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Name of Activity:

Upside-down Dribbling!

Purpose of Activity:

To practice the overhead volley, using the proper cues.

Activity cues:

  • Fingerpads -- like upside-down dribbling
  • Use two arms
  • High level!

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

One balloon, beach ball or other soft, light, medium-sized ball for each student.

Description of Idea

Introduce the overhead volley by showing the motion of dribbling a basketball. Then, reverse the motion so you are "dribbling" overhead. Ask students if they know what activity this motion is used in -- yes, volleyball!

Remind students of the three hints to overhead volley really well: 1) just as one uses the fingerpads to dribble, you also use the fingerpads to volley; 2) your hands push up to a high level, all the way over your head; and 3) you should use both, not just one, hand.

Instruct students that when you give the signal, they should take a balloon (or an appropriate type ball) to their self space while practicing keeping the ball up in their self space using the overhead volley. While students are practicing, observe and offer feedback based on the three cues. After students are consistently using the three cues to volley in their space, have them overhead volley while moving through general space. It is best to have them walk for this.

Toward the end of the activity (which may take the entire period), have students put one balloon or ball away and get a partner. Explain they and their partner will use the overhead volley to keep the balloon (or beach ball, balzac ball, etc.) up in the air. They should count

Submitted by Christine Hopple who teaches at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 9/22/2001.
Viewed 152184 times since 8/24/2001.

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Upside-down Dribbling!

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Previous Comments:


I love this lesson. Great idea to connect the overhead volley to another skill they are already familiar with (ie. basketball dribbling). I can't wait to try this with my students.


Love this idea! The concept should be much easier to understand this way if they've already been taught basketball dribbling. Thanks! :)


Great activity for first graders. This will help their concentration to hit the ball UP in the air.

Thank you.

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