This defensive drill is a great way to get players involved and focused on their defensive transition footwork. Dan Westby, head coach at Marshall High School in Minnesota, calls this defensive drill “Breathe.”
To set up the drill, have 3 players on each side of the court and the rest of the team shagging. On each side, a coach stands at the net holding a ball. All 3 participating players must start by touching the ball. When the coach says "Go," the players transition off the net, get stopped and play defense with the objective of getting the ball back to the coach. The 3 players continue to be in the drill until they reach a certain number of good digs, or for any length of time that the coach sees fit.
The keys to this drill are:
1. Be stopped and balanced when you contact the ball.
2. When you're transitioning off the net, never turn your hips away from the net or the ball.
3. Before digging the ball, make sure your feet are behind you with your weight forward.
4. Keep your hands and arms high throughout the movement so you don't drop or swing your arms while you're playing the ball.