In working out the ideal training regimen for volleyball – you need to give equal weight to the physical and mental sides of the game.
You could say pretty much the same thing for any sport of course – but other sports demand more mental prowess, like golf for example, whilst others are arguably more physical – like football. But volleyball demands equal measures of both.
First, the physical stuff; a well-organized volleyball training program should be designed to increase your explosive power and vertical jumping height. It should also be able to enhance your stamina and agility on the court. Remember that technique training on its own won’t achieve this. You need to hit the gym at the same time as practising your skills and spikes.
Volleyball players require a very strong lower body and to be able to outperform other athletes in vertical jump tests.
Because our sport requires repetition of vertical jumping – it’s a balance between power and endurance; people who can squat massive weights don’t make great volleyball players as they can’t keep it up. Similarly, endurance runners don’t have the requisite power. Nevertheless, power-endurance is still far more important for players than is than aerobic endurance.
So concentrate on balancing the two. Don’t overdo the aerobic training; miles of track work won’t help. Of course, it won’t do too much harm either and aerobic fitness is important – but so is power and particularly endurance power – so hit the gym and squat multiples, jump multiples and keep it up for minutes at a time with short breaks.
Play is also great for preparing for … play! But when in training play, concentrate on your form as much as your skills. In these sessions when the result doesn’t matter, doing exaggerated “perfect” jumps and spikes and so on can sow benefits for the real games. The truth is – you probably have all the skills you need if you’ve been playing for a while – the rest is all about developing physical perfection for this particular sport as well as the mental side of the game.
When you’re on tour or playing for real – you have to keep your mental state right. This means tuning out for a while. Crucially, it means not thinking about volleyball or all the other stuff you have going on in your life. You often see top sports men and women in team events and individual events firmly tuned in to their MP4 players – headphones firmly in place. This isn’t so much to listen to the music or whatever else they may be listening to – its about the attempt to tune out from all the other noise of life. This is essential for top sports people. You have to be able to switch off and we all find different ways of doing this. Whilst travelling , this is a great opportunity just to zone out. Try listening to music or a book on CD, or simply chat or play simple games on your mobile or tablets etc. These are all great ways of achieving a mental calm and forgetting about the world for a while. Have you ever thought of playing games such as roulette or slots to zone out? If you click here to play roulette online at 32Red, for example, you should be able to benefit from some free bonus entry cash and be able to play for a while effectively for free. Believe it or not, but games like roulette and slots will help you relax – they don’t really require any concentration besides either picking a number or pressing a button to start the slot machine spinning. 32Red isn’t the only provider out there; we like also Supercasino, but providers such as 888 and Gala are also very good brands. Search around and see what appeals to you the most. 32Red and 888 seems to be the best ones on tablets and smartphones.
However, you decide how to achieve this mental side of things is up to you – but it’s equally important to the physical shape.
Even better is a kind of combination of the two; visualization techniques. Most top sports people and athletes are good imitators. They can visualise other people playing their chosen sport well and emulate them. This is probably the single most important sports training technique there – but it’s often difficult to teach young people of its value, because of their natural scepticism and concentration on pure physicality and “real” play. But if there’s one thing that’s really going to make a huge difference in improving your volleyball techniques – it really is visualization. So picture yourself in different situations playing the perfect ball; this may be harder than you think but you’ll soon get used to it. If you find there’s one mental “hump” you can’t get over – just keep trying or watch videos of other players making the move perfectly then try to emulate in your head. You’ll be absolutely amazed at the difference this will subsequently make to your real game.
So – happy training!