Condition Your Team With Volleyball Drills

For any team, no matter what the sport, practice is not fun. No matter what kind of fun you put in your volleyball drills, the fact of the matter is that they still involve a lot of practice, and are just plain hard work. Like any sport that requires conditioning, after the first few weeks of practices, you will find out who is really there to play. These first few weeks are generally considered the conditioning weeks. Volleyball drills and conditioning go hand in hand. It is hard for your team to understand exactly what the reason behind this conditioning is.

Volleyball is a very demanding sport. Because of this, your conditioning volleyball drills will push your players to the limits of their abilities, and beyond. One of the key components in the game is strength. A player must be strong enough to hit a blazing ball across the net. Their legs need to be strong enough to propel them into the air for that block that could mean the difference between winning and losing. However, pure strength isn’t quite enough. Your players will need to have a good dose of explosive strength. It is important to be able to go from a standing position to a powerful jump, with a blistering hit behind it. To this end, you should include some strength training into your volleyball drills, such as weight lifting, squats, or even working with a medicine ball.

Adding agility exercises into your volleyball drills will prove to be vital also. Agility is important in creating a winning team. Picture how boring the game of volleyball would be if there was no diving saves, or pinpoint serves. In every spike that is ever executed, agility and strength are important parts of the move. Even blocking, passing, and setting require some agility to be performed correctly. Adding such exercises as frog jumps or explosive push-ups into your volleyball drills will help your players’ agility become a stronger force with each practice.

The volleyball drills mentioned so far can be fairly tough. It is the hardest, yet most vital component of conditioning drills that will turn practice from a slight workout to a grueling thing of dread: endurance. It is great to be able to spike and serve beautifully in the first set of a game. Being able to perform the same move, with as much grace and power after playing for 45 minutes or more is what is going to make a winning team. Building the endurance of your team will make it so they can play just as well at the end of the game as they did at the beginning. Obviously, long distance running or extremely long practices could accomplish this, at least to a point. But this is where exercises like suicides and down-ups added into your volleyball drills will really pay off. These exercises are designed to cause a player to exert an amount of energy very quickly, followed by a short rest then repeating. This will help any player’s endurance become strong enough to last through an entire game.

Conditioning volleyball drills are, from a player’s point of view, the worst thing about any practice. They can be difficult to justify until an actual game is played. It is easy to see first hand what working on serving or setting will affect. These are visible gains that can be seen every time the ball is hit, either in practice or a real game. Conditioning isn’t visible, so progress can be hard to measure. That progress won’t be really shown until actual game time, at which time you and your team will see that of all the volleyball drills you worked on, conditioning can arguably be considered the most important skill to have worked on.

3 Tips for Being a Leader on the Volleyball Court

Leadership is something all teams need for success, but it’s not always something easily defined or developed. We can’t say do this and do that and you’ll be a great leader for your volleyball team. Here are a few tips to help you move in that direction, though.

Tip #1: Be a model player

A leader need not be the best player on a team, but they do need to represent its ideals. This is mainly about attitude and effort. Leaders turn up on time and follow team rules – written and unwritten. They work at least as hard as everyone else. They don’t complain or whine, but instead get on with what needs to be done. Leaders don’t make excuses. They also respect the coach(es) and everyone else associated with the team. I could go on, but I think you probably get the idea.

All of this may sound like stuff that isn’t part of on-court leadership, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is the foundation of being the person the other players look to when it’s competition time. A leader doesn’t just turn up for match day and have everyone follow them. They earn that right by what they do in training, at meetings, during strength & conditioning work – basically in every facet of being part of the team.

Tip #2: Communicate

It doesn’t take a loud voice and a constant stream of chatter to be a good leader, but it does take the ability to communicate with teammates. Talking is the most obvious example of this, and all leaders do need to be able to speak at the right time and in the right manner for the circumstances. Communication can just as importantly come from a look, a pat on the back, or a gesture, though. It’s about being connected with teammates and making sure everyone is on the same page.

