Tip by Shelley Jones, Commerce, Texas.
Game: Smorgasbord This is a game we play with Middle School age through the Varsity level. The girls love it, and it forces them to work on different scoring techniques, while defense has to be prepared for anything. You can change the difficulty of the game by setting different goals or "tasks" for the teams to complete to win the game.
Two teams compete, each must complete the different tasks set up by the coach. It's a Smorgasbord of skills. For instance: with the varsity I will set 2 even teams of 5 or 6. Let's say they have to score 3x with a down line attack, 3x with a cross court attack, 3x with a quick attack, and 3x with a tip. (You can change the tasks to whatever you feel your team needs to work on!) Rotate and serve as a normal game. If there is a block that results in a point, that team can count that towards one of their needed tasks.
If the team that is serving has an Ace, they may remove a task as well. The first team to complete all of their tasks wins! You will want a coach or manager to keep track of the tasks. I keep the tally on a note pad so that only the teams know what they have left to complete. This keeps both teams sharp and paying attention to hitter's shoulders and hands if they don't know what the other team has left to do.
We play this game at least once a week. It is great after scouting an opponent. Setting your tasks to simulate what your opponent does well will prepare your defense! If you have been working on quicks or slides, add them to the tasks to give your players confidence during a game! Everyone gets better with this drill!