How to Become a Better Volleyball Player
Volleyball is a fast-paced, athletic sport that requires a good level of physical and mental fitness. To be successful, volleyball players must possess quickness, agility and a range of technical volleyball skills. Volleyball players should practice on a regular basis in an energetic fashion to improve skills and fitness.
Develop the ability to cover a large area of ground. Speed and agility are crucial skills for a volleyball player, as you will have to move quickly on offense to get the ball over the volleyball net and to set up your teammates. On defense, you must have the ability to jump high to block and keep balls off the ground with reflex stops. Plyometric training that involves bounding and jumping exercises develops power and a strong vertical leap. Speed and agility training, such as sprints or footwork ladders, will increase your ability to move quickly around the volleyball court.
Focus your training sessions. Rather than skimming over a range of skills, it is best to focus a volleyball practice session on one particular skill or aspect of the game. For example, begin a spiking practice by spiking the ball from your hand to get used to the technique. Throw the ball in the air to yourself, and spiking it over a volleyball net. Finish the session by spiking balls sent to you by a teammate, and increase the difficulty of each session by including an opposing blocker.
Increase your tactical knowledge of the game. Knowing when to be aggressive and when to set up a better-placed teammate. Defensive volleyball skills are also maximized when you are aware of the opposition's possible strategy. For example, recognize when a team is running out of touches, and position yourself for a block at the volleyball net if an opposition player is ready to set up a teammate.
Develop a range of offensive and defensive volleyball skills. Offensively, you should possess good footwork and passing ability. You should also have the ability to set the ball for a teammate or spike it yourself. Make sure you can block opposing spikes at the net and keep the ball off the ground with a dig or diving save.
With a sport psychology master's degree and a successful coaching background, Stewart Flaherty has experience in improving performance in a number of areas. His articles specialize in sport psychology, nutrition and coaching.