Volleyball Drills: 3-Man Defense (lead by a high school volleyball player)
It looks like a lot to read, so watch the video first and use the instructions below as a reference when you try this drill with your team.
3 players start at left front. Each must pass a run-through to start the drill (that is a very short tip directly back up to the coach). After the pass, she'll go to her respective position. Player 1 to right back. Player 2 to middle back. Player 3 to left back.
Let the drill begin! The coach will strategically place the ball in spots on the court. (hopefully the coach has some mad skills or this could get ugly pretty quickly)
Rule 1 "CIRCLE": If he tips the ball in front of the 10-ft line on the wings (that is, left front and right front), the players "circle" in the direction of the dig. For example, He tips to left front. She takes a step toward the net. She must run through that dig all the way to right front, while yelling "CIRCLE!" so the other players know to follow in that direction. (Eg. Middle back player is now in left back. Right back player is now in Middle back.)
Rule 2 "SWITCH!": If the coach puts a ball in the middle of the court (the donut), Left back and right back must decide who will dig the ball. (Eg. They decide-by communication-that left back will dig it.) As she runs toward the ball yelling "SWITCH!", the right back digger must switch to cover left back's position.
Rule 3 "SWITCH!": If the coach sends a long shot to one of the deep corners, it's automatically middle back's ball. She will yell "SWITCH!" and run to the corner to take the dig. (Eg. If the ball travels to the left back corner, middle back will dig the ball and left back will cover her position. Middle back is now left back. Left back is now middle back.)
Rule 4 "STAY": This is an easy one. If the player digging the ball does not move, she yells "STAY" and everyone stays. On a hard-driven ball, everyone stays.
When the play has stopped or the coach stops the drill. The team must quickly exit the court, so a new team can start. Switch up the groups of 3 or run a competition for which group can stay on the court the longest.
NOTE: The player who passes the ball decides which rule applies and must communicate that to the other players. But the coach can overrule any decision. On my court, if I have to move to receive a dig, the drill is over. But, each coach can apply their own rules based on the players' skill level.
Yes. I know. It seems too complicated and everyone hates it the first time. But once the players get the hang of it, they love this drill. It's fun and challenging.