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Practice Plan Guidelines


The Timberwolves would like to have all competitive age teams have similar structure so we have consistency in delivery and skill level of the girls as they progress through each age group. The following is designed to be used as a guideline in keeping with Volleyball Canada’s approach. After ensuring safety of the playing environment (court free of debris, nets set up properly with padding, proper lighting, bags away from playing area etc) there are four parts to a practice.


Part 1- Welcome

Each practice should start with a welcome (some like to read a quote) and a brief review of practice and what skill(s) is being worked on.

Part 2- Active Warm-up- 2 parts

Stage 1 (to be done together and in synch with each other- get players to be aware of what’s happening around them by having to keep up or slow down based on where the group is)


Dynamic Stretching (examples only)- 5 to 10 min

  1. Jog quickly Forward

  2. Jog quickly Backwards

  3. Jog forward with big arm circles forward

  4. Jog backward with big arm circles going backward

  5. Knee Hug Lunge start with right

  6. Lunge with twist both ways (no hug)- start in same direction of leg in front

  7. High Knees- big runners arms from shoulders, flex foot

  8. Bum kicks

  9. Power skips with alternating arm swing- going for height (facing forward)

  10. Power skips with alternating arm swing- going for height (facing forward)

  11. Hip closures (facing forwards)- knee starts open to side above hip height and rotates to front of body.

  12. Hip Closures (facing forward)- starts with leg bent in front- knee at chest height then rotate to side

  13. Frankenstein kicks (kick straight leg as high as possible- arms out in front)

  14. Frankenstein kicks (kick straight leg as high as possible- arms out in front)

  15. Airplanes- Bending at waist- same arm touches toes of same foot- end with side arms

  16. Airplanes

  17. Shuffle right- defensive position

  18. Shuffle left- defensive position (stay facing the same direction)


Stage 2 (approx. 10 to 15 min)

Volleyball specific movement drill (with ball)

Please refer to our Drills Tab for examples such as Run Forest Run, 2 on 2 short court, Box Drill, Butterfly, Continuous, etc.  With such limited time for practice, it is recommended that movement, jumping, agility drills etc should be completed outside of practice time. VC recommends that warm-up include a volleyball specific drill to get athletes moving.


Part 3- Body of the Practice

VC recommends skills be taught as one movement rather than breaking down the skill. This is called the whole skill method vs the part skill method of old. With the whole skill method, skills are explained and demonstrated and then athletes are asked to perform the whole skill. Drills to start are basic and then build as the skill is learned and the athlete has more confidence. Drills become progressively more difficult (more cues added to the drill so the athlete must think about 1 to 3 things while performing the skill.) An example would be for passing. First drill may be for there to be tosses to the passer. Progression 2 is someone serving at the passer where the passer must move to the ball. Progression 3 is the server can serve anywhere so the passer has to read the server. Progression 4- adding another passer so a decision has to be made about who will pass. Etc. Adding in decision making to your drills should be a focus. VC also stresses that taking a player aside and asking them what they think is happening or what they think needs to be focused on in a skill helps with retention and ownership. Please contact Tara MacIntyre-Olesen for clarity.


It has been said that passing and serving are the two most important skills in volleyball. With this in mind, the Timberwolves practices should always contain both, even if they are not the focus of the practice.


The last drill of practice should always be a competitive drill- game like. Spend 20 min or longer and ensure that players are given a chance to compete- give a goal. Competition in practice improves competition in games (plus it’s a lot more exciting).


Part 4- Cool-Down 5- 10 min

All Timberwolves practices must end with a cool-down. There are many “post workout stretches” if you google them. Pick one that works for you. Some coaches like to have them printed off (like the lines in warm-up) and hand them to a player who is then responsible for leading. To be done together and in synch- they are a team after all! For younger groups, get them to count to 30 together then switch).

During cool-down (or after), Coach should review practice and what was learned. Review next gym times etc.

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