Today we will speak about the individualization in volleyball training. It’s always unfortunate to see when a coach incorporates an all-encompassing program for his/her entire team.




In contrast, most do not treat every athlete in exactly the same way when it comes to the psyche of that athlete. In the same way that one athlete may respond to a certain way of coaching, he/she may respond to a given physical stimulus differently than his/her peers do, as well. This MUST be taken into account in the overall design of training programs. Many coaches test their athletes to attain measurable criteria to differentiate that athlete from his/her teammates. But very few coaches actually use those testing results productively in constructing that player’s future training plan for improvement.

When training, we have to account for each of these circumstances and attempt to replicate it as closely as possible. These unique variables include, but are not limited to: predominant movement actions/motor patterns, muscle contraction behavior, time demands, speeds of contraction, range of motion and work vs. rest ratios.

We have to find varialbes where the athlete is most deficient We simply can’t target these individual weaknesses if our whole team is performing the same training plan on a weekly basis.

On that same note, once a program is put down on paper, many coaches make the mistake of just sticking to every variable wholeheartedly. As individuals, we all have our ‘off-days’ in which we simply do not perform at our normal capacities. On those days, it is more important to focus on giving an athlete rest and recovery so he/she can come back refreshed and ready to get after it in the next opportunity. To achieve optimal sport prowess, every rep must be of the highest possible quality. If the athlete’s true feedback mechanism is looked at as being weak or unmotivated and they are forced to “simply push through it” it can be the quick way to becoming overtrained. This overtrained state is hard to reverse and will only hinder performance and increase the risk of injury.

We try to outline some basic, but very important ideas and thoughts as it pertains to the development of volleyball specific training programs. All coaches are encouraged to take greater ownership in the development and training of their athletes when it comes to their strength and conditioning. Taking the extra steps to understand more of the optimum training conditions to place your athletes under could be the determining factor to increasing your win total.

Author: Shawn Myszka,