EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

On the volley

The technique for passing and shooting when the ball is off the ground is not easy for players to learn. Help your team acquire these skills with this session.

What this session is about

  1. Passing.
  2. Shooting.
  3. Clearances.
  4. Directing the ball straight ahead.

What to think about

Tell your players to:

  • Keep their heads steady and eyes on the ball.
  • Use their arms for balance.
  • Plant the non-kicking foot and, leading with the knee, bring the kicking leg through.
  • Make sure their leg is slightly bent, with the ankle locked.
  • Use the instep to kick.
  • Hit through the vertical mid-line of the ball for accuracy.
  • Follow through with the leg after impact.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Split squad into pairs and use one ball between them. Players stand three yards apart facing each other with one as the server. The server throws the ball gently underarm for his partner to volley back up into the server’s hands. Repeat 10 times with each foot before the players switch roles.

To progress, the player volleying jogs slowly towards the server, forcing him to jog backwards to maintain the three-yard gap while repeating the drill, but this time volleying with alternate feet as they move. Players switch roles after 10 volleys.

Working in pairs, a server throws the ball up underarm for his partner to volley back.

Working in pairs, a server throws the ball up underarm for his partner to volley back.


Development

Mark out a “tennis court” with a halfway line and assign a team of four players to each half.

To begin, one player volleys the ball from behind their own back line into the opponent’s half of the court.

The other team has a maximum of two bounces and three touches to receive the ball and return it. However, the ball doesn’t have to bounce and the ball can be played back after one touch.

If the ball does touch the ground three times, is knocked out of the court or is touched more than three times, a point is awarded to the serving team. Keep score as you would in tennis.

Two teams play “tennis”, in which they use volleys to put the ball into the opponent’s side of the court.

Two teams play “tennis”, in which they use volleys to put the ball into the opponent’s side of the court.


Game situation

Play 4v4 in an area with a goal at each end, as shown in the bottom picture. There are no designated goalkeepers but each player can use his hands to prevent goals.

Teams work to keep possession of the ball by serving it to themselves to volley for a team mate to catch (or even volley again first time, or control and volley, if they feel up to it!), and each player must take no more than four steps before releasing the ball.

The opposition can win the ball by catching volleyed passes or when the team in possession drops the ball or knocks it out of play, or by intercepting the ball with their own volley.

Goals can only be scored by players volleying a ball on the full that a team mate has thrown or volleyed to them. If the ball goes out of play, the team gaining possession simply starts with a serve to volley from that position.

For safety reasons players should only attempt to catch balls at around thigh height and above.

Two teams serve and volley their way up the pitch and try to score with a volley.

Two teams serve and volley their way up the pitch and try to score with a volley.


What to call out

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