adidas / July 2022
6 Minute Read

6 Volleyball Agility Drills To Improve Speed

In the game of rapid digs, sets, and hits, responsive speed and agility is a must. Join pro athlete Kelsey Robinson in six agility and speed drills for volleyball.

Why is speed and agility important in volleyball?

Speed and agility drills for volleyball lay the foundation for the team to stand on. Volleyball moves fast—teammates use their positions to move in an almost choreographed pattern to dig, set, and hit the ball across the net, and being fast and agile is crucial to the team’s success.   

For pro athlete Kelsey Robinson, that team element is her favorite aspect of the game. “It's one of the only sports where you're so reliant on every single person,” said Robinson. “You can't set without a good pass. You can't attack without a good set. It takes developing that relationship with every single person on the court. And I just think it's so beautiful when it's all put together in unison.”
Robinson plays professional volleyball as an outside hitter for the U.S. as well as internationally. With multiple championship wins under her belt, she’s at the top of her game. Her explosive jumps and aggressive attacks come from hours of training speed drills for volleyball to remain quick and responsive in the fast-moving sport. Watch as she takes us through six speed and agility drills for volleyball and add them to your training to feel an improvement on the court. 


“In volleyball, there are so many different movements. There's lateral, there's diving forward, jumping to attack, jumping to block, and your body is constantly moving in different ways. The point of training speed and agility for volleyball is to be as efficient and explosive as you can be in those movements. The more you train it, the more your body adapts to what it needs to be doing on the court.” — Kelsey Robinson 


Equipment: Agility ladder
  1. Facing the side of the ladder, scissor-step each foot in and out of every box while you move laterally. 
  2. Move quickly and stay on the balls of your feet to remain agile. 
Focus: Lateral scissor steps increase lateral quickness and footwork. 


Equipment: Four cones 
  1. Arrange the cones in a large “T” shape. 
  2. Starting from the bottom of the T, sprint to the middle cone. Side shuffle to the left cone, all the way to the right, then back to center. 
  3. Backpedal to the bottom cone. 
  4. Stay low and fast as you move between the cones.
Focus: The T cone drill works your change of direction and lateral quickness. 


Equipment: One 12” to 20” box 
  1. Stand on the box with your toes in line with the edge.
  2. Step off the box, landing on both feet in a squat, then immediately jump vertically, landing in a squat to absorb the impact.
  3. Step back onto the box and repeat.
Focus: Box jumps train explosive jumping and landing mechanics, an essential skill in volleyball. 


Equipment: Six low hurdles or cones
  1. Set up six low hurdles in two rows of three, with about 5 yards of space between the rows.
  2. Start on one side of the hurdles, quickly step over them laterally, and at the end of the row, jump vertically.
  3. Sprint to the next row of hurdles and step over them laterally in the opposite direction, jumping at the end.
  4. Move quickly and pick your feet up. Treat each loop as its own rep initially, but as you get more advanced continue the loops a few times to boost your endurance.
Focus: Lateral hurdle hops are a volleyball agility drill for agile footwork and speed. 


Equipment: Five cones
  1. Set up four cones on each corner of the court, with one in the center.
  2. Starting at the center cone, move to one of the outside cones and back to center. Keep your body positioned toward the net, and either sprint, shuffle or backpedal to get to the cones.
  3. Continue this motion until you’ve hit each cone at least twice.
Focus: The court speed drill is a great volleyball speed drill for practicing fast change of direction and focusing on positioning toward the net.


Equipment: A volleyball net
  1. Facing the net or a wall, start in an athletic position and jump vertically, landing in a squat.
  2. Immediately shuffle to the left and back to center, jump again, then shuffle to the right and back to center.
  3. Repeat this motion, jumping at the center each time.
Focus: Block jump to lateral shuffle is a classic volleyball agility drill that trains explosive jumps and quick lateral movement. 


Having played volleyball competitively her whole life, Robinson’s passion for photography brings balance to her identity. Her social channels are a visual diary of her life of traveling and playing pro volleyball, savoring each moment through a camera lens. “I love film photography because you only have one shot, and you have to navigate the lighting and the scene that you're capturing. Film slows me down and really allows me to be present in what I'm seeing and what I think is beautiful. And that's just translated into the rest of my life,” said Robinson.
Slowing down and focusing on the beauty in life is a reminder we can all use in a world filled with competition. “In the world of sports, it's so natural to compare yourself, whether that's to somebody's success or to somebody else's abilities. And it's easy to get lost in the comparisons. But what I try to tell myself is that what makes me unique is me, and what I give, no one else can in the way that I do it,” said Robinson.
Wherever you are on your volleyball journey, Robinson encourages everyone to make the most of their circumstances, because that’s where the best moments are made. “Maybe you're not in the role that you want to be in, but finding purpose in the role that you have is super powerful. Whether you are a starter or a bench player—or you didn't even make the roster, but you're part of the program—finding your purpose and your way of serving others and giving is so powerful. And I think you'll find that it fills you up in ways that maybe what you had wanted wouldn't.”
In addition to practicing volleyball speed drills, check out our editorials on strength conditioning and jump serve techniques for volleyball on the adidas blog.
adidas / July 2022
6 Minute Read