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Volleyball is a sport that requires strength, power, and endurance. As a coach, you must ensure your athlete participates in a strength and conditioning program. Volleyball-specific skills are developed during practice, but game-like performance is enhanced through a strength training workout.
When volleyball players workout off the court they can expect to build muscle strength and prevent injuries. Weight training and conditioning drills impact volleyball performance. Let's discover how volleyball athletes can increase sports performance through a strength and conditioning program.
The best volleyball players are dynamic and well-rounded athletes. They possess a mix of strength, power, and flexibility. In addition to this, they maintain the endurance to last a full match. By limiting fatigue and movement dysfunction, their ability to perform a vertical jump and lateral movement, all while being agile, is rarely contested.
The following athletic qualities are essential for volleyball players to possess:
Endurance and conditioning
Strength in the lower body
Agility and quickness
Power and explosiveness
Body control and awareness
Lateral strength and speed
Strength in upper body
Strength in the core
These are essential for handling the speed and control that volleyball demands. Any volleyball coach will tell you how important volleyball skills are. Though if you only have sport skill and lack the ability to move quickly while maintaining that skill, you won’t excel. This includes being able to respond to various game-like situations and positions without sacrificing volleyball performance.
Resistance training helps improve max force and power output. It builds lean muscle mass, and strength and reduces the chance of injury. First and foremost, flexibility throughout the hips, shoulders, knees, and ankles is crucial for volleyball players. To build flexibility stretching is important, both dynamic and static.
Though even better is cross-training, which uses several different modes of training. These training approaches are outside the athlete’s main sport but aim to improve overall sports performance. An effective way for volleyball players to cross-train for flexibility in their sport is by practicing yoga. This helps promote recovery from training and is done off the court.
Power development is just as important. A training program that includes plyometric exercise will help with vertical jump and explosive movement. Volleyball is a power sport. You must be quick and explosive to perform optimally. This is why speed and acceleration training is important.
Strength training goes hand and hand with power development. They are different but complement one another. Volleyball players need to develop power in their legs to be able to jump high. They also need to have the strength in their upper body to hit the ball efficiently while in the air. Weight training helps build muscle and strength to increase force development. The stronger an athlete is in the lower body, the more power output they have.
Conditioning or endurance training is another critical component. To be able to undergo the demands of a volleyball game your players but be conditioned. It is a quick and continuous game. Some plays last longer than others, but without conditioning, players are unable to maintain their performance. A volleyball player that is not conditioned gets fatigued on the court. Building endurance and stamina allows for maximum strength and power output as the game progresses.
Strength and conditioning programs have many elements. Depending on the sport, training varies based on the time of season the athlete is currently in. You must consider if an athlete is in-season or off-season training. This helps avoid overtraining and injury. It also ensures optimal performance is achieved and developed at the right time. As a coach, you won’t want your athlete complacent with their current performance level. You want them to continue to grow and develop.
Directly after a volleyball season athletes must take time to rest and recover. This includes physically and mentally. Once they take some time off, they can begin focusing on a strength training program. The goal is to build muscle, power, and endurance.
Be sure to assess your athletes through fitness tests. This allows you to get a baseline and pre-training measurements to use during training and post-workout. Speed tests can include timed 20-yard sprints. Agility tests like the T-test and the sit and reach test for flexibility are also effective. Focus on building a good foundation for the off-season training.
The strength phase of the program is where intensity begins to increase. The workout focus remains on strength and power. Plyometric training is important during this phase and should be completed daily. These include jumps, lateral bounds, and explosive-based exercises. Athletes can find themselves training up to 6 times per week during the off-season.
This phase can be combined and implemented with the strength phase. Speed and agility training improves change of direction, footwork, and quickness during a volleyball game. Mimicking game-like situations during each workout is important. Utilize cone drills, hurdles, and agility ladders for training.
Training during the off-season looks different than in season. The goal of an in-season volleyball strength and conditioning program is to maintain. Maintenance is vital to in-season success. You might only train 2-3 times per week, but you don’t want your hard work to go to waste. Performance levels should be at their highest now due to previous off-season training.
Ready to workout? Try this 25-Minute Volleyball Workout.
As a strength and conditioning coach, be sure to review the importance of both training and nutrition. You cannot have one and not the other. Your athletes are training intensely all week and burning a lot of calories. Their body needs energy and nutrients for recovery and repair. They must eat to gain muscle when strength training.
Light Jog x 50 yards
Leg Swings x 10 each
Lunge with Rotation x 10 yards
Lateral Lunges x 10 yards
High Kicks x 10 yards
Ankle Pulls x 10 yards
Pogo Jumps x 20 seconds to 10-yard sprint
Depth Drops 3 x 3
Box Jumps 5 x 2
Med Ball Overhead Toss 3 x 20 yards
Power Cleans 5 x 2
Speed Box Squat 4 x 6
Push Press 5 x 4
Pendlay Row 4 x 6
Band Resisted Sprints 4 x 25 yards
Single Leg Bounding 3 x 15 yards
Cone Drills (jump, shuffle, jump, to sprint) x 3-5 each way
TRX Chest Opener x 30 seconds
Seated Quad Stretch x 30 seconds each leg
Banded Lying Hamstring Stretch x 30 seconds each leg
Frog Pose x 30 seconds
Training movements is a major focus of volleyball strength and conditioning. Volleyball players must engage in training that involves multi-joint exercises. Core strength is also important to develop. The core is the midline of the body. The torso supports the arms and legs and stabilizes the body. Without a strong core, power transfer is limited. This is crucial for volleyball athletes as they are constantly jumping in the air. You want them to hit the ball with force and accuracy every time.
Help your volleyball athletes reach optimal performance. Learn how to communicate exercise instruction to your volleyball players in-season and off-season. Check out the ISSA Strength and Conditioning course.
ISSA's Strength and Conditioning course bridges the gap between science and application by giving students the "how" of helping athletes achieve any sport-related goal. With this course, not only will you learn the exercise science behind strength and conditioning, but exactly how to create the perfect training program for any athlete. Further, it offers one of the only accredited exams in the strength and conditioning space, making you a hot commodity to any employer.
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