Beach Volleyball Defense Drill: 4 Steps to Paradise

DRILL NAME: Digging and Movement Drill – 4 Steps to Paradise

SKILL FOCUS: Defensive Footwork & Digging




STYLE: Repetition Based

DRILL EXPLANATION: Players 1,2, and 3 will all be on the South side of the net.  Player 1 is in the court facing the net. Players 2 and 3 are at each antenna facing endline’s diagonal corner.  

Player 1 is working on digging the ball in the cross court defense position looking at the diagonal hitter, and then completing a 4 step process to get to the next digging spot.  The steps should be crossover, step, plant, plant.

  1. Player 2 hits a ball at Player 1.
  2. Player 1 completes footwork to get to next position.
  3. Player 3 hits a ball at Player 1.
  4. Player 1 completes footwork to get to next position.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until defender digs 10 balls.
  6. Rotate Positions.
  7. Repeat Steps 1-5.


  • Get Stopped
  • Hands out in front
  • Dig higher that the antenna
  • 4 Steps to next position. (Crossover, Step, Plant, Plant)


While this drill can be considered a conditioning drill, it is important to practice the proper footwork! This is not a coach on 1, where the defender is just running around to get tired.  You need to concentrate on the correct footwork on every single movement. Movement>Conditioning.

These 4 steps should get you into a position where you DO NOT need to move in order to dig a hard driven ball.  You of course will need to react to the hit, but you should be completely stopped after your 4 steps. It is a common tendency to get “stopped” and then add in some small steps to get situated.  Try to eliminate these extra steps.

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