Like basketball, volleyball can be played indoors in the gym, or outdoors in a variety of open-air settings. Participating in volleyball at any level teaches your child coordination, agility and quick reflexes. And that overall flexibility applies beyond the individual players. The best teams adjust instantly as one unit to what's happening on the court.
While we mostly think of volleyball in terms of players leaping high and spiking the ball over the net for a dramatic point, team volleyball features other important positions with hitters, blockers and setters. The setter position is considered to be the most important position in volleyball because that person runs the team offense.
Volleyball coaches are looking for things like height, jump, athleticism, quick feet, good arm swing, and intangibles like attitude and persistence. It’s not just how high a player can get, but showing they have a lot of different contacts with the ball. For setters, they are looking for the most possible number of sets from the front row and the back.
Team volleyball players should start conditioning workouts at least two to three months before the season starts. Volleyball conditioning combines three main areas: cardio, strength training, and plyometrics.
Coaches can teach volleyball skills and set plays, but most importantly they want to know that the prospective players are in good all-around physical shape. With a lot of sports tryouts, the coaches typically spend the whole first week simply weeding out those individuals who are not willing to push themselves hard.
Use high-intensity interval training to boost lung capacity and stamina, and increase cardiovascular limits quickly. If running outside is not an option, your child can also use a treadmill three to four days each week for approximately 45 minutes each time.
Train for volleyball tryouts by doing a strength training routine three to four days a week. Your child will find they can hit and approach the net with more confidence and power, and will react to most any situation on the volleyball court. If you have weights at home, great! If not, there are bodyweight exercises on video that strengthen the entire body and don’t require gym equipment. Remember, strength training benefits a player's overall balance and coordination.
Plyometrics, also known as "jump training" or "plyos", are exercises based around having muscles exert maximum force in as short a time as possible, with the goal of increasing both speed and power. This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or "explosive" way, for example with specialized repeated jumping.
Volleyball shoes will benefit you by offering lightweight and necessary support. Although volleyball shoes resemble some basketball or cross training shoes, they have distinct differences. Generally, they feel as if you're actually playing barefoot. Look for these three main features of a volleyball shoe: sole, mid-sole and uppers.
Modern shoes use a rubber and gum rubber composite combined, giving the player the absolute best traction on various indoor playing surfaces.
The mid-sole on a volleyball shoe is an important feature because it reduces the chance of knee and shin injuries. The mid-sole absorbs the shock and most volleyball shoes feature a combination of sheet and molded EVA foam to accomplish this. Other shock-absorbing methods (air, gel, liquid) combine cushioning with an energy return feature.
Most volleyball shoes will have a suede-and-mesh upper. Some will add mesh to the upper to lighten up the shoe to allow for air flow and breatheability. For those players looking for more ankle support, look for volleyball shoes with a leather or lightweight synthetic leather and mesh upper on mid- and high-cut shoes.
Always remember to stretch well after every workout. Maintaining flexibility is important for avoiding injuries that might keep your child off the volleyball court. Nutrition is also important for ensuring that you have ample energy to make it through rigorous practices and long games.
Learning volleyball at any level is fun. As your child’s skill level improves, they will naturally try to improve their skill level. As long as skill level is improving, players will never become "burned out" on the sport and they will seek the next set of goals and abilities.