Tip #3: Put the team first

You cannot be a good team leader and a prima donna at the same time. A strong leader is focused on the team’s objectives, not on their own. Even if they are the best player, a leader nevertheless keeps the focus on the team, not on their own performance. They don’t let their own success or failure individually impact how they interact with their teammates, knowing it’s the team’s success which is what’s important at the end of the day. This is perhaps the hardest part of on-court leadership as we all tend to get caught up in how we are playing, especially if we’re struggling. A good captain puts that aside for the sake of the team.

Think of the word respect and how someone earns it. That will take you a long way toward understanding what you need to do to be a good on-court leader for your volleyball team. Leadership starts with respect. Everything else builds from there.

Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Volleyball

Volleyball is a sport beloved by many and can easily be played year-round. However, if you have the chance to hit the court outdoors when the weather’s good, why wouldn’t you try to get in some fresh air and sunshine while you play the game you love?

There are differences between indoor and outdoor (sometimes called “sand”) volleyball. These differences are not enough to be real game-changers, but there are some things to be aware of depending on your volleyball environment.

The Volleyball Court

Sand volleyball courts and indoor courts are fairly different in size. Beach courts are actually smaller than indoor courts. Indoor courts have a rule where players in the back row cannot advance behind a certain point in the court to hit the ball, whereas sand volleyball players can hit the ball from anywhere on their side of the net. The reasoning behind the smaller sand court size may be that getting any traction and running in sand is much more difficult than on a hard surface. A smaller court keeps the ball in play longer, keeping rallies more entertaining and face-paced.

Players Per Team

With the larger court size for indoor volleyball, it reasons that a larger amount of people would be needed to cover the area. Indoor volleyball requires six players per team, or side. Each player has a specialized position that rotates and switches throughout the game. Sand volleyball is usually played with two-person teams. One player hits from the left side of the court, one hits from the right. The serve is rotated between the two players. There are no specialized positions and each player is usually well-versed in all hits, blocks and digs. At competition-level sand volleyball, players can have dedicated positions such as one may block and one may dig, but both could still hit.

The Volleyball

The ball itself is one of the differences between indoor and outdoor volleyball. Indoor balls are made of leather and are somewhat heavier than balls used outdoors. These heavier indoor balls can be hit harder and tend to move more quickly than an outdoor ball. Sand volleyballs are bigger, softer and less heavy than indoor balls. The lighter weight helps them float through the air better, allowing more experienced players to use the weather to their advantage.

Keeping Score

Indoor volleyball has matches made up of five sets or games. Games are played until the first team reaches 25 points, and are declared the winners of that game. Three sets win the match. If both teams have won two sets, a tiebreaker game is played to 15 points. Teams switch sides after each game.

Sand volleyball has matches made up of only three sets or games. Games are played until the first team reaches 21 points, and if a tiebreaker game is necessary, it is played until 15 points.

In both versions, a game must be won by a minimum two-point margin.

Touches

The way the ball is touched or handled by players is different between the two types of games. Indoor volleyball allows players to block the ball without it counting as one of the three allowed hits for each team. Sand volleyball counts a block as one of the three hits allowed.

Indoor volleyball also allows open-hand tips, or dinks, which send the ball just slightly over the net, however sand volleyball does not allow these types of moves.

If you enjoy volleyball, then it probably doesn’t matter whether you play it indoors or outdoors. In fact you may find that you do prefer one way over the other, but just getting to play the game you love any time of year is a big benefit. Educating yourself about both versions of the sport will help your game-play, and hopefully your enjoyment of the sport as well.

Ways to Tell You Are Serving Correctly in Volleyball

Consistent, accurate serving is the objective of every volleyball player – from youth to Olympic team member. To reach that point, however, it’s important to know if you are serving correctly. Here are some ways to do that.

The first way to tell whether you are serving correctly is whether the ball is going where you want it to go. I know that sounds very simplistic, but the reality of things is that proper mechanics tends to result in high levels of accuracy. If you are consistently hitting your target then chances are pretty good you’ve got things right. That said, chances are you’re reading this article because you aren’t as accurate or powerful a server as you’d like, so let me provide you with some checkpoints you can use to get yourself on track.

