PERFORMANCE CONDITIONING VOLLEYBALL
Volleyball Conditioning Accreditation Program (VCAP) Manual
elcome to the USA Volleyball—24Hour Fitness—Performance Conditioning Volleyball, Volleyball Conditioning Accreditation Program (VCAP). Our mission is to make better volleyball players by providing athletes with a quality program that will improve performance and prevent injury. This course is designed to empower community-based volleyball coaches, 24-hour fitness staff, and other conditioning professionals to conduct volleyball-specific clinics and courses. This manual is designed as reference text for the accreditation program. The accreditation process includes a one and one-half day clinic followed by a written multiple-choice exam. The course covers seven task objectives and competencies, which are expressed as chapters in this manual. Objectives include proficiency in the principles of volleyball conditioning; guidelines in establishing a gym-based, volleyball-specific conditioning program; in-season, preseason and off-season conditioning programs; teaching explosive style weightlifting exercises and their application to volleyball; and, how to host a volleyball conditioning clinic or course. Candidates successfully meeting accreditation requirements shall be designated as Volleyball Conditioning Specialists (VCS) and will be subject to a background screen check under the direction of USA Volleyball. Upon successful completion of the course and screening, accredited candidates will be eligible to conduct local volleyball conditioning clinics or courses for volleyball athletes, their parents and coaches.
Who's Involved To learn more about: • 24-Hour Fitness, go to: www.24hourFitness.com • USA Volleyball, go to: www.usavb.org • Performance Conditioning Volleyball, go to: www.performancecondition.com/volleyball
Contributors Exercises provided by: Jim Roberts, M.S., CSCS, Volleyball Conditioning Specialist (V.C.S.), Olympic Heights High School, Boca Raton, Florida; Owner, BioKinetics, Inc.; Director, Flight Jump School.
John Hajewski, former volleyball conditioning Coach, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; President, Top Speed Training. Allen Hedrick, M.A., CSCS, *D, Conditioning Coach, United States Air Force Academy. Diana Cole, Director of Coaching, USA Volleyball John Kessel, Director Grassroots, Beach and Disabled Volleyball, USA Volleyball John Speraw, Head Men's Volleyball Coach, University of California, Irvine Greg Brislin, M.S., Former Team Leader for the USA Volleyball Physiology Resource Advisory Team of the Sports Medicine and Performance Commission. Peter Vint, Ph.D., President, Motion Max Sports Performance; Team Leader USA Volleyball Biomechanics Resource Advisory Team of the Sports Medicine and Performance Commission. Jeff Broker, Former Sports Biomechanist, Sport Science and Technology Division, United States Olympic Committee Training Center. Tom Justice, Ph.D., Head Volleyball Coach at Lock Haven University; United States Weightlifting Federation Senior Coach. Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, Ph.D., Former Head Volleyball Coach, University of Northern Iowa Ken Kontor, Publisher, Performance Conditioning Volleyball. Kent Miller, Head Volleyball Coach at the University of Toledo. Dr. Miloslav Ejem, CSC, International Secretary for the Czech Volleyball Federation. Dr. Mike Hebert, Head Volleyball Coach, University of Minnesota. Sean Madden, former Head Volleyball Coach at Gonzaga University; Chair of the Editorial Board of Coaching Volleyball. Tudor O. Bompa, Ph.D., Professor, York University, Toronto, Canada. Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, USA Volleyball Sports Medicine and Performance Commission. Greg Brittenham, Strength and Conditioning Coach, New York Knicks. Ted Anderson, Assistant Soccer Coach, University of Nebraska at Omaha Chris Feder, Vice President of Team Sports and Sports Medicine, 24-Hour Fitness
Contents Chapter 1:
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning...........................................................1 1 Selected Reading #1: The 7-Speeds of Volleyball, John Kessel ..........................................5 Selected Reading #2: Three-to-One: The volleyball-Specific, Rest-to-Work Ratio, John Speraw ...................................................................................................................10 Selected Reading #3: The Basis for Volleyball Conditioning, Greg Brislin, M.S..............11 Selected Reading #4: Secrets of Speed: An In-depth Look At Spiking, Peter Vint, Ph.D. .............................................................................................................12 Selected Reading #5: Understanding Blocking Mechanics for Improved Performance, Jeff Broker ......................................................................................................................15 Selected Reading #6: 15 Factors to Individualized Jump Training Success, Tom Justice, Ph.D. ..........................................................................................................18 Selected Reading #7: How to Condition Technique, Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, Ph.D. .............22 Selected Reading #8: Building a Performance Resource Advisory Team, Ken Kontor, CAE, C.S.C.S. ..............................................................................................25 Selected Reading #9: Choosing A Resistance Training Protocol That’s Right For Volleyball, Allen Hedrick................................................................................................28 Selected Reading #10: Volleyball Roundtable: Ask the Experts—Planning and Progression, How To Do It, Sean Madden, M.S. ...........................................................31 Selected Reading #11: Your Guide to Strength Development for Volleyball: How to Divide Your Training For Peak Performance, Tudor O. Bompa, Ph.D. ...................35 Selected Reading #12: Testing to Measure Volleyball Performance: Two-Foot Takeoff Jump, Sean Madden, M.S. .................................................................................43 Selected Reading #13: Testing to Measure Volleyball Performance: 90-Meter Shuttle Run, Sean Madden, M.S. ....................................................................................44 Selected Reading #14: Testing to Measure Volleyball Performance: Low Posture T-Test, Sean Madden, M.S. .............................................................................................46 Selected Reading #15: Testing to Measure Volleyball Performance: One Foot Take-Off Test, Sean Madden, M.S. .................................................................................47 Selected Reading #16: Lifting On Your Own: Safety, Ken Kontor, CAE, C.S.C.S. ............49 Selected Reading #17: Volleyball Player’s Guide to Safe Plyometrics, Greg Brittenham .............................................................................................................50 Selected Reading #18: Exercise Techniques for Lifting on Your Own Ken Kontor, CAE, C.S.C.S. ..............................................................................................51
Injury Prevention Priority ..................................................................................... 53 Selected Reading #1: Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Patterns, Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D. ....................................................................................54 Selected Reading #2: Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Causes, Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D. ....................................................................................55 Selected Reading #3: Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Prevention, Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D. ....................................................................................56
Selected Reading #4: Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Acute Injury, Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D. ....................................................................................57 Selected Reading #5: Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Overuse Injury, Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D. ....................................................................................58 Selected Reading #6: Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Rehabilitation Principles, Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D. ....................................................................................59 Selected Reading #7: Understanding Volleyball Injuries: The Female Athlete Triad, Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D. ....................................................................................60
Establishing and Designing a Successful Volleyball Conditioning Program ...... 63
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program ......6 69
6-Week, Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program ..........................................................................................8 87
In-season Conditioning Maintenance .................................................................1 103
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights ........................................................................................................1 109
Hosting Local Volleyball Conditioning Clinics/Courses ....................................1 125
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning
onditioning is a multi-component process of specific training designed to achieve improved volleyball performance and prevent injury. It is based on certain basic principles. These principles form the scientific and practical basis of establishing a year round conditioning program for volleyball athletes.
Objective Tasks Learn the 10 principles of volleyball-specific conditioning.
Competencies Be able to apply each principle to conditioning volleyball athletes.
Before Starting Players should receive a physical evaluation from qualified medical personnel.
Program Considerations • Principles of conditioning (listed below) should be followed. • This program is appropriate for both male and female players. • Beginning programs are for athletes with training age of 0 to 2 years. Intermediate programs are for athletes with training age of 2 to 4 years. Advanced programs are for athletes with training age over 4 years. Training age year is continuous, year-round conditioning beyond just playing volleyball.
Principles of Conditioning
#1 Specificity Sport conditioning is unique and specific to the sport itself.
Leveled Maturity level, training age and, to a lesser degree, age of the athletes, changes the training goals, types of exercises done and amount of resistance used.
Competency To understand the concepts of progression and overload, rest and recovery, and the classification of exercises (general, special, specific and injury prevention). Also, to understand the basics of physiology and biomechanics of volleyball, including energy demands and how changes occur due to exercise. Volleyball has its own unique physical demands and movement patterns. These demands and patterns are developed in different ways based on the phase or "season" a player is in. Activities that develop these factors change; thus these changes are called training variables. They include: choice of exercise, order of exercise, volume (how many), load/intensity (how much in reference to resistance or time to do activity) and rest. A good command of these variables along with a knowledge of athletic and volleyball skills and the energy demands of the game will allow you to write effective exercise prescriptions that will improve performance in a planned, progressive way. All this is based on the training age level of the athletes.
#3 Seasonal Time of year changes your program. In the offseason, you devote more time to develop athletes. In the preseason, you hone athletic skills and relate them to volleyball skills to get ready for the season. During the season you maintain athletic skills and focus on volleyball skills to peak at the right time. This is known as seasonal training or "periodization."
Competency Competency To understand that every sport has different rules, objectives, equipment, movement patterns, energy demands, sport skill and athletic skill requirements. Volleyball players train much differently than do players from other sports, so their conditioning is different. Within the sport of volleyball the physical requirements of each position are different. Setters, back row specialists, middle blockers and outside hitters have different and specific movement patterns, jumping outcomes, etc.
#2 Adaptive/Progressive As your body gets used to training loads you can train harder—this is adaptive progression. It's something that doesn't happen overnight, rather it occurs over time.
Be able to design a year-round program that effectively integrates athletic and volleyball skill development on an individual basis. Planning, or periodization, poses one of the biggest challenges to Volleyball Conditioning Specialists. Because planning must be individualized to the athletes, coaches must consider the competitive season(s) each player must face in the year. Each competitive season has its own peak and with today's players participating in scholastic, club and beach play as well as other sports, these multiple peaks complicate the planning process. It is, therefore, important to establish competitive priorities for each athlete and design a plan that contains the elements of an off-season or base phase, which develops the athletic skills component; a preseason, which refines the base and makes it more specific to volleyball skills; and, the
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning in-season or competitive season. Strategically placed between these elements are active rest or recovery phases that reinvigorate the players. Remember that athletic and volleyball skills must both be developed if the players are to reach full potential. Time must be set aside for each. Special Role of a Volleyball Conditioning Specialist
In planning daily, weekly and monthly schedules, volleyball practice workload, competition schedule, weight movement and jump training need to be considered so the athletes can avoid overtraining. Overtraining may lead to injury and failure to reach peak performance at the right time in the competitive season. This "performance mix" can only be administered by the individual who has a "handle" on all aspects of the players’ activities—practice, competition, rest and athletic skill development. That person is known as a Volleyball Conditioning Specialist.
Testing the wrong answer Testing may not provide an accurate indication of volleyball performance—this is an abused area. Parents may think that if a son or daughter tests out better than another player, he or she should make the team. There are subjective skills in volleyball that are true indicators of volleyball success on the court or beach. These cannot be measured with testing.
#5 Individual All players are different. They react to conditioning programs differently, based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, conditioning must be individualized.
Competency Based on field testing and volleyball play assessment, a VCS should be able to adjust training variables to meet the individual needs of each athlete.
#6 Planned Recovery #4 Measured Field tests can measure the athletes’ progress, assess effectiveness of the training program and indicate individual needs of each athlete.
Improved performance is not a straight line upward, but rather a series of small spikes or waves moving generally upward. Good rest, recovery and nutritional practices insure upward movement by avoiding overtraining.
Competency To identify the individual technical and athletic skills needs of the volleyball players through field tests and subjective observations, and measure the effectiveness of the athletic skills development program as it relates to volleyball performance. In addition, testing is an important tool used to individualize programs based on test results that indicate performance deficiencies. Which tests are best? Why are they important? What do the results mean? Correct answers to these questions are important for measuring improvement. Wrong answers can lead to frustration and delusions that can cause you to miss your intended performance goals.
Testing the right answers • They show you where your athletes stand. This is important so you can set realistic goals as to what you need to do physically so your athletes play at the next level. • They measure the ongoing effectiveness of an overall conditioning program. You need to take a look at how your players are doing every six to eight weeks. Are they improving or stuck on a performance plateau? • They provide you warning of possible overtraining, which can lead to injury. • They provide important data in case of an injury to tell you that the injured player has recovered from the injury completely and is totally ready to resume play.
Competency To be able to adjust conditioning training variables in relation to practice and competition demands to ensure adequate recovery for volleyball athletes.
#7 Injury Prevention Priority Injury has a major negative impact on performance. All conditioning should establish injury prevention as the top priority with improved performance as an additional benefit. Volleyball players can't be at 100 percent if they are injured.
Competency To be familiar with the injuries that commonly occur in volleyball and able to effectively design conditioning strategies to reduce their number and severity. To effectively communicate with medical personal as to the functional rehabilitation process of an injured athlete. Preventing injury is an activity that should be practiced throughout the life of every athlete. Building a good strength base with strong bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles in a balanced way takes years. Athletes with good command of body movement may have fewer injuries. An unstable, imbalanced and structurally weak player may be prone to injury. Volleyball Conditioning Specialists should be able understand how injuries may occur and recognize possible potential injury situations and correct them as best they can.
Chapter 1 When dealing with specific sports medicine questions, expert advice must be relied upon. A basic knowledge of what caused an injury and what is involved in the functional rehabilitation process is helpful when communicating with medical personal. It is important to understand that rehabilitation is a two-phased process; the injury is first managed and then the injured area is functionally integrated with the rest of the body so that the injury does not recur.
#8 Performance Team There are many areas of expertise required to condition volleyball athletes and it is next to impossible to be an expert in all of these areaâ€”outside help is almost always needed. An individual responsible for conditioning volleyball players must be able to coordinate the activities of outside resources by establishing a performance resource team that can be relied upon for guidance on special conditioning issues such as motivation, nutrition, medicine and dealing with psychological and social problems.
Competency To identify outside resources to fulfill all competency obligations, as necessary, and coordinate their activities. All volleyball conditioning specialists need to establish their own performance resource team that they can rely upon for special issues on conditioning, strength training, sports vision, nutrition, medical problems and dealing with psychological and social issues.
#9 Safe Environment Conditioning is done to prevent injury; it should not be the cause of injury. Creating a safe training environment for the athletes is essential.
Competency To identify proper exercise techniques and correct technique errors. Create a safe conditioning environment and educate volleyball athletes on a safe code of conduct. Exercise technique, or how to perform the athletic skill development activities, is divided into two considerations. The first is teaching techniques. Volleyball related footwork, court movement and jumping, and plyometics are areas that volleyball coaches may be most competent in teaching. Weight training, stretching, injury prevention and functional rehabilitation exercises may need outside help. The second consideration, correcting technique of all activities, is important to master if a coach is in a situation where outside help is not always available.
#10 Transfer Skills Conditioning activities (athletic skills) should have a direct or indirect transfer of volleyball (sport) skills. General conditioning has indirect transfer; special and specific training has direct transfer.
Competency To be familiar with the components of athletic skills development and be able to relate them to volleyball skill development. The following athletic skill components and definitions were identified at the USA Volleyball Athlete Summit held in 1996. Development of these skills should relate directly to volleyball skills. Power: explosive strength, power is force applied as quickly as possible. Agility: ability to change directions while maintaining balanced body control and speed. Mobility: being able to produce volleyball-specific movements in a variety of planes. Footwork: ability to perform quick foot movement patterns related to volleyball skills. Recovery: athlete's ability to return repetitively to a ready state for exercise.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Selected Reading #1
efore reviewing the 7 speeds of volleyball, we need to understand some foundational observations as to John Kessel how coaches coach volleyball. These observations will assist in developing the concept of the seven speeds of Principle Basis: Specificity volleyball. A coach's practice time is when he talks among his Study Questions: colleagues, attends seminars, reads literature, etc., all with • What are the seven speeds of volleyball? the anticipated outcome of improving his coaching abili• Which speed can be developed more effectively ties. Practice time in the gym is a coach's competition from playing volleyball? time. Transfer of knowledge is the true victory for a • Which speeds can be developed more effectively coach because when he goes to an actual match he is for athletic skill conditioning? almost on vacation. Yes, he has to call a timeout or two and recommend tactical changes; however, with what is The concept of seven-speeds is based on the work of involved in the match from a player's skill or conditioning soccer researcher and author Jurgen Weineck in the follow- point of view, the coach has no control. As they say, you ing reference: Optimales Fussballtraining. Teil 1: Das Koncan't attempt tactically what you can't do technically. If ditionstratining des Fussballspielers. PERIMED - spitta the players can't do it technically by the time practice is Medezinische Verlagsesellschaft mbh, Nuermberg, 1992. over, then you can't put it in as a tactic until the players Soccer speed, as referred to in Germany, can be get to that level. During practice is the time to transfer defined as the ability to react to a stimulus in the least the knowledge in your head, which is why I view pracamount of time through cyclic (patterned) or acyclic (ran- tice time with players as the "game" a coach must "win." dom) movements with limited resistance. In other words, I also think the vast majority of kids have a very soccer speed is a complex mixture of psychophysical comclear understanding of the techniques that most coaches ponents. These components include perception, anticipaare requesting of them. The mistakes you see on the tion, decision making, reactions, moving at maximum court are errors of reading, anticipation, judging and timspeed without a ball, actions with a ball and reading the ing—that is where the problems are. Players don't have game. All of these components are interrelated and have a problems because they can't perform the techniques; it's significant influence on the speed of soccer players. because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. John Kessel has taken the 7-speeds of soccer and I've played a lot of one-on-six games and the kids are adapted them to volleyball in a unique and understandalways fascinated by how you can beat them 15-2 when able way. The diagram below has been adapted from the there is just one of you. It's due to a large amount of work of Jurgen Weineck and made volleyball specific. Each anticipation and my ability to read talent and skills that speed has its own unique characteristics and training has developed over time. adaptations. It is my opinion that the application and If we agree that anticipation and reading are training of these speeds will lead to winning volleyball important, then the next area I feel coaches need to matches. [Ed.] focus on is using the net. The net is a regulatory stimulus. To be a good server or receiver, it's mandatory that the ball comes CHARACTERISTICS OF SPEED AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE AS THEY RELATE TO THE PERFORMANCE OF A VOLLEYBALL PLAYER. (ADAPTED FROM WEINECK, 1992) from over the net, and yet we most often start practices in pairs, passing Ability to make fast, effective decisions during Game Action Speed a game in relationship to technical, tactical or the ball back and forth in front of it, conditional possibilities. never seeing the ball come over the net. The net is something the playAbility to perform tasks with a ball at Action Speed with Ball maximum speed. ers have to spike over, and yet we spend time playing pepper with the Movement Speed Ability to move at maximum speed without a player's feet on the ground. We get without Ball ball using cyclic or acyclic movements. very good at slicing and dicing and Speed of a Volleyball Ability to react to a previous action from the keeping the ball in play, playing Reaction Speed Player ball, opponent, or teammate. pepper. The coaches say, "It teaches ball control," but the thing that's Ability to make fast decisions, from a variety Decision Making Speed of options, in the shortest amount of time. missing is the regulatory stimuli of the net. It's something that you have Ability, developed from previous experiences, Reading Speed to clear every time you wish to win to predict what will happen before it happens. a point with a spike. You also need Ability to decipher body awareness and to jump in the right place and time, Kinesthetic, Awareness position on the court and process elements of Speed the game as they take place. something not taught in regular pepper.
The 7-Speeds of Volleyball
Chapter 1 I'm teaching seventh and eighth graders this year and have eliminated two traditional areas in our practices. One is pairing up. As the players pass back and forth, they never have to decide whose ball it is. It always belongs to one person or the other. When you watch the kids play during a game, especially at this level, a decision is made as to whose ball it is about every third contact. The first place this happens is in passing. The players are confident that the ball should go to the setter, but if it's a bad pass, everyone on the team wonders, "Is the ball mine or yours?" Even after the set there is that moment of indecision as to whose it is. It happens for almost every hit—it's an adventure. Partner passing never teaches decision-making skills. Another thing I realized is that all passing has to take place on the court. We scored a lot of points not only by getting the ball over the net, but because a lot of our kids let the ball go out when it is out. They were able to read the path of the ball over the net. This teaches what I call court sense. Kinetic sense as to what's going on, on the court. This is only taught when you practice on the court with some team-sized situation; even if it is only three or four of the whole team covering the court. This is why a lot of our practice is done playing queen of the court—it provides players the regulatory stimuli of the net and the lines.
The 7-Speeds of Volleyball With the above concepts in mind, we can now look at the 7-speeds of volleyball that should address beginner-level problems as well as situations for the more advanced players.
Kinesthetic Awareness Speed Kinesthetic awareness speed relates to an athlete’s ability to determine where her body is in relation to space and awareness of her position on the court, and to quickly relate this information to the game. One thing unique to volleyball is that the moment the ball is served, the court measures nine by 18 meters (except in top level Beach where it is eight by 16 meters), but as soon as the ball is hit, the court becomes the entire planet earth! If you wanted to chase the ball all over the earth to make a successful dig, you could do it if you were fast enough. In a more practical sense, the size of the free area on center courts for high school to Olympic level, for both indoor and beach, is often far more space than the court itself. That is one of the unusual kinesthetic perceptions in our sport. Every team, be it club, high school, college, etc., has various court layouts in relation to the stands, spectators, ceiling heights, and so forth. There are also various court surfaces that affect kinesthetic awareness. In the past you would have a large number of lines on the court. Now that there is Sport Court, awareness is enhanced because the court is basically two toned. The play area is one color and the free space, as it's called, is a different color.
In volleyball, play continues as long as the ball doesn't touch the ground, even if an athlete steps out of bounds. Out doesn't exist until you hit a wall or a bleacher. These wall and bleacher configurations are different at every location. For example, ceiling height doesn't matter in soccer, but in volleyball it's a consideration. At the level we play, if the ball hits the rafters and goes over, we play on. We just can't bank-shot it over. This creates a whole new kinesthetic awareness situation for young players. There are unique situations that develop in a volleyball game for which one can't really be trained—they just have to be experienced. Another factor of kinesthetic awareness in relation to body position is that in volleyball, I estimate players spend 50 to 60 percent of their time looking up. This creates a unique challenge for them to be aware of where they are in relation to the boundary lines. A method to determine if a ball is out of play was invented by Jim Coleman. He first used fishing poles, which are now the ever-present red and white antenna. On the other hand, soccer players are looking down or straight ahead most of the time, and they can stop with the ball. Volleyball speed is faster than the speed of any other sport for a number of reasons. Not only is it the most crowded sport, but also 12 players are positioned on a 9 by 18 meter play area and the ball moves incredibly fast in that same small space. All this is performed in a game where it's against the rules to hold onto the ball. Players can't pause, kick and spin like a soccer player, or receive a pass, hold the ball, dribble and then shoot like a basketball player. Our speed is vastly more pronounced because we can't hold the ball. As a result, the players have to anticipate way ahead of what is going on. Another challenge to awareness speed is the net. It's placed in the middle of the court with the stipulation that you can't touch it. You can leap at the three-meter line with no problem. But you may be in trouble at one meter because all of a sudden the net, a barrier, is there. The problem is that you are looking up. One thing I've noticed is that when kids are practicing without the ball, they are looking at the net. They will learn where the net is, then jump up and not hit the net. When the ball is NOT there, their head is flat, eyes looking at the floor (for footwork) or the net (to not touch it). When they get an actual set with the ball in the air, which is game-like, they are looking way up in the air as the ball is falling down. They can't see the net, so they have to process the kinesthetic awareness as to where the net is because they can't touch it. You can't see it, but you have to know where it is. A common error in practice is looking at the net all the time. This doesn't build kinesthetic awareness speed. Volleyball is played at varying degrees of ball and player heights, all in a relatively small space. A player may be towering over the net or the kill and a second later an opponent may be flat on the ground for a pan-
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning cake dig. The challenge of knowing where you are in relation to the court and the net at game speed takes an incredible amount of practice under game situations.
Reading Speed Reading speed is the ability to predict what will happen before it happens; a skill acquired through previous experiences. Reading speed has to be gained through experience with one major qualification—the experience must be game-like. This is where many volleyball coaches err because they think that there will be a drill transfer to reading speed. This is why Monarch of the court plays a key role. It provides a sense of what is going to happen in a game flow. Spikes and digs provide the ultimate speed of reading. A player jumps to spike the ball at over a 100 kilometers an hour as a player on the other side reads the situation to make the dig, from a distance as short as three or four meters away. In the way our sport is played, most of the kids watch the ball when it is set. They watch it go up in the air and watch it come down to the person who is getting ready to put it away. Rather than spike it, the player touches the ball for a tip. At that moment the gym resounds with the word, "TIP." This happens after the ball leaves the fingers. But if you can train your kids not to watch the ball but to watch the hitter as the player runs in, you start to pick up clues through anticipation and reading as to how they jump—full power or medium power? Are they off balance? Is the ball drifting behind them? From their body language, are they leaning back? These things all add up to where the opponent is in relation to the ball. Also to consider in reading speed is what happened in previous contacts. Let's say the player got blocked during the previous play in a similar situation. The fact that they just got blocked increases the chances that the ball may be tipped. The percentage of this is not 100, but it's not zero either. Knowledge of the game and body language of the opponents can help predict the possibility of a tip before it happens. Coaches can relate to this. They can usually predict a tip before their players because they are watching the players as the play unfolds. But what do coaches do to train for defense of tips? They stand in front of the net and fling balls over the net into the corners of the court as a drill. This lacks gamelike reading and anticipation. Players are reading how the coach is throwing the ball with a 100 percent chance of a tip and not learning from a game-like situation. In a game, a tip may occur one out of every eight hits over the net and its just clearing the net, not going to the corner. How can you develop reading speed with the tip drill? All of these clues occur as play continues. Here's another consideration—the first thing you have to worry about is the setter. S/he may put it over on the second hit. From there the opponents have a selection of five possibilities to whom to feed the ball. What we teach the
players is to look at the setter and decipher the tendencies of that setter by reading the pass as it comes in, predict where the setter is going and predict the outcome. In playing defense, you have ‘commit blocking’ and ‘read blocking.’ Commit blocking means that you stop reading what the setter is doing and commit to a player. Read blocking means that everybody who is blocking looks at the setter and tries to figure out where the ball is going, hoping to guess right. With five possibilities you then have to decide which player is going to take the hit based on what the setter did with the ball and the history of what has happened before. You have to read and get into position to make the block.
Decision Making Speed This speed is the ability to make fast decisions from a variety of options in the shortest amount of time. Like the two speeds preceding it, this speed only develops through game-like training. Great players make good decisions by getting into a neutral position. That comes from the two speeds before. I need to jump to be in the right place at the right time. If the players can do this they are in neutral position. They have all the options available to them. If they can't, then the options become limited and the ball starts to control where the players can hit. A case in point—jumping to hit the ball. It takes a long time to learn to jump at the right place, at the right time. Coaches get in the way of this by throwing balls in one place or letting the players see lots of machine sets. They don't provide the random variety that the players will see during a game. Passers make decisions based on what the opponents are doing. They take their position before the ball is contacted. The setter and hitter are making decisions based on getting into neutral. If the players are in neutral as they take off in a jump, the set may be drifting farther back than anticipated. The players may not be able to achieve what is their maximum height but instead they jump so that the ball is in front of the hitting shoulder in a solid spot. The players can hit down the line, angle, cut and tip every option available. However, if a right-hander lets the ball drift way over to the left shoulder, s/he can't hit to the right very well. This is why I say that the ball controls the player. It takes away decision because the player is not in neutral. What both less experienced and top level teams do is reduce the height of the set and reduce the height of the pass so that those two contacts allow the third hit to be even faster, giving the opponents less time to read. Coaches of younger players tend to ask for a very high set ball, "so the hitters have time to move to it." When in trouble, players tend to set the ball really high. Lower sets take more speed to run successfully, thus the offense runs faster. That's why they are mostly used by higher-level teams. Also, great teams have the ability to kill the ball from higher sets from the left side. This is what gave our girls a run to the gold medal match in
Chapter 1 this year's worlds. Winning the silver was great, but I think we would have won it all if one of our top outside hitters had not sustained an eye injury the day before the finals. The setter position is where these great, fast decisions are made. They make the determination as to where the ball is to be set, in the setter's slot or from any place on the court if the setter is fast and reads well enough to get to even bad passes. Too many teams aren't able to have their setter setting from awkward positions on the court, and in some instances not having the setter make the set. A setter's first decision is whether or not to make the set or call for help. Then s/he must make the ball hitable and make the right choice of hitters from the five options. Setters are making these decisions as they run up to the ball. Jump setting is done as a decision is made by jumping to make the set. This also speeds up the offense because the ball can't rainbow down due to the setter going up to meet it at a high point, which shortens the time the opponents are given to read. As with hitters, the setter, no matter if setting from the ground or from a jump, is setting from a neutral position and keeping all options open. Some setters even lower their position closer to the floor so they provide the time a late quick hitter needs to get up into the air—the setter compensates for the hitter. A lot of the speed depends on height of the set and how fast the offense is run.
Reaction Speed This speed is the ability to react to a previous action of the ball, an opponent or a teammate. Thus far, the speeds we have discussed and their development have had a lot to do with playing experience. We have looked at the where we are at on the court (kinesthetic speed), the second before the ball is touched (reading speed), and finally as the ball is touched (decision making speed). Now we are taking about speed after the ball has been touched. Reaction is partly inherent since some people just naturally react faster. It's the speed of muscle firing. Some of it can come through speed of movement training and learning to be quicker, such as being able to move the hands faster. Another part of it is reacting to where the ball is going based on the results of the first three speeds. This may be something that is instinctive and cannot be conditioned. Reading tells me where to go to react, and you can improve at this. But the act of reacting fast is a talent. You can condition your muscles to be stronger and, therefore, react faster but this is about all you can practice.
