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ESL Lesson Plan: Volleyball Positions

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

2 Short Stories are included:

Warm-up Questions:

  1. Have you ever played volleyball or watched a volleyball game? What do you know about it?

  2. Can you name any positions in volleyball? What do you think each position's role is?


  1. Spiker - Someone who hits the ball over the net offensively. Example 1: The spiker scored a crucial point with her powerful spike. Example 2: The team's tallest player is usually the main spiker.

  2. Setter - The player who sets the ball for attackers to hit. Example 1: The setter's precise sets enabled the hitters to score. Example 2: The setter's role is crucial for a strong offensive strategy.

  3. Libero - A specialized defensive player who wears a different jersey color. Example 1: The libero's exceptional digging skills saved many points. Example 2: The coach often substitutes the libero for back-row rotations.

  4. Blocker - A player who attempts to stop the opponent's attacks at the net. Example 1: The blocker's well-timed jump disrupted the opponent's attack. Example 2: The team's tallest players are often used as blockers.

  5. Captain - The leader of the team, usually the most experienced player. Example 1: The captain motivated her team with a passionate speech. Example 2: The coach appointed Maria as the new team captain.

  6. Rotation - The movement of players in a clockwise manner during the game. Example 1: After the serve, the players must rotate to their next positions. Example 2: A successful rotation ensures each player gets to play all positions.

  7. Spike - A powerful downward hit over the net by a spiker. Example 1: Her spike was so forceful that it left the opponent stunned. Example 2: The spiker practiced her spikes to improve her accuracy.

  8. Dig - A defensive move to prevent the ball from hitting the ground. Example 1: The dig from the back row saved the team from losing a point. Example 2: The libero's exceptional digging skills impressed the coach.

  9. Serve - The action of starting a rally by hitting the ball from behind the baseline. Example 1: Her powerful serve made it difficult for the opponents to receive. Example 2: The team practiced serving accuracy before the match.

  10. Attack - An offensive action of hitting the ball to score a point. Example 1: The attacker's quick attack caught the opponents off guard. Example 2: Strong teamwork leads to effective attacks in volleyball.

A Short Story: A Team United


In the bustling town of Crestwood, a group of determined teenage girls gathered at the local community center each afternoon to pursue their passion: volleyball. Among them were Lily, the team's spiker, Mia, the setter, Emma, the libero, and Sarah, the team captain.

Lily, with her tall and athletic build, was the powerhouse of the team. She stood confidently at the net, ready to launch powerful spikes that left the opponents in awe. Her teammates affectionately called her "The Spike Queen." Lily's spikes weren't just about brute force; Mia's precise sets played a crucial role in making each spike effective.

Mia, the agile and strategic thinker, was responsible for setting up the plays. With each perfect set, she positioned the ball just right for Lily to unleash her thunderous spikes. But Mia's skills didn't stop there. During her rotations, she embraced the role of the server, skillfully placing the ball in difficult spots for the opposing team to receive.

Emma, the team's libero, was like a hawk on the court. Her sharp eyes and quick reflexes made her an exceptional digger. She dove and sprawled across the floor, saving countless balls from hitting the ground. Emma's uniform, a different color from the rest, marked her unique role as the defensive specialist. She ensured that even the toughest attacks from the opponents were kept at bay.

Sarah, the captain, was the glue that held the team together. She had an innate ability to read the game and understand her teammates' strengths and weaknesses. Sarah's enthusiastic cheers and motivational speeches boosted the team's morale. Her leadership extended beyond the court, as she organized team meetings, encouraged everyone to practice hard, and resolved conflicts.

Every practice session was a symphony of teamwork. Lily's spikes earned roars of excitement from the spectators, Mia's sets were met with anticipation, and Emma's digs were met with applause. Sarah's guidance kept them focused and determined, reminding them that each position was essential for the team's success.

During a crucial match against a rival team, the girls faced a tough challenge. Lily's spikes were met with expert blocking, but Mia's quick thinking led to unexpected tips that left the opponents scrambling. Emma's dives and digs seemed to defy physics, and Sarah's leadership held the team steady when the game grew tense. Together, they fought for every point, celebrating each other's successes and lifting each other up during setbacks.

