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Understand Your Performance Goals
As with all competitive sports, the key component of successful volleyball conditioning drills is knowing which drills are best suited to meet your specific performance goals. With respect to volleyball, endurance, strength, and agility are key. Jumping higher, moving faster, and being able to endure the rigors of play are all integral to the game. That is why conditioning drills designed for volleyball must be designed to meet these three goals.
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Sweat It, No Really
Volleyball requires a great deal of endurance. One must be able to sustain multiple bursts of energy, agility and strength, while maintaining stable energy levels during periods of rest. These periods of activity and rest continue throughout the game and therefore require an special type of endurance training. While cross country running is excellent for building stamina, is is simply not suited for the individual needing sudden bursts of energy throughout a prolonged period of time. The following exercises will assist in building the stamina and endurance necessary for volleyball:
- Tire Drills (running through tires)
- Serpentine running
These exercises should all be designed to be practiced in 15 - 30 second spurts, followed by 15 - 30 second rest or slower periods. Squats for example, should be deep squats in rapid succession for several seconds. The amount of squats performed will increase as strength and stamina improve.
Sprints should be performed for 15 - 30 seconds followed by a 15 - 30 second jog. This exercise can be performed for several intervals, increasing in both duration and session, as endurance builds. Sprints can also be mixed with serpentine running or jogging and is an excellent way to improve both endurance and agility. As with sprints alone, the duration will increase as endurance improves.
For tire drills, one can begin with a few tires and increase the amount of tires, as agility and endurance improve.
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Train Those Muscles
Muscle strength is also a key element of volleyball conditioning. There are several basic strength and power exercises specifically designed to increase muscle strength, while also improving agility. These include:
- Weight lifting
- Medicine balls
- Frog jumps
The key to remember is that with muscle building must also come agility. In addition to the weight lifting and medicine ball, exercises requiring one to lie on the floor and jump up into the air repeatedly as quickly and effortlessly as possible will help round out strength training for volleyball.
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Clearly, building strength, endurance, and agility are integral to a successful volleyball conditioning program. However, without game drills, the athlete is still missing out. There are several drills that can be practiced successfully with fabulous results.
- Wall hitting: Practice jumping and hitting a wall at specific target levels. As ability improves, the target should be moved for increased challenge. Targets should be easily achieved a majority of the time before being moved.
- Toss and pass: A player tosses the ball for the pass. This can be practiced several repetitions and alternated.
- Serving passing: Similar to toss and pass except participant one is serving to the pass. This should also be practiced with several repetitions and alternated.
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The Time Is Now
The game of volleyball is exciting to play. It requires endurance, stamina, and strength. With the volleyball conditioning drills explained in this article, you are well on your way to a better game, and a stronger, healthier you.