Movement Speed Without a Ball This speed is defined as the ability to move at maximum speed without a ball using cyclic (patterned) and acyclic (random) movements. When watching a match, you see that one person is touching the ball. The other 11 players are doing some-
thing else; getting ready to react. They are all moving to adjust to where the ball goes. As soon as a teammate touches the ball, it's either a perfect pass or not. If it's perfect the players move in a pattern, something they have practiced to get ready for the next step. If the pass is not perfect, they are all moving someplace else based on the next contact by the setter. At lower levels, many teams choose to hit the ball over on the first hit. This tactic often beats an opponent who works on hitting the ball three times before hitting over the net. The reason is that when you hit three times, the chances of an imperfect hit are three times greater than the “one hit offense.” But, as the three hit team works together and starts to adjust on a consistent basis, they easily beat the one hit teams. It's easier to anticipate and move into position knowing that the ball will be coming back over on the first hit. On a worldclass level there isn't one team that hits over on the first hit; therefore, you are reading something different all the time. You are reading and moving as a result of where the ball is being passed. At the beginner level, a mistake often made in practice is that once the ball is served, the server will stand and watch the ball. What should take place is that the server runs to her position on the court as part of helping cover the court equally. I use a “W” position with my beginner team. This gives good coverage all over the court, helping the players get ready for the ball hit back over the net. If we are playing a three hit team, you first worry about the setter dumping the ball over on two, but the primary worry is which of the five hitters will be hitting the ball over the net. So here the team is always moving in anticipation of making the play, and covers the court in a different pattern. Here's an example I experienced with my medium-level team. As the ball is served, two of my players are at the three-meter line ready for an over pass, while three of my players are at the net getting ready for a block and also an overpass that they can spike. Once they see that none of these first things will happen, they then get ready for a dump by the setter. While they are worried about a dump by the setter, they are also watching the people who are running and getting ready to spike. From there we react by getting ready for a block. This is the essence of movement speed without the ball—it becomes a game of cat and mouse. On our side, we are trying to put our best blocker on their hitter, while they in turn are trying to put their best hitter on our weakest blocker. This creates a constant pattern of movement, back and forth. The same thing happens on the floor. We put our best digger where most of the balls go. Based on this example, we see errors being made by coaches. One of my pet peeves is the game of pepper. In pepper, the better you get, the LESS you move. The reality is that if you are a defender or an
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning attacker, the better you get, the MORE you move. You want players to move more and more to work on this important speed, but in pepper, you move less and less. Great defenders move forward and backward as well as along the court, but pepper only teaches standing still.
Action Speed with a Ball and Game Action Speed I consider these two final speeds of volleyball together. Action speed with the ball is defined as the ability to perform a task with the ball at maximum speed. This speed and game action speed (ability to make fast, effective decisions during a game in relation to technical, tactical or conditional possibilities) are a result of everything we have leading up to themâ€”the whole time we train in a game-like way. The point is that while the players can do a lot of running without the ball to increase speed of movement so they can make decisions, they can also move more powerfully to a position either to the left or right, forward, backward, lower or higher. Players can also train to jump higher. Having done this, it is now important to use these improved athletic skills in game-like training as much as possible. There are times when you'll train off the court. What should be done here is make it as game-like as possible. For example, in a warm-up, the other team is going 5v5 or 3v3 and are spiking and we are off the court. What I do is serve the ball over an imaginary net. It travels to a passer who then passes it a distance that is game-like. The distance and circumstances are as realistic as we can make it. We are doing things at game speed and all that's missing are the lines and net. Since my players know their own kinesthetic awareness enough, it helps them play as though there is a net and lines, and the habits being formed will be correct in a game. Another poor coaching example is when people are setting in triangles. We aren't getting much out of this as far as anticipation and kinesthetic awareness, but we are off the court. The mistake that is made is the sets are done as counterclockwise front sets. In a game, the flow of the ball if it's a front set, is going counterclockwise. The ball goes to the left. If you are going to make the ball go clockwise, somebody in the game must back set the ball. So you don't want to stand there and front set every ball. Thus, one of the three sets in the triangle should be a back set. This is a better way of learning the flow of the game. We try to do everything we can with a court, net and ball even if the number of players is less than six a side. Two versus two, or doubles, teaches all the speed we just presented and maximizes some of the distances that have to be covered. There is still that decision point of is the ball mine or yours? If you normally play 6v6, a more specific game would be 3v3, where the decisions are more specific.
It all goes back to game speed. I do this in two ways. If a player makes a mistake I will say, "Show me without the ball what the technique is." If she does it correctly, then I know the kid can do it. In a game then they have a choice, look perfect without the ball being touched or touching it someplace wrong while looking "right," or look imperfect and touch the ball in the right place (on the hands or forearms normally). This tells me that I want to spend the majority of my time with the ball at game action speed. The reason you can do a skill without a ball and fall apart with a ball is simply lack of experience with a ball at game action speed. It is interesting to see that players struggle for a while with a higher level of volleyball; for example, moving from junior varsity to high school, high school to college, and college to the international level. What is different? The ball is going faster, the opponent has more and faster decision making capabilities and there is more information to disseminate in a shorter period of time. So, the problem is how to get better faster to make these competitive jumps to higher levels. The answer for girls is simply to play with boys. With the girls I've seen move up the ranks, many of them played coed volleyball or with and against their brothers. How do guys get better? Play against older guys. Rod Wilde, one of the best setters and diggers I've seen, played for his dad's double-A team at the age of ten. He was digging balls with double-A opponents at the age of ten. What happened when he went to play at a higher level? With all that experience and game speed, he did great. Laurel Brassey, one of the best USA National Team diggers ever, played NCAA men's volleyball. Misty May, our current best digger, played coed doubles with her dad. This is a way of overloading players in a very game action specific wayâ€”it teaches going faster. The game teaches the game. I'm amazed to hear coaches come home after a tournament that played a pool of four and say, "We did well in the first match but we caught our stride in the second. If we only served the last two in on the third match we would have been in the playoffs. They really started to get it." I respond with, "How come you aren't getting the same speed and quickness out of your practices? Look at what just happened. You played in a pool of four, three matches. Each match lasted 45 minutes. You were on the court for two hours and 15 minutes and you saw quantum leaps in understanding. Why aren't you getting the same thing in your two-hour practices?â€? The answer is they are doing too many non-game speed activities, the kind of stuff that doesn't transfer. We need to get out of the old traditions of the sport. We don't want to win gold medals at wall passing, but gold medals at volleyball.
Chapter 1 Selected Reading #2
Three-to-One: The Volleyball-Specific Rest-to-Work Ratio John Speraw
Principle Basis: Specificity, Adaptive/Progressive, Planned Recovery, Transfer Skills Study Questions:
• What is a 3-to-1 ratio? • How has rally scoring changed the athletic skill development priorities in volleyball? • How can practice be designed to create a training overload?
three-to-one, rest-to-work ratio is reflected by the amount of rest versus the amount of work expressed in units of time. A three-to-one ratio requires three units of rest time for one unit of work time. If an exercise is done for 20 seconds, the rest period will be 60 seconds. This ratio closely resembles the energy system requirements in the game of volleyball. When training, coaches and athletes should keep this ratio in mind when designing conditioning and practice programs.
Warm-up As an assistant coach and while doing research on my book, I learned quite a bit about the concept of how athletes should train for a specific sport. While an assistant coach at UCLA, I was in charge of doing the warm-ups. I really became aware that running around in a circle for 20 minutes to get warmed up isn't the proper way to do a warm-up when you're getting ready to play volleyball. You're not getting the right things warm. When I came to UC Irvine, I had some extensive discussions with our strength and conditioning coach, Eric Burkhardt. I told him what I was really interested in doing and he was very excited by the idea, because most coaches just do what they do simply because that's the way they have always done it. I wanted to make sure and continue making sure that in my coaching career, I don't just do things simply because that was what I had been doing. I want to do what is best based on science, not tradition. Eric has done extensive research and written some papers on the rest-to-work ratio in conditioning. We talk a lot about how we should apply warm-ups to make them specific for what we are doing in terms of volleyball. It was really a collaborative effort between the two of us—a very positive thing. The first thing we talked about was warm-ups and making sure that we are warming up appropriately for a fast twitch, explosive sport. We do a lot of speed and agility drills as part of
our warm-up. We try to do low-intensity, explosive movements. For example, doing light jumps that prepare us for big jumps is probably the best and most efficient way to warm-up. We incorporate whatever movements that are done while playing volleyball but at less intensity for a warm-up. We do blocking trips, light warm-up jumps, jump rope, footwork drills and light sprint work. Here's an example: • Light jog around the gym (twice). • Side steps across the gym lengthwise in both directions. • Crossover steps across the gym lengthwise. • Light sprints. • Jump rope—we do this by partnering up two players. One jumps rope while the other does 25 push-ups and 25 sit-ups. This is done for three rounds. • Blocking trips. • Run to the net and do low amplitude approach jumps without hitting the ball. • We finish by doing shoulder warm-ups. A variation to this is that we substitute ladder work instead of jumping rope. This works on foot speed. The warm-up is continuous with all athletes participating at the same time. This gets us ready for the work to be done at practice.
How Rally Scoring Affects Conditioning Volleyball conditioning has changed because of the new rally scoring system. The old threeand-a-half hour matches now last only two hours. This puts a premium on skills and their explosive execution. It's now more of a power game as opposed to power endurance. An hour-and-a-half less game time is a significant change in the approach to conditioning. In addition, with the introduction of the libero, your middle blocker who is jumping all the time now goes out of the match for two rotations, which means this individual has additional rest. These changes really focus on the demand of developing power. The three-to-one rest-to-work ratio is effective in developing this new emphasis on power development in today's volleyball. Because of this we focus our three-hour practices on playing volleyball and making it part of our conditioning. You also have to understand that the NCAA limits practice time to 20 hours a week, so we have to set our priorities based on the game. We practice three hours a day, five days a week, which gives us 15 hours. Then we lift four days a week for one hour, which totals 19 hours and this puts us just under the limit. This means that our conditioning is limited to the summer and the period of time between our fall practice block and when the season starts.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Designing Practice Based on the Three-to-One Rest-to-Work Ratio Concept In terms of practice, what we mostly do is based on scrimmage format of 6v6. Just playing volleyball is a three-to-one ratio. To overload this and increase the amount of activity on the court, you can do things to bring the ratio down to a two-to-one situation. We do this by including wash drills. The more you throw in the ball while you play keeps the activity going for a longer period of time as opposed to the amount of rest in average volleyball play. There is one drill we do called the UCI drill that brings this ratio down to one-to-one. The drill requires a team to put three balls away in succession in order to get a point with two points needed to rotate. One team will receive the serve. If they put it away, they get another ball, which they have to put away. If successful, they do it again. If at any point the other team wins the rally, then they get the opportunity to try and put three balls away. If a team successfully wins three in a row coupled with the fact that the drill is so tiring for the front row, we rotate from one to four, then a rotation two, a rotation five, a rotation three and finally, a rotation six. Except for one person, you are rotating two players. Working a one-to-one ratio should be done in progression. Start with three-to-one and when the team's conditioning improves, you can move to the two-to-one and finally one-to-one for a portion of the practice. When you go back to three-to-one, it seems easy for the players because of the progressive overload you introduced.
Selected Reading #3
The Basis for Volleyball Conditioning Greg Brislin, M.S.
Principle Basis: Specificity, Adaptive/Progressive Study Questions:
• What are the energy systems for volleyball? List them in priority order. • How does the aerobic energy system contribute to the conditioning of volleyball players? • What affect does the length of an average rally in volleyball have on conditioning?
ou must understand the metabolic requirements of volleyball before developing appropriate conditioning programs for your athletes’ needs. Recent research into the energy demands of volleyball has determined that it is primarily an anaerobic sport. Physiologically, there are two basic metabolic systems that provide energy for muscular work; the aerobic and anaerobic systems. Both systems unleash energy for use by the muscles by breaking down adenosine triphosphate (ATP), although each goes about it in a different way. Aerobic activities use oxygen to break down glycogen to produce energy in the form of ATP. The aerobic metabolic system is activated after 60 seconds of continual activity and is the primary energy source for events lasting longer than 90 seconds. Long distance running, cycling and swimming are examples of sports that receive the majority of their energy from this system. This process generates tremendous amounts of ATP for long-term events and uses fats as a primary fuel for activities lasting longer than 20 minutes. The anaerobic system is composed of the ATP-CP system (alactic) and the anaerobic glycolysis (lactic acid) systems. Both provide high levels of energy in short timeframes. The ATP-CP system supplies energy for activities of short duration and high intensity. The release of energy from the breakdown of creatine phosphate (CP) produces ATP for muscular contraction in a rapid fashion. Since the muscle is unable to store large amounts of CP or ATP, this system is depleted in a short time (<20 seconds) and then requires replenishment. If an athlete rests immediately following the movement or event, up to 75% of the original stores of CP are replenished after 30 seconds with full restoration in 2 minutes. A standing or approach jump is an example of the type of powerful but short-lived event that primarily relies on this type of energy production. Events such as the 400m sprint, which last between 20 to 90 seconds, derive their energy from anaerobic glycolysis. This system breaks glycogen down into ATP by a method similar to that used by
Chapter 1 the aerobic system but without the use of oxygen. Lactic acid, a by-product of this process, builds up in the muscles during exercise because oxygen is not present. This buildup causes muscular fatigue and limits activity after approximately a minute and a half. Recovery of up to 2 hours regenerates as little as 40% of original levels of this energy system. The ability to recover rapidly for a second bout of an event is critical in volleyball. During a typical rally a middle blocker may attempt a block, come off the net, make an approach, spike the ball and make a second block attempt, all in the space of a few seconds. The athlete's metabolism must rebound quickly to provide energy from one explosive move to the next. Training protocols should be adapted to the energy requirements of the sport. Research places the average length of a rally at 4 to 8 seconds, depending on the level of play and how equally matched the teams may be, with the longest average rallies from 15 to 18 seconds. The duration of both activities easily falls within the demands of the ATP-CP energy system. To maximize the athletes’ sport-specific conditioning demands, the length of time it takes to complete a conditioning exercise should mimic the activity on the court. In other words, the majority of conditioning exercises should be completed in no more than 20 seconds. To enhance a player's recovery time between bouts, we consider the rest intervals between activities. The time between energy demanding explosive movements (averaged across a match) has been reported to be approximately 22 seconds for front court players and 40 seconds for back row players. The work-to-rest ratio is approximately 1:3, which is ideal for improving anaerobic endurance. The importance of understanding this metabolic information is in application. Since volleyball is primarily an anaerobic sport, conditioning should be primarily anaerobic in nature. As mentioned above, most conditioning exercises should be between 4 and 20 seconds in length with a rest interval lasting three times that of the work interval. Volleyball does have an aerobic component, but research shows that frequent on-court practice and match play is sufficient to develop and maintain aerobic conditioning levels. This is not to say that it does not have a place in a training plan, especially in the off-season. Aerobic conditioning improves the cardiovascular system and enhances removal of lactic acid accrued through anaerobic conditioning. Thus, it has an additional effect of improving anaerobic endurance. It is not recommended as a primary exercise nor as the cornerstone of a conditioning program, but is a useful supplemental exercise best suited for limited use during off-season periods, in the rehabilitation of an injured athlete and for body fat management.
Selected Reading #4
Secrets of Speed: An In-depth Look At Spiking Peter Vint, Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Specificity, Adaptive/Progressive, Seasonal, Measured, Individual, Planned Recovery, Injury Prevention Priority, Performance Team, Safe Environment, Transfer Skills Study Questions:
• What aspects of spiking mechanics affect hitting velocity the most? • What muscle groups are important to train in order to improve spiking speed? • What athletic skill is most important in improving spiking speed?
hy can certain players hit the ball with such tremendous speed while others apparently cannot? Is the ability to generate ball speed simply a matter of strength or are other factors involved? What are the most important factors in developing ball speed and how can they be improved? These are a few of the questions that can be answered by examining the biomechanics of the spiking motion. Biomechanics, stated simply, is the study of the body and how it moves. This article presents an overview of the biomechanical factors that contribute to ball speed and a few simple training principles, which will enable you to maximize performance while minimizing the risk of injury.
Arm Swing Very little scientific literature relates to the analysis of volleyball skills. Spiking is certainly one of the most exciting skills to watch (and perform). It is also one of the most complicated to study. The following concepts should help you understand more about the complex motions of the arm swing.
Principle #1 Speed of the ball is highly related to the speed of the hand at impact. While this may seem obvious, it verifies the simple fact that the faster a hitter can move the hand, the faster the ball will travel. From a mechanical standpoint, ball speed will be maximized if the line of force from the hand is directed through the center of the ball (Figure 1). However, this "centered force" also tends to eliminate spin, which can create an uneven airflow around the ball and cause it to behave in an erratic, knuckleball-like manner (Figure 2). Therefore, a compromise must be made between maximizing ball speed and creating the desired top spin, which will help keep the ball in the court and get to the floor faster. This can be accomplished by striking the ball slightly above its center. This "off-centered force" will reduce speed but put the necessary spin on the ball. (Figure 3).
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Understanding This Important Principle In order to better understand this relationship, consider the simple illustration in Figure 4. Figure 1—A centered force maximizes ball speed but does not impart spin to the ball.
Figure 2—Without spin, the ball may display erratic knuckleball-like behavior. Figure 4—For a given speed of rotation, increasing the radius of rotation increases the linear speed of the endpoint.
Figure 3—An off-centered force reduces speed but will impart spin to the ball.
Training Considerations It is important to hit the ball in a position that allows for optimum speed and necessary control.
Principle #2 Hitters employing greater shoulder and elbow extension produce higher ball velocities in comparison with those employing mostly shoulder internal rotation, ("curling over the ball"). This highlights an important relationship between the linear (straight) speed of the hand and the angular or rotational speed of the shoulder and elbow joints. In technical terms, the linear velocity of the hand (V) is equal to the product of its angular velocity (w) and its radius of rotation (r). V=wxr Angular velocity refers to the speed of rotation of the hand in space and is caused by the rotation of the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints. The faster these joints rotate, the faster the angular velocity of the rotating hand. Radius of rotation refers to the length of the rotating segment and is dependent upon the position of the elbow and wrist joints. The radius of rotation is maximized by completely straightening the elbow and wrist. An increase in either the angular velocity (speed of the rotation of the shoulder elbow and wrist joints) or the radius of rotation (position and length of the arm) will cause an increase in the linear velocity of the hand.
Allow points A, B, and C to represent positions of the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints, respectively. If the shoulder rotates clockwise with some arbitrary angular velocity, the linear velocity at point C will be about twice that at point B. This is because the length of the segment that joins points A and C is about twice as long as the segment that joins points A and B. Stated simply, for a given angular velocity about the shoulder, doubling the radius of rotation results in a doubling of the linear speed of the hand. Unfortunately, this relationship is not quite as simple as it appears. Try this exercise yourself. Stand up and completely straighten your hitting arm. Raise your arm upward and position it as far in back of your head as you can. Now, while keeping your elbow straight, whip your entire arm forward and down as fast as you can. Try this three or four times, paying particular attention to how it feels and about how much effort was needed to produce the desired motion. Now, do the same thing, except bend your elbow to about 90 degrees. Did it feel the same? Did it seem to take the same effort? You should have found that the second exercise took much less effort than the first. Certainly, the muscles you used to produce the motion about the shoulder were the same in each instance. However, by completely straightening your arm, you increased the moment of inertia of the arm about the shoulder joint. Crudely, moment of inertia (I=mr2) describes the reluctance of a body to change its state of rotational motion. That is, if your arm is not rotating, it wants to stay that way. Conversely, when your arm is rotating, it wants to keep rotating at the same speed. In this example, the moment of inertia of the arm is determined by the mass of the arm and how this mass is distributed about the axis of rotation at the shoulder joint. While the mass of the arm was the same in each instance, the distribution of the mass about the axis of rotation was changed. When your arm was straightened, a greater proportion of the mass of the arm was distributed farther away
Chapter 1 from your shoulder joint. Your arm was more difficult to rotate because your arm was more reluctant to move. For the same reason, the straightened arm should also have been more difficult to slow at the end of the movement. What should be done? On one hand, by completely extending the hitting arm you can maximize the speed of the hand because the radius of rotation is longer. On the other hand, straightening the arm will make it more difficult to move because it has a greater moment of inertia. In this situation, you must realize that there are tradeoffs between lengthening the radius of rotation and the ability to rapidly rotate the arm. While a longer, straighter arm ultimately allows for greater hand speed and a higher reach height, it also requires much more strength to overcome the increased moment of inertia.
Training Consideration In order to hit the ball with a straighter arm position thus increasing the potential for maximizing ball speed, it is important to increase the strength of the muscles promoting this position and, equally as important, promoting the deceleration of the arm. This strength should not be thought of in terms of absolute strength (ability to lift a weight for one maximum repetition) but rather in terms of synergistic or stabilizing strength. This allows maximum acceleration and the safe, injury-free deceleration of this segment. This strength is attainable only with consistent, progressive and specific overloading of these muscles using simple training tools such as dumbbells, medicine balls, stretch cords, weighted tennis racquets and other "free weight" devises that promote multi-joint resistance.
To develop ball speed it is not enough to simply have a great deal of muscular strength. During the attack, approximately 0.340 seconds elapse from the moment of takeoff until the instant of contact. Since the preparatory phase (rising into the air and cocking the arm) lasts about 0.290 seconds, only 0.05 seconds remain to initiate the forward motion of the attack and strike the ball. To understand this timeframe, try to start and stop a stop watch as quickly as possible. You will probably find that you cannot come close to 0.05 seconds. Now, when you consider that you must move your entire arm through a large range of motion in this amount of time, you'll realize that other factors are at work. It is a simple fact that muscles cannot contract fast enough to produce the desired motions of the attack arm swing within 0.05 seconds. To compound the problem, the amount of force that can be produced by a muscle actually decreases with increasing contraction speed (when the contraction causes the muscle to shorten). One of the most important concepts in understanding the development of speed is that of sequential timing and coordination. To produce the desired arm swing motions, momentum must be transferred through the body in a "whip-like" series of actions. By coordinating the spiking motion in a fluid, sequential manner, momentum may be transferred from the slow but very massive torso, through the progressively faster but less massive upper arm and forearm, through the extremely fast and minimally massive hand. Figure 5 was derived from a biomechanical analysis of the spiking technique of a national team player. While the sequence of stick figures demonstrates the expected patterns of movement, the accompanying plot shows how speed is developed through the arm swing phase of the attack. Resultant linear velocity (arbitrary units) and elapsed time (seconds) are plotted on the vertical and horizontal axes, respectively. Starting from the left side of the plot, it can be seen that the hip has reached its peak velocity and is slowing. During this time, (see
These factors contribute most significantly to ball speed: • Elbow extension 46.0% • Shoulder rotation 22.5% • Torso rotation 14.5% • Motion of the body center of mass 7.5% • Extraneous factors 6.0% • Wrist motion 5.5%. This suggests that while the actions of the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 hitting arm have the greatest influence on ball POSITION speed, other factors play a significant role. 6 The vigorous forward and downward rotation of the shoulder, coupled with the forceful extension of the elbow accounts for almost 70 percent of the speed of the ball at the instant Wrist Velocity Elbow Velocity of impact. The contribution of the torso is pri- 1200.000 marily due to "forward somersaulting" and Hip Shoulder Velocity Velocity "sideways bending" rotations—not from "twist500.000 ing" rotations. One of the more interesting findings is that close to 8 percent of the ball speed is attributable to the motion of the -200.000 body itself. That is, some of the horizontal 0.308 0.420 0.533 Seconds speed generated during the approach seems to be transferred to the ball at the instant of Figure 5—The sequential, “whip-like” coordination of the body impact. helps maximize the speed of the hand.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Figure 5, position #6) the velocities of the shoulder, elbow and wrist, in order, gradually increase. As soon as the velocity of the shoulder reaches its peak, it begins slowing and allows the elbow to reach its peak velocity. Shortly before the point of contact, the elbow slows and allows the wrist to whip through at its peak velocity. This effective sequential timing pattern maximizes ball speed while reducing the demands for vigorous muscular activity.
Selected Reading #5
Understanding Blocking Mechanics for Improved Performance Jeff Broker
Principle Basis: Specificity, Adaptive/Progressive, Seasonal, Measured, Individual, Planned Recovery, Injury Prevention Priority, Performance Team, Safe Environment, Transfer Skills
Training Outcome Training the body to accelerate is the key to improving hitting velocity. To improve this quality you need to improve: • starting strength, which is necessary to quickly move a body segment from a position at rest; • the stretch shorting cycle (plyometrics), which is the ability to maximize the stretching of the muscle and quickly transfer it to shortening; • explosive strength, which allows the body to continue accelerating through the entire range of motion; • stabilizing strength to decelerate the body; • strength endurance, allows continued velocity through the entire game.
Finishing Thoughts This information should make it clear that the development of ball speed depends upon several factors. Coordination, strength and speed all play a significant role in the attack arm swing. As such, any attempts to improve ball speed should include specific training exercises that target these fundamental components.
Beginning Level Considerations Younger players, should probably spend more time developing the complex, whole-body coordination patterns necessary to generating the whip-like action of the hitting arm. Once these players have developed the motor skills necessary to perform the spike correctly (and consistently), the training focus should be shifted toward the development of strength and speed. With regard to increasing ball speed, resistance training should focus on six major body regions: legs, abdominals, shoulders, chest, back and arms. Strength training should be performed to strengthen the musculature responsible for accelerating the arm through the ball and the musculature responsible for slowing the arm during the follow through. Realize that if you are working to improve the speed of the arm swing, you must also work to improve the strength of the muscles which slow it. Too many strength training programs strictly emphasize the acceleration phases of a skill and neglect the deceleration phases. For spiking, in addition to strengthening the muscles that propel the arm forward, much attention should be paid to strengthening the rotator cuff musculature of the shoulder. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
• How does training to improve spiking differ from training to improve jumping? • What role(s) do countermovements have in blocking and how are they trained? • What exercises would you prescribe to improve blocking penetration?
What are some mechanical disadvantages to blockers in performing a block jump vs. a spike jump. To organize things, I will list the four areas where blockers are at a mechanical disadvantage compared to attackers, and then address them individually. First, in the block jump, the run-up approach is either absent or very limited. Second, in a block jump, there is usually little opportunity for a full countermovement during the jump sequence. Third, in block jumping it is necessary to get two arms up to establish the block and jump height is compromised when two arms are raised instead of just one. Fourth, blockers cannot use vigorous arm swings during the ground contact phase of their jumps, and lack of arm swing compromises jump height. Let's go back to the first point, the approach. The momentum a spiker carries into the ground contact phase of the jump, created by the multi-step approach, enhances the height achieved, when compared to a standing jump. A middle blocker countering middle attack has no approach, and thus sacrifices jump height. A middle blocker moving along the net to counter an outside attack uses a lateral approach, which may be better than no approach at all. But still, this lateral approach is not going to be as effective as an approach performed by an outside attacker. In all cases, blockers do not have the opportunity to use full approaches, which would allow them to carry momentum into the jump, thereby enhancing jump performance. Next, blockers often do not have the luxury of integrating full counter-movements into their jumps. What is a counter-movement?
A counter-movement is a natural movement for an athlete during the execution of a maximal vertical jump. Mechanically speaking, joints of the lower extremities flex to lower the body's center of mass. Muscles and tendons control this motion in an eccentric fashion, meaning
Chapter 1 the muscles are active yet lengthening. Subsequently, these same muscles arrest the downward motion of the body and then vigorously shorten, extending the joints and propelling the body upward. Is this what is commonly seen in plyometrics, the stretch-shorten cycle? Yes. We see these stretch-shorten cycles integrated into many movements, particularly ballistic movements like throwing, kicking, and jumping. We believe that stretch-shorten cycles allow the muscles to develop more force than when they initiate action from a static position. Postulated mechanisms explaining the force enhancement under stretch-shorten cycle conditions include use of elastic energy stored in the muscle and tendon, enhanced force capability deep within muscle fibers at the cross-bridges, and/or enhanced neural drive to the muscleâ€”related to stretch induced reflexes. Further, in jumping, we know that stretch-shorten cycles allow muscles to become maximally activated earlier in the jump sequence, allowing more explosive force application during the propulsive phase. Getting back to the disadvantages in your point number three, why can't a player jump higher with two hands rather than one? All things being equal (approach, countermovement, arm actions while in contact with the ground), athletes raise their body center of mass just as high above the ground when jumping to touch a target with one hand or two. But when two arms are raised, the body center of mass moves to a position (because of the arm placement) higher in the body than during a single-arm reach jump. Therefore, the hands and fingertips during the two-arm, block jump are closer to the body center of mass than in a singlearm reach jump, which places them lower overall (relative to the ground). It's difficult to imagine, but let us suppose that in a one-arm jump the body center of mass is at the level of the navel, whereas in the two arm jump the center of mass is a couple of inches above the navel. The effect is that the shoulders and arms are going to be a couple of inches lower in a two-arm jump than in a one-arm jump, for the same whole body center of mass rise above the floor, giving the blocker a two inch reduction in reach height at the finger tips in a two-arm jump. A final disadvantage for blockers concerns the arm swing during the jumping phase. In normal, maximal vertical jumping, the arms are placed behind the body before the jump and rapidly brought forward and explosively upward. Research has shown that jump height is enhanced by 10 to 12 percent as a result of this arm swing. We believe it is because the forces generated by the motion of the arms load the legs and allow the large muscles of the legs (including the gluteals acting about the hips) to generate greater forces during their propulsion phase, resulting in higher jump height.
