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Volleyball: Pinwheel Passing Drill

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Pinwheel passing is a group passing drill we picked up from a local high school coach during a camp. There is a movement theme and communication aspect as well.

In this drill, there are eight to twelve players set up in four mini-groups of two or three near the mid-lines of one side of a volleyball court. The first player in two of the lines that are next to each other has a ball and tosses across the court to the line opposite them. Each line aims to pass the ball back to the line from which the ball originated using a forearm or overhead pass.

Once a player passes, they rotate either to the left or the right, joining a new line. I always tell players that the initial toss is exempt from a rotate, that we only rotate after a pass is made.

See the video below for a demonstration, with a restart set up at the fifty second mark.

Once the team has the basic rotation down, we start to add a communication aspect to the drill where we throw out different categories and have them name something from that category before making the pass. This gets them thinking about talking and makes it a little more entertaining.

Some different theme options we use include: cereals, singers, movies, cars, colors, school subjects, states. But you can get a little more creative with your themes if needed.

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We often play for time, with counting the group who gets the most consecutive contacts. It's just a good way to work on teamwork, ball control, and communication. Enjoy!

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