How to Get Faster Reflexes for Volleyball

How to Get Faster Reflexes for Volleyball

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In volleyball, the players with the fastest reflexes are often the most effective players.

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Volleyball is an extremely fast and exciting sport, requiring lightening-fast reflexes. If you play volleyball, you need to be able to jump, shuffle side-to-side and dive at a moment's notice. An airborne ball that is spiked can reach any part of the court in under a half a second. The speed and intensity of volleyball make it imperative for players to improve their reflexes. Proper training to increase your reaction speed can make you a more effective volleyball player.


Set up two cones, 10 to 12 feet apart. Stand inside of, and touch, the left cone. Step first with your left foot in front of your right leg and move toward the right cone. Follow this by moving your right leg to straighten your stance. Once you reach the right cone, touch it with your right hand, and continue back to the left cone, leading with your right leg in front. Have a partner time you to see how long it takes you to touch each cone five times. Record your time and try to beat it during your next workout. Perform four to eight repetitions, resting for one minute between each set of each exercise.


Get into an athletic position. Bend your knees, straighten your back and look straight ahead while standing just inside of the left cone. Instead of cross-stepping, shuffle your right foot out, followed by your left foot. Never cross your feet, and once you reach the right cone, touch it, and lead with your left foot back to the first cone. Have your partner time you for 10 touches.


Position your cones to make a square that measures roughly 20 feet on each side. Start at the bottom left cone. When your partner blows the whistle, stay on the outside of the cones and sprint 20 feet towards the cone in front of you. Once you reach the front left cone, side shuffle to the right. Once you reach the front right cone, back pedal to the back right cone and then shuffle to the bottom left cone. Go around the square four to eight times and record your time.


Get in your athletic position and ask your partner to blow the whistle and point in a random direction -- right, left, front or back. After three to five steps in that direction, your partner will blow the whistle again and specify another direction. You must follow the directions as quickly as possible for 30 seconds. Perform two sets of this exercise.


Use a reaction ball to gain faster reflexes. Reaction balls, which are made of rubber, range in sizes. They have nodes all around, forming an uneven surface. When you drop a reaction ball, due to its uneven surface, you cannot determine which direction the ball will travel.

Stand in an athletic stance and hold your reaction ball out in front of your body. Drop the ball and try to catch it quickly after it bounces off the ground. After practicing by yourself, have your partner toss the ball toward you, aiming to hit the ground a couple feet in front of you. Again, try to catch the ball as quickly as possible. Perform 20 repetitions during each workout.

Things Needed

  • Cones
  • Reaction ball
  • Stop watch
  • Whistle


  • Do not expect to see instant improvement in your reflexes. Researchers from Clemson University found that it takes about three weeks to see changes in your reaction time. The same research found that gains in reaction speed are solidified for up to three weeks. Given this information, do not go more than a couple weeks without practicing reflex drills during the off season.
  • According to Daniel Jahn, strength and conditioning coach of the Washington University volleyball team, consistency is the most important factor in reflex trainin. He recommends reflex training three days per week.


  • Always perform a dynamic warm-up before reflex training. High skipping, butt kicks and karaoke -- running side-to-side, alternating each foot on front -- are exercises used in dynamic warm-ups. Warm up for five to 10 minutes, or until you feel your body is ready for rigorous activity.