Let's talk about foot positioning. This is an individualized situation and one where a great deal of debate has taken place in the volleyball community. Given the different anatomical makeup of players, long and short body and limb lengths, etc., what are some of your thoughts? I think that many biomechanists disagree with coaches in this area, principally because we largely believe that an individual's skeletal makeup and years of experience in a sport promote some degree of "self-optimization" in movement situations. In simple terms, if you ask an athlete to perform a maximum vertical jump or prepare to move laterally as quickly as possible to block along the net, we think in most cases they will tend to use foot placement techniques that are comfortable, non-injurious, and usually optimal in a performance sense. Naturally, there are variations a coach can explore with an athlete to provide a wider array of learned movement options, but forcing athletes to jump with their knees together or feet turned in would be asking for problems. Dr. Peter Vint, a Research Advisory Team biomechanist for USA Volleyball, recently did pilot research studying the effect of foot placement on lateral movement characteristics along the net. He measured reaction forces under the feet under different movement and foot placement scenarios (preferred, toed-out, and toed-in positions) and calculated movement times and lateral movement velocities. The results indicated that faster lateral movement times were achieved with the preferred foot placement positions, without sacrificing movement velocity. Greater forces were applied to the ground over a shorter period of time. In some cases, when athlete's were instructed to place their feet in markedly different positions than their neutral, preferred positionsâ€” supposedly to enhance movement speedâ€”they often moved their feet into their preferred positions first before executing the lateral movement, thus increasing the time to execute the overall movement pattern. Similar concepts apply to vertical jumping. In most cases, it is usually the preferred foot and leg positions, which place the lower extremities in vertically balanced or aligned orientations, that athletes choose to adopt to both minimize abnormal musculoskeletal stresses and maximize jump performance. Should a coach really try and change foot position? Are there things that are really incorrect and should be corrected, or should you just leave it up to the athlete? Obviously, coaches need to provide instruction on effective setup and movement strategies, based on their knowledge and experience. Many players, for example, will not automatically "self-optimize" in developing the best ready position for back row defense. Tactical and movement effectiveness considerations must be balanced to define the best defense
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning position. But again, within the general movement framework provided by the coach, I believe athletes should be allowed to explore subtle options concerning foot placement and knee positions to develop their own, unique yet effective expression of the skill. What about the crouch position? You see some jumpers with a low crouch position; others are shallow. You also see quick jumpers; others are slower. What are the considerations since reaction time in the block is so short? The main reason you would introduce a crouch position into the blocking scheme is to be able to handle a quick attack up the middle, where a blocker does not have the time to do a full counter-movement jump. Instead, for the sake of speed, the blocker is going to adopt a slightly crouched position where there is some preset hip and knee flexion. In this posture, they are ready to respond to a quick attack. If the quick attack comes, they are going to propel straight upward from the crouch position, without using the benefits of a counter-movement. While they sacrifice some jump height using this technique, the crouch style jump allows them to execute the movement three to four hundred milliseconds (0.3 to 0.4 seconds) faster. In most quick attack situations, it will be the faster block jump from a slightly crouched position that is most appropriate. What are some training consideration for the blocker, based on this lack of counter-movement set up time? Good question. What you mentioned earlier about slow and fast jumpers brings up an interesting point. Two jumpers can have the same ultimate jump height with very different movement times. Largely, this is a characteristic of the jumper's muscle fiber composition (fast versus slow). However, quickness or explosiveness can also be modified through training. In particular, plyometric training such as drop jumps (off a box) with short ground contact times are effective for improving the ability to perform explosive movements. Again, the idea is to try and minimize the amount of time the athlete spends on the ground. You can also perform rapid jumps where very small counter-movements are utilized. In addition, the coach can create these jump situations as part of practice. These are all specific training exercises that are going to train the athletes to be able to perform effective jumps from crouch and counter-movement positions. Moving along the anatomical chain involved in the block jump, let's consider hand spacingâ€”more specifically the fingers. What is more desirable, a spread-finger position for coverage or fingers closer together for perhaps more stability? Orthopedically speaking, the fingers should be more together to minimize injury. Putting that opinion aside and considering only the effective performance of the block, the fingers should be spread. We want the hands to block as much of the court as possible.
As far as reaction is concerned, how much time does a blocker have to react? It depends on the situation, but you can do some simple measurements. Again, we've looked at how much time elapses from when the ball leaves the setter's hands to the moment the attacker contacts the ball. In a middle attack this can be well under a half a second, and as low as a quarter of a second in quick attacks. At these speeds, we are exceeding the physical limitations of a blocker. Simply stated, in a quick attack, the blocker must either anticipate the attack and jump, or wait and be rendered relatively ineffective in countering the quick attack. Regarding the suggestion that a blocker can respond to motions of the attacker during the attack, the time from the moment the attacker's arm is in the maximally cocked, externally rotated position to the moment at which the attacker's hand makes contact with the ball is only 5 one hundredths of a second. Thus, the blocker cannot respond to movements of the attacker in the air. Again, the blocker has to read and anticipate in most situations. What about hand penetration over the net. How does this affect blocking performance? Penetration is highly preferred. First, the more a blocker can close the gap between his or her arms and the net, the more likely the ball will be blocked into the opponent's side of the court. However, even more importantly, if the blocker can achieve penetration toward the ball on the opponent's side of the net, the amount of court exposed to the attacker is dramatically reduced. The blocker is effectively taking away angles, as a goalkeeper in soccer does when rushing an oncoming attacker. Dr. Vint developed a functional geometric model that estimates the effect of penetration and placement of the hands relative to the ball on court coverage. The model shows that for every 1.2 inches of penetration the blocker achieves beyond the net, 20 square feet of the court surface are taken away from the attacker. Clearly, penetration is a worthy objective. Are there any advantages to using the slide technique over the two-legged jump? Interestingly, most athletes can jump just as high off of one leg as they can off of two. It has to do with the fact that one leg is raised during onelegged jumping, allowing the body center of mass to be higher at the moment of takeoff. Another feature of one-legged jumps is they are substantially quicker than two-legged jumps. In essence, one-legged jumps involve greater force production and higher power output than two-leg jumps, to achieve similar jump heights in less time. A blocker must be aware of this. A slide attack involving a one-legged jump can be accomplished in less time than a more traditional, twolegged jump attack. In summary, as a coaching checklist, what are the proper mechanics for good blocking technique?
We have to balance what is optimal from a biomechanical standpoint with what is optimal tactically. First, to optimize penetration we need to optimize jump height. If we don't jump very high we can't get to a point where we can bring our elbows, forearms and hands over the net toward the ball. Second, blockers seldom have the luxury of an approach in most blocking situations. However, if attack timing allows blockers the opportunity to carry slight momentum into their jumps (following lateral movement along the net, for example), jump height will be improved. Third, if a blocker has the opportunity to do a counter-movement during a standing block jump, it should be used. Counter-movements are clearly applicable for outside blockers who see the play develop in front of them and have enough time to perform the counter-movement. If there is not enough time to do a counter-movement; such as in a quick attack, the blocker should be slightly crouched, ready to explode upward as quickly as possible. Fourth, for blockers a vigorous arm swing is probably not an option due to the proximity of the net, the need for control and the small amount of time involved. However, some arm swing can occur by raising the arms during the propulsion phase to assist in gaining some additional height. Coaches have different philosophies concerning where the hands should be placed in preparation for a block jump. However, from a biomechanical standpoint, holding the hands down close to the level of the shoulders before the jump provides the blocker an opportunity to forcefully raise the arms in coordination with the jump, which will enhance vertical jump height. Finally, once the blocker is in the air, maximum penetration over the net and toward the ball (technically, to the estimated position where the ball will be when the attacker contacts it) should be the goal. Wide fingers and substantial penetration combine to take away available court for the attacker, maximizing block probability. What about a quick recovery position, if a blocker is faked into a false blocking attempt by the attacker and must immediately go back up? This is extremely situation-specific. The most proficient blocker is going to read the situation and determine the amount of time available to get back up to hopefully counter the second attack option. They will thus modify their second jump accordingly. For example, if there is sufficient time, the blocker will use the initial jump to generate a counter-movement for the subsequent jump. The second jump can be quite high under such circumstances. But more often, the second attack will come so quickly that there will be very little time to accomplish the second block jump. Thus, a hop-type jump may be the only option—one in which the blocker simply bounces with stiff legs in an attempt to get back into the air and into a blocking position as soon as possible.
Selected Reading #6
15 Factors to Individualized Jump Training Success Tom Justice Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Individual, Planned Recovery, Injury Prevention Priority, Performance Team, Safe Environment, Transfer Skills Study Questions:
• What is the first thing a VCS should do when establishing a jumping program? • Which of the 15 factors does training and conditioning most affect jumping results? • Which of the 15 factors does training and conditioning have little or no affect on jumping results?
he coach thought of everything in the jump training program for his team. Armed with the latest knowledge in plyometrics and weight training, with the widest possible latitude in the selection of exercises, he had designed a state-of-the-art plan that left nothing to chance—or so he thought. There were heavy full and partial squats in the plan as well as lighter jump squats, all arranged sequentially in carefully designed monthly and weekly cycles. Jumping on and off boxes (jump-ups and depth jumps), as well as over obstacles was done along with other plyometrics, both with single-foot and double-foot contacts. Weight vests were used during some cycles as were rubber cables and medicine balls. Explosive lifts such as the power clean and power snatch were used throughout. Yet, at the end of the training period, different members of the team experienced very different results. The good news was that all had improved in their jumping ability. Some had big increases in their jump, as much as 7½ inches. These players progressed according to plan. However, other players improved only a little, perhaps just an inch. This was the bad news. What caused these wildly fluctuating results? The answer is the training principle of individuality. The same training load applied to a group of individuals will have different effects, and these effects will vary as widely as the individuals vary within that group. This should not be surprising. In fact, this principle has been widely applied to a variety of athletic endeavors for many years. In strength training, for example, the load must be adjusted to each individual’s current strength capacity to be effective. Thus, a percent of 1RM (1 Repetition Maximum) is used to standardize the training effect by adjusting it to each individual. Two people lifting a 100-pound weight five times for 3-5 sets will experience two different results. Person A’s 1RM in the lift may be 200 pounds, whereas person B’s 1RM in the same lift may be only 120 pounds. For A, 100 pounds X 5 represents only 50 percent of 1RM and would be an insufficient load to cause any adaptive changes. For B, though, 100 pounds X 5 represents 83 percent of 1RM and would cause a strength
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning adaptation. For A to have a similar training effect, A’s weight would have to be increased to 166 pounds. Similarly, the complex training of swimmers and runners has of necessity been idiosyncratic for decades. Here, an intimate mixture of different energy systems must be juggled in training for each event, each athlete, and each stage in the athlete’s development. Two runners or two swimmers competing in the same event may finish with the same time, but each would probably achieve that time by using different percentages of aerobic and anaerobic capacities. Each would have to use different paces or speeds in training and different percents of aerobic threshold work, anaerobic threshold work, maximum oxygen uptake training, lactate tolerance work, lactate production training, and power training (ATP-PC work). It is this author’s belief that two volleyball players, jumping to the same height, also get to that same point through different percentages of each of the variables involved in jumping. In the absence of any definitive studies on the subject this extension of idiosyncrasy to jumping seems reasonable. If this is so, then the training of jumping ability in volleyball must become much more individualistic than it has been in the past. This is difficult for volleyball coaches and players to understand and implement, because one of the guiding principles for building team cohesion and esprit has been having team members perform the same workouts at the same time, together. An adjustment may be necessary in not only means but also in the manner of looking at things. Having said that, what are some of the individual factors that can affect jumping and jump training outcomes? There are many, both genetic and environmental: 1. Percent of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers. Different athletes have different genetic distributions of Type I (slow twitch oxidative), Type IIa (fast twitch oxidative/glycolitic), and Type IIb (fast twitch glycolitic) muscle fibers and will not only exhibit different performance capabilities but will also adapt to the same training stimulus differently. 2. Physical maturation. Athletes mature physically at different rates and ages. Young athletes will make a good deal of progress with light to moderate stress and an increasing volume of repetitions. Physically mature athletes, however, will find this approach inadequate to meet their needs and will need much greater emphasis placed on increasing the intensity of the work being done. 3. Training age and background. Some athletes begin the training process as young children in highpowered programs, while others may not begin until their high school years in a much more relaxed atmosphere. In the early stages of preparation all means are good, and the athlete who is young in training age will make rapid improvement on any kind of training program. With increasing training age, however, gains come more grudgingly
as the body readily adapts to the customary forms of jump training. A sharp departure from past training stimuli may be necessary to cause a further adaptation for athletes who have been training for a long time. 4. Somatotype. Different body builds provide different athletes with certain advantages which they can put to good use in jumping or certain handicaps which they must work to overcome. One of the most obvious of these is a high center of mass. Relative limb lengths and body proportions (brachiomorphic, long arms and legs, or dolichomorphic, long torso), is another, as is the thin or thick nature of the bones. 5. Body composition. Different individuals have different percents of lean body mass, and those with a higher percent of lean muscle mass have greater potential for force production and hence an obvious advantage in jumping performance. 6. Relative strength in relation to body weight. Some athletes are very strong but also very large, and their size may offset their level of strength when it comes to jumping. Other athletes will be much stronger for their size, and this relative strength gives them an advantage in jumping. The larger athlete must have much greater emphasis placed on development of a higher level of relative strength. 7. Jump physiology. Athletes have widely varying mixtures of strength and speed in the power recipe that they utilize in jumping. One athlete may be very weak, muscularly, but very quick and can jump with a much higher percent of speed in the formula. Such an athlete will benefit much more from an emphasis on strength development than by a continuation of light, speed-oriented plyometrics. Similarly, an athlete with very strong legs may have neglected speed work and will need a much higher dosage of plyometrics in the training program. 8. Jump biomechanics. Different athletes employ different approaches on an attack jump, both in stride length and stride rate, and on both approach and block jumps utilize different postures at take off. It is this author’s belief that take-off posture is influenced by the relative strength of the knee and hip extensors, and that the relative strength of these extensors is, in turn, influenced by the take-off posture. If this is so, athletes with powerful thighs will bend the legs deeper while those with stronger hips will bend the legs less. By extension, those with weak thighs may bend over more at the waist, and those with strong thighs would be more erect at take-off. Author’s note: An intriguing question to ask is, which came first? Did the athlete accidentally adopt a jumping style, which by virtue of its biomechanical peculiarities created different stresses on different muscle groups and, as a result, different strength outcomes, including imbalances, appeared? Or did pre-existing levels of strength in the ankle, knee and hip extensors pre-determine the biomechanics of the jump?
Chapter 1 Muscle balance. Athletes have differing degrees of strength in different muscles and use major muscle groups differently in performing the same movement, such as the vertical jump. In one electromyographic study it was found that the muscles crossing the ankle contributed 23 percent to the jumping movement, those crossing the knee contributed 49 percent, and those crossing the hips contributed 28 percent on average. However, one subject had a 69 percent contribution from the knee extensors and only 11 percent from the hips, whereas another subject had a 43 percent contribution from the hips and only 29 percent from the knees. (In another study these contributions were 22 percent from the ankles, 56 percent from the knees, and 10 percent from the hips, with the arm swing contribution 10 percent and the head 2 percent.) It is the author’s opinion that such discrepancies are probably the result of imbalances in the strength of the different major muscle groups. Under this assumption more muscle balance would lead to a greater summation of forces and an athlete who jumps from the hips, for example, would need to focus more attention on developing the strength and reactivity of the knee extensors, while an athlete with 69 percent contribution from the knee would need more work on the hips. 10. Strength of the upper body. No two athletes have the same level of upper body strength, and the explosive upward thrust of the arms plays a critical role in jumping; in fact, more than the stretch-shortening cycle. In one study of counter-movement jumping, the arms produced 12.7 percent of the peak total body vertical momentum. An athlete with a weak torso and arms will gain much greater benefit from upper body work and learning to fully utilize the muscles above the waist in jumping. 11. Balance between eccentric and concentric contractions. Athletes vary widely in their levels of eccentric strength (tension developed by the muscle as they lengthen), as well as concentric strength, and they also exhibit great variance in the switching over from one to the other—the stretch-shortening cycle. Some athletes need a great deal more emphasis placed on eccentric strength development and the switch over to concentric contraction. For these athletes, depth jumps are the exercise of choice. For other athletes, inadequate concentric leg strength may be the causative factor for limited improvement in jump training, and weight training is the answer. 12. Work capacity. There is a wide range of tolerance to work and physical discomfort among athletes, and some athletes are simply not able to work as hard or as long as other athletes. These athletes must have a precisely targeted training program that can be done with an economy of time. 13. Recuperative abilities. Athletes also vary widely in their ability to recuperate from the same training load. Some can rebound very quickly and are ready 9.
for the next training stimulus in a day or so. Others may need more active or passive rest to achieve the same state of readiness. This state of readiness for the next training load is critical in the training process, and a program that one athlete thrives on may cause burn-out in another. nfluence or interference of other training factors. 14. In What else are athletes doing that might influence the outcome of a training plan? One athlete might be enrolled in an aerobics class that pre-fatigues the muscles used shortly thereafter in the volleyball teams jump training. Another athlete may be jogging four or five miles, and such distance running will have the opposite effect of that desired in jumping. (Fast twitch fibers can become adapted to endurance and so lose their adaptability to jumping.) Athletes’ training programs must be adjusted to take into account the influence of other physical activities. 15. Extraneous environmental factors. Different athletes get different levels of sleep and experience different levels of stress not only from athletic competition but also academic pressures and interpersonal relationships. Often the best way to see improved concentration and performance during training with better jumping as a result, is to tackle an athlete’s specific unseen training stress. That which an athlete does during the training session is seen by the coach, but a very important concept is that training—the cycle of work and rest that leads to superior performances—is a 24-hour process. The above list of factors affecting individual athletes, while not meant to be comprehensive, should underscore the fact that training players to jump higher may have to be as individualistic as the players themselves. How, then, does a coach begin? First, by determining where each athlete is in relation to the major factors mentioned above. This determines each individual’s starting point. This can be done through simple observation, data collection, and physical testing of a standardized or non-standardized, informal nature. The author is not suggesting that a coach be burdened with such complicated testing and evaluation procedures as muscle biopsies, electromyographic studies, cinematographic or force plate analyses. These methods, while highly reliable, require a team of doctors, physiologists and biomechanists and a great deal of time to administer. For this reason they are impractical, and simple means must be found. Instead, the coach should rely on field tests that are easy to administer and yield the most information about an athlete’s state of preparation and training progress. Obviously, the vertical jump should be among these as a test of specific power (the block jump may also be used). The approach jump is also a good measure, and the difference between approach and vertical jumps can give the coach some clues about the degree that speed influences a given athlete’s jumping. The power clean is
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning an outstanding test of an athlete’s explosive capability against resistance, and studies have shown it to be the biomechanical twin of the vertical jump. It can also be used as an estimate of arm and torso power. A depth jump and reach (dropping down from a certain box height and rebounding immediately into a vertical jump) can be a strong indicator of eccentric strength and the stretch-shortening cycle. The coach can compare an athlete’s vertical jump height with the depth jump and reach height. Athletes with greater eccentric strength and a quicker stretch-shortening cycle will be able to drop from a higher box and still touch at the same height they would reach on a standard vertical jump. The full, parallel squat should be the standard measure of the concentric strength of the knee and hip extensors—the thighs and hips. Armed with information from tests such as these, plus a complete knowledge of the athlete’s training background and stage of development, the coach can design individualized jump training programs. In general terms, young athletes should begin with a brief program of less stressful plyometrics such as skipping, repeated block and/or approach jumps, jump tucks, double-leg hops, and jump ups (onto a box of a low height with emphasis on a soft, noiseless landing). Free-hand parallel squats or step-ups, using only the body weight, should be used to insure that the muscles of the upper leg are receiving balanced development. The volume of jumps should be kept low, and three to four sets of 10 with a total volume of 30-40 foot contacts are adequate to demonstrate substantial gains for novices. Each year the volume of jumps can be increased until eight or 10 sets are being done, and gradually more intense jumping exercises may be introduced such as jumps/hops over barriers and single-foot contacts (hopping on one foot). The squat can now be done with a broomstick placed across the shoulders, and wooden plates could be added for greater resistance. Finally, the athletes could progress to an empty barbell—just the bar, no plates. This same progression should be used for upper body exercises: calisthenic-type exercises first using only the athletes’ body weight and progressing to an empty bar. After this type of training, during the early years, athletes will have achieved a full adaptation to jumpingonly exercises as a means of progress. Results will slow down or stop altogether. The stage has been set, however, for the next phase of development. This occurs during the late teen years, when emphasis must be placed on increasing the resistance of certain exercises to rapidly build up an athlete’s strength. Initially, full squats may be done with a light weight at a fast tempo, three to four sets of 10 with 50 percent of 1RM. Gradually, the resistance must be built up over time—from three to four sets at 70 percent to four sets at 75-80 percent. Finally, low repetitions, 4-5, are done with sub-maximal weights, 85 percent or more, for four or five sets. The maximal
strength of the athletes must be developed during this stage. It is also during this stage that such power exercises as the clean, the snatch, and push press or jerk should be introduced and the resistance used in them be progressively increased. Research has shown a high, positive correlation between increases in the full squat and power clean and the vertical jump. Athletes in one study whose full squat improved 50 pounds increased their vertical jump by 4 centimeters. Those with a 50-100 pound improvement jumped 6.35 centimeters higher. Those adding 100-130 pounds increased their jump by 6.6 centimeters, and those who added 130 pounds or more to their 1RM full squat jumped 10.41 centimeters higher. The same relationship was seen for the power clean: a 20-pound increase here correlated to a 3.66 centimeters higher jump; 20-45 pounds increase yielded 3.89 cm. better jumps, 45-60 pounds gave a 6.5 centimeters result and those improving their power clean by 60 pounds or more were rewarded with an average of 9.5 centimeters greater vertical jumps. The build-up of maximal strength and speedstrength occurs over a period of several years, and increases in jumping ability are closely tied to increases in exercises like the squat and clean and snatch, with the caveat that jumping exercises must continue to be stressed. It is important to continue plyometrics during this time so that there will be a smooth conversion of strength to the specific needs of jumping and so that the neural adaptations of the stretch-shortening cycle, gained through jumping, are not lost but enhanced. Finally, at the elite level (fully mature athletes in their 20s) the maximal strength objective has been achieved and further improvements in jumping are not possible through this means. Instead, the objective should be the maintenance of maximal strength and the further development of jumping through much higher intensity plyometrics. Depth jumps, for example, become a primary focus, and jumping exercises must be done with weighted vests, or various other means of increasing resistance. Speed squats or jump squats should be interspersed with heavy squats in complex sets. Single-leg hops on and off boxes with a weighted vest can now be most effective, for example, because strength of the athletes has been built up enough to withstand the shock imposed by this exercise and respond favorably to it. Following these general guidelines, each individual athlete must be taken from where he/she is at to the next level in a planned, step-by-step fashion. Remember, the greatest problem in every sport, including volleyball, is to find the correct intensity of training for each athlete, done at the correct volume, with the proper mixture of each of the appropriate exercises. Individualized training is the means to accomplish this goal.
Chapter 1 Selected Reading #7
How to Condition Technique Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Transfer Skills Study Questions:
• What volleyball skills should be conditioned? • How does conditioning technique differ from weight room conditioning for volleyball? • How do you overload conditioning for technique?
n order to condition for technique we must first define technique. The technique we are concerned with is the position the body must hold prior to executing a volleyball skill. Conditioning of technique is of special value to players. In my opinion, I don't think that the value of technique conditioning has been recognized and analyzed even at the highest level. Current approaches to conditioning include strength training movements designed to strengthen the body parts that are used specific to overall volleyball activity. But this is only part of the picture. For example, upper body action of spiking is a complicated and coordinated movement. Certain related muscles may be strengthened in order to increase velocity of the arm, but this is only part of what needs to be done to improve overall hitting performance, which is the ultimate goal. Technical conditioning is conditioning of the elements that produce technically correct mobility throughout a pattern of movement range. This is the reason that the best method of improving any type of throw is repetition of the actual throw. A similar case can be made for the upper body role in the blocking movement during the final phase of penetrating to block a ball. The movement of jumping to perform the block is simple; the coordination to penetrate over the net is more complex. Conditioning experts have the most success developing jumping ability, but to increase the ability to penetrate better in order to perform a successful block, this is done with repetition of the skill performance. Volleyball is a game of endless variations of body shapes and positions during mobility, base of performance and actual performance. Its goal within this "shaping" is to create a base from which performance initiates and a contact area by which the ball trajectory is created. The challenge of creative conditioning is to find ways of simulating the correct method during the conditioning effort. The weight room as a strength training facility is not equipped to train this endless variety of shapes and positions within the technical realm. Exercises are tailored to train portions of activities but not the entire technique. This is the reason that conditioning of a technique should receive more attention in an attempt to condition the entire realm of technical performance.
Program Considerations The program I have advocated for a number of years is to repeat the technique with overload property. This method allows techniques be isolated; required speed, strength and flexibility within the pattern of movement be repeated, with an overload that does not affect efficiency. This method, however, doesn't promote elimination of separate, off-court, strength and conditioning training. Rather this awareness advocates the need of technical repetition as the main course of conditioning. Unless we focus on strength training as a portion of the conditioning program that has to get adequate technical repetition application, we may miss the boat on overall development of our players. An optimal technical performance needs strength, agility, flexibility, mobility and efficiency. But these adjectives must be repeatedly performed within the technical realm in order for them to become a part of the technical performance. This holistic approach to conditioning requires that volleyball conditioning specialists improve their knowledge of the techniques in the game of volleyball. The sport of volleyball, with gender difference, has long suffered from specialists who are not familiar with volleyball techniques and have introduced other sports’ strengthening or conditioning items to our sport with minimal benefits. This rings an alarming bell for coaches who directly do not supervise their athletes’ conditioning processes or are not enforcing their input into the design of conditioning items. A coach is responsible for team training, strategies, team selection, motivation, team chemistry, organization of practices, and many other duties. Conditioning of the players is an important part of this responsibility. Coaches must spend time with the conditioning specialists, teach them techniques and persuade them to design exercises than can improve strength, flexibility, mobility, agility, power, and efficiency all within the realm of technical performance. I use a variety of digging postures, which include low digging position for digging a tip, mobility to dig, getting into a variety of awkward defensive dig positions, and roll dig as items of a conditioning menu. The design of these exercises is to repeat the situational dig techniques with the required conditional efficiency to reach the state that performing a technique becomes reflex. Court training without the ball, covering all aspects of the game, is done repeatedly to incorporate the efficiency of technique performance into the game behavior of athletes. The challenge is how can we incorporate strengthening items into court training with technique, so that it is used correctly within the technical realm in gamelike settings. This type of conditioning not only
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning allows players to train all their techniques of playing volleyball, but also incorporates the items of conditioning trained separately; such as footwork, agility, power, mobility, flexibility, and strength within a game performance environment. I believe that novice players must adhere to an overall general conditioning as it is advocated by conditioning specialists, while advanced players have to incorporate their most demanding items into the sport, specific with correct technical considerations. In volleyball there are two very power-oriented skills. The first is jumping, such as the spike and block jumps. The other is the strike of the arm on the ball during a spike and how, through a supple range of motion, the hand comes through on impact with the ball. These are the two main areas of conditioning with which every coach is most concerned. Conditioning of other skills may sufferâ€”such as passing, setting, digging, rolling and recovery movements from unbalanced to balanced position, reading to get into proper position, changing from base to base positions and performing technically correct and conditionally efficient. A critical issue is the ability of a player to be able to exert enough power and have enough flexibility and agility to make the play within the urgency requirement from many unpredictable positions. Jumping and striking are dominating the conditioning menu while numerous other skills that dominate a player's performance are suffering. Technical conditioning has not been explored to a great extent. A large part of this type of conditioning goes beyond traditional strength training. It is the incorporation of strength, flexibility and mobility within the technical realm. Flexibility has always been regarded (wrongly) as an important part of warm-up. Flexibility as a warm-up item is usually done in static positions after general light physical activity. Many coaches and players believe this is the type of flexibility that will enhance a jointâ€™s range of motion, resulting in superior skill performance. Research literature states that long position holding prior to an explosive activity is counter-productive. After a long stretch there needs to be explosive mobility simulating the real action, in order to get muscles back to the explosive mode. Flexibility related to the game of volleyball is developing the technical conditioning process. It includes PNF flexibility as an important conditioning item, as well as dynamic flexibility performed with technically correct engagement. A coach's role in conditioning of technique is very important. Conditioning coaches should not have the sole control of this aspect of conditioning without coach's direct influence. There may be that after proper instruction, understanding and supervision,
coach can trust the conditioning coach to conduct solo training. However, this type of responsibility should be preceded with proper input and emphasis from the volleyball coach. In fact, conditioning coaches welcome input from the coach in this area. This is an excellent place for dialogue between the two, which will help create a better understanding of the game of volleyball by conditioning coaches while keeping the volleyball coach in touch with the conditioning process as well as conditioning the technical aspect of performance. Power is performed in a pattern of movement that requires technical efficiency. This cooperative effort should be the goal of every volleyball and conditioning coach to best serve the needs of the players.
Training Modalities Technical conditioning can be done by just using body weight. But light resistant gadgets can be incorporated, such as using medicine balls, tubing, light weights and weighted vests for improving technical performance. Body weight exercise is the place to start. An example would be a player going to a low position and holding one leg bent and the other leg out and stretched. The athlete can forcefully and under control come out of this position and switch to the other side. The sequence can be repeated, back and forth utilizing the player's body weight as resistance. This is resistance training modeling a volleyball technique. Why is it conditioning? Because it is repeated, causing an overload situation. Technique conditioning can also be done through repetition with ball-handling skills. If an athlete is unable to perform a technique satisfactorily, this may indicate a lack of strength or flexibility in performing the technique. The athlete may need external resistance training to help overcome the deficiency. This is where communication between volleyball coach and conditioning coach is critical. The determination of what to do to correct the problem should be a joint decision between the two with efficiency of technique in mind.
