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Volleyball Conditioning Drills

Volleyball conditioning drills developing power endurance and strength for volleyball. 

Good Coaching and the Importance of Conditioning

As a coach, you should be concerned about the health and safety of your athletes. Careful conditioning and technical instruction leading to skillful performance are significant factors in lowering the incidence and decreasing the severity of injuries. 

Good coaching includes discouraging tactics that violate the law or spirit of the rules, or that may increase the incidence of injuries. 


Warm Up Properly

The following are some key principles of warming up...

  1. All players should warm up perpendicular to the volleyball net, because all service reception and defensive actions are carried out in the direction facing the net.

  2. Only the net athletes are allowed to perform accurate or inaccurate offensive action, while the back-court athletes should try to always execute a perfect pass to the net. The only exception is the setter's warm up game, and that should be done as close to and parallel to the net as possible to simulate their match actions.

  3. Front row players should perform many jumping actions. This mean to move quickly from executing hits and or tips from a standing position to offensive action where the athlete is jumping near the net.

  4. Three person warm up games should be used over two person warm up games because to play in a triangle is the basic concept of the sport of volleyball. In this situation, two of the athletes can be either at the net or at the end line of the court.

  5. During the warm up, drills should be chosen that make the athletes focus on some skill to train their ability to anticipate.

  6. Warming up with small court games that include the net system and volleyball specific movements and actions ensures a preparation that reflects certain volleyball match situations.

  7. Warming up to hit should always be carried out indirectly. This means that prior to the offensive action there is a serve reception or defensive action. This trains the setter and the hitter to set and hit after a perfect first pass.

  8. If a setter is jump setting during matches then she/he should be jump setting during the warm up and if possible, she/he should begin with a small penetrating run.

  9. The running portion at the beginning of each warm up should always take place in the volleyball court (no running in circles). An arm and shoulder stretch and warm up should also be included right from the beginning.
Volleyball Conditioning Drills

Setter Conditioning Drills

The following volleyball conditioning drills are for setters. 

It is beneficial for a setter to strengthen his or her hands and arms and to perform agility exercises. 

Some suggested exercises are...

  1. Squeeze a tennis ball or soft rubber ball.

  2. Do fingertip pushups.

  3. Do wrist curls with weights or food cans.

  4. Throw and catch a heavy ball, such as a basketball, a weighted volleyball or a medicine ball.

  5. Do movement skills, such as running and crossovers.

  6. Do squats to help flexibility of knees.

With that said, the most important thing for a setter to do to get stronger by performing the skill of setting. The more repetitions setting, the stronger your setter will get. It's that simple. 


Strategies for Conditioning for Volleyball

Your volleyball conditioning drills should involve training in intervals. 

Volleyball is a sport that is has an anaerobic component that should be trained. For example, on average, plays in volleyball last between 5 and 15 seconds. During these 5 to 15 seconds, movements need to be quick and explosive. 

This is different than if you were an endurance athlete such as a cross country runner. 

This basically means that since it's an advantage to be quick and explosive, this is how you should condition for volleyball. 

Drills that involve being explosive for 5 to 15 seconds will closely mimic the pace of a volleyball match. 

Resting between intervals is critical for building explosive power. 

It's also important to point out that how much rest you get in between intervals is important. For example, if you don't let your players rest during your conditioning drills, players won't be training the right energy system to be strong and explosive. 

The extreme case is of a coach not understanding how to condition for volleyball and this having players run distance or some other form of aerobic endurance training to get in shape. 

Volleyball is a sport played by performing explosive movements with many change of direction motions. And there is a break in the action for players to recover for the next play. It's this recovery time that is so important for players to be recovered and ready to be explosive on the next play. 


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