Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Hosting a Successful Beach Clinic

Are you a volleyball coach, sports educator, or sports camp coordinator looking to host a successful beach volleyball clinic? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with the resources and tips you need to organize a fun and engaging single-day clinic suitable for all ages, from kids to adults. Whether you have 2-4 hours to spare, we’ve got you covered!

Before You Arrive at the Clinic

Choosing the right location is crucial for a successful beach clinic. Look for a park or beach that has pre-existing nets and courts or enough space to set up your own net systems. Consider checking out websites like for sample outdoor volleyball net systems. Make sure you have an ample supply of outdoor volleyballs and provide water in large coolers, cups, and ice for your participants. It’s also a good idea to have a small first aid kit and, if needed, provide tents or shelters for longer clinics where natural shade is not available.

Setting Up the Courts and Equipment

The number of nets, courts, and balls you’ll need will depend on the number of players attending the clinic. A general rule of thumb is to have one court for every four players. You can create courts by running ropes long and anchoring them into the grass over large X’d two by fours. If lines are not available, you can use socks or drag your feet in the sand to mark boundaries. Remember, the standard court size for doubles is 8×8 meters.

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For the number of balls, provide one ball for every two players, and don’t forget to bring a hand pump for adjustments. Remind participants to bring their own water, sunscreen, towels, hats/visors/sunglasses, and, for longer clinics, umbrellas for shade. Having a trainer or someone with first aid knowledge on-site is highly recommended.

Introductions & Why We Are Here

Once everyone has arrived, kick off the clinic with introductions. Engage the participants by asking how many beach coaches they know and educate them about the popularity of indoor and outdoor volleyball. Let them know that the clinic aims to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to coach themselves and emphasize that making mistakes is part of the learning process.

Why Play Beach Volleyball?

Beach volleyball offers a unique environment for learning and improving every aspect of the game. Playing doubles provides random, game-like experiences and allows for more touches per person. The more your players interact with the ball, the better they will become. Many famous indoor players, like Karch Kiraly, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Chrissie Zartman, and Misty May Treanor, have honed their skills through beach volleyball early in their careers.

Basic Beach Volleyball Rules

While most rules remain the same as indoor volleyball, there are a few differences to note. These include restrictions on open hand tips but allowing strikes with fingers, setting over the net perpendicularly to the player’s shoulder line, the freedom to go under the net as long as it doesn’t interfere with opponents, and more. Take a moment to discuss these differences with the players and encourage them to participate in the discussion.

Never Hit Where You Look

Developing the ability to hit where you’re not facing is a crucial skill in beach volleyball. Unlike indoor players who often hit where they are facing, beach players learn to be deceptive and aim for areas where the defense doesn’t expect. Encourage the players to practice hitting cross body and away from the body/wrist away. Additionally, hitting with the non-dominant hand is a great way to improve versatility. Dedicate time during warm-ups and play sessions for players to practice these skills.

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Picking Partners

A strategy used by many top beach teams is to have one taller player responsible for blocking and one shorter player responsible for backcourt defense. Encourage players to partner up based on their strengths and find a balance between blocking and defending capabilities. This approach ensures that teams are competitive and can complement each other’s skills.

Short-Court Games

Short-court games are an excellent way to practice bumping, setting, and rolling the ball over the net. Divide players into pairs, and have them face each other across the net. The objective is to bump and set to themselves and then roll shot the ball over the net to their partner. Encourage the use of Cobra and knuckle shots as variations. Keep track of consecutive crossings without hitting the ground, and gradually introduce hitting where players are not facing for added challenge. Remind players to enjoy the game and learn from their experiences without being overly coached.

Skill Sets and Strategy

Gather all the groups back to the main court for teaching and demonstrations. Focus on key aspects of the game such as serve receive, setting, attacking, blocking, and backcourt defense. Share tips and techniques specific to beach volleyball, like allowing slightly longer holds for sets and the advantages of forearm pass setting. Emphasize the importance of communication between partners, covering hitters after setting, and effective defensive strategies.

Playing Games

After teaching and practicing various skills, it’s time to let the players play! Allocate ample time for game sessions, allowing players to put their newly acquired skills into action. Create a rotation system where teams move from one court to another, ensuring everyone gets a chance to play against different opponents. Keep score using rally scoring, and if time permits, organize a championship game between the teams with the highest win totals.

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Q: How long should a beach volleyball clinic last?
A: The duration of the clinic can vary based on available time and participant preferences. However, a single-day clinic lasting 2-4 hours is a common timeframe.

Q: Can beginners participate in a beach volleyball clinic?
A: Absolutely! Beach volleyball clinics cater to participants of all skill levels, including beginners. The focus is on learning and improving through practice and guidance.

Q: Do players need to bring their own equipment?
A: It’s recommended for players to bring their own water, sunscreen, towels, and appropriate attire. However, organizers should provide the necessary nets, balls, and other equipment for the clinic.


Hosting a successful beach volleyball clinic requires careful planning and organization. By providing a safe and enjoyable environment, teaching essential skills and strategies, and fostering a love for the game, you can create a memorable experience for all participants. Remember, the goal is for players to develop their abilities, have fun, and embrace the unique challenges that beach volleyball offers. So, grab your sunscreen, gather your equipment, and get ready to hit the sand!