Overloading One of the principles of conditioning is overload. This is how performance improvement occurs. By overloading the body we force it to adapt to these overloads and create a higher level of performance based on adaptation to overload. In acquiring a technique, repetition is the most common method of skill attainment. How can we combine these two tools as one item of conditioning is the challenge of designing conditioning items. By repeating a technique beyond what is
Chapter 1 normal for the number of repetitions for practice and game situations, we create an overload. As the athlete fatigues, s/he is forced to recruit additional muscle tissue to maintain the tempo and proper technique of the skill. Before current methods of conditioning with specialists, many high-level players relied on this repetition manner to improve their conditioning and technique at the same time. I'm not advocating going back to the old ways of this type of repetitive training as the only method of training, but advocating that technique of conditioning should be part of a total conditioning plan and should not be ignored. If a choice is necessary, technique conditioning takes priority over off-court conditioning. Without conditioning technique and ball training, strength training as the conditioning approach may not be as beneficial. It's a one-two punch. Increasing strength of involved muscles without conditioning the technique movement patterns, will be of little performance benefit since the transfer to improved technique is not there. It's a matter of priority and sequencing. Besides repetition, adding sets and reducing the amount of rest between sets and exercises can create greater overload situations. The use of external resistance can be introduced as an athlete's abilities improve; however, the loading has to be carefully prescribed. If the overload affects proper technique, resistance is too heavy and needs to be reduced. Coaches need to carefully observe technique. Another consideration is development of movement quickness and agility. By adding too much resistance, the exercise becomes more of a strength/power development situation. We must remember we are training volleyball players where the external resistance we have to overcome is mostly the weight of a volleyball. The striking action, even though referred to as power exertion, is speed and agility base of upper body mobility more than strength base. In training for football, the external resistance that needs to be overcome is far greater with all the hits, pushes, and shoves in mind. So, the need to improve strength and power is relatively less for volleyball players than football players. Another example is the running speed requirement of volleyball players. In running along the net, a blocker's speed is controlled by the reading process. All agility trainings are wasted if mental agility is not included in reaction training. A quick first step is important but, based on the situation, the movement is controlled by reading. A volleyball court is a small area. Seldom, if ever, is absolute running speed required. So, the focus on linear power and speed development is also of questionable value. Of equal importance to
a powerful, penetrating block jump is the ability to perform a quick "flick jump" to react and confront tempo one attacks over the net. A quick reaction takes a quick first step and jump. Power is important, but so are reaction, agility, mobility and flexibility. In moving along the net to block a tempo one fast hit, players must keep their arms up since there is no time to bring them down and up again to perform a power block jump. Conditioning training should regard the importance of keeping arms extended while producing a block jump. To train this type of activity, the concern is not how high a blocker jumps, but can s/he read the behavior of an attacker while producing the jump, penetrating to the ball, and presenting adequate opposition halting the ball cross the net. The physical qualities are different and present unique conditioning challenges. The same consideration for spiking holds true. Sometimes weak or delayed timing may be necessary to get an attacked ball over the net and to the right spot at the right time during a rally. The body behavior of hitting, tipping and proper motion alteration of blocking has to become a focus of jump training, in order that the technique is included in the conditioning process. The game-challenging movements in volleyball are many. It is important to recognize the different technical conditioning that is instrumental in developing volleyball players. Anything a player does on the volleyball court should be included in a conditioning menu.
Integration of Technique and Conditioning Coaches have to manage several types of training. Participating with technical and tactical fluency requires condition the technical aspects on and off the court. An important consideration is that the process from on-court to off-court is smooth and the techniques are enhanced in both areas and implemented with specificity. Integration of on- and off-court conditioning is a balancing act that requires the close attention of volleyball coaches and good coordination between coaches and conditioning specialists.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Selected Reading #8
Building a Performance Resource Advisory Team Ken Kontor, CAE, C.S.C.S.
Principle Basis: Performance Team Study Questions:
• How does a VCS recruit advisory team members? • How are the responsibilities of the conditioning team separated from the medical team? • How does a VCS determine how many people should serve on the resource advisory team?
o man or woman is an island. This saying holds especially true for individuals responsible for conditioning athletes, whether it be coach, parent or athlete. The conditioning process is defined as elimination or reduction of severe injuries and improvement of athletic skills, including strength, speed, power and endurance specific to the needs of individual athletes and their sports. The world of conditioning contains a sea of information that is accelerating at an unprecedented pace. To navigate through this information, any person responsible for conditioning (conditioning specialist) must rely on outside assistance to fulfill the conditioning mission, which is offering the best care and development of athletes so that optimal performance is achieved, limited only by genetics.
Bridging the Knowledge Gap It is impossible to have good working knowledge in all areas of conditioning. To achieve success, a conditioning specialist needs to establish a Performance Resource Advisory Team to assist with areas in which the specialist has limited knowledge. Depending on the conditioning specialist's own expertise, the team can take on many different forms. No matter the structure, a conditioning specialist has one primary duty—to coordinate activities of the team including conditioning and the technical and tactical development of the athletes. This blending process, combining technical and tactical skills with conditioning (developing athletic skills), is the essence of athlete development and is the difference between success and failure in today's world of competition.
Defining the Role of Conditioning Specialists and the Performance Resource Advisory Team Responsibilities of a sport-specific conditioning specialist were defined by a special task force of coaches, athletes, conditioning experts and sports medicine personnel at the 1996 USA Volleyball Athlete and Coaches Summit held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. These responsibilities were peer reviewed and with minor changes can be applied to any sport. Here are the areas of responsibilities: 1 Be familiar with all aspects of the sport’s technical skills and tactical strategies.
Identify individual training needs and deficiencies of the athletes through physical testing. 3 Develop athletic skills and relate them to sports skills. 4 Design a year-round program effectively integrating individual athlete and sports-specific skills. 5 Apply training variables progression/overload, volume, load, choice/order of exercise, variation, training age/history, rest/recovery and classification of exercises (general, special, specific and injury prevention). 6 Understand the basics of physiology and biomechanics of the sport, including specific energy demands and how changes occur due to exercise. 7 Identify proper exercise technique and correct technique errors. 8 Know the injuries that commonly occur in the sport and be able to effectively design conditioning strategies to reduce their number and severity. 9 Effectively communicate with medical personal regarding the functional rehabilitation process of injured athletes. 10 Identify tools available to achieve athletic skill development and injury prevention, and how they work. 11 Answer nutritional questions and issues as they relate to health and performance and be familiar with all forms of recovery and regeneration methods. 12 Motivate players to adhere to their training programs. 13 Be familiar with aspects of sports vision and its relation to performance. There are many responsibilities. Very few people, if any, are qualified or have the time to handle all of them alone. This is why formation of a resource advisory team is so important to the success of your athletes. A conditioning specialist coordinates all activities of the resource advisory team, oversees athlete conditioning, and relates practice/training with the coaching staff. This person can be an assistant coach, head coach, athlete or a strength and conditioning coach with extensive participation or coaching experience in the sport. The first step is identifying a sports-specific conditioning specialist and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. Figure 1 (Page 26) shows the structure of a resource advisory team. The conditioning specialist and the athletes are the focal points of the team's services. The structure varies in each specific situation based on the conditioning specialist’s expertise and the resources available. As a general rule, the team has two divisions: performance team and medical team. The performance team deals with athletes who are healthy. If injury occurs, the medical team administers to the athletes until such time they are totally rehabilitated.
Performance Team Responsibilities Conditioning Coach: Designs exercise prescription programs to increase strength, power and other athletic skills. May have expertise in nutrition, especially recuperation and muscle building supplementation. Maintains close communication with the conditioning specialist to
Chapter 1 plan pre-, in- and off-season training. This communication discusses testing athletes, results of tests, conditioning strategies of each athlete and integration of practice/sport skill training, travel, recovery and regeneration activities. In other words, coming up with the "Big Picture" of total athlete development. (Maximum athletic skill + maximum sports skills = Optimal Performance). Conditioning coach may have several subcategories or disciplines and specialties, which may require additional personnel. These include speed coach, flexibility coach, dance or gymnastics instructor, personal trainer (offering individual training supervision), aerobics or spinning instructor, weight lifting coach (specializing in teaching Olympic-style lifts), martial arts instructor (combining mind and body control). Use of these additional specialists is based on the specific sport, resources readily available and time available for the athletes. Sports Nutritionist: Makes recommendations on proper diet, eating and fueling tactics, eating for improved performance and recovery. May or may not have a good knowledge of supplement use. Sports Psychologist: Provides guidance in all aspects of mental preparation and participation in sport activities. Acceptance and adherence to training programs is an important responsibility. Vision Specialist: Provides guidance in screening for vision abnormalities and treatment recommendations. Recovery Specialist: Specializes in external methods of recovery, such as massage. A knowledge of internal recovery methods (nutrition) is a bonus. Sports Physiologist: Recommends training programs based on metabolic considerations of the sport. Sports Biomechanist: Recommends training programs based on biomechanics and techniques of the sport.
Medical Team Responsibilities The rehabilitation process is a tiered progression. Personnel involved transition the athletes from level to level as they return to competition. Sports Medicine Physician: Diagnoses serious injury and recommends or conducts treatment. Psychiatrist: Diagnoses and treats mental problems, such as eating disorders. Athletic Trainer: Serves two roles: provide immediate care of an injury and conduct the rehabilitation process for an injury after physician treatment. Physical Therapist: Conducts the rehabilitation process of an injury after physician treatment. Reconditioning Coach: Serves as a bridge between the athletic trainer and physical therapist and the conditioning coach during the rehabilitation process. Integrates the injured area with the rest of the body to avoid detraining, imbalances and other situations that might lead to re-injury of the affected area or injury elsewhere in the body. The interrelationship of conditioning coach, athletic trainer, physical therapist and reconditioning coach is not clearly defined, but the focus is to avoid additional injury as an athlete returns to competition. This is the most critical aspect of the rehabilitation process. In many cases the conditioning coach or the athletic trainer/physical therapist serves as the reconditioning coach.
How To Put Your Team Together As previously mentioned, the advisory team flow chart (Figure 1) is a flexible working model that can have many scenarios and possibilities. It is important to remember that the performance
Figure 1 â€” Advisory Team Structure Administration
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning team can have a wide variation of personnel. It can be as small as one individual, the head coach who has all responsibilities of the conditioning process, or as large as one individual for each responsibility. It is based on the specific circumstances you find yourself in and your expertise. Medical team personnel are clearly defined. Each individual has gone through an extensive educational process to achieve universally recognized credentials; i.e., M.D., P.T. and A.T.,C. Performance team credentials are not as clearly defined. A certified conditioning specialist may not know how to teach exercise techniques such as the power clean, or manage large groups of athletes. A registered dietitian may not be familiar with the use of supplements. A Ph.D. sports scientists may have expertise in only a metabolic discipline, such as aerobic endurance. Selection of these individuals takes careful consideration. The first step is identifying a sports-specific conditioning specialist and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. This will determine structure of the conditioning resource advisory team. The second step is to have the sports-specific conditioning specialist assess the potential personnel resources available. Is there a university with an extensive sports program available? Most of a performance team can be found there. Or, this individual may have to piece the team together through resources within the community, drawing on experts from sports medicine clinics,
sports/health clubs, or high school coaches such as a track coach, to help with speed development. It is important to network within the local sports community to determine what experts are available and who are the best. If you strike out here, refer to Table 1, which has a national directory of many organizations that have resource personnel as members of their organizations. They may be able to refer you to someone in your area. The third step is the recruiting process. A sports-specific conditioning specialist must create relationships. Visit with potential team members. Identify the benefits of joining the team. Are they willing to help out with the hope of gaining individual clients, or will you have to pay them for their time? The final step is an organizational meeting. Bring the team together, have them meet and socialize. Specify clear goals and responsibilities to avoid turf wars. Establish lines of communication. Consider how often the team or parts of the team come together to discuss each athlete's situation. Is It Worth It?—Yes, • If you want to recruit the best athletes in the area to your program. • If you care about the health and well-being of your athletes. • If you want your athletes to perform as close to their genetic potential as possible. • If you are currently overworked. • If you want to win!Select ed Reading #8
TABLE 1 — PERFORMANCE RESOURCE TEAM ASSISTANCE DIRECTORY SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY Sport Psychology Registry Kirsten Peterson- US Olympic Training Center One Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs CO, 80909 719-578-4722
SPORTS SCIENCE American College of Sports Medicine PO Box 1440 Indianapolis, IN 46206 317-637-9200 www.acsm.org
SPORTS VISION International Academy of Sports Vision 200 So. Progress Ave., Harrisburg, PA 10109 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
STABILITY/POWER National Strength and Conditioning Association 1955 N Union Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80905 719-632-NSCA www.nsca-lift.org
American Optometric Association - Sports Vision Section, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri 63141 314-991-4100/www.aoanet.org
US Weightlifting Federation One Olympic Plaza Colorado Springs, CO 80909 719-578-4508 www. usweightlifting.org
INJURY PREVENTION/REHAB Health South Hotline 1-888-476-8849 American Physical Therapy Association N 3227 State RD 16 Suite D, La Crosse WI 54601 1-800-285-7787 www.spts.org National Athletic Training Association 2952 Stemmons Fwy. Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75247 1-800-TRY-NATA American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine 6300 N River Rd Suite 200, Rosemont IL 60018 847-292-4900/www.sportsmed.org NUTRITION Sports Nutrition- SCAN Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutritionistspractice group of The American Dietetic Association 90 S. Cascade Ave. Suite 1190, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 www.nutrifit.org/719-475-7751
AEROBICS Aerobics and Fitness Association of America 15250 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 818-905-0040 www.afaa.com SPEED USA Track & Field PO BOX 120, Indianapolis, IN 46206-0120 317-261-0500/www.usatf.org MOBILITY/FLEXIBILITY USA Gymnastics Federation Pan American Plaza, Suite 300, 201 South Capitol Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-237-5050/www.comusa-gymnastics.org
Chapter 1 Selected Reading #9
Choosing A Resistance Training Protocol That's Right For Volleyball Allen Hedrick
Principle Basis: Specificity, Adaptive/Progressive, Seasonal, Measured, Individual Study Questions:
â€˘ How do body building and volleyball training differ? â€˘ Why might a body builder choose to do leg extensions while a volleyball player would do squats? â€˘ What is power zone training and why is it important?
raining protocol is one of the first variables considered when designing resistance training programs for athletes. The training protocol determines how the exercises will be selected and organized into a system of training. The design of the program is critical because it is significant to determining the physiological adaptations that occur from training to be of value. The program must be to encourage adaptations that are beneficial to performance. Because a variety of training protocols are available, coaches and athletes must be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each method. This article provides information on commonly used training protocols. A majority of these training protocols come from the sport of bodybuilding, where the primary goal is increasing muscle size. Training is used to improve appearance, not performance. A bodybuilder is not concerned with digging quicker, jumping higher, or increasing hitting velocity. All the major muscle groups are equally important as a bodybuilder attempts to achieve symmetrical development. The development of functional strength, power or endurance is not of concern. Because of this, training a volleyball athlete like a bodybuilder is a disservice to the athlete. However, there are aspects of each training system that can be adapted to meet the resistance training needs of volleyball athletes. A review of each of the training systems, and the adaptations that make them applicable to volleyball players follows.
Split Routine System (bodybuilding method) The workout is designed to train specific body parts on specific days, rather than training the entire body each day. For example, the legs and upper back could be trained on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while the chest, shoulders and arms are trained on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The advantage of this system is that, because only a portion of the body is trained each day, multiple exercises per body
part can be completed without spending an exorbitant amount of time in the weight room. It also allows the musculature additional recovery time between training bouts, because each muscle group is trained only every other day. Realize that while rest time for specific muscle groups is increased with this method, demands are placed on the body similar to training the entire body each workout. Because of this, the split system does not actually increase rest time for the bodily systems involved in resistance training.
Split Routine System (volleyball) As noted, the split routine system organizes the resistance program to train different areas of the body on different days. This is suitable for bodybuilders, because each muscle group is more or less equal in importance. However, this is not the case in all athletics. While it is good to maintain a certain level of strength in all the major muscle groups, there is no justification for training each muscle group equally in terms of volume and intensity. The concept of specificity suggests that a training program should match, as closely as possible, the demands of the sport. In most sports, the area of the body requiring most attention is the "power zone" (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, abdominals, erector spinae). Thus, exercises that recruit the musculature in this area (e.g., cleans, jerks, squats) should be included in each workout, rather than using a split system. Other less important areas of the body, based on the specific demands of the sport, can be trained every other workout without reducing the effectiveness of the program. For example, volleyball athletes should train the "power zone" each workout, but could use the split routine method and train the chest only once or twice per week without reducing the effectiveness of the workout in terms of improving athletic performance.
Circuit Training (bodybuilding) Circuit training is generally used when the goal is maintaining a basic level of cardiovascular and muscular fitness. In circuit training a series of exercises (10-15) are performed with little (15-30 seconds) rest between stations. The circuit can be designed so that either a specific number of repetitions (10-15) are completed or a specific time (30-45 seconds) is spent on each exercise. The primary advantages of circuit training are that it can provide a greater emphasis on endurance than other resistance training systems, and a great number of exercises can be completed in a relatively short period of time. Two major disadvantages of circuit training are that increases in strength are less than what would be found using a traditional weight training program (e.g., four sets of eight with two minutes between sets) and increases in endurance are
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning compromised in comparison to what would normally occur as a result of typical endurance training (e.g., 30 minutes of continuous, rhythmic exercise such as running or cycling).
Circuit Training (volleyball) Circuit training can be used in athletics for a variety of purposes, such as: a) achieving a basic level of muscular strength in a sport that is predominantly aerobic, such as distance running. Such a program might consist of two circuits of 12 exercises, 18 repetitions per station, 20 seconds between exercises, completed twice per week. b) maintaining a base level of fitness during the competitive phase in a sport that does not require superior levels of strength or aerobic fitness, such as volleyball. This program could consist of 2 circuits of 8 exercises, 10 repetitions per station, 30 seconds between exercises, completed once or twice per week, depending on game schedules. c) developing and maintaining high levels of local muscle endurance, especially in the preseason. Circuit training can be used to help such athletes develop a tolerance for performing with high lactic acid levels. This occurs to a greater extent in beach volleyball as opposed to court play. This circuit consists of 3 to 4 circuits of 10 exercises, 45 seconds of continuous exercise per station, 15 seconds between exercises, completed three times per week. d) in sports that combine power and a minimal level of aerobic endurance, such as volleyball, circuit training can be combined with power training to enhance both performance components. For example, athletes could first complete two exercises emphasizing power, such as cleans and jump squats using a traditional set and repetition scheme (e.g., 4x3 with two minutes between sets and exercises). Following this the athletes could move into circuit training. This circuit could consist of two circuits of 10 exercises, 30 seconds on each station, 20 seconds between exercises, completed twice per week. Some of the stations within the circuit could consist of plyometric activities, which further emphasize increases in power and endurance. This demonstrates that in athletics, circuit training can be manipulated to achieve a variety of results, based on the specific needs of the athletes.
Priority System (bodybuilding) This method gives priority to those body parts deemed lacking in strength, size or both. For example, an athlete's chest may not be as strong or as muscular as it should. The priority system has the
athlete train the chest muscles with greater emphasis than the other muscle groups. In this example, emphasis occurs by training the chest early in the workout when energy levels are highest, and by the number of exercises selected to train the chest. The athlete performs bench press, incline press and flies before training another body part. The advantage of the priority system is that it allows emphasis on a specific, weaker area of the body. The disadvantage of this system is that emphasis may be placed on an area, which is not a priority relative to athletic performance.
Priority System (volleyball) Most strength and conditioning coaches use a variation of priority training. However, the priority is based on demands of the sport rather than on areas the athletes believe lack strength or hypertrophy. For example, a volleyball athlete may be unable to bench press as much as he would like. The traditional priority system method, emphasizes improving the bench press by placing this exercise early in the workout and by performing multiple sets and exercises for the chest area. In contrast, the athletic training system used by a strength coach, while not ignoring the need for adequate strength levels in all the major muscle groups, does not make training the chest area a priority because the musculature of the chest is not critical to soccer performance, for example. Instead, the demands of the sport are evaluated to determine critical muscle groups, predominant energy systems and areas of frequent injury. The resistance training program for athletes is developed from this evaluation. Priority is placed on addressing the specific needs of the sport. In volleyball, increasing strength and power in the "power zone" is emphasized. This area is critical in both spiking and digging. Strengthening the chest, while lower in priority than the power zone, is important for protecting the shoulder joint from injury. So, volleyball athletes emphasize the chest more than the biceps. This is because the biceps muscle plays a minor role in injury prevention.
Large Muscle Groups First (bodybuilding) This method prioritizes exercise order on the amount of muscle mass involved in the exercise. For example, in a workout of squats, leg extensions and calf raises, the exercises are performed in the order presented. Squats recruit the largest amount of muscle mass, so they are performed first. Leg extensions also recruit of a large amount of muscle mass. However, because leg extensions are performed while sitting they do not involve as much muscle mass as squats. Calf raises require the least muscle mass of these exercises, so they are performed last.
Chapter 1 There are two primary justifications for using this system when choosing order of exercise. First, exercises that involve a large amount of muscle mass (squats) have a higher degree of complexity than do exercises involving a smaller amount of muscle mass (calf raises). This greater complexity requires that these types of exercises be performed early in the workout, before the athletes are excessively fatigued. In contrast, calf raises are a low complexity exercise that athletes can perform with good technique even when fatigued. In addition, exercises involving a large amount of muscle mass require more energy than do exercises involving smaller amounts of muscle mass. Always perform the more complex exercise when energy levels are highest.
Large Muscle Groups First (volleyball) As with the priority system, most strength and conditioning coaches use the large muscle groups first method when designing training programs. Because the Olympic-style lifts (which are not used in bodybuilding) use more muscle mass than any other exercise, they are performed first in the workout. These exercises require a great deal of energy, and so must be performed when the athletes are fresh. Also, Olympic-style lifts (power clean) are technically difficult, so performance is enhanced when they are completed early in the workout. As in the traditional method, athletes generally proceed from exercises using the most muscle mass to exercises using the least. A primary exception to this occurs when a large muscle mass area is of lower priority than a smaller muscle mass area. For example, the muscles of the chest and shoulders are larger than the abdominal and low back muscles, in terms of muscle density. Thus, using the large muscle groups first method, the chest and shoulders would be trained before the abdominals and low back. In volleyball, increasing strength of the muscles in the power zone is of highest priority. In many cases the trunk should be trained before the chest and shoulders even though it involves a smaller amount of muscle mass. This is because training the trunk is often a higher priority than training the chest and shoulders.
For example, if the workout calls for, in order, bench press, lat pulldowns and incline press, more weight could be lifted when performing the incline press because the pectoralis muscles are more fully recovered than if bench and incline were performed consecutively.
Push Pull Method (volleyball) Many strength and conditioning coaches use the push/pull method when designing resistance training programs. While the exercises chosen for volleyball players may be somewhat different than those chosen for a bodybuilder, the idea is the same. Thus, the players could perform cleans, which is a pulling exercise, followed by jerks, which is a pushing exercise. The push/pull method is probably of value if maximal strength development is the primary goal, because it allows each muscle group greater recovery time. It is used infrequently in volleyball.
Alternate Upper with Lower Body (bodybuilding) This method has the same basic effect as the push/pull method. By alternating upper body and lower body exercises, the involved muscle groups can recover more fully. For example, if squats, shoulder presses and lunges are completed in this order, an athlete can perform lunges with a higher weight because the leg muscles recover during performance of the shoulder press.
Alternate Upper with Lower Body (volleyball) One benefit of this method is that it forces the workout to become more balanced between upper body and lower body exercises. Too often workouts are dominated by upper body exercises, while in the majority of sports the emphasis should be on training the power zone and lower body. While choice of exercise may differ between the bodybuilder and other athletes (e.g., the bodybuilder may choose to perform leg extensions while athletes choose squats), there are no adaptations that must be made to suit this training mode to athletes. Again, if maximal strength is the primary goal of training, this may be a preferred method.
Push/Pull Method (bodybuilding)
The push/pull method involves alternating joint extension and joint flexion exercises. For example, bench presses require "pushing" while lat pulldowns require "pulling." The benefit of arranging exercises in this fashion is that the same muscle group is not worked during consecutive lifts, allowing each muscle group to more fully recover before it is worked again. This allows a higher training intensity, in terms of actual weight lifted.
By making the correct choice of training protocol and by making necessary adaptations based on specific needs of the sport, the resistance training program can be manipulated to have a positive effect on volleyball performance. Note that in many cases the best option is a combination of training protocols, organized to result in a peak level of conditioning during the competitive and/or championship seasons.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Selected Reading #10
Volleyball Roundtable: Ask the Experts— Planning and Progression, How To Do It
Kent Miller, Dr. Mike Hebert, Miloslav Ejem Greg Brislin, Sean Madden
Principle Basis: Adaptive/Progressive Study Questions:
• What is meant by progression in training athletic and volleyball skills? • How does physical development affect skill progression? • How would you measure progression?
Progression can be defined as systematic and planned application of exercise training loads to improve the conditioning levels of athletes. Do you agree with this definition and how does skill progression mirror physical and athletic development progression? I agree with this definition. I may also note that progression could include the application of more complex and physically demanding exercises. For example, progression from single joint exercises to multi-joint exercises; from low impact plyometric jumps to depth jumping. I have found that skill progression sometimes lags behind athletic development. Evidence in the literature suggests that this effect coincides with increased muscular strength and new paths of recruitment of motor units. For instance, as there is an increased growth in a muscle or in muscle groups in a motor unit, new neural pathways are developed to utilize the increased strength in a particular skill and that skill may suffer slightly until the new pathway is well established and learned. Consider for example, a weak but accurate server. As s/he increases in core and upper body strength, his/her range improves while his/her accuracy in placing the serve may decrease until the muscle and nervous systems re-learn the skill. Greg Brislin I agree with the definition of progression. Skill progressions often mirror conditioning progressions. It is important to realize that conditioning or skill progressions are not necessarily an everincreasing application of physical load (conditioning) or ever increasing skill difficulty (skill). Loads or skill difficulty should be varied or cycled for specific goals or peaks. It is virtually impossible nor desirable to maintain one's physical condition at its absolute peak continually, just as it is also critical to peak one's skill performance at desired times during the year. Kent Miller
I agree with the definition given with some hesitation concerning use of the word "systematic". I believe, when using a plural in "conditioning levels,” you mean respective levels of motor abilities or some other parameters of an athlete's condition. What should be covered under your meaning of "progression" (its sense), I would call "training load management". While, I think, for skill learning and mastery the word "progression" is quite adequate and self-explanatory, for conditioning it is less applicable. This also means, in my point of view, that they do not really match, if you want to express improvement of skills on one hand and improvement or development of condition's parameters on the other. In skills, I believe progression means permanent refining of a skill being acquired by permanently adding new (techniques and tactics) elements in a consequential skill learning progression. Therefore, each practice requires improvement. This process does not necessarily mean permanent improvement. Plateauing of certain skills does occur. In conditioning development, load cannot be permanently increased--load dynamics must follow a wave pattern, and sometimes must have descending direction or remain at the previous level. Miloslav Ejem Years ago, I heard motor learning researchers say that the application of progressions in skill training could not be effective. The only effective way to teach a motor skill (such as serving or passing) was to have the learner repeat the entire skill while focusing on a specific key word or phrase. By repeating only segments or simulations of the skill, such as throwing a tennis ball over a net to simulate spiking, the athlete is practicing to become proficient only in that specific segmented movement or simulation and not the full motor pattern being taught, i. e., to be a good tennis ball thrower, but not a good spiker. But years of watching players practice and learn the game of volleyball leaves me with no doubt that the selected use of developmental progressions can be effective in skill training. For example, spiking requires that the learner possess sufficient strength to execute the skill. The coach will encounter significant problems if he or she is trying to teach spiking without the players having enough shoulder strength to swing at the ball properly. And the coach who attempts to train defensive receptions will be frustrated if players do not possess the core and leg strength to hold the low defensive posture required digging the ball. Frustration might be the least of the coach's concerns. Full-skill training before adequate
Chapter 1 strength has been acquired by the learner can also lead to injuries, or could pre-dispose athletes to injuries later in their career. And finally, the training of one phase within a skill requiring the combination of different phases can have merit. Let's take spiking as an example. This skill requires efficient combination of the following skills: an accelerating, delay-explode approach; an efficient foot position at plant that maximizes the transfer of lateral velocity to vertical lift; efficient arm lift to assist in the jump and to position the upper body for the arm swing; triggering of the sequential rotation of the torso, starting with the hips and ending with firing of the shoulder, elbow and wrist; use of the non-hitting elbow to block the torso rotation; and finally, pronated wrist snap through the ball that imparts maximum rotation and velocity. Learning to spike eventually requires that the learner perform all of these ingredients in combination. The "art" of spiking is evaluated by how well a player can creatively combine these elements. Repeating the whole skill, without pausing to think about each segment, is the only way to become a good spiker. Each of these elements can also be isolated for training. It is often too much to ask of a young player simply to witness a model of the spike, and then perform the spike. They can't do it. The task becomes more manageable for the learner when it is broken into components, and the learner is asked to practice each component. The coach must be vigilant to push the athletes toward practicing the full skill combination as soon as possible, since this is the ultimate goal. But progressions still have their place and should be considered as valuable lead-up activity in teaching selected volleyball skills. Dr. Mike Hebert I would refine this definition to say that progression is the systematic application of individually appropriate exercise training loads to improve conditioning levels of the athletes following a constantly reevaluated and readjusted plan. The first change points to the fact that what constitutes progression in a given situation is defined by the capacities and training habits of the athletes involved. What is progressive for one athlete might be either too static or too rapid for another. The second change points to the fact that planning cannot be completed in advance if true progression is to be maintained. Mapping out even a few weeks of steps then sticking to them will inappropriately ignore any number of factors that may inhibit (i.e., illness or injury) or accelerate (i.e., new found motivation or better scheduling) progression.
