In soccer, the “volley” usually refers to a type of kick that is taken when the ball is in the air. Generally, a player will take a volley when the ball is coming at them via an air ball. Instead of trapping the ball and then passing or dribbling it, the player will perform a trap and pass (or shot) in one movement. A volley shot can be quite effective as it can catch the goalkeeper off guard.
The kick id taken with the top of the foot or the upper instep of the foot. When the ball arrives, the player will balance it and also use the momentum of the previous pass to send the ball in a new direction. Basically, the player will receive the ball with the top of the foot while the knee is bent and the foot is at at an acute angle with the thigh. Then, the player will move his leg forward, as in readying to take a shot, keeping the ball balanced on the foot. The momentum of the ball will help the player’s volley pass or shot retain power.
Another variation on the volley kick is the half-volley. Players will generally use the half-volley to control and re-send the ball if they have more time and less opponents covering them during the play. In the half-volley, the incoming air ball will strike the ground first in front of or around the player, and then the player will take the resulting volley when the ball bounces up after hitting the ground. The half-volley is an effective way for the player to collect and redirect the ball if he has more time to figure out where he is sending the ball or if he needs to give his teammates more time on their runs while he retains control of the ball.
Having your players feel comfortable volleying the ball is important in any game time situation. Basic drills can help your players learn the correct volleying techniques. To start, have your players bounce the ball to themselves and work to try and volley 5 times in a row (they will be volleying the ball up in the air, collecting and sending it back up with the foot using the volley). Then, do the same drill using the half-volley. Have your players try and get to 10, then 15 volleys or half-volleys.
When your players seem comfortable performing the volley standing still, you can incorporate a volley into a moving drill. Have three attackers line up facing three defenders, and send an air ball into play. Start with half-volleys and have your players use the half-volley to pass or shoot on goal. A goal counts for 2 points, a completed half-volley pass counts for 1 point, and an intercepted half-volley results in the loss of a point. Then, switch the drill to full volleys and see how your players perform. Good luck!