Take part in the 10-day sitting volleyball skill challenge
5th May 2020
Richard Osborne, Head Coach of the UK’s Invictus Games Sitting Volleyball Team, has created a series of home volleyball challenges to keep athletes practising during the lockdown.
The drills require little more than a volleyball, some tape and a bucket and have been designed to test specific sitting volleyball skills.
With the help of his son Ben, who is a member of England Men’s U19 squad, Richard has recorded videos to guide players through each of the 10 challenges.
Athletes from the UK’s Invictus Games squad and Richard’s own club, South Hants SVC, have taken part in the challenges but the videos have also reached further afield having been watched thousands of times on social media.
Richard said: “I wanted to keep my players engaged during lockdown and for them to maintain ball contact.
“At the time I created these videos I was sick with suspected coronavirus, but I felt it important to try to alleviate the boredom for both my team at South Hants and the UK’s Invictus Games Sitting Volleyball Team that I am coaching.”
If you want to give it a try, click below on the title of each challenge to watch a short video explainer. Make sure you clear a big enough space and, of course, move any objects that could get broken! If you do not have enough space indoors, these challenges can be attempted outside too.
Day 1 – ‘X’ marks the spot: Use some tape to mark an ‘X’ on the wall and then see how many out of 20 volleys you can get to hit that spot. Record your highest score from 3 attempts. This drill really helps to develop your high pass.
Day 2 – Up, down and round: Time yourself to see how quickly you can volley the ball while moving to lie down before sitting back up to spin around 360 degrees – 3 times. If that description is not clear enough, the video will show you exactly how it is done. Ball control is the focus of this drill, which doubles up as a core workout.
Day 3 – Bumping the ball: Using your forearms, try bumping the ball as many times as you can without dropping it. Once more, record your highest score of 3 attempts. If you find this too easy, Richard recommends that you try to bump the ball higher or move around at the same time.
Day 4 – Dig low, dig high. Volley low, volley high: Exactly what the title says. Follow the pattern of a low and high dig with a low and high volley and see how many repetitions you can complete. Good balance is essential for this skill challenge.
Day 5 – ‘X’ marks the spot – part 2: This challenge uses the same setup as day 1 but instead of volleying the ball, this time you must dig the ball. Do not forget to note down how many times you can hit the ‘X’ from 20 digs. Record your highest score from 3 attempts.
Day 6 – Serve practise: Sitting close to the wall, throw the ball up in front of your hitting arm and trap the ball against the wall, making sure your arm is fully extended. This challenge is good for practising serves and hits but is a little tricky to fully understand without first watching the explainer.
Day 7 – Volley. Dig. Volley. Repeat: Volley against a mark on the wall and, as the ball drops, dig it up to yourself ready to volley against the wall again. Repeat this sequence to see how long you can control the ball for.
Day 8 - Wall ball: See how many times you can bounce the ball against the wall in 60 seconds in this hitting drill. Ensure you have enough space between yourself and the wall and that you are fully extending your arm. Also, make sure your wrist is floppy, so it wraps over the top of the ball.
Day 9 – Quick reset: This drill requires a family member or friend to help feed the ball in between movements. The player starts on their back and, when prompted, comes up to volley the ball. They then switch onto their front and prepare for the prompt to sit up and dig the ball. This drill is all about resetting and being ready for the next action. Repeat to complete 10 of each.
Day 10 – Basket ball: Last but not least, for the final challenge you must sit at least 3 metres away from a basket, volley the ball into the air, set yourself and then pass the ball into the basket on the 3rd touch.
Best of luck!