Planning out a whole year, then sticking to the plan, is impossible. Nonetheless, planning is essential. The key is that the plan must be subject to ongoing evaluation and adjustment. True progression is planning for tomorrow based on what happened today with the perspective of all yesterdays. I believe that skill progression exactly mirrors this definition of physical/athletic development: Skill progression is the systematic application of individually appropriate training drills to improve the technical and tactical capabilities of athletes following a constantly reevaluated and readjusted plan. Again, the unique capacities and training habits of the athletes will determine what is progressive. Also, the skills training plan must constantly be reevaluated and adjusted based on intervening events such as wins or losses, illnesses or injuries, the successes or failures of a preceding practice, and specific upcoming events or opponents. Sean Madden
How does the skill level of an athlete affect your physical and athletic development progression decisions? In reference to on-court ball handling skills, it does little to influence decisions of athletic development. A highly skilled athlete may be physically slower, weaker, etc., while a more athletic player may be less skilled. Physical testing and knowledge of a player's athleticism are the primary methods in determining what areas of physical development and progression an athlete needs. Greg Brislin Volleyball skills are often first broken down to the basic fundamentals, being taught in structured or controlled drills, then developed through a progression of more advanced techniques and peaking with complex situations requiring a high level of skill development. It is important to maintain a base of fundamental skill throughout a progression period. Often, returning to a controlled or structured drill while in a more complex progression results in higher overall performance. In both skill and conditioning progressions it is important that the athletes have success throughout the progression. Interim goals or drill criteria should allow the athletes to have a reasonable success rate early on and throughout the progression. Skill level of the athletes affects the level of the goals or criteria and particularly the increasing difficulty of these. It is important to maintain a balance of success and increasing difficulty throughout a progression. Skill development is often enhanced when an athlete is near fatigue. This can be used to maximize development over a given time. Kent Miller
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning There is a very close relationship, generally covering two aspects: a) Each skill requires a relevant (to itself ) level of respective motor abilities (level of conditioning, physical development). If you want to teach a beginner back court defense (retrieve?) and this beginner does not have strong enough quadriceps and other anti-gravitational muscles, you will never teach him/her correct low position, because such beginners will not be able to handle their own body weight. Such interdependence is valid for all skills. b) In order to develop those abilities and muscles relevant for given movement (or given training intention--goal—objective) you have to select correct skill (movement, technique) and organization of drill administration—but this is again load management—to reach the results you desire. Miloslav Ejem
load to focus on the athlete's mental attention during a given training period where you would like to see the most progression. Sean Madden
There is a constant give and take between physical or athletic development and skill development. First, this is true because of limited training time. When an athlete is most limited by lack of skills (i.e., passes poorly or mis-times attack approach), I will make the decision to spend the vast majority of that athlete's training time on accelerating progressive skill development at the expense of slowing the progression of physical or athletic development. When an athlete is most limited by lack of physical or athletic development (i.e., no power on attack or limited jump) I will dedicate a significant amount of that athlete's training time to maximizing progressive physical or athletic development at the expense of settling for maintenance or slow progression of skills. A more complicated interaction is one of physical readiness. Oftentimes, rapid progression in physical or athletic development will overload a player physically or create a state of flux that makes it difficult to achieve skill improvement. It is this fact that leads many coaches to limit strength training during the competitive season. Based on this reality, I feel that it is best to alternate between stages of emphasis on maximum physical or athletic progression, maximum skill progression, and balanced physical or athletic and skill progression. A final and equally complicated interaction is that of mental capacity. Few athletes have the ability to push hard enough to simultaneously tackle maximum progression in the physical or athletic realm and skill area. Though a coach's goal should be to progressively develop this mental capacity as well, it is important to adapt the overall training
A more mature (or developed) athlete more often will benefit from volleyball skill development, using somewhat different progressions designed for similar development. This allows the athlete to access slightly different approaches to a skill that may lead to increased performance, versus doing the same progressions as the athlete has already been through a number of times. Kent Miller
How does the maturation level of an athlete affect your physical/athletic development progression decisions? The physical maturation level of athletes plays an important role in determining not only workload and progression but also the types of activities and exercises in which the athletes can participate. More physically mature athletes can usually handle greater workloads and, as such, can withstand the forces generated by more complex exercises. On teams with players at a variety of maturation levels, it becomes critical that proper testing procedures are in place to determine individual limits and that the programs are highly individualized to account for the differences. Greg Brislin
There are several considerations: • Selection of drills (well-known aspect) • Selection of methods of loading players • Selection of respective load parameters. Miloslav Ejem Simply put, the more mature an athlete is physically, emotionally and mentally, the more accelerated the development progressions can be. Because the physical readiness of athletes for both physical and athletic and skill development varies greatly from individual to individual, rather than making global age- or gender-related decisions, it is best to carefully assess each athlete. This merely reinforces my earlier claim that progression must absolutely be defined for the individual. Sean Madden
How do you chart progression? What tools do you use? What clues do you use to tell you to increase training loads? I use a traditional method in tracking progression. I develop a yearly plan, which is broken into cycles (usually by time of season) and which is further broken out in terms of three- to six-week intervals. I daily chart individual workouts of the athletes and compare
Chapter 1 them to previous workouts. I monitor the workouts personally, which is a tremendous tool in itself, to see how the athletes are progressing. I am able to pick up on all of the little clues that paperwork or second hand accounts cannot provide. These include body language, attitude and exercise technique. These subjective clues can tell you a great deal about how the athletes are tolerating and progressing or regressing with the program. If it is too hard or easy; if they are bored, lethargic, energetic, excited, etc. I generally increase workloads on individual exercises if athletes can duplicate workouts with good technique. This increase in intensity is regular but flexible for the individuals. If an athlete hits a plateau, workloads may not be altered until that athlete can push through it. The program itself may be altered slightly to help break this level. Testing again plays a big key in progression. Testing to determine maximal weights for strength training exercises is done regularly, both before and after the individual cycles. This new max is used in determining workloads for the next cycle. Greg Brislin Systematically evaluating progressions is very difficult. Conditioning progressions are charted and loads are adjusted as performance goals are met. With skill progressions, difficulty is increased based on success meeting drill criteria. Maximizing performance gains requires a combination of evaluation and adjustment of the progression based on each athlete's performance, rest, ability and conditioning level. Kent Miller The answer to this question reflects an understanding of the phenomenon "training load" and the entire concept of "training effects." Only your note about clues "to increase training load" seems to indicate that you are not willing to decrease load. But, that is one of the very important issuesâ€”a load's dynamic waves; at times it goes up, at times it goes down, including the entire load, (the components of volume, intensity, etc.) Always have charts depicting load over time (volume and intensity) in graph form. Time is drawn on a horizontal axis; the vertical axis features volume and intensity. This depends on what we want (or can) follow (e.g., intensity of a drill expressed over time and compared to maximal individual performance in the drill). The main goal is to have objective measures of training's effects as well as training load and its components. My position stresses training effects (body responses) as the main indicator of load changes. By knowing your athletes, you can follow subjective changes. Miloslav Ejem
I personally have charted physical and athletic development using a spreadsheet template that allows me to input resistance loads, movement times, jump reaches, etc., using a portable touchpen computer. Rather than waiting for special testing days, I try to collect this data unobtrusively during normal training. The advantage of using a computer is that I can automatically generate graphs and comparisons of the data. Paper charting can work equally well but places a greater load on the recorder to do calculations. When it comes to resistance training, I ask athletes to lift to failure on every set. When they complete a number of repetitions on their final set that exceeds the maximum number desired for the current training, then my spreadsheet template automatically recalculates the appropriate training load. For example, if we are in an explosive strength phase and a player hang cleans 150 pounds six times in the third set when the phase calls for sets of 2 to 4 reps, then that athlete's next workout load will be increased to 160 pounds. In most other cases, I rely on thoughtful observation to determine adjustments in training load. This is the essence of the art of coaching. When a player seems unchallenged physically, emotionally, or mentally, then the load is increased appropriately. When a player is stagnating or plateauing, then the entire nature of training may be changed. When a player is emotionally worn down, then a new environment is created. When a player is mentally tired, then the emphasis is shifted to less thinking and rawer physical effort. When a player is physically tired, then the physical pace is slowed and the focus shifts to learning concepts and tactics. It would be nice if there were clear-cut clues, but that is not the case as every player and every team seem to progress, plateau, and perform uniquely. A good coach will constantly reevaluate plans and adjust accordingly in all realms of development: physical and athletic, skill, mental, and emotional. Sean Madden
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Selected Reading #11
Your Guide to Volleyball Strength Development: How to Divide Your Training For Peak Performance Tudor O. Bompa, Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Seasonal Study Questions:
• What is meant by Anatomical Adaptation? • What are the types of strength required in volleyball? • What is meant by the conversion phase? Periodization, in simple terms, is planning. “Performance Conditioning for Volleyball” is fortunate to have one of the world's leading experts on periodization present to you a comprehensive look at how to use the component of strength to become better volleyball players. It is important to remember, however, that strength training is part of a bigger picture. As a player or coach you must consider the technical, tactical, psychological and social aspects of volleyball to become a better player. In order to help you understand the periodization or planning process within this article “Performance Conditioning for Volleyball” will present practical considerations designed to help you apply the information for your own use. [Ed.] eriodization of strength refers to division of the training year into specific strength training phases to achieve peak performance at the time of the major competitions of the year. If properly manipulated, the specific training methods prevailing during these training phases ought to take players to the highest level of power expressed in increments of vertical jumps. The proposed model has already been applied to college players, who over an eight month period have improved their vertical jumps by an average of six inches!! Effectiveness of periodization of strength is unparalleled by any other approach in strength training, especially by the methods borrowed from bodybuilding or weight lifting.
Introduction Although there is not much need to demonstrate the importance of strength in volleyball, it seems to be necessary, however, to refocus our attention not on the question "if," but rather on "why" and "how"!! The purpose of strength training for volleyball is not to build big muscles since they are rarely equated with improvements in power. On the contrary, strength training should be viewed as an important ingredient for developing the physiological needs of volleyball in order to improve players performance. As such, strength training does not have to be developed independently from other abilities (i.e., reactive, power-endurance), or in disregard of the planned training phases leading to championships or league
games. In order to make strength a valuable physiological ingredient, it has to be trained in such a way that gains in strength lead to the highest levels of jumping power and be effectively applied during the game. In order to achieve this, strength training has to be periodized or structured into a longer strength program in phases with certain emphasis, leading to the competitive phase. If, during games, strength gains are not effectively used to produce peak performance, the whole exercise is useless and a waste of time, no matter how big the muscles.
Types of Strength Required in Volleyball In order to maximize player potential, gains in strength have to lead to game-specific adaptations. As such, volleyball players require development of the following strength related abilities:
Power Refers to the rate of applying force. When quickness (speed) is integrated with maximum strength, power is the outcome—a determinant quality in any type of jumping or quick changes of direction.
Take Off Power A crucial element in volleyball in which a player attempts to project the body at the highest point to either spike or block. In most cases, the vertical force performed at the instance of takeoff is at least twice as much as the athlete's weight. The height of the jump is directly proportional to leg power.
Reactive Power Refers to the ability to generate the force of jumping immediately following landing (therefore "reactive") such as in spike, land and block. This kind of power is also necessary to quickly change direction of motion during a game, especially in the back line. The force necessary to perform a reactive jump depends on height of the jump, the athlete's body weight, and leg power. For instance, for reactive jumps one displays a force equal to 6-8 times own body weight.
Power-Endurance Development of power, as expressed by a high vertical jump to spike over the block is essential for any serious volleyball player. However, if one is not capable of duplicating it some 200 times per game, (the average number of spikes and blocks performed by a college player), a player's jumping effectiveness decreases in the latter part of the game. Therefore, coaches ought to pay maximum attention to the development of power-endurance, or the ability to consistently perform quality jumps for the entirety of the game.
Chapter 1 Periodization of Strength for Volleyball Periodization, as explained above, has the scope of structuring training in such a way that peak performance will be reached at the time of main competition(s). As illustrated by Figure 6, the periodization of strength has certain phases, each having specific strength training objectives.
Conversion Maintenance of: to P/P-E -P - P-E
Transition Compensation training
Figure 6â€”The main strength training phases for the periodization of strength for volleyball. Practical Consideration: Sit down with a calendar and look over the coming year. When are the major competitions? Will you play club, beach, and/or for a school? Only if you know this information can periodization become a valuable tool for you. Always remember to set time aside to develop as an athlete. Better athletes make better volleyball players.
AA (Anatomical Adaptation) Represents the first phase of the strength training program, and it is organized immediately following the "Transition" (off- season) phase. The name of this phase has been specifically selected to illustrate the fact that the main objectives of strength training is not an immediate overloading, but rather a progressive adaptation of athletes' anatomy, such as muscle tissue, ligaments, and tendons, for the more challenging program of the following phases. During a 3-6 week program, the coach should attempt to develop the core area of the body to balance between body sides, flexors, and extensors. One should involve most of the muscle groups, each set being performed without stress and without any discomfort. Practical Consideration: This is what Dan McDonough, USA Volleyball National team conditioning specialist calls "developing a base." Just as a house needs a strong foundation, so do volleyball players. Younger players need to spend more time in this phase. This is key to an injury-free volleyball career.
The duration of this extremely important phase is 6-9 weeks (multiple of 3) since the load in training is increased in steps, normally in three steps. Practical Consideration: Lifting as much weight as you can one time is a major concern to parents, coaches and medical authorities. Itâ€™s important that the players have experience and can demonstrate perfect technique. Younger athletes who have not reached puberty should not lift a weight unless they are able to do it six times minimum. If you are worried about lifting maximum weight for one time, you can use conversion charts that roughly translate what you can do for multiple repetitions into a one repetition maximum. You can then figure the weight with which you should train.
Conversion The main purpose of this phase is to convert, or transform, gains in MxS into competitive, volleyballspecific combinations of strength: power (P) and power-endurance (P-E). By applying an adequate training method for the type of strength sought, and through the application of specific training methods, MxS is gradually converted into P and P-E. (Please refer to the training methods part of this article).
Maintenance Many coaches still follow the tradition that as the league games start, strength training is eliminated from the athletes' overall program. However, if strength training is not maintained during the league games, the players will be exposed to a detraining effect with all its negative elements such as: decrease of the size and power of muscle fiber, decrease of motor recruitment pattern, decrease in the amount of force and speed one can generate, etc. Therefore, a maintenance of P is essential in order to peak for the major games of the season. Practical Consideration: This is probably the hardest thing to do as you get caught up into the routine of the season and time is a premium. Training a body part as little as once a week will go a long way in maintaining your strength and power and will do wonders for your confidence late in the season when you need it most.
Transition MxS (Maximum Strength) Referred to as the heaviest weight one can lift in one attempt, one repetition maximum (1RM), or 100% of one's potential. The main objective of this phase is to develop the highest level of force. One will never increase the level of power unless MxS is constantly increased. Since power is the product of MxS and speed, it is logical to first develop MxS and then convert it into power.
In addition to having the scope of removing the fatigue accumulated during the past year of training and to relax psychologically, during transition one must maintain some physical activity (40%-50% of the volume of training of the competitive phase), including strength training. If during these 4-5 weeks of lower intensity training one does not perform any strength training, reductions in muscle size and loss of power can occur.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning COMPENSATION work involving mostly the antagonistic and stabilizers is a vital necessity during this stressless phase of the annual plan. Practical Consideration: This idea has been made popular by shoe companies who have introduced the term “cross training.” This should be new, different and refreshing.
For the scholastic, collegiate program the periodization model follows a double periodization, meaning the players will peak twice per year: spring season and collegiate season in the fall. (Figure 8) As such, there are two AA, MxS, conversions and maintenance phases with a short transition (T) in early June. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Periodization Models for Volleyball In order to produce game-specific, neuro-muscular qualities such as power and power-endurance, strength training should be periodized. In fact, periodization of strength represents a training strategy in which the coach or player manipulates certain elements of strength training. The ultimate goal is to produce the highest level of power. This is accomplished when strength training is planned in a certain sequence over specific training phases. Each of the proposed periodization models refers to a certain level of play. Since the competitive phase (in-season) differs for each level of athletic ability, so does the overall approach to periodization of strength. Figure 7 illustrates a high school program model. The preparatory (preseason) phase is very long, which represents an advantage in the sense that the coach can plan a long AA. As such, the program can follow a better progression of training loads. This gives the players time for a better adaptation of muscle tissues, ligaments, and tendons. Such an approach will increase the chances of producing injury-free athletes.
Figure 8—Proposed Periodization of Strength for Scholastic/Collegiate Programs.
Periodization of strength models proposed for open club (Figure 9) and beach volleyball (Figure 10) follow the standard training phases, with the only remark that load for the MxS phase for the latter three models could go as high as 100% of 1RM. In order to increase the level of P from year to year, it is imperative that MxS increases continuously since P is a function of MxS.
SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG Preparatory AA
Figure 9—Suggested Periodization of Strength Model for Open Club Program.
NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN Preparatory
Competitive Trans C
Figure 7—Periodization of Strength Model for a high school program. Note: Second line refers to training phases of the Annual Plan. Third line proposes the Periodization of Strength. Legend • Preparatory/Prep/P = Preseason training • Compet/Competitive = In-season • Trans/T = Transition or Off-season • C = Conversion to P/P-E • Com. = Compensation training
The MxS phase is six weeks long. Considering the fact that many high school players do not have a good strength training background, coaches are advised to use loads below 80% of 1RM. The conversion of MxS to P and P-E is planned for the month of August so that by the time league games start in September, the players' physiological potential will be at the highest possible level.
Figure 10—Periodization of Strength Model Suggested for Beach Volleyball
Training Methods Training Methods for Anatomical Adaptation Scope of the AA phase is to progressively adapt the muscles, and especially muscle attachments to the bone, to easier cope with heavier loads (weight) during the following training phases. As such, the overall load in training has to be increased but without experiencing much discomfort. The easiest method to consider for AA is circuit training (CT), mainly because it is a good organizational method and it alternates muscle groups.
Circuit Training Although CT can be used to develop both aerobic endurance as well as combinations of strength, for the purpose of the AA phase it will be adjusted to serve the development of strength.
Chapter 1 In developing CT, a high variety of exercises can be used such as: own body weight, surgical tubing, medicine balls, light implements, dumbbells, barbells, and any strength training machines. A circuit may be short (6-9 exercises), medium (9-12 exercises), or long (12-15 exercises). A circuit may be repeated several times, depending on the number of exercises involved. Obviously, the number of circuits, number of repetitions per station and the load has to consider an individual's work tolerance and fitness level since during AA, the total work should not be so high as to push the athletes to a level of pain or discomfort. CT exercises must be selected to alternate muscle groups favoring, therefore, a better and faster recovery. The rest interval (RI) between stations can be anywhere between 60-90 seconds and1-3 minutes between circuits. Considering the general purpose of the preparatory phase and particularly the scope of AA, exercises should be selected to develop the core area of the body, as well as prime movers (the muscles primarily used in volleyball). Since CT may be used from the first week of AA, coaches should test for 1RM in order to calculate the load for at least the prime movers (muscles used most in jumping and spiking). The stations of a CT should be selected according to equipment available in a gym. As illustrated by Figure 11, training parameters for experienced athletes are quite different than those for novices. A longer AA phase makes good sense for novice athletes since they need a longer time for adaptation, and for creating a good base for the future. On the other hand, a much longer AA phase than 3-5 weeks does not result in visible gains for the experienced athletes. The duration of AA, frequency of training sessions per week and other parameters for CT are suggested below for both younger and experienced athletes.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Duration of AA Load (if weights are used) No. of Stations/Circuits No. of Circuits/Session Total time of CT/session Rest interval between exercises Rest interval between circuits Frequency/week
8-10 weeks 30-40% 9-12(15) 2-3 20-25 min. 90 sec. 2-3 min. 2-3
3-5 weeks 40-60% 6-9 3-5 30-40 min. 60 sec. 1-2 min. 3-4
Figure 11â€”Proposed Periodization of Strength for Scholastic/Collegiate Programs.
Practical Consideration: When first starting, muscle soreness will be a problem. Plan to have two to three sessions that introduce muscles to the exercises using light weights. This will also allow you a more effective way of finding your (1RM) and your training weight.
Training Methods for Maximum Strength Phase A player's ability to generate MxS depends to a high degree on: 1. Diameter (size) of the muscle. 2. Capacity to recruit fast twitch (FT) muscle fibers, and; 3. Ability to synchronize together all the muscles involved in action (a learning component, which increases with the practice of lifting heavy loads). The capacity to recruit FT fibers particularly depends on training content, in which maximum loads and explosive power ought to be dominant. Only this type of strength training results in the involvement on action of the powerful FT muscles. Exercises used for development of MxS are not carried out under conditions of exhaustion as in bodybuilding. On the contrary, because of maximum activation of the Central Nervous System (CNS) including factors such as maximum concentration and motivation, MxS training improves links with the (CNS), which leads to improved muscle coordination and synchronization. Practical Consideration: This is known as quality training. It takes patience and can't be rushed. To gain MxS, allow at least one minute between sets and exercises. Worldclass weight lifters allow as long as six minutes! This is impractical for volleyball players.
The Maximum Load Method (MLM) In the entire concept of periodization of strength, MxS improved through the maximum load method represents one of, if not the most, determinant factors in development of other types of strengths used in the production of volleyballspecific strength (P and P-E). Improvement of MxS using maximum loads has certain advantages, such as: 1. Increases motor units activation resulting in high recruitment of FT muscle fibers. 2. Represents the determinant factor in increasing P. As such, it has a high neural output for volleyball where power is dominant. 3. Is a critical element in improving P-E. 4. Improves coordination and synchronization of muscle groups during performance. Since in physical actions such as spiking and blocking, the muscles are involved in certain sequences, the MLM has a learning, neural component. The better the coordination and synchronization of the muscles involved in contraction and the more they learn to recruit FT muscles, the better the vertical jump. One of the most positive outcomes of the MLM on power dominant sports is an increase in the number and diameter of the contracting elements of the muscles. MLM also increases the hormone testosterone level representing, therefore, another explanation why it improves MxS.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Because of the strain of training and utilization of maximum loads, MLM has to be performed only after a minimum 2-3 years of general strength, using lighter loads. But strength gains are to be expected even during this phase of long-term AA, mostly because of motor learning when athletes learn to better use and coordinate the muscles involved in training. Among the most important elements of success for MLM are:
The Load As already mentioned, MxS is developed only if one creates in muscles the highest tension possible. However, if most muscle fibers, especially FT, are to be recruited in contraction, loads over 85% are necessary. Maximum loads with low repetitions result in significant nervous system adaptation, better synchronization of the muscles involved, and an increased capacity to recruit the FT muscle fibers.
Number of Sets If MLM is to have the highest benefit for improving MxS, one should expose the prime movers (spiking and blocking muscles) to the highest amount of work. In order to achieve that, coaches and players should plan a training session with the highest number of sets the athletes can tolerate (6-8 or higher). However, this is possible only if the number of exercises are low, not higher than 3-5. In doing so, the coaches and players have to be very selective, to choose only those exercises that address the prime movers. As such, one should resist the temptation promoted by some strength specialists, who under the influence of bodybuilding suggest higher number of exercises. The order of exercises has to be arranged in such a way that allows a better alternation of muscle groups and as such, to better facilitate local muscle recovery between sets. P r a c t i c a l C o n s i d e r a t i o n : Mutli-joint exercises such as the clean and the jerk are sometimes considered here. But these are exercises that are highly skilled and take time to learn. Therefore, you can start with pulling movements such as the upright row from the floor that involve the major muscles of the back, hips and legs and can be learned quickly. In addition, pushing movements should be done where the athletes are pushing off the ground such as an overhead press involving the shoulders as well as hips and legs for stabilization.
Rest Interval (RI) The interval between sets is a function of each athletes' fitness level and it should be calculated to ensure an adequate recovery of the neuro-muscular system. For MLM, a 3-6 minute RI is necessary since maximum loads involve the CNS system and thus its recovery takes a longer time than the skeletal muscle system. If the RI is much lower, the nervous system participation in the form of maximum concentration for the task at hand, motivation, and the power of nerve impulses sent to the contracting muscle, could be doubtful.
Rhythm or Speed of Execution Plays an important role in MLM. In volleyball, everything is performed fast and explosively. In order to maximize one's ability for high performance, the entire neuro-muscular system has to be adapted to such requirements to be able to quickly recruit the FT fibers. Therefore, even with maximum loads typical for MLM, an athlete's force application against resistance has to be exerted as fast as possible, or even explosively. No.
No. of exercises
No. of repetitions per set
No. of sets/session
Figure 12â€”Suggested Training Parameters for MLM.
Of great importance in achieving explosive force application, is an athlete's maximum concentration and motivation before each set. Although the barbell may travel slowly, the athlete has to concentrate to activate the muscles as briskly as possible. Only a high speed of contraction performed against a maximum load will quickly recruit the FT fibers, resulting in considerably increased MxS. Furthermore, for maximum training benefits, mobilization of all the strength potentials should be performed in the shortest time possible and from the early part of the lift. Practical Consideration : Always use proper exercise technique.
Number of Repetitions Since the load for MLM is maximum, the number of repetitions per set is low: 1-4(6) and the suggested number of repetitions per training session is between 15 and 80.
Training Methods for the Conversion Phase Conversion to Power Strength training went a long way to establish itself as an increasingly determinant element in athletic
Chapter 1 performance. Now it is so popular that almost every Isotonic Method player does some sort of strength program in the hope The attempt to move a weight as rapidly and of breaking new athletic standards. However, what forcefully as possible through the entire range of most strength programs are lacking is the transformamotion represents one of the classical methods used tion of strength gains into volleyball-specific strength. for power training. Free weights, or any other piece Thus, the conversion phase. of equipment that allows one to move it with high The main scope of the conversion phase is to acceleration, (i.e., medicine balls) represents a good transform all the gains in strength into a competimeans of achieving the goal of power development. tive and game-specific P and P-E. It should be A high level of MxS is necessary also for the early obvious to everyone that the raw (i.e., basic and part of a lift or throw. Any barbell or implement medunspecific) gain in strength does not aid athletic icine ball has a certain inertia (its own mass, or performance, but rather this new game-specific weight). If the barbell or implement is to be lifted or product, which is the outcome of the conversion thrown explosively, the most difficult part is the early phase. P and P-E represent the physiological foun- part of the lift or throw. dation for new advancements in athletic performIn order to overcome the inertia, a high tenance during the sion has to build in the competitive phase. By muscle to achieve it. The No. Training Parameters Work the time the conversion higher the MxS the easier 1 Load 30-50% phase ends, the imporit is to overcome the tant games start. And at inertia and the more 2 No. of exercises 2-4(5) this time, P should be at explosive the start of the 3 No. of repetitions per set 4-10 the highest levels to movement. This is only 4 No. of sets/session 3-4 assist the players to possible if one has the achieve their performcapacity to quickly con5 Rest interval 2-4 min. ance goals: highest vertitract the muscle to create 6 Rhythm/Speed of Execution dynamic/fast cal jumps. such a speed. This is why An athlete can be very any athlete involved in 7 Frequency/week 2-3 strong, have large muscle volleyball needs to work Figure 13â€”Suggested Main Elements of P Training on power training during mass, and yet not able to for Volleyball. the conversion phase. display power for the reason of his/her inability to Without power training contract already strong muscles in a very short period one will never be able to jump higher, move faster, or hit the ball more powerfully, no matter of time. In order to overcome such deficiencies, the how strong! player has to undergo special training, which will result in improvement of the rate of force production. This is achieved by shortening the time of motor unit Load During the MxS phase, athletes are used to maxirecruitment, especially FT fibers. During the conversion phase, it is necessary to mum loads. Therefore, to use loads between 30%-50% of 1RM for the development of power does not reprebe energy conscious to spend most energy for technical and tactical training, and a lower propor- sent a challenge. But to using such a load and also create a high acceleration does. tion of it to be used for power training. This is why the lowest possible number of exercises has Number of Repetitions to be selected, which, as said, has to be as closely Is not high (4-10) since the key element for related to the skills as possible. Time and energy power training is not how many repetitions are should not be wasted on anything else. The properformed, but rather, how powerfully and quickly gram has to be very efficient, 2-3 exercises, they are executed. Therefore, the suggested numdynamically performed over several sets for maxiber of repetitions per set do not necessarily have mum return. The program has to be performed to be performed non-stop. Since quickness of conquickly and explosively in order to recruit the traction is the essential element to achieve P, one highest number of motor units at the highest rate can perform few repetitions (2-3), have a short of contraction possible. Practical Consideration : Mutli-joint exercises rest, and then perform the rest of the repetitions planned for a particular set. In this way, the playwith pulling movements such as the power pull, ers can concentrate maximally in order to achieve can be learned quickly. In addition pushing movethe most dynamic move. Only maximum concenment should be done such as the push press tration and explosive action results in the greatest involving the shoulder as well as the hips and FT fiber recruitment. legs.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Number of Exercises This has to be the lowest possible 2-4 with a maximum of 5. By doing so one can perform the highest number of sets realistically possible (3-4) for maximum benefit of the prime movers. When making the decision on the number of sets and exercises, one should not forget that power training is performed in addition to technical and tactical training. A key element in the development of power by means of isotonic method is the rhythm and speed of execution. For maximum power improvements, the speed of exertion has to be as high as possible. The fast application of force against an implement or weight throughout the range of motion is essential, and it has to start from the early part of the movement. In order to achieve that, athletes have to maximally concentrate on the task, to be able to displace the implement at once and dynamically.
Ballistic Method For the ballistic method, the muscles' force of an athlete can be applied against implements such as shots used in shotput in track and field, medicine balls, heavy bells and plyometrics. Since the force of an athlete exceeds by far the inertia of these instruments, the motion occurs explosively. The method used to enhance power by employing such instruments is called the ballistic method. During a ballistic action the athlete's energy is imparted against the resistance very dynamically, from the beginning to the end of the motion. As a result, the implement is projected at a distance proportional to one's power applied against it, or against the floor (for plyometrics). Ballistic exercises can be performed at the end of a training session or immediately following warm-up, depending on training objectives. If one has planned important technical or tactical work in a given day, the additional work, such as development or improvement of power, becomes a secondary goal. However, work on power can often be planned immediately after warm-up, especially in the late preparatory phase. Under this condition, power training of an explosive nature is enhanced since it is performed in a state of physiological freshness. A rested CNS can send more powerful nervous impulses to the working muscles for quick contractions. The opposite is true when the CNS and muscles are exhausted: inhibition is dominant, thus preventing an effective involvement of the FT muscle fibers. Performing intensive work prior to any type of power training of an explosive nature exhausts the athletesâ€™ supplies of high energy ATP/CP. If energy
is not available, quality work is impossible. In addition, the easily fatiguable FT fibers can hardly be activated and, as a consequence, the movement will be performed without vigor.