Are you finishing your serve balanced? If not, there’s something wrong. Usually, it comes down to your toss. If you toss the ball too far to the left or right you’ll end up leaning in that direction to try to make proper ball contact. Either that or you’ll be serving the ball in that direction when you didn’t intend to do so. If you find your weight well onto your front toes, then you’ve tossed the ball too far forward, while having to arch your back and lean backwards means a toss behind your ideal contact point. All of this can be fixed by improving your toss.

Is the ball spinning when you want it to float, or floating when you want it to spin? That is a function of your ball contact. You need to make sure you’re stricking the right part of the ball in the correct way to get the desired effect.

Is the ball coming landing short or going too far? Distance in serving is all about the speed of your hand at contact. Swing your arm faster to hit the ball farther (notice I didn’t say swing harder). Swing your arm slower to hit the ball shorter. Make sure to keep your ball contact firm, though. No floppy wrist or mushy hand!

Does your shoulder hurt when you serve? If so, it probably means your arm swing is off in some fashion – assuming you don’t simply have an injury from something else, of course. This again could be related to ball toss, but it could also be a function of your mechanics. This might be hard to judge by yourself, though. You’ll likely want the help of a coach in evaluating your arm swing – or at least the use of video.

Which brings up perhaps the best way to gauge whether you are serving properly. Video yourself serving and compare it to video of someone who serves properly. There are many tools out there these days that allow for side-by-side analysis. This will let you see how your technique stacks up against the good server in the areas of body posture, arm preparation, toss, footwork, and follow-through.

Hopefully you have a coach who is keeping an eye on your serving technique and helping you correct things as needed. If not, though, the tips here should help you identify problems and put you on a path toward more effective serving.

How To Be a Good Volleyball Coach

Connect positively
Connect in a way that is encouraging and that proves that you have got the very best interests of the players at heart. Communicate with mothers and fathers, officials and also other coaches in a proactive, respectful and constructive method.

Teach volleyball essentials
Instructing method and form now prevents players from creating undesirable habits. Remember that we desire the players to like volleyball and have fun. Include things like games into just about every practice to ensure that players have fun and learn skills.

Coach the rules and method of volleyball
Teach the rules of volleyball and include them into individual instruction. We likewise want the players to grasp the way to shake hands pre and post matches, the way to switch sides, how to rotate and how to understand the referee’s signs. You need to plan to look at the rules any moment an opportunity occurs in practices.

Direct players in competition
Your duties include figuring out lineups, conversing with officials and rival coaches and players, and making reasonable tactical choices during games (when you should call a time out). Do not forget that the main objective isn’t on winning at all costs, but on coaching the kids to participate good, do their utmost, increase their volleyball skills, aim at win within the rules and above all, enjoy it! We would like you to encourage the players to try and use three hits on a side mainly because in the long-term that is the way they will be competitive. A team concentrating on this method could actually win a lower number of games than a team that simply plays the ball over. But remember, our club chooses to develop players to be good when they’re more mature therefore being focused on three hits is going to be emphasized during the entire season.

Be a fantastic role model
To players in elementary school, older people and high school players are observed closely and imitated. These players will recall their coach for a long-time (maybe a life time). They will remember the pros and cons. Remember to set a great example for the kids: be positive, be diligent, be excited and be encouraging.

Help players become excellent team members
Train them to cheer for each other, back one another up, talk with each other, support each other and celebrate together. These intangible characteristics are no less necessary to teach than the skill of hitting the volleyball. For example, in teaching very good team defense, stress to young players the relevance of playing within the rules, displaying respect for their competitors, and learning how to back each other up.

Care about your team and players
An additional crucial aspect is to have authentic concern for your players. Make an effort to know every player on your team and exactly what drives them best. Remember that your players are learning brand new skills and it may perhaps be hard for them. Be understanding, encouraging and passionate. Address your players as you would like to be treated. Show that you get pleasure from coaching and spending time with the team both on and off the court.