this week, and Make Ball Control Fun Again!
How to do the drill: The first element of the four quadrant drill is to, somewhat obviously, divide the court into four quadrants, turning the court into a mini obstacle course.
I placed the ball cart in the middle. For some people, this might be a little dangerous. For me, danger teaches a palpable lesson -- the ball cart doesn't hurt that bad, guys. You can also create a circle or another square in the middle so that people aren't just using the four corners of the middle of the court. Personally, I put the ball cart in the middle of the court, which forces players to move in bigger distances. You can design this drill how you like them.
First quadrant: The first part of the obstacle course we have is just one forearm pass in each quadrant. We have to have two feet in the box before the pass for it to count. You can't step on the lines, you can't have one foot remaining in the other quadrant, and you can't be jumping into a quadrant as you're passing the ball. It's one pass in each quadrant with two forearms -- simple, basic, but it's tougher, so test yourself with that first and then we'll move on to the next.
Second quadrant: Our second quadrant drill is going to be a pass and then set to the next quadrant. Pass to yourself, set into the next quadrant, two-arm forearm pass, hand set to the next quadrant. Once you've completed four quadrants, the drill is complete. Try it with two forearm passes in each quadrant. Once you've gotten two forearm passes in each quadrant with two feet in each box, then you have completed the drill.
Third quadrant: We're going to increase the number of touches we have in each box. Now we have three touches in each box, but we have a forearm pass, two-handed hand set and again a forearm pass. So, three touches in each box and you have to stay in order; pass-set-pass to the next quarter. Simple ball control; three touches in each quadrant, make sure your feet are in the correct spot.
We're going to start adding some emergency touches to our quadrant drill or obstacle course. The next one that we have is pass-tomahawk-pass to the next quadrant. It might look simple but give it a shot and see if you can go four for four.
Next, we're going to add some more ball control to our quadrant drill, so our first touch is going to maybe put us in trouble, and it's going to be any one-armed contact. As a coach or player, you can choose the contact that you’re weakest at. For some people it is going to be a one-arm forearm, for other people it's going to be a backhanded flipper, or maybe a pokey, but it has to be a one-armed contact for the first contact, then pass and set to the next quadrant. It might look easy but try it on your own, I promise it's difficult. One-arm then two-forearm pass and then a set.
Fourth quadrant: The last part of our quadrant drill is going to be your final exam and it involves almost every touch that we have: Two forearms-single forearm-single forearm-set-single pokey-single pokey-tomahawk to the next quadrant. Get all of those touches in all of the quadrants and you've completed the obstacle course. Good luck!
If you think you're getting a lot out of this video, go ahead and click the link below and I've got a full-on 19 video Serve Receive course waiting for you. I hope you enjoy the video, but if you want to dive a little bit deeper into instruction, go ahead and click the link.
Our Complete Serve Receive course starts at the bottom and takes you all the way to the top. Whether you are a true beginner, or you've been playing for decades, this course will offer you a chance to build and re-build your basics and take the next jump. Take the time to follow the course and do the drills. We guarantee you are going to Get Better at Beach!
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Included are diagrams and written explanations of the most important exercises that EVERY pro player does or has done at one point or another.
The five skill sections covered are:
Serve Receive & Passing
Ball Control And Emergency Technique