Load Load of ballistic movements is dictated by the standard weight of the implements. Medicine balls have a range of 2-6kg (4.4-13lbs), while heavy bells have a weight between 10-32kg (22-70lbs).
Number of Exercises, Sets and Repetitions As in other power-related methods, the number of exercises has to be as low as possible so that a high number of sets are possible for maximum power benefits. As much as possible, the exercises have to mimic technical skills that involve the prime movers. The number of repetitions and sets are not critical elements. To increase power is not necessary to perform many repetitions! What is determinant is the speed of performance, which dictates the speed of muscle contraction. Therefore, both the number of repetitions and sets have to be performed for as long as quickness is possible. The number of repetitions have to be discontinued at the moment explosiveness is declining.
No. of exercises
No. of repetitions per set
No. of sets/session
Rhythm of activity
Figure 14â€”Main Parameters for the Ballistic Method
The explosiveness of an exercise is guaranteed only as long as a high number of FT fibers are involved. When they fatigue, speed and explosiveness decrease. To further continue the activity is futile, since from this point on the slow twitch (ST) fibers will be called into action, an unwanted situation for an athlete who seeks the development of power. Practical Consideration: Try and do as much of this phase on the court as it will aid in direct transfer to volleyball skills.
Rest Interval For any explosive power methods, including ballistics, the RI should be as long as necessary to reach an almost full recovery so that the same quality of work can be repeated in the following sets.
Chapter 1 Frequency per week of the ballistic method depends on the training phase: less (1-2) in the late preparatory and more (2-4) during the conversion phase.
Strength Training During Competitive Phase The benefits of strength to a volleyball player is felt for as long as the neuro-muscular system maintains the cellular adaptations induced by strength training. When strength training ends, the contractile properties of a muscle diminishes and, as a direct result, lessens its positive role. The consequence is detraining, or a visible decrease in the contribution of strength to athletic performance. In order to avoid detraining and to maintain a good physiological base during the competitive phase, one has to plan a volleyball-specific strength program. Maintenance of strength during the competitive phase is not a question of whether it should be pursued, but rather how it should be done. In order to decide, the coach has to once again keep in mind the dominant ability in volleyball. As a result of this decision, the coach should not rush to say whether the players should maintain just P or P-E. Since volleyball requires some elements of MxS, P and, P-E, the most important decision the coach has to make is not which of the three has to be maintained, but rather in what proportion and how to best integrate them in training. In volleyball, where P is the dominant ability, both MxS and P should be maintained. As far as P-E is concerned, the specific training of repetitive spiking and blocking, plus P training in the gym would suffice to meet this particular ability required in volleyball. Therefore, a maintenance program will consider MxS and P only. As far as the proportion between the two is concerned, I propose: 20% for MxS, and 80% for P. Equally important is to acknowledge that the maintenance program and the proportion between different types of strength also depends on duration of the competitive phase. The longer the competitive phase, the more important it is to maintain some elements of MxS. Overlooking that means that as MxS is detrained it will affect P and P-E. During the maintenance phase one should apply the same training methods as suggested previously. What is different during the maintenance phase is not the training methodology, but rather the volume of strength training as compared to the technical and tactical training. One should never forget that the maintenance of strength is performed in addition to the above types of training, which ought to be dominant during the competitive phase. Therefore, the number of exercises has to be the lowest possible 2-3 (4) and to specifi-
cally address the prime movers, being very specific to the prevailing skills in volleyball. As such, one has to spend the least possible energy for the maintenance of strength, since most of it will be used for technical and tactical training. The number of strength training sessions per week should be two, maximum three and as short as possible. Often a good maintenance program can be accomplished in 20-30 minutes of a very specific workout. Obviously, the frequency of strength training sessions depends also on competition schedule. If no games are scheduled on the weekend, one may have two, maximum three strength training sessions. If a game is planned on the weekend then one (maximum two) short strength training sessions can be planned, normally in the early part of the week. The number of sets is usually low: 1-4 depending on whether P or P-E is trained. For P and MxS 2-4 sets are possible since the number of repetitions are usually low (2-6). The RI should be longer than normally suggested, mostly because the athletes should recover almost entirely during the break. Intent of the maintenance phase is stabilization of performance and not the aggravation of the state of fatigue. Therefore, a longer RI for an almost full recovery between sets is required.
Strength Training During Transition Phase The transition phase, which is often inappropriately called the "off-season," represents a linkage between two annual cycles. Its major objectives are to facilitate psychological rest, relaxation and biological regeneration as well as to maintain an acceptable level of general physical preparation. Therefore, the duration of this phase cannot be longer than 4-6 weeks because the players will detrain visibly and lose most of their fitness. During the transition phase the athletes should train two to three times per week for the reason of not completely losing the fitness they had before. One should not forget that it takes less effort to maintain 40%-50% of the previous level of fitness than to start to redevelop it from zero. From the strength training point of view, during transition the athletes should perform compensation work to involve in activity the muscle groups, which usually are not in much action through the preparatory and competitive phases. As such, attention should be paid to the antagonistic muscles and stabilizers. It is not necessary for the program to be stressful, but rather relaxed. Stress is undesirable during transition! Therefore, a formal program with specific load, number of repetitions and sets is not necessary. Just for once the athletes should do as they please.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Selected Reading #12
Testing to Measure Volleyball Performance: Two-Foot Takeoff Jump Sean Madden
Principle Basis: Measured, Individual Study Questions:
• Why is this test important in measuring volleyball performance? • What are some important considerations in making this test reliable? • What are some important consideration when interpreting results?
esting is an important part of every volleyball program. This series provides volleyball-specific tests appropriate for court, outdoors and beach players. Testing is critical in motivating players to work hard and should be done at all levels of play. A WORD OF CAUTION: Testing may not provide an accurate indication of volleyball performance—an abused area. Parents may think if a son or daughter tests out better than another player, s/he should make the team. There are subjective skills in volleyball that are true indicators of success on the court or beach. These cannot be measured with testing.
Brief Description An athlete jumps from a two-foot take-off following a normal attack approach and touches as high as possible with a one-hand reach using a Vertec or other measuring device. The athlete is allowed a total of three trials. A fourth trial is allowed if desired by the athlete. When all trials have been completed, the highest reach is recorded. Using pre-existing standing reach measures, the two-foot take-off approach vertical jump can then be calculated and recorded.
Purpose 1) Provides a measure of maximum jump following a normal two-foot take-off attack approach. 2) Provides a measure of improvement or decline in volleyball-specific power over time; the former indicating effectiveness of physical training regimens; the latter potentially reflecting overtraining or excessive numbers of jumps during training.
Testing Frequency and Timing 1) Ideally, this test should be administered once per month throughout the training year. 2) Test should be administered when athletes are fairly well rested; i.e., day following a rest day. 3) Test should be administered after athletes are completely warm but before they are fatigued; i.e., early in practice after warm-ups have been completed but before intense jumping drills.
4) Test should not be conducted within 24 hours following heavy lifting.
Equipment and Setup 1) Test can be conducted in a relatively small space, which allows 3-5 meters of movement on a quality jumping surface, preferably the normal playing court or an area adjacent to it. 2) A Vertec or similar free-standing or free-hanging jump measuring device is preferred so that there is complete freedom of movement for the athletes and measures are guaranteed to be accurate to a half inch. Marks on a wall are not an acceptable alternative as an aggressive approach jump is not possible in this situation.
Step-by-Step Protocol 1) If a standing, one-hand reach measure is not already recorded for athletes, obtain that measure as follows: • Set Vertec to a range that will include the reach of all athletes to be measured (7-9 feet for women). • Have first athlete stand flat-footed under the Vertec and reach as high as possible pushing the vanes to the side. • Repeat reach two more times encouraging athlete to hyperextend the shoulder for maximum extension while assuring that feet remain flat on the ground. • Record maximum reach measure and use it to calculate jumps in all future tests. • Repeat the process for each athlete. 2) Test one athlete at a time as follows: • Set Vertec to a range that includes maximum jump of all athletes (8-10 feet for elite girls and women). • Have first athlete start in a position that allows a normal attack approach and two-foot take-off so that maximal jump reach will be obtained directly under the tines of the Vertec. • Assure the athlete takes off from both feet on each of three trials. If athlete takes off from one foot, replace touched tines and have athlete repeat that trial. Move previously touched tines out of the way before each ensuing trial. • Following completion of the third trial, ask player if a fourth trial is desired. If so, continue with one more attempt. If not, testing is completed for that athlete. • Record the highest reach. • Replace tines and repeat for each athlete.
Specific Reliability Checks 1) Any trial during which an athlete takes off from one foot must be disallowed. 2) It is important that standing reaches be measured with the same degree of shoulder elevation and extension as occurs during dynamic jump reach.
Chapter 1 Recording and Calculating Results 1) Maximum jump reach of each athlete should be recorded on a chart during testing. 2) When testing has been completed, calculate the two-foot take-off jumps of players by subtracting the standing reach from the maximum two-foot take-off jump reach. 3) Team and positional averages for maximum jump should be calculated. 4) It is also helpful to calculate the differential between this two-foot take-off jump reach measure and both standing and one-foot take-off jump reach measures.
Selected Reading #13
Testing to Measure Volleyball Performance: 90-Meter Shuttle Run Sean Madden
Principle Basis: Measured, Individual Study Questions:
• Why is this test important in measuring volleyball performance? • What are some important considerations in making this test reliable? • What are some important consideration when interpreting results?
Interpreting Results 1) Overall jump reaches and jump measures may be used to compare athletes against normative data, team average, and mean for players in their position. 2) Jump reach of an athlete on this test can be used to predict that player’s attacking potential in terms of contact point above the net during play. This information may help the coaching staff determine the best positioning of the athlete. 3) Comparing this two-foot take-off jump reach to a standing jump reach may help coaching staff determine if an athlete should precede blocking attempts with movement in order to gain a significant reach advantage. A large differential indicates that the athlete gains most power from the speed half of the speed x strength dyad that constitutes power. A small differential indicates that the athlete gains most power from the strength half of the dyad. 4) Comparing this two-foot take-off jump reach to a one-foot take-off jump reach may help coaching staff determine if an athlete should primarily receive sets that call for a two-foot take-off or a one-foot take-off. Care should be taken, though, to consider the impact of previous training, as an athlete’s comparative abilities may be the result of repetitions rather than physical abilities; i.e., middles are more likely to test higher off one leg due to frequent slide attack practice while outside hitters may find going off one leg awkward. Also, players with extensive basketball experience may tend to test higher off of one leg due to the frequency of that action in that sport. 5) Overall jump changes from one testing date to another are an indication of changes in the athlete’s power and the effectiveness of the overall training regimen. Increased jumps are indicative of quality training. Decreased jumps are indicative of overtraining or excessive jump repetitions during training. Comparing an individual athlete’s change with the team norm may indicate how that specific athlete responds to training.
n athlete sprints back and forth between lines on the volleyball court, touching each with one foot over a total of 90 meters in eight legs for a total work time in the range of 20-30 seconds (a typical length for occasional extended rallies in volleyball). The task is repeated every two minutes (work:rest ratio in the range of 1:3 to 1:5) for a total of five trials. Total time, best trial, worst trial, and delta (difference between worst and best trials) are all recorded.
Purpose 1) Provides a measure of movement efficiency with particular emphasis on power, agility and recovery within the specific energy demands of long volleyball rallies (total time and best trial). 2) Provides a measure of an athlete's recovery specific to the energy demands of volleyball (delta). 3) Provides a measure of an athlete's improvement or decline in speed or agility performance over time, the former indicating effectiveness of physical training regimens and the latter potentially reflecting overtraining.
Testing Frequency and Timing 1) Ideally this test should be administered once per month throughout the training year. 2) The test should be administered on a day when athletes are relatively well rested; i.e., the day following a rest day. 3) The test should be administered after the athletes are completely warm but before they are fatigued; i.e., early in practice after warm-ups have been completed but before intense competitive drills are begun.
Equipment and Setup 1) The test is conducted using standard volleyball lines on a full court with the net removed. 2) One timing device (accurate to 1 second) is needed to track the intervals. 3) One timing device (accurate to 1/100th second) is needed per athlete working simultaneously.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Step-by-Step Protocol
Specific Reliability Checks
1) Clear a full volleyball court of all obstacles including the net. 2) Group athletes into threes and assure that there is a timekeeper with a timing device accurate to 1/100th second available for each group. Up to four groups may work on the same court at the same time without risk of interfering with each other. 3) Position an interval timekeeper near one endline of the court. This person must announce the general starting time for each wave of working athletes. 4) To begin, the first athlete in each group should assume a starting position where one foot is touching the endline. Athlete may have the rest of the body inside the court as long as one foot is in contact with the endline. These athletes constitute the first "wave" of athletes. 5) Interval timekeeper announces "first wave" then starts the timing device. At this time, each first wave athlete starts at any time within five seconds. 6) The timekeeper for an athlete's group starts the timing device upon first movement by the athlete. 7) Each athlete sprints to nearest 3-meter line touching with one foot, returns to endline touching with one foot, sprints to center line touching with one foot, returns to endline touching with one foot, sprints to furthest 3-meter line touching with one foot, returns to endline touching with one foot, sprints to opposite endline touching with one foot, and returns to original endline touching with one foot while sprinting through and past the line. 8) An athlete's timekeeper stops the timing device upon the final line touch with the foot or, in the case that the athlete does not touch the line at the finish, upon the first touch of the floor by either foot past the line. 9) Each athlete's timekeeper records the reading quickly then prepares to time the next wave. 10) The second athlete in each group lines up as in (4). The interval timekeeper announces "second wave" when the interval timepiece reaches the 40 second mark. At this time, each athlete in the second wave may start at any time within five seconds. 11) Repeat 6-9 for the second wave of athletes. 12) The third athlete in each group lines up as in (4). The interval timekeeper announces "third wave" when the interval timepiece reaches the 1:20 mark. At this time, each athlete in the third wave may start at any time within five seconds. 13) Repeat 6-9 for the third wave of athletes. 14) The first wave lines up again. The interval timekeeper announces "first wave" when the interval timepiece reaches the 2:00 mark and each athlete in the first wave may start at any time. 15) Repeat the procedure with a new wave starting every 40 seconds until all athletes have completed five trials.
1) An athlete who fails to touch any line with her foot (except the final endline) during any trial must complete that trial, have the time posted stricken from the record, and add one more trial after the first five have been completed. 2) Do not allow athletes to start a trial more frequently than every two minutes even if there are fewer than three athletes per group. Control of the work:rest ratio is essential to the reliability of the recovery measure.
Recording and Calculating Results 1) The time taken to complete each trial should be recorded on a chart during testing. 2) Later, the five trial times should be added together to render the overall time for each athlete. The worst and best times for each athlete should also be noted, then the delta (difference between the two) should be calculated. 3) Team and positional averages for each recorded measure should be calculated.
Interpreting Results 1) Overall times may be used to compare the speed of athletes against normative data, the team average, and the mean for players in their position. 2) The delta may be used to get a general assessment of an athlete's recovery capacity. Generally, a delta below 1.0 second indicates excellent recovery while a delta above 2.0 indicates poor recovery. The delta only has true meaning relative to the overall time, however, as an athlete could sacrifice overall time in order to pace trials to keep the delta low. 3) Overall time changes from one testing date to another are an indication of the effectiveness of the overall training regimen. Decreased times are indicative of quality training. Increased times are indicative of overtraining. Comparing an individual athlete's change with the team norm may indicate how that specific athlete responds to training. 4) A comparison of an athlete's times in each of the five trials can tell something about that athlete's approach to work. While 100 percent effort on each trial should lead to declining scores on each trial with the best being first and the worst being last due to energy demands. Other patterns probably say something about the athlete's mind more than body. For example, if the athlete posts a worst time in the first trial, it probably indicates that the athlete must get acclimated before performing at peak levels. On the other hand, if the athlete's best time comes in the last trial, that player probably tends to save energy for the finish of a match.
Chapter 1 Selected Reading #14
Testing to Measure Volleyball Performance: Low Posture T-Test Sean Madden
Principle Basis: Measured, Individual Study Questions:
â€˘ Why is this test important in measuring volleyball performance? â€˘ What are some important considerations in making this test reliable? â€˘ What are some important consideration when interpreting results?
n athlete moves to different points in a T-pattern in the low body position used as a defender to touch a line while extended on the floor as might be required in an emergency defensive situation. Any choice of footwork patterns is allowed for movement during testing. Likewise, any means of getting up from the floor is allowed. Specific footwork patterns and recovery methods; i.e., shoulder roll or barrel roll, which are likely to eventually make the athlete more efficient, may be required during training. Total distance covered is 30 meters and the athlete changes directions four times. Overall work time falls in the range of a typical short volleyball rally. The task is repeated for a total of five trials with ample rest between repetitions; i.e., at least a 5:1, rest:work ratio. The best trial is recorded.
Purpose 1. Provides a measure of movement efficiency with particular emphasis on footwork, mobility, agility and stability or balance executing volleyball specific movements in a low body posture and within the specific energy demands of an average volleyball rally. 2. Provides a measure of an athlete's improvement or decline in movement efficiency over time; the former indicating effectiveness of physical training and skill enhancement regimens and the latter potentially reflecting overtraining.
Testing Frequency and Timing 1. Ideally, this test should be administered once per month throughout the training year. 2. Test should be administered on a day when athletes are relatively well rested; i.e., the day following a rest day. 3. Test should be administered after the athletes are completely warm but before they are fatigued; i.e., early in practice after warm-ups have been completed but before intense competitive drills are begun.
Equipment and Setup 1. The test is conducted using standard volleyball lines on a half court with the net either in place or removed. 2. A tape mark should be placed exactly at the midpoint between the sidelines on the 3-meter line. 3. One timing device (accurate to 1/100th second) is needed per athlete working simultaneously.
Step-by-Step Protocol 1. Clear a half volleyball court of all obstacles other than the net. 2. Athletes should work in groups of six or more to assure ample rest between trials (minimum 5:1 ratio). Large groups can be divided into groups of six or more so that athletes work simultaneously on opposite sides of the net. 3. To begin, the first athlete in each group should assume a facedown-prone position with one hand extended to touch the volleyball baseline and the rest of the body extended directly toward the net. 4. The timekeeper for an athlete starts the timing device upon first movement by the athlete. 5. The athlete gets up and sprints to touch the tape mark at the center of the 3-meter line with one hand, turns and runs toward one sideline extending into a prone position so the sideline is touched while the body is extended with the torso touching the floor. Athlete then gets up and runs toward the opposite sideline extending into a prone position so the sideline is touched with one hand while the body is extended with the torso touching the floor. Athlete gets up again and runs to touch the tape mark at the center of the 3-meter line with one hand, then runs toward the baseline extending into a prone position so the baseline is touched while the body is extended with the torso touching the floor. 6. Athlete's timekeeper stops the timing device when both hand is in contact with the baseline and torso is in contact with the floor. 7. Each athlete's timekeeper records the reading quickly then prepares to time the next athlete. 8. A second athlete in each group lines up as in step 3 above and starts at any time within five seconds. 9. Repeat step numbers 4-7 for each athlete in the group. 10. Repeat the procedure until each athlete has completed five acceptable trials. Athletes should be encouraged to alternate which sideline they go to first in order to discover if there is a notable difference in times.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Specific Reliability Checks 1. Any athlete who fails to touch a line or beyond the line while the torso is in contact with the floor; i.e., just going to one knee, must complete that trial, have the posted time stricken from the record, and add one more trial after the first five have been completed. 2. Do not allow athletes to start a trial more frequently than every minute even if there are fewer than six athletes in a group. Ample rest is essential to allow maximal effort on each trial.
Recording and Calculating Results 1. Time taken to complete each trial should be recorded on a chart during testing. 2. Later, the five trial times should be analyzed to find the best time for each athlete. 3. Team and positional averages for each recorded measure should be calculated.
Interpreting Results 1. Times may be used to compare the speed of athletes against normative data, team average, and the mean for players in their position. 2. Time changes from one testing date to another are an indication of the effectiveness of the overall training regimen. Decreased times are indicative of quality training. Increased times are indicative of possible overtraining. Comparing an individual athlete's change with the team norm may indicate how that specific athlete responds to training.
Selected Reading #15
Testing to Measure Volleyball Performance: One Foot Take-Off Test Sean Madden
Principle Basis: Measured, Individual Study Questions:
• Why is this test important in measuring volleyball performance? • What are some important considerations in making this test reliable? • What are some important consideration when interpreting results?
n athlete jumps from a one-foot takeoff following a normal attack approach and touches as high as possible with a one-hand reach using a Vertec or other measuring device. The athlete is initially allowed a total of three trials. A fourth trial is allowed if desired by the athlete. When all trials have been completed, the highest reach is recorded. Using pre-existing standing reach measurements, the one-foot takeoff approach vertical jump can then be calculated and recorded.
Purpose 1. Provides a measure of maximum jump following a normal one-leg takeoff attack approach as used in gameplay. 2. Provides a measure of an athlete's improvement or decline in volleyball-specific power over time—the former indicating effectiveness of physical training regimens and the latter potentially reflecting overtraining or excessive numbers of jumps during training.
Testing Frequency and Timing 1. Ideally, this test should be administered once per month throughout the training year. 2. Test should be administered on a day when athletes are relatively well rested; i.e., the day following a rest day. 3. Test should be administered after the athletes are completely warm but before they are fatigued; i.e., early in practice after warm-ups have been completed but before intense jumping drills are begun. 4. Testing should not be conducted during the 24 hours following heavy lifting.
Equipment and Setup 1. The test can be conducted in a relatively small space, one that allows 3-5 meters of movement on a quality jumping surface, preferably the normal playing court or an area adjacent to it.
Chapter 1 2. A Vertec or similar free-standing or free-hanging jump measuring device is preferred so that there is complete freedom of movement for the athletes and measurements are guaranteed to be accurate to a half inch. Marks on a wall are not an acceptable alternative as an aggressive approach jump is not possible in this situation.
Step-by-Step Protocol 1. If a standing, one-hand reach measure is not already recorded for each athlete, obtain that measure as follows: A Set the Vertec to a range that includes the reach of all athletes to be measured (i.e., 7-9 feet for women). B Have the first athlete stand flat-footed under the Vertec and reach as high as possible, pushing the vanes to the side. C Repeat the reach two more times encouraging the athletes to hyperextend their shoulders for maximum extension while assuring that their feet remain flat on the ground. D Record the maximum reach measure and use it to calculate jumps in all future tests. E Repeat the process for each additional athlete. 2. Test one athlete at a time as follows: A Set the Vertec to a range that includes the maximum jump of all athletes to be measured (i.e., 8 to 10 feet for elite girls and women). B Have the first athlete start in a position that allows a normal attack approach and one-foot takeoff so that maximal jump reach will be obtained directly under the tines of the Vertec. C Assure that the athletes take off from a single foot on each of three trials. If an athlete takes off from two feet, replace the touched tines and have the athlete repeat that trial. Move previously touched tines out of the way before each ensuing trial. D Following completion of the third trial, ask the players if a fourth trial is desired. If so, continue with one more attempt for each player who wants a fourth trial. If not, testing is complete. E Record the highest reach. F Replace all tines and repeat for each athlete.
Specific Reliability Checks 1. Any trial during which an athlete takes off from two feet must be disallowed. 2. It is important that standing reaches be measured with the same degree of shoulder elevation and extension as occurs during the dynamic jump reach.
Recording and Calculating Results 1. The maximum jump reach of each athlete should be recorded on a chart during testing.
2. When the testing has been completed, calculate the one-foot takeoff jumps of the players by subtracting the standing reach from the maximum one-foot takeoff jump reach. 3. Team and positional averages for maximum jump should be calculated. 4. It is also helpful to calculate the differential between this one-foot takeoff jump reach measurement and both standing and two-foot takeoff jump reach measures.
Interpreting Results 1. Overall jump reaches and jump measures may be used to compare the athletes against normative data, the team average, and the mean for players in their position. 2. The jump reach of an athlete on this test can be used to predict that player's attacking potential in terms of contact point above the net during play. This information may help the coaching staff to determine the best positioning of the athlete. 3. Comparing this one-foot takeoff jump reach to a standing jump reach may help the coaching staff determine if an athlete should precede blocking attempts with movement in order to gain a significant reach advantage. A large differential indicates that the athlete gains most power from the speed half of the speed-times-strength dyad that constitutes power. A small differential indicates that the athlete gains most power from the strength half the of the dyad. 4. Comparing this one-foot takeoff jump reach to a two-foot takeoff jump reach may help the coaching staff determine if an athlete should primarily receive sets that call for a two-foot takeoff or a one-foot takeoff. Care should be taken, though, to consider the impact of previous training as an athlete's comparative abilities may be the result of repetitions rather than physical abilities; i.e., middles are more likely to test higher off one leg due to frequent slide attack practice while outside hitters may find going off one leg awkward. Also, players with extensive basketball experience may tend to test higher off one leg due to the frequency of that action in that sport. 5. Overall jump changes from one testing date to another are an indication of changes in an athlete's power and the effectiveness of the overall training regimen. Increased jumps are indicative of quality training. Decreased jumps are indicative of overtraining or excessive jump repetitions during training. Comparing an individual athlete's change with the team norm may indicate how that specific athlete responds to training.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning Selected Reading #16
Lifting On Your Own: Safety Ken Kontor, CAE, C.S.C.S.
Principle Basis: Safe Environment Study Questions:
• What is a proper dress code while conditioning? • What is the proper conduct of a spotter? • During exercise, what are the guidelines for proper breathing?
afety in the weight room is often taken for granted when lifting alone. By following the safety checklist for yourself, and making sure the facility you train in has created a safe environment, you can enjoy many safe, productive years in the weight room.
Safety Checklist for Yourself
I consulted a physician. This included identifying any medical problems as well as physical limitations that might limit exercises I can perform properly. I know how to do the prescribed exercises using perfect technique. I know the proper sets, reps and amount of resistance to be used and will avoid the temptation to go beyond my limits. I follow the principles of proper spotting (next page). To maximize safety, I use weight racks for doing exercises such as squats. I also know that warm-up is important and that I should breathe using the basic principles of exhaling during work, inhaling during recovery, and avoid holding my breath as well as breathing shallowly and rapidly during exercise. I know how to use all the machines; how to adjust them to my size; to use them in a controlled manner and avoid placing hands and other body parts in areas such as weight stacks and moving parts. I dress properly with a full cut shirt, shorts, and proper shoes that allow me the support for lifting as well as the versatility to do volleyball-specific conditioning such as sprints, change of direction drills, and jumping on available surfaces. I also understand that in themselves personal accessory items such as joint and body wraps, specialized lifting suits and weight lifting belts may not prevent injury and should not be relied upon to serve such a function. I know and practice the rules of conduct as established by the weight room supervisor, abiding by such procedures as using and properly securing weight collars, loading bars evenly, replacing weights after use, and knowing not to disrupt others during lifting. I am focused on my environment and others in the weight room and always avoid injury situations. I never lift unless someone is close enough to provide assistance.
Safety Checklist for Your Environment
Room should be neat, orderly, well-lit, ventilated and not overcrowd. There should be a traffic flow pattern. Weights should not be lying around. Music is not so loud as to disrupt communications and instruction. There is a cleaning and maintenance schedule on all equipment to avoid such dangers as spread of bacteria on equipment, faulty cables on weight machines, and collars that are stripped and come loose. Overhead lifting is done in an area with adequate space and far away from anyone doing exercises lying down, such as sit-ups and bench presses. Emergency procedures are maintained by supervisory staff and that staff is qualified and present at all times. Weight room rules of conduct are posted and enforced.
Principles of Proper Spotting Communication between the spotter(s) and lifter is essential for safe performance on any lifting attempt. * Be familiar with which exercises should be spotted. These include the bench press, squat, shoulder press and incline press. As a general rule, any exercise that requires assistance in having the weight handed to the lifter, or if missing an attempt would place the lifter in a dangerous position, should be spotted. * Prepare the area making sure that there are no obstructions, the bar is evenly loaded, and the collars are secure. * Positioning of the spotter is important. As a general rule, the spotter should be positioned close to the bar or dumbbell and ready to provide quick assistance. * Spotter should be physically capable of assisting if the lifter should fail in the attempt. * Before the attempt, the lifter and spotter should communicate: -the expected number of repetitions -when the spotter should intervene -method of hand-off of the weight. * Lifter should STAY WITH THE WEIGHT AND NEVER DUMP THE BAR OR DUMBBELL. If the attempt fails, it is the responsibility of the spotter(s) to safely assist the weight back to the starting position. * Spotter should inform the lifter of any technique breakdown; be aware and ready to act in case of equipment failure such as loose, sliding plates, or if the attempt fails; and, offer support and encouragement to the lifter without encouraging unrealistic performance goals that could lead to injury. * Always thank the spotter for assistance and always be available to spot others.
Chapter 1 Selected Reading #17
Volleyball Players' Guide to Safe Plyometrics Greg Brittenham
Principle Basis: Safe Environment Study Questions:
• What is a warning sign an athlete doesn’t have an adequate strength base to do plyometrics? • What is recommend as proper footwear in doing plyometrics? • Why should athletes be fresh when doing a plyometrics program?
s with any strength or physical conditioning program, safety is paramount. This article focuses specifically on plyometrics; however, the principles discussed can be applied to other forms of conditioning.
Safety Considerations Before Starting Young Athletes Prepubescent athletes should be closely supervised. Because of their increased potential for joint injury, young athletes should choose only those exercises classified as "low impact." The intensity, frequency and duration of plyometric training should be reduced.
Medical History Athletes with a history of injuries or recovering from an injury should not perform plyometrics. They should resume plyometric training only with doctor or trainer approval.
Safety Considerations During Plyometrics Warm-up A complete and proper warm-up should precede any activity involving the demands of strength, power, speed, endurance and agility. An active warm-up should include jogging, calisthenics, strides, low intensity hopping and jumping, or other activities, which elevate core body temperature. The active warm-up should be followed by a comprehensive flexibility routine, progressing from general to specific stretches.