In the end, their united efforts paid off. With a final spike from Lily and a perfectly timed block, they won the match. As the crowd erupted in cheers, the girls gathered for a victorious huddle, celebrating not only their victory but also the camaraderie that had carried them through.

The Crestwood volleyball team wasn't just about individuals playing a sport; it was a testament to the power of collaboration, dedication, and the unique contributions each position brought to the game. Through the challenges and triumphs, they had become more than teammates – they had become a family bonded by a shared love for the game and each other.


  1. What are the main positions in volleyball? Can you describe the role of each position?

  2. Why is the libero's role important? How does it differ from other positions?

  3. How does the rotation of players impact the game? Why is it necessary?

  4. Have you ever played a team sport? What roles are similar to volleyball positions in other sports?

  5. What skills are needed to be a successful spiker? How can players improve their spiking technique?

  6. Imagine you are the captain of a volleyball team. What responsibilities would you have?

  7. How does effective communication among teammates contribute to a strong volleyball team?

  8. Why is teamwork crucial in volleyball? Can you think of any examples from the short story?

  9. What strategies can a team use to defend against strong attackers on the opponent's side?

  10. How can players balance offense and defense during a volleyball game?

A Short Story - Sandy's Volleyball Adventures


Sandy was a cheerful and energetic girl who loved playing volleyball. Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, she would rush to the community center for her volleyball practices. Her eyes would light up with excitement as she saw her friends gathering on the court.

At the practices, Coach Lisa would start with a warm-up. They would stretch their arms and legs, jump in place, and even do funny dances to get their bodies ready. Sandy loved the warm-up because it was like a mini dance party with her friends.

Once they were warmed up, they would practice passing the ball to each other. Sandy enjoyed this part because she got to work with her friend, Lily. Lily was really good at passing the ball, and Sandy admired her skills. Coach Lisa would give them high-fives every time they passed the ball correctly.

Then came the best part – practicing serves. Sandy loved the feeling of power when she hit the ball over the net. Sometimes, the ball would fly perfectly, and everyone would cheer. Other times, it would land in the net, and they would all laugh. "It's okay, Sandy! You'll get it next time!" Lily would shout, and Sandy would feel encouraged.

As the practices continued, Coach Lisa would divide them into teams to play mini-games. Sandy's team would face Lily's team, and they would all compete while learning new things. Sandy's favorite game was called "Queen of the Court." In this game, one player from each team would try to stay on the court as long as possible. Sandy loved diving to save the ball and hearing her friends cheer for her.

When the weekend came, it was time for the big game against a neighboring town's team. Sandy's heart would race with excitement as they wore their matching jerseys and stood ready on the court. She would look at her parents in the stands, waving at them. The game would start, and Sandy would focus on giving her best. She remembered all the practices and the fun they had. Sandy's team might win or lose, but what mattered most was the laughter and fun they shared.

After the game, win or lose, they would all gather for a snack. Coach Lisa would bring juice and cookies, and they would talk about the game. Sandy would share the funny moments, and Lily would talk about the amazing saves she made. They would all laugh and feel proud of each other.

As the sun set on those game days, Sandy would head home with a smile on her face. She knew that volleyball was more than just a game – it was about friendship, teamwork, and the joy of playing together. And no matter what, Sandy looked forward to the next practice and the next game, because that's where she found her true happiness – on the volleyball court with her friends.

Comprehension Questions:

  1. Who is the main character of the story?

  2. When did Sandy have volleyball practices?

  3. What did they do to warm up at the practices?

  4. Who was Sandy's friend that she worked with during passing practice?

  5. What did Sandy enjoy the most during the practices?

  6. What was Sandy's favorite game in practice, and how did it work?

  7. What happened on the weekends in the story?

  8. Why did Sandy feel proud after the games?

  9. What were the things that Sandy valued most about playing volleyball?

  10. How did the story make you feel about playing sports with friends?

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