Training Sequence Maximum neuromuscular adaptation will be achieved if plyometrics are performed when athletes are fresh. Plyometrics should precede all other training activities on the day they are performed.
Progression The athletes should start with easier drills, moving to increased levels of difficulty when strength level and drill proficiency allow.
Adequate Strength Base Athletes should have an adequate strength base before adding plyometrics to a training regimen. This will largely be determined through observation by the coach. An athlete exhibiting advanced physical maturity can endure training intensities above those of another who has difficulty handling his body weight. Plyometrics is by no means a replacement for a strength program. Rather, it works with resistance training. Because power is the relationship between strength and speed, the stronger an athlete, the greater the potential for increased power development. As strength levels increase, athletes may progress to drills of higher intensity and greater volume.
All athletes should approach plyometrics with caution. Some drills appear simple and one might doubt their benefits. However, just because a drill looks easy does not mean significant physical adaptation is absent. The body adapts to progressive increases in stress. Plyometrics should follow an intelligent progression, leading from less more advanced drills.
Caution should be used when selecting plyometric barriers. A few unusual and potentially dangerous implements used by coaches as barriers include hurdles, tackling dummies, benches, rakes, shovels, even a rope tied between two goal posts. These barriers challenge athletes, but are often unforgiving in a collision. Foam pads ½ inch thick and several feet long, "scored" down the center then folded to create
As the drills become more advanced, or as the athletes tire, at least one spotter should be present in case of a mishap. Athletes should correct spotting techniques when equipment such as boxes and barriers are used.
Equipment Safety Surface All lower body plyometrics should be performed on a semi-resilient surface. Wellgroomed grass, rubberized tracks, tumbling mats and artificial turf are excellent surfaces. The area should be dry, level and free of obstructions.
Basic Principles of Volleyball Conditioning a "peak," provide an extremely safe alternative to traditional hurdle barriers. The height of foam pads can vary from six to 36 inches. Foam pads compress (flatten out) if fallen on by an athlete.
Selected Reading #18
Exercise Techniques for Lifting on Your Own Ken Kontor, CAE, C.S.C.S.
Principle Basis: Safe Environment
Boxes Box height can vary depending upon intensity of the drill and ability of the athletes. Boxes range in height from six to 36 inches. They should be sturdy and padded (low nap carpet works best). The covering should be securely attached and not provide too much friction. Athletes must be free to pivot, glide and jump on a surface that protects against severe impact, but allows freedom of movement.
Footwear Shoes should always be worn and should have a high degree of lateral stability, arch support, heel cushion and a non-slip sole.
Medicine Balls Rubber-type medicine balls that bounce or rebound work best for plyometric training. Rubber gives the athletes more control.
• What are the principles of perfect technique? • How does improper loading affect perfect technique? • What role does core strength and stability play in perfect technique?
eight training has been touted as an effective way of preventing volleyball injuries. But, improper training techniques can lead to what you are trying to prevent—injury. The goal should be performing every repetition with perfect technique, just as you do when spiking.
Principles of Perfect Technique • Classify exercises • Start with simple exercises and work to the more complex. For example, the shrug is a simple exercise; the power clean is complex. • Develop core strength first. • Learn in progression. One way to master the power clean is to start with the shrug; move to power pulls from above the knees, then to the knees, below the knees and finally off the floor. Do the same progression catching the weight, starting from the hang position. • Start with no load. Add resistance gradually as technique is mastered. • Learn each exercise under the watchful eye of an experienced weight training technician. • Correct errors immediately. Once errors become habits they are hard to break. • Repetition is the best teacher.
Basic Lifting Techniques • Grip should be shoulder width unless otherwise prescribed. • Foot position should be hip width unless otherwise prescribed. • Back position should be flat, not rounded. • The resistance should remain close to the body. • Head should be up, eyes straight ahead.
Factors Contributing to Improper Technique • Improper loading . Too much weight can impair technique. This leads to cheating, which in some cases compromises body positioning, which affects areas such as the lower back. • Fatigue . As the body tires, technique breaks down, just as does volleyball performance. In
Chapter 1 some cases weight training is done when tired to improve endurance. During such training, have someone watch you carefully to detect technique breakdown, and to tell you when to call it quits. • P o o r s t a b i l i z i n g s t r e n g t h . Certain parts of the body support and stabilize the body. They include the core muscles of the hips, lower back, abdominal and buttocks area. These muscles provide the proper posture to do many exercises. They should, therefore, receive initial attention when starting a strength program.
Common Technique Problems in Volleyball Players • Problem : Many taller players round their backs during squatting and pulling motions. Solution : Athlete may need to take a wider stance or improve hip and/or ankle flexibility. • Problem : The width of the female pelvis may increase stress on the knee joint by causing the knee to flare out during squatting. Solution : Athletes should be encouraged to keep the knees out over the toes throughout the exercise. Just as in volleyball, proper technique is a key component of success. Learn to do it right from the beginning.
Injury Prevention Priority
Injury Prevention Priority
njury has a major negative impact on performance. All conditioning should establish injury prevention as the top priority with improved performance as an additional benefit. Volleyball players can't be at 100 percent if they are injured.
Selected Reading #1
Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Patterns Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Injury Prevention Priority Study Questions:
• What are some basic facts related to this injury patterns report? • What observations can you make? • What are some practical outcomes?
he mission of the USA Volleyball Sports Medicine and Performance Commission (USAVSMPC) is twofold. The SMPC serves as: • the coordinating group for USAV sports medicine and sports science performance service and research; and • the educational clearinghouse for dissemination of sports medicine and sports science performance information to the volleyball community. To this end it is encouraged that information contained in this article be distributed to any and all volleyball populations to which you, our reader, may have access.
Facts 1. In one Finnish investigation, volleyball had the lowest injury rate (60 injuries per 1000 person years of exposure) of any sport studied, including basketball, soccer and ice hockey. Other studies, however, suggest much higher injury rates among volleyball players. 2. According to data compiled on women’s intercollegiate volleyball by the NCAA Injury Surveillance System (ISS) between 1984-1996, volleyball players demonstrated an injury rate of 4.8 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures (AE)—ranking it below football, wrestling, gymnastics, soccer and basketball. 3. Volleyball practice and game injury rates were similar at 4.6 and 5.2 per 1000 AEs, respectively. The preseason injury rate was greater than the regular or post-season injury rate (6.9, 4.1 and 1.8/1000AEs, respectively). Finally, injury rates were greatest during the second half of practice and games 2 and 3 of matches. 4. According to the ISS data, sprains (31%), strains (28%), and tendinoses (9%) were the leading diagnoses. Ankles (24%), knees (11%), shoulders (10%),
and lower backs were the most frequently injured body parts. The majority of injuries reported were “new” injuries, as opposed to exacerbations of chronic injuries. These data are in general supported by statistics kept by the USA Volleyball Teams as well as other published studies. 5. Most volleyball-related injuries (72%) reported to the ISS resulted in fewer than 7 days lost from competition or training. Only 4.9% of injuries reported in 1992-93 required surgical intervention. 6. According to statistics from the USA Volleyball Teams, males sustained more injuries than females. Both the USA Volleyball Teams and the NCAA ISS indicate that swing hitter and middle blocker are the most frequently injured positions.
Observations There are several studies in the literature, which have investigated injuries among volleyball players. Due to differences in study design, injury rates reported by these studies vary substantially. Among other problems, this has led to a controversy regarding the injury rates between genders, and volleyball would certainly benefit from further research in this area. However, it is clear from these studies that volleyball athletes are in general at risk for certain types of injuries. Understanding these injury patterns allows both athletes and coaches to take preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of injury and, thereby, permit the athletes to maximize their development during the course of a season or playing career. From the facts presented above, it is apparent that volleyball players are at risk for relatively minor (i.e., non-surgical) injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons, which occur acutely as the result of dynamic overload (sprains and strains), or as a result of chronic overuse (tendinoses). Spiking and blocking appear to be “high risk” activities, perhaps in part due to the emphasis on jumping in performing these skills. Higher injury rates during the preseason and toward the end of practice and matches suggests that suboptimal conditioning and fatigue also contribute to an athlete’s risk of injury.
Practical Applications We may infer from these data that conditioning and strengthening programs should help to prevent volleyball related injuries. Once injuries occur, coaches and medical personnel need to emphasize proper technique and volleyball-specific body mechanics during an athlete’s rehabilitation in order to prevent acute injuries from becoming chronic. In selected readings 17 through 21 below, we will explore these concepts in greater detail and recommend ways in which volleyball-related injuries might be avoided and optimally treated.
Injury Prevention Priority Selected Reading #2
Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Causes Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Injury Prevention Priority Study Questions:
â€˘ What are some basic facts related to the causes of volleyball injuries? â€˘ What observations can you make? â€˘ Why would front row play have more injuries than back row play?
s with Selected Reading #1, it is encouraged that information contained in this article be distributed to any and all volleyball populations to which you may have access.
Facts 1. The majority of volleyball-related injuries are soft tissue injuries including ligament sprains, muscle strains and tendinoses. Ankles, knees, shoulders and lower backs are the most frequently injured body parts. 2. Ankle sprains are the most common volleyballrelated injury. Ankle sprains most commonly occur during net play and frequently are caused when one athlete lands on another player's lower extremity. 3. Patellar tendonitis is the most common knee injury reported to the NCAA Injury Surveillance System for intercollegiate women's volleyball. 4. Swing hitters and middle blockers are the most frequently injured positions according to several studies. 5. The NCAA ISS for women's volleyball (199596) reports a preseason injury rate of 7.81 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures (AE), compared to a regular season rate of 3.85 injuries per 1000 AE. The injury rates for practice (4.9) and competition (4.5) were not significantly different. However, more injuries occurred during the second half of practice than the first half (rates of 2.57 vs 1.55, respectively). A similar trend was noted for competition, with greater injury rates in games 2 and 3 of matches. 6. According to one study, athletes participating in the Open division of the 1987 U.S. National Tournament had higher injury rates than those participating in the Seniors or Golden Masters divisions.
use (patellar and rotator cuff tendinoses). The NCAA Injury Surveillance System data presented above suggests that lack of proper conditioning and/or fatigue play important roles in the etiology of these injuries acutely. Furthermore, overuse and excessive repetition of volleyball-specific skills and techniques can lead to "wear and tear" on tissues, which may predispose them to failure, or injury. One explanation for the observed increase in injuries among "Open" level players compared to "Seniors" or "Golden Masters" during the 1987 U.S. Open is that the Open level athletes were presumably more highly trained. As the level, amount and intensity of their practice and competition increased, then their risk of overuse and fatiguerelated injuries would be proportionally greater than their less highly trained counterparts in the other divisions. Several studies have shown that front-row play results in higher rates of injury than does backrow play. This is likely the result of the repetitive jumping and arm-swinging that are required at these positions. These skills are usually performed at maximal intensity, placing even greater stress upon the involved structures. In addition, net play places the athletes at increased risk of contactinduced sprained ankles as mentioned above.
Observations Most volleyball-related injuries are soft tissue injuries, which are caused either by dynamic overload or trauma (ankle sprains) or by chronic over-
Chapter 2 Selected Reading #3
Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Prevention Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Injury Prevention Priority Study Questions:
• When do most injuries occur? • What training methodology is best for preventing injury? • What other methodologies should be incorporated to prevent injury?
s with Selected Readings #1 and #2, it is encouraged that information contained in this article be distributed to any and all volleyball populations to which you may have access.
Facts 1. As muscles fatigue, joint biomechanics become altered; as form falters, musculotendinous structures are abnormally stressed and at increased risk of injury. This is reflected in the NCAA Injury Surveillance System data, which indicate that injury rates among female collegiate volleyball players are highest during the preseason or toward the end of practice and matches. 2. Sitler et al (1994) found that reusable ankle orthoses (braces) reduced the incidence of contact-related lateral ankle injuries among collegiate intramural basketball players. 3. Kugler et al (1996) reported that shoulder flexibility imbalances were more pronounced among skilled volleyball attackers who reported shoulder pain than among those who did not. 4. Ferretti et al (1984) found that patellar tendonitis ("jumper's knee") was more common among volleyball athletes who played more than four times a week, and among those who trained on harder surfaces. Briner's epidemiologic study (1997) revealed fewer injuries among volleyball players who trained or competed on sand as opposed to harder surfaces. 5. Richards et al (1996) correlated deep knee flexion angles and excess external rotation of the leg on jump take off with increased incidence of patellar tendonitis.
Observations Volleyball is increasingly a sport played yearround by dedicated athletes who train and compete at high levels. Although periodization of training (planned training that changes the volume and intensity of the work done based on the annual competition season and individual needs of the athletes) allows athletes to reduce the risk of overtraining, repetition of high force/load movements still places
musculotendinous structures at an increased risk of injury. Medical science has made significant progress in understanding the basic pathophysiology of athletic injuries, and from this knowledge, improved methods of treatment and rehabilitation have been developed, which allow athletes to return to competition faster than ever before. However, the ideal situation would be to prevent injuries, thereby minimizing time away from competition and training. Although there are numerous reports in the sports medicine literature that suggest reduced or imbalanced strength and flexibility are associated with increased rates of injury, very few studies have examined the predisposing factors specifically involved in volleyball injuries. As we have seen in the first two selected readings of this series, most volleyball injuries are soft tissue injuries of the shoulder, knee and ankle that occur as the result of either chronic overuse or acute dynamic overload. Kugler's article suggests that stretching to maintain balanced shoulder girdle range of motion may help prevent shoulder pain and dysfunction. Data from the NCAA ISS indicates that most athletes who suffered an ankle sprain were not wearing an ankle orthosis. Given that most ankle sprains among volleyball players result from contact with another player (typically at the net), Sitler's study suggests that use of a reusable ankle orthosis may effectively reduce the athletes’ risk of ankle sprains. Finally, work by Briner, Richards, and Ferretti indicates that the incidence of patellofemoral knee pain might be reduced by paying attention to proper jumping form and by performing jump training on softer, more forgiving surfaces. Of course, no athlete can be guaranteed freedom from injury. Nevertheless, by following several simple principles the risk of injury can be reduced, if not eliminated. First, a volleyball-specific program should be followed to ensure optimum conditioning as well as balanced strength and flexibility. For year-round athletes, the program should be periodized to reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Proper technique will minimize the repetitive stresses placed on muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Protective equipment can provide "insurance" against certain types of injuries. Adequate rest and good nutrition are essential to allow the body to recover between periods of stress. Finally, if an athlete is injured, following a volleyball-specific rehabilitation program will ensure proper healing so that the player can return to competition in a timely fashion.
Injury Prevention Priority Selected Reading #4
Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Acute Injury Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Injury Prevention Priority Study Questions:
â€˘ What is an acute injury? â€˘ Where do most acute injuries occur? â€˘ What is the result of an acute injury not properly rehabilitated?
s with Selected Readings #1, #2 and #3, it is encouraged that information contained in this article be distributed to any and all volleyball populations to which you may have access.
Facts 1. Acute injuries are defined as those that occur suddenly as the result of dynamic overload with accompanying structural failure and tissue injury. They may represent the "end-stage" of more chronic overuse injuries (an acute tear of the rotator cuff often represents the end-stage of chronic rotator cuff tendonosis). 2. Acute injuries represent the majority of volleyball related injuries, and probably account for most of an athlete's time lost from competition or training. 3. Sprains, strains and contusions of the ankles, knees, thighs and hands/fingers are the most common acute volleyball injuries. 4. The mechanism of sprain and contusion injuries frequently involves contact with another player or with equipment, such as a volleyball. 5. Most acute volleyball injuries heal without surgical intervention and are optimally treated with an appropriate rehabilitation program designed to restore strength, flexibility and sport-specific function, thereby reducing the risk of reinjury.
ing) resulted in an approximate 50 percent reduction in the incidence of ankle sprains among elite Norwegian volleyball players. Although the most common volleyball related knee pathology (patellar tendonitis) is an overuse injury, volleyball players are at risk for acute knee ligament injuries. Females, perhaps due to biomechanical or neuromuscular factors, seem to be at particular risk for knee ligament sprains and tears. Fatigue also appears to play a role: one study suggests that the mechanics of jumping while fatigued might result in greater stress on the medial knee static stabilizers (the medial collateral ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament), thereby predisposing them to injury. Contusions are the third most common acute injury reported by the NCAA Injury Surveillance System for women's volleyball. Contusions, or bruises, represent traumatic injury of the skin and possibly the underlying muscle or fat. Muscle contusions are potentially serious injuries that require medical supervision and early mobilization in order to ensure optimum recovery. Acute injuries, if not properly rehabilitated, can result in strength and flexibility imbalances or biomechanical alterations, which can lead to recurrence of the injury. Repetitive trauma, without proper treatment or tissue healing, may therefore result in chronic injury and possibly functional disability.
Observations Acute ankle sprains are the most common injury in volleyball. In a majority of cases, the mechanism involves contact with another player at the net. Typically, this results in an inversion sprain, which damages the lateral (outside) ankle ligaments. The severity of ankle sprains may be graded based on the degree of damage to the ligaments, ranging from mild stretch (grade I) to frank tear (grade III). The majority of ankle sprains are grade I or II and do not require operative repair. Prevention is important. Prophylactic ankle bracing may reduce the incidence of contact-related ankle sprains, and Bahr has found that an injury prevention program (consisting of education, jumping technique evaluation and balance board train-
Chapter 2 Selected Reading #5
Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Overuse Injury Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Injury Prevention Priority Study Questions:
• How does an overuse injury differ from an acute injury? • Describe the overuse "vicious cycle". • How would you prevent overuse injuries?
s with Selected Readings #1-#4, it is encouraged that information contained in this article be distributed to any and all volleyball populations to which you may have access.
Facts 1. Overtraining, or chronic overuse/overload of the involved structure typically causes injuries to musculotendinous structures, such as the rotator cuff or the patellar tendon. 2. Soft tissues such as muscles and tendons have the ability to adapt to the demands placed on them. If a muscle is not used it will atrophy, if it is properly stressed ("loaded"), it will maintain or increase its strength. If it is chronically overloaded it will break down and weaken. Overtraining may result in maladaptations, such as strength and flexibility imbalances, which can predispose an athlete to injury. 3. Training and high intensity exercise can overload muscles and tendons, causing microtrauma. If the rate of tissue healing exceeds the rate of ongoing injury then tissue remodeling and adaptation occur, thereby permitting increased training effort. If however the rate of injury exceeds the rate of healing, then microtrauma accumulates until it becomes clinically significant (pain, impaired performance, loss of function, and "injury"). 4. An athlete's risk of overuse injury is affected by both intrinsic factors (age, gender, anatomy, biomechanics, technique, level of conditioning or fatigue, general health status) as well as extrinsic factors (equipment, playing surface, footwear).
Observations It has been estimated that a skilled volleyball attacker, practicing 16-20 hours per week, will spike approximately 40,000 times in one year. This repetitive activity places enormous stress on the involved musculoskeletal structures, including the shoulder, knees, and low back. These structures are correspondingly at greater risk of injury, and in fact data from the NCAA Injury Surveillance System for women's volleyball indicates that knees
and shoulders are the second and third most commonly injured body part, (behind ankles). Across all sports, muscle overload injuries account for up to 67 percent of athletic injuries. Data from the NCAA ISS, USA national teams, and published reports in the literature indicate that muscle strains and tendinoses trail only ligamentous sprains as the most common volleyball-related injuries. Kibler has developed the concept of a "vicious cycle" of overtraining to better understand the pathophysiology of overuse injuries. The cycle begins with an episode of strenuous exercise causing microscopic damage to the musculotendinous unit. If allowed to recover, the involved tissues heal and adapt. If, however, the overload chronically exceeds the ability of the tissue to heal, an injury "cascade" begins. Initially, the athlete may experience mild soreness but no overt injury. Accumulated microscopic damage leads to strength and flexibility imbalances, which result in subclinical functional deficits. Athletic performance may decline, seemingly without reason. The athlete attempts to compensate by making subconscious biomechanical substitutions (altering form), placing other structures within the kinetic chain at risk of overload. Eventually, the athlete complains of persistent pain or functional disability, and the overuse injury—now clinically apparent—is readily diagnosed. Tendinoses are commonly understood to be caused by overuse. Less well appreciated is the observation that overtraining can contribute to an athlete's risk of developing strains and sprains. Fatigued and weakened muscles are less capable of withstanding acute overload and thus are at greater risk of strain injuries. Furthermore, if the muscles that act as "dynamic" joint stabilizers are fatigued, the ligamentous "static" joint stabilizers are subjected to relatively greater loads. This may result in acute ligament failure; i.e., a sprain injury. Team physicians and athletic trainers should therefore be watchful for subtle signs and symptoms of overtraining when an athlete presents with an "acute" injury. When does "enough" training become "too much"? This is difficult to predict and is quite variable from athlete to athlete, depending as it does on a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors mentioned above. Usually the point is defined retrospectively, after an athlete has developed symptoms, been diagnosed with an injury, or his or her performance has noticeably declined. Breaking the vicious cycle of overuse injuries demands proper rest to permit adequate tissue healing, and an appropriate sports-specific rehabilitation program. Balanced strength and flexibility are the cornerstones of prevention and rehabilitation.
Injury Prevention Priority Selected Reading #6
Understanding Volleyball Injuries: Rehabilitation Principles Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Injury Prevention Priority Study Questions:
• What are the three stages of a rehabilitation program? • Describe the injury complex. • What is the importance of a prehabilitation program?
s with Selected Readings #1-#5, it is encouraged that information contained in this article be distributed to any and all volleyball populations to which you may have access.
Facts 1. As discussed in earlier selected readings of this series, the majority of volleyball-related injuries are non-surgical and can be classified as either acute (resulting from acute tissue overload) or Table 1—Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Clinical Symptom Complex
• Anterior shoulder pain with overhead skills such as serving or spiking.
Tissue Injury Complex
• Rotator cuff tendon inflammation, possible injury to the shoulder capsule or glenoid labrum.
Functional Biomechanical Deficit
• Lateral scapular slide, shoulder strength and flexibility imbalances.
Subclinical • Alteration of form and decreased velocity. Adaptation Complex Tissue Overload Complex
• Increased load on shoulder capsule and scapular stabilizing musculature.
Acute Phase of Rehab
• Minimize pain and inflammation. • Reestablish pain-free & full range of motion. • Isometric exercises to maintain strength.
Recovery Phase of Rehab
• Isotonic and isokinetic strength training. • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. • Reestablish skill-specific movement patterns.
• Functional progression leading to return to play. Maintenance Phase • Sport-specific plyometrics. of Rehab • Emphasize proper form & eliminate maladaptations. • Transition to prehabilitation exercise program.
chronic (resulting from chronic overuse). A third type of injury—acute exacerbation of a chronic injury—can also occur in athletes who attempt to return to training and competition too rapidly following an injury. 2. Most injuries affect sport performance and an athlete's functional abilities in predictable ways. Herring and Kibler have identified five sequelae of injury, which they call the "injury complex." An injured athlete will complain of pain or impaired performance—this is the "clinical symptom complex." The rehabilitation team, usually consisting of a physician and an athletic trainer, diagnoses the injury—the "tissue injury complex." Functional testing will typically reveal deficits—the "functional biomechanical deficit complex" for which the injured athlete attempts to compensate by altering form. This "subclinical adaptation complex" can place additional stress on the involved structures—the "tissue overload complex" placing the athlete at even greater risk of further injury. Rehabilitation programs should ideally address each of these complexes in order to maximize healing and minimize the risk of reinjury. 3. Rehabilitation programs can be broken down into three stages: acute phase, recovery phase, and maintenance phase. Each phase addresses different aspects of the injury complex. 4. Rehabilitation programs should treat injured athletes beyond the mere absence of symptoms. Quality rehabilitation should also focus on identifying structural and biomechanical risk factors for injury and introduce "prehabilitation" programs designed to prevent future injuries.
Observations The first fundamental step in athletic injury treatment and rehabilitation is to establish an accurate diagnosis. Only then can appropriate therapeutic interventions occur in a timely manner to permit the athletes to heal and return to competition as quickly as possible. The goals of the first, or acute, stage of rehab are to minimize the deleterious effects of the injury and to create an optimum environment for healing to occur. Initial treatment for many injuries includes Protection, Relative Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (easily remembered by the mnemonic PRICE ). Early intervention to control symptoms permits early range of motion and isometric strengthening exercises, thus minimizing the deleterious effects of immobilization. Providing the injured body part with controlled stress improves the biomechanical profile of the soft tissues as they heal. The other major goal of this phase of rehabilitation is to maintain the athletes’ general overall fitness.
Chapter 2 The second, or recovery, phase of rehabilitation begins when symptoms have essentially resolved. The focus shifts from tissue healing, which is well underway, to restoring function. Emphasis is on regaining strength, flexibility, and proprioceptive sensation. Exercises consist of isotonic strength training through a full range of motion, progressing to sport-specific drills involving the entire kinetic chain. In addition, the rehab team should work to identify functional biomechanical deficits or maladaptations that either predisposed an athlete to the injury or may have resulted from the injury. The third, or maintenance, phase of rehab begins with return to play. Athletes should be permitted to return to competition when they are symptom free and can perform sport-specific skills painlessly. Ongoing exercises maintain balanced strength and flexibility as well as proper form and biomechanics. Eventually, rehabilitation becomes "prehabilitation," in that the intent of the therapeutic program shifts from injury recovery to prevention. By rehabilitating beyond the absence of symptoms and addressing the underlying biomechanics of form and function, the rehabilitation process keeps the athletes performing at their peak while minimizing risk of reinjury. Table One (modeled after Kibler and Herring) presents a sample rehabilitation program for rotator cuff tendonitis. Finally, the holistic approach to injury rehabilitation should also attend to an athlete's psyche and address issues such as fear of reinjury. Furthermore, proper nutrition is vital to tissue healing and avoidance of injury. Some sports medicine professionals caution that numerous or recurrent injuries in a female athlete should suggest the possibility of disordered eating and malnutrition. In the next selected reading of this series, we will consider the female athletic triad of disordered eating, osteoporosis, and amennhorea.
Selected Reading #7
Understanding Volleyball Injuries: The Female Athlete Triad Jonathan C. Reeser, M.D., Ph.D.
Principle Basis: Injury Prevention Priority Study Questions:
• Describe the female athlete triad. • What are some signs of eating disorders? • What action should be taken if you suspect an eating disorder?
s with Selected Readings #1-#6, it is encouraged that information contained in this article be distributed to any and all volleyball populations to which you may have access.
Facts 1. In 1997, USA Volleyball membership totaled 122,968 individuals, of which 95,528 were female including 73,339 (77%) juniors. There were 27,440 male USAV members, of which 5,990 (22%) were juniors. 2. Of injuries reported to the NCAA Injury Surveillance System for women’s collegiate volleyball in 1995-96, nearly 25% were recurrent injuries or complications of previous injuries. 3. The female athlete triad is defined as disordered eating (including either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa), amenorrhea (3 or fewer menstrual cycles in 12 months), and osteoporosis (reduced bone mass). The true prevalence of the female athlete triad among volleyball players (and female athletes in general) is unknown, but studies suggest that it may range between 15%-62%, indicating that athletes are at greater risk for developing disordered eating than the general population. The triad appears to be more common in individual sports that emphasize appearance and/or endurance, such as gymnastics, figure skating and distance running. 4. Several recent studies demonstrate that female volleyball players have greater bone mineral densities than athletes who participate in non-weight bearing sports such as swimming, as well as nonathletic controls (Alfredson et al, 1997 and 1998, Fehling et al 1995).
Observations From the demographics presented above, female juniors clearly comprise the largest USAV membership category. Although the available data is somewhat contradictory, there is probably no significant difference in injury rates between male and female volleyball players. However, female athletes do have unique, gender-specific health concerns such as the female athlete triad.
Injury Prevention Priority As a recent article in Sidelines [1998. 9 (1): p. 2-3] discusses, females become increasingly aware of and concerned about appearance and physical beauty as they enter adolescence. They may consequently develop negative body images, and this preoccupation may lead to excessive exercise or abuse of diet pills in an effort to control their weight. In severe cases, a clinical eating disorder such as anorexia or bullemia may result. Disordered eating can have serious physiological consequences. Inadequate nutrition can result in a negative energy balance, in which athletes expend more energy than they consume. This “energy drain” may result in hormonal dysfunction with resultant irregular, reduced, or even absent menstrual cycles. Estrogen deficiency can in turn result in altered bone metabolism, leading to osteoporosis and increasing the risk of stress or pathologic fractures. Soft tissue injuries may also heal poorly, and numerous or recurrent injuries in a female athlete should suggest the possibility of disordered eating and malnutrition. The studies by Alfredson et al and Fehling et al suggest that volleyball players are protected from developing osteoporosis due to the weight-bearing nature of the sport. Other studies support this conclusion, and there is additional evidence indicating that enhancing bone mineral density/peak bone mass during youth and adolescence serves to protect against the development of osteoporosis in later life. Nevertheless, extended periods of amennorhea may
offset the beneficial effects of weight-bearing exercise and lead to a potentially irreversible loss of bone mass. Treatment of the female athlete triad begins with early detection of disordered eating. Coaches, parents and sports medicine providers should maintain a high index of suspicion. Warning signs include preoccupation with eating, food, weight or body image and low self-esteem. Recurrent injuries can result in abuse of anti-inflammatory medications. Other symptoms and physical signs of eating disorders that are well described in the literature include impaired school and athletic performance, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, gastrointestinal bleeding and poor dentition. Once detected, a team approach to treatment involving the athlete’s family, coach, trainer, physician and nutritionist is optimal. Unfortunately, relapse rates of 30%-50% are common. Special attention should therefore be given to preventing disordered eating. Prevention involves education of coaches, athletes and their parents. Emphasis should be placed on the athletes’ strength, stamina and performance—not on their appearance or weight. Educating athletes about the normal developmental changes that occur during puberty and sexual maturation can help prevent misconceptions that might lead to unhealthy attitudes and disordered eating behaviors.
Establishing and Designing a Successful Volleyball Conditioning Program
Establishing and Designing a Successful Volleyball Conditioning Program
his chapter introduces the Home-Gym Workout Training Card System and provides guidance to coaches with regard to how the system should be used to bring one’s team up to peak conditioning. It also discusses use of training journals and data collection sheets.
Objective Tasks 1. Identify individual and team needs and the necessary tools. 2. Increase individual confidence in athletic ability. 3. Build a positive work ethic focused on physical performance and individual achievement. 4. Maximize overall athletic performance of the team.
Competencies 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
What do the players and team need to improve? How can I teach this? When do I teach this? How do I set up a training session? What exercises do I use during a training session?
Our Mission My goal as a coach is to create complete players both on and off of the ball. Many times we’ll have players who are technically skilled but they can’t get to the ball or jump high enough to make the play. The problem we needed to solve was the first two or three steps to get to the ball faster and jump high. I want my players to beat the players across from them. I want my players to have the confidence and the physical skills to win the point over and over again. My players know they have been given the tools to win and they have worked harder than their opponents to achieve that goal. This goes beyond the season. We want players to work hard during offseason and to strive for consistent, continuous improvement.
Tasks Required To Achieve Our Mission Task #1 Maximize athletic performance of each individual player. Evaluate each player on an individual basis—what a player needs, improved quickness, jump higher, be move explosive on the kill, etc. By going through each player you can see what is consistent as far as needs for the team. Once you find the team needs, you have your starting point as far as conditioning and athletic skill development is concerned.
Task #2 Increase individual confidence in athletic ability. How do the players perceive their ability? Do they think they are fast, slow, etc.? The goal is to change any negative perception in each player in a positive
way. The coach’s job should be to help the players achieve improvement in the way each player perceives his or her ability by maximizing their physical performance.
Task #3 Build a positive work ethic focused on physical performance and individual achievement. Give players a set of tools to better themselves. Through repetition and use of the training cards as reinforcement, coaches will soon be able to assign homework to improve physical performance.
Task #4 Maximize overall athletic performance of your team. Coaches must understand that each player is a margin of victory. If the coach can improve all six players on the court just a little, the end result is a big improvement with the entire team.
Principles Of Our Mission #1 Results come over time This is something you need to sell your players on. Many players may not be used to this type of activity; they may become sore the first time they try it. As a coach, you have to sell the concept of delayed gratification. By working out over and over it will work—it’s not a one-time deal. Players must have the discipline to do a training routine over and over. It’s important to vary the routine to keep player interest at a high level. By working out consistently, players will gain the edge and eventually see results. A good technique to use is making the players compete among themselves. Set up ladders side by side and have two players go through a drill using good form and competing against each other.
#2 As a coach, stay motivated to motivate “We need to work as hard off the ball as we do on the ball.” There should be no difference. Keep the players motivated, jump in with them. It shows them that they are important to you and allows you to have fun!
#3 Set goals Coaches don’t do this enough. Set goals and go after them. In doing the exercises, the athletes are up against time, distance, resistance or count. By setting goals, you can see if the players improve on things such as how fast they go through a ladder; how long they hold a position in an abdominal workout; have they improved vertical jumps or medicine ball tosses for distance.
#4 Reward good efforts Some kids will jump on the bandwagon and go after a program as soon as you introduce it. It’s
Establishing and Designing a Successful Volleyball Conditioning Program important to reward those good efforts. Also, reward efforts on the court. When you see players using good form, making a block, driving for a ball, etc., tell them immediately. Such positive feedback will result in extra effort carrying over to their training efforts. It’s a positive cycle.
#5 Be organized, be prepared and make practice flow As coaches, our job is to be prepared so we give a good performance as coach. To do this, you have to be organized. If necessary, carry along the training cards and use them as cheat sheets to keep things going. Get to the court early and set up. The big thing is to avoid extended transition time between exercises because that is when things start to break down.
#6 Keep it fresh This is more important with collegiate athletes. Because of the greater amount of time we spend on workouts, it’s important to vary the workout and the exercises you do. The training cards offer a wide variety of activities, so to help keep things fresh, journal each workout. After practice take two or three minutes and write down the things the kids liked to do and what worked well. Come back to the things that worked well, but not every day—change things up. Players seem to go after something a little harder if they like to do it.
Starting and Administering Your Program 1. Set goals for the players. 2. Identify the tools necessary to make improvements. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to start with bodyweight before you introduce external resistance tools such as weighted vests. The training cards provide a step-by-step process in selecting the right athletic skill to train and the tools necessary to do it from beginners to advanced athletes. 3. Work on proper technique. Quality over quantity is the key when getting started. 4. Assure players understand movements well enough to do properly on their own. This is where repetition comes in. After the players have mastered quality, then you strive for repeated quality. 5. Record workouts. The players need to record their activity. Training logs are available with the training cards for this purpose. This gives them and you feedback on how the workouts are going. It’s important that players evaluate themselves. It’s a good way of telling the players what they have been putting into practice and conditioning. 6. Choose a proper environment. The environment; i.e., where and how your conditioning program is done, is an important consideration with three possible scenarios:
Best: Formal workout with coach. In this scenario the coach has the ability to control the environment, quality of technique, number of repetitions, etc., to make sure the workout is up to standard. Good: Small groups with coach or parent. Situations dictate what you can do. If you have five players coming in at one time, this is a very workable situation. It’s nice to have all players together to see how hard each player is working and makes it easier to set up a competitive environment. However, smaller groups set up a 1v1 atmosphere more effectively. OK: Individually with parent. It’s important to orient parents on technique and provide guidance as to the program you want done. Older players can work on their own once they have had enough repetitions with the coach. 7. Facilities. The exercise program doesn’t take a great deal of room—a volleyball court is perfect. If gym time is at a premium, use a hallway. Once you get the kids into a routine, try not the break it. Keep to your schedule as much as you can.
Coaches Guide to Using the Home Workout Training Cards What do my players need to improve? Write down each players’ improvement needs. In working with younger athletes and their parents, this feedback is especially important. Be specific—this is what we need to work on and this is the way we are going to do it. If you have a field testing program, you can use the results to indicate improvement goals and measure improvement results. Find the most common needs to help you focus the program. After you have written everything down, take time to look at what the team needs—jumping power, moving to the ball quicker, core strength, etc. This can best be done by viewing and evaluating your team when they are playing volleyball. If you have a field testing program you can use the results to indicate improvement goals and measure improvement results. A data collection sheet is provided at the end of this chapter to help organize your field testing program.
Can I teach this? Read the cards and understand what they are trying to accomplish and then convey this to your players. Be sure to let your players know what you are trying to do. Be specific and tell them what they should expect. If they have questions, be able to explain your answers. Having confidence in teaching technique is important to keep the workouts focused. Demonstrate and explain the exercises with another coach before presenting them to the team. If you have questions, seek the help of a strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer in your area. Use players to demonstrate if you can’t do it yourself.
Chapter 3 When do I teach this? Have a plan. Anytime would work but try and start in the off-season when more time and gym space is available. It is important to set up a base level of strength and stability to build upon in the preseason. Get into a routine and let the players take ownership and responsibility.
Record progress using the training logs and continually set new goals. Along with this, keep a journal of what is working and what isn’t. Let the kids take ownership of their bodies. Give them a chance to perform and improve. Let them compete to improve themselves, which will allow your team to improve.
How do I set up a training session?
Designing Off- Pre and In-Season Workouts
Try to keep it under 45 minutes, including the warm-up. Ten minutes generally for warm-up. Let your players conduct the warm-up on their own. This is especially important for female players and for team building. Twenty to thirty-five minutes for workout. Allow for one or two minute breaks to get set up for the next activity. These exercises can be taxing and we want quality of movement. Remember to cool down. Be sure to make it part of the routine.
Chapter 3 Off-season, Chapter 4 Preseason and Chapter 5 In-season provide the necessary exercise technique menus and program design tables to allow you to establish a volleyball-specific program based on the specific season. Exercises can be added to the menus and program design charts modified as necessary. Choose from the three conditioning programs; the six-week preseason speed, footwork, quickness and agility program (SFQA); the 12-week off-season strength, stability and power development program (SSPD); or the In-season program. In order to prevent potential injury, each athlete should start with #1, Warm-up/Cool Down.
What exercises do I use during a training session? Start simple and be creative. Start with exercises you know how to teach. Keep it fresh. Use things the kids like to do or can have fun with. Find out what they like and come back to it. Do something for a week, change it and come back to it the next week. Use exercises that can measure progress. Measurements include time, number of repetitions, resistance used and distance. Measurements help make the workouts competitive. Let the players show you what they can do. Exercise selection depends on the time of the week. Consider what the players have done and what they are going to do tomorrow. This is specific to your schedule for the week and the response of your players to the training and competitions they have already done. You may use card #1 to do a warm-up and cool down recovery session.
How do I incorporate this kind of training? Start with familiarity and routine. Begin with the warm-up card #1—this will give the players a plan for when they have a day off or need to workout on their own. You will come back to card #1 again and again. Set up time and facilities needed to perform these exercises. Work outside of the “Comfort Zone.” Get through initial performance fears and anxiety and get after it. Let the players compete. Find starting resistance, sets and reps while maintaining a high quality of technique. If you have the time during off-season, you can test the players. Retest after a few weeks to see if progress is being made; then increase the workload.
Twelve-week Off-season Program Strength, Stability and Power Development (SSPD): #1 Warm-up/Cool Down #2 SSPD Medicine Ball Program #3 SSPD Stability Ball Program #4 SSPD Weighted Vest Program #5 SSPD Balance Objects Program
Six-week Preseason Program #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6
Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility (SFQA): Warm-up/Cool Down SFQA Jump Rope Program SFQA Tubing Program SFQA Ladder Program SFQA Box Training Program SFQA Cone Program
Establishing and Designing a Successful Volleyball Conditioning Program
Data Collection Sheet Making the results work for you. Create your own data base. By establishing your own testing procedures and entering results you can compare the results year to year.
INDIVIDUAL ATHLETE RECORDING FORM TEST Date: ______________________________________ Test Site:___________________________________
Surface Conditions: _________________________
Activity level of athletes the two day before testing ______________________________________________ Name of Athlete, or last 4 digits of Social Security #______________________________________________ Date of Birth _______________________________
Name of Tester, or last 4 digits of Social Security # _______________________________________________ Standing Reach Height ______________________
Best or Average
FOR TESTS OF MORE THAN FOUR ATTEMPTS USE THE NEXT LINE TO COMPLETE. 67
Chapter 3 Volleyball Coaches Training Journal Date: Exercises Done:
Note: Circle exercise(s) that were effective; x-out exercise(s) that need change.
Periodization Chart JAN
Instructions: This chart is designed to provide an overview of the training year and the volleyball conditioning goals you wish to accomplish. â€˘ Match the month(s) with the training seasons: Off-season, Preseason, CKompetitive season, Transition, etc. and place in the 1st blank box. â€˘ Select the conditioning qualities you wish to maintain or improve upon (strength/stability, power, speed, footwork, quickness and agility) and place in the 2nd blank box.
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD)
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) Including Menu of Exercises
hapter three discusses the importance and benefits of a good warm-up before a conditioning program and a proper cool down after exercise. The remainder of the chapter presents various workout routines designed to develop strength, stability and power. Included are an assortment of exercises most of which are accompanied by illustrations.
Objective Tasks 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Warm-up, Cool Down,Movement/Mobility Training Core Strength/Stability Training Upper Body Strength Training Lower Body Strength Training Power Development Training Program Design
Competencies 1. 2. 3. 4.
Establishing goals. What exercises do I do? What equipment should I use? How do I design a program based on principles of volleyball conditioning?
Warm-up/Cool Down (WU) (CD) SSPD/SFQA #1 Warm-up is one of the most important parts of a volleyball player's conditioning program. It raises body temperature, increases muscle elasticity and neuromuscular function, and mimics the actions used in competition. It is performed starting with general exercises and ending with volleyball-specific activities. Always perform a complete warm-up before every practice or conditioning session.
Benefits of Warm-up • Provides greater range of motion potential when performing physical and athletic skills. • Muscles require less energy to complete a movement; therefore, aid in recovery and endurance. • Relieves muscle soreness and joint stiffness. • Increases tissue temperature and blood flow, and eliminates waste products. • Decreases neuromuscular tension. Promotes general body relaxation and reduces emotional stress. Perform a five- to seven-minute, low-level aerobic activity, such as running, passing and technical work with the ball. The following warm-up program should be done prior to starting either SFQA or SSPD programs. A key to consistent forearm passing is achieving a stable pre-contact position prior to ball arrival. A great way to engrain efficient pre-contact positioning is to practice these movements during the initial phase of warm-up. An effective warm-up strategy that addresses the various positions required by the sport and also develops lower extremity strength, joint integrity, kinesthetic awareness and court sense is the multi-directional lunge sequence (MDLS).
The MDLS focuses heavily on hamstring and inner thigh muscular strength, flexibility, and neuromuscular control—in particular, the semitendinosus and adductor magnus. These two muscles are prone to excessive tightness and injury during adolescence due to rapid growth. During these periods of development, the bone's growth rate often exceeds the associated muscles' lengthening rate; in this case, the hamstring musculature. Tight hamstrings diminish force production and force reduction of the entire hip extensor and hip flexor mechanisms often resulting in devastating injury on the court. Commonly, the semitendinosus will strain or tear at its superior inscription in conjunction with the adductor magnus during lateral movements or other movements that place these muscles on stretch. In other words, forward passing, multi-directional lunging, rapid deceleration and quick changes of direction. For this reason, it is vital that athletes prepare to combat this occurrence in a manner that is specific to their sport. Consequently, dynamic stretching is paramount in a volleyball warm-up session. Although there is a time and place for open-chain or static stretching, stretching of this sort will not optimize athletic performance. In fact, such stretching may predispose athletes to injury by increasing joint range of motion (ROM) while neglecting one's ability to control the new ROM. If one desires to optimize athletic performance and promote the athlete safety, one must stretch and strengthen the kinetic chain (human body) simultaneously at velocity-specific and position-specific ranges of motion. By doing this joint ROM, control of the ROM, and strength throughout the ROM increase proportionately. A proven means of accomplishing this task is to incorporate the MDLS lunge sequence during a warm-up session.
WARM-UP (U) Multi-Directional Lunge Sequence WU-1 Forward Reaching Lunge with Forearm Pass
Forward Reaching Lunge with Forearm Pass
Place feet approximately shoulder width apart with the toes angled slightly outward. Care should be given here to insure normal foot alignment. The position should feel comfortable. Initiate a forward lunge
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) and reach using the same mechanics implemented during a forearm pass. As you lunge, your weight and shoulders should be positioned forward so that you can move through the imaginary "ball" to the "target" with "contact" being made away from the body. Feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width. Knees should be located inside the foot, creating a positive shin angle. Hips should be lower than an imaginary incoming ball and outgoing trajectory. Eyes should be focused on the "ball." Arms should maintain symmetry of the forearms with the wrists hyper extended and thumbs pointing down. At "ball contact" your eyes should focus between the "target" and the "point of contact." After the ball has been "played" you stand and return to the starting position repeating in an alternating fashion four times per leg for a total of eight repetitions. Upon finishing the eight repetitions of the Forward Lunge Sequence, continue the circuit moving fluidly into the Lateral Reaching Lunge Sequence. Note: All lunges and transitions should be performed at a speed that facilitates success and optimizes proper mechanics. Select a speed that is quick enough to get yourself "out of the hole" efficiently, but is slow enough to ensure proper technique. Once technique is mastered, movement speed should reflect gamelike velocity.
WU-2 Lateral Reaching Lunge with Forearm Pass
Lateral Reaching Lunge with Forearm Pass
Initiate a lateral lunge and reach using the same mechanics implemented during a forearm pass as stated above. After "playing" the ball at the bottom of the lunge, explode off the outside leg to return to the starting position. After returning to the starting position, initiate a lateral lunge to the opposite side using the same techniques described in WU-1 above. Continue to alternate legs until a total of eight repetitions have been achieved.Upon finishing the eight repetitions of the lateral lunge sequence, continue the circuit moving fluidly into the 45-Degree Reaching Lunge sequence.
WU-3 45-Degree Backdoor Reaching Lunge with Forearm Pass Initiate a 45-degree reverse lunge and reach using the same mechanics implemented during a forearm
pass as stated in WU-1 above. Make sure the front knee remains inline with the front foot to ensure proper knee tracking. After "playing" the ball at the bottom of the lunge, explode off the outside leg to return to the starting position and initiate a 45-degree reverse lunge to the opposite side using the same techniques described in WU-1. Continue to alternate legs until a total of eight repetitions have been achieved. Upon finishing the eight repetitions of the 45-Degree Backdoor Reaching Lunge sequence, continue the circuit moving fluidly into the Reverse Reaching Lunge sequence.
WU-4 Reverse Reaching Lunge with Forearm Pass
Reverse Reaching Lunge with Forearm Pass
Initiate a reverse lunge stepping directly behind and slightly wider than the ready position stance. This should resemble the same mechanics implemented when the ball is hit hard and deep directly in line with the receiver. As the back foot makes contact with the floor, providing a stable base of support, transition your weight forward through the "ball" and toward the "target." After "playing" the ball at the bottom of the lunge, explode off the front leg to return to the starting position and initiate a reverse reaching lunge with the opposite leg using the same techniques described in WU-1. Continue to alternate legs until a total of eight repetitions have been achieved. Finish the sequence in the initial standing position. Total circuit time for advanced athletes is approximately 45-55 seconds.
Variations to the MDLS WU-5 Overhead Pass MDLS Once technique has been mastered with the lower extremity, an "overhead pass" can be implemented between each lunge repetition to enhance the upper extremity's circulatory response and augment proper passing skills. When choosing this variation, the lunge sequence consists of eight lunges with forward passes (four repetitions on each leg) and eight overhead passes (one pass between each lunge). The Overhead Pass MDLS is a great means of enhancing upper and lower body coordination and movement economy. Total circuit time for advanced athletes using the sequence is approximately 70-85 seconds.
Chapter 4 WU-6 Cheerleader MDLS
WU-7 VB/MB Torso Rotation (Close, Extended)
Torso Rotation Close
To perform the Cheerleader MDLS, follow the same lunge sequences as detailed above while throwing both arms forward and overhead in a "cheerleader" like fashion. The fully extended arms should reach the overhead position as your lead foot makes contact with the floor. Maintain the overhead arm position while decelerating and transitioning "out of the hole." Begin to return both arms to their initial position as your lead leg extends to return you to the starting position. Both the arms and feet should return to the starting positions at approximately the same time.
Start with ball at chest, elbows out, feet positioned approximately shoulder width apart with toes angled slightly outward. Care should be given here to insure normal foot alignment. Rotate the body left and right while facing forward. Release the trailing foot to prevent knee joint discomfort (at MCL). Keep the core tight, reversing direction of the ball as it reaches 180 degrees of motion. Although a greater range of motion is available, limit ball movement to 180 degrees to avoid spinal insult and to ensure deceleration of the ball is obtained via core strength, not ligamentous (ligaments) or osseous (bones) maximal limitation. Repeat for 12 reps (six per side).
NOTE: As lunging with the arms extended above the head reduces hip involvement, many females may initially have difficulty performing this exercise. Nevertheless, this movement is vital if ACL injury is to be avoided. Most ACL injuries occur during multi-planer deceleration often with the head and eyes facing a different direction. This understanding played a major role in the orchestration of this movement sequence and suggests how preventative measures should be organized. The Cheerleader MDLS is a great movement sequence that teaches athletes to decelerate and dynamically stabilize with the knees and ankles and not the hips. It illustrates how strategic movement prescription for specific athletic needs can be implemented into every facet of practice with nominal time requirements. After performing the MDLS do the following sequence.
Volleyball/Medicine Ball Warm-up (3Â˝ minutes) The following circuit is performed with a volleyball or low weight medicine ball (2-3 kg). Each exercise fluidly leads into the following exercise. Total circuit time is typically 75 seconds. Perform this warm-up circuit with a 1:1 or 1:2 work-to-rest interval (depending upon implement being used, athletic training age and specific goal of warm-up). For example, using 2 kg medicine balls with seasoned athletes would warrant 85 seconds of work, 85 seconds of rest, followed by a repeat bout of 85 seconds. Similarly, using volleyballs with beginner athletes would warrant 75 seconds of work, 90 seconds of rest, and a repeat bout of 75 seconds.
Torso Rotation Extended
Continue same movement for 12 reps (six per side) while holding ball with arms extended just below shoulder height. A tight core is paramount to protect the spine as extended arms increase the demands placed on the core musculature.
WU-8 VB/MB Giant Circles
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) Start with ball located at the waist, feet positioned approximately shoulder width apart and toes angled slightly outward. Again, care should be given to insure normal foot alignment. Rotate ball in a giant circle, squatting as ball moves towards the floor. Make sure the knees "track the toes" during the squatting movement by keeping the knees directly above the feet to avoid "knock-knee." Keep the lower back "locked in" with the core tight. The body will follow the ball as it transitions upward until the ball is directly above the head with arms fully extended. Repeat for six repetitions before changing directions to the left side for six repetitions.
WU-9 VB/MB Wood Chops
Start with the ball above the head, arms extended, elbows positioned slightly outward and feet approximately shoulder width apart. The core should be tight to prevent the belly button from thrusting forward and hyper-extending the lower back. Initiate a chopping motion with the ball while keeping the core tight and lower back "locked in" while dropping the buttocks into a squat. Reverse direction of the ball when it is positioned between the knees (Although a greater range of motion is available, limit the balls range of motion to avoid spinal insult and to ensure deceleration is obtained via core strength and not the ligaments of the lower back). Return to the starting position maintaining a tight core and repeat for six repetitions.
apart with the trailing foot released to prevent knee joint discomfort (at MCL). The core should be tight to prevent the belly button from thrusting forward and hyper-extending the lower back. Initiate a diagonal chopping motion with the ball while keeping the core tight and the lower back "locked in" while dropping the buttocks into a squat. The ball should travel from the one shoulder area to the opposite knee. When engaging the lower portion of the chop, make sure the opposite foot is released to prevent discomfort at the knee joint (MCL) and to foster normal movement mechanics. Reverse direction of the ball when it is positioned inside the opposite knee. Return to the starting position maintaining a tight core and repeat for six repetitions before changing directions to the left side. Move fluidly with the arms becoming "whips" at the top of the movement encouraging normal summation and transfer of forces along the different links of the kinetic chain. Note: The lower back will not remain "locked in" during the lower portion of these movements. Spinal flexion and rotation will be noted, as is normal and required during functional movement. The "locked in" teaching cue simply promotes spinal integrity by engaging the core musculature to control spinal movement, thus preventing the spine's ligaments from dictating maximal range of motion. Often, a teaching cue that does not make functional sense translates to safer and more efficient movement economy. This is especially important, taking into consideration the lower back pathologies associated with this sport; in particular defensive specialist.
WU-11 VB/MB Squat
WU-10 VB/MB Diagonal Wood Chops VB/MB Squat
Diagonal Wood Chops
Start with ball above right shoulder, body rotated to the right, arms extended, elbows positioned slightly outward and feet approximately shoulder width
Place feet approximately shoulder width apart with toes angled slightly outward so that knees will track directly over the feet as they flex and extend. Care should be given here to insure normal foot alignment. While maintaining an erect torso and tight core, allow knees and hips to flex into the squat descent. Maintain equal weight distribution over middle of the feet, not the toes. Drive your heels into the ground while clawing the floor with the toes. Keep the torso erect, chest up and out, elbows slightly outward, and eyes and head focused straight ahead.
Chapter 4 Maintain knees inline with feet as they continue to flex to approximately 90 degrees (With athletic populations, typically there is no need to descend further than 90ยบ as most athletic movements are performed above 90ยบ knee flexion. Furthermore, squat depth is governed by hamstring and ankle dorsiflexion flexibility; therefore, descend only to the point the pelvis starts to rotate posteriorly or where heels begin to rise off the floor. Descending further will compromise the integrity of the kinetic chain, foster poor body mechanics, decrease movement economy, and lead to insidious injury). At approximately 90ยบ knee flexion, extend hips and knees while maintaining upright torso position. Knees should continue to remain inline with the feet. Continue to drive the body upward until hips and knees are almost fully extended, then decelerate as the knees and hips reach full extension. Repeat for six reps at a rate of one squat per second.
Start with ball at chest, elbows slightly out and downward, feet positioned approximately shoulder width apart, toes angled slightly outward. Follow same progression as WU-11 while pushing ball directly overhead during the descent phase of the squat. Return ball to chest during ascent phase of the squat and decelerate as knees and hips reach full extension. Maintain a tight core throughout the movement especially when arms are maximally extended. Repeat for six reps at a rate of one squat per second or as needed for successful movement.
COOL DOWN (CD) Static Stretches Stretch to the point of tension, but not pain. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Do these stretches after practice or training session.
CD 1 Calf Stretch WU-12 VB/MB Squat Push
Heel flat on ground, front ankle in dorsiflexion (toes toward shins) other foot behind and wrapped around. Bend over with arms and legs straight, hands over each other, touching toes. Reverse position.
CD 2 Hip Flexor On one knee, opposite leg extended straight forward with heel flat on ground, knee bent at 90ยบ, back straight, hands on hips. Move pelvis toward the ground. Reverse position. VB/MB Squat Push
Start with ball at chest, elbows out and slightly downward, feet positioned approximately shoulder width apart, and toes angled slightly outward. Follow the same progression in WU-11 while pushing the ball away from the body and below shoulder height during the descent phase of the squat. Return ball to chest during ascent phase of the squat and decelerate as knees and hips reach full extension. Maintain a tight core throughout the movement especially when arms are maximally extended. Repeat for six reps at a rate of one squat per second or as needed for successful movement.
CD 3 Hamstring Reach hands to each foot while seated with legs in "open V" position.
CD 4 Quadriceps Hurdler position, knee out to the side, toes tucked under foot, other leg straight, reach to touch toes. Reverse position.
CD 5 Lower Back Seated, one leg straight, other foot over the outside of straight knee, this knee bent at 90ยบ. Rotate the trunk placing elbow of straight leg side over the bent knee, pushing elbow inward. Reverse position.
WU-13 VB/MB Overhead Squat Press CD 6 Piriformis Seated (figure four position), one foot resting inside opposite thigh of straight leg. Grab bent leg above ankle and below knee. Pull knee into chest. Reverse position.
CD 7 Seated Trunk In figure four position as above. Push knee of bent leg away from midline. Reverse position.
CD 8 Lower Abdominals VB/MB Overhead Squat Press
From a push-up position, extend arms keeping pelvis on the ground.
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) SSPD: 12-WEEK OFF-SEASON STRENGTH, STABILITY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM When doing this program refer to the enclosed equipment-specific program for identification and description of exercises to be performed.
Equipment • •
Medicine Ball(s) Stability Ball(s)
Weighted Vest Balance Objects
Goals and Objectives Players build their strength and power bases for the season ahead. This is important for two reasons: injury prevention and laying the foundation to improve the athletic skills of strength, stability, balance, mobility/flexibility and power, as well as volleyball skills. Equipment in this package is ideal for off-season situations. The first eight weeks are devoted to development of strength while the last four weeks are designed to maintain the strength while focusing on power development, thus getting you ready for the pre-season. Do this program a minimum of two times a week but no more than four times a week. Do not do it on consecutive days.
Training Progressions Medicine ball training can be used to develop beginning levels of strength. Much of what can be gained is the development of synergist muscle or small muscles that assist in movements and help stabilize joints. Medicine ball training programs should begin using light balls. This will help develop basic strength, joint integrity, proprioceptor and balance and will involve most of the body. The athlete will have to stabilize his or her core to perform many of these exercises. The next progression is to move from strength to power development. The speed of movement gradually goes from slow to fast. As the core area becomes stronger, the player will be able to functionally transfer power more effectively from the ground up.
Getting Started 1. 2.
Volleyball teams should try to have one medicine ball for each two players. The weight should be light enough to allow for correct movements. UPPER BODY MOVEMENTS Females . . . . . .4 to 6 lb. Males . . . . . . . .6 to 8 lb. SPIKING MOVEMENTS Females..........0.5 to 2 lb. Males.................1 to 2 lb.
TOTAL BODY MOVEMENTS Females . . . . . . .6 to 8 lb. Males . . . . . . . .8 to 10 lb.
Medicine Ball Program (M) SSPD #2 Conditioning an athlete’s body for volleyball with a medicine ball has gained notoriety because of the many specific movement patterns that can be duplicated. Medicine balls are available in many circumference sizes, weights, surface textures and materials from leather to rubber to heavy-duty types of vinyl. Medicine balls vary greatly in their ability to bounce. They can be thrown with a single arm movement or can employ almost the entire body for an explosive movement or jump.
What Medicine Balls Develop 1. Joint integrity or stability. 2. Proprioceptor awareness (awareness of body part segment position in space during movement). 3. Coordination of movement (when body parts work together in harmony). 4. Functional flexibility (when the body can move, sport specifically, through a range of motion). 5. Core (muscles of the abdomen, obliques, hips, low back and spine). 6. Strength (for both movement and support). 7. Static and dynamic balance (body control). 8. Ability to generate power for jumping and hitting. 9. Energy system conditioning for volleyball. 10. Arm acceleration for spiking. 11. Ability to convert strength gained to acceleration of the legs and arms, thus enabling the volleyball player to move quickly in all directions.
Selecting A Medicine Ball Medicine balls vary in size. Choose the size most appropriate; i.e., one that can be controlled during exercise. The outside skin of a med ball may be made of many materials—the type you choose will depend upon whether your exercises require athletes to receive a med ball from the floor or a wall. A rubber ball will bounce back. A leather or heavy-duty vinyl type med ball will bounce very little. The surface texture will be dependent upon where you intend to use the med ball. A synthetic leather med ball is made for indoor use; however, it can be used outside if kept dry. A leather med ball has some give to it. A rubber med ball most likely will have a semi-hard and slightly pebbled surface. It can be used indoors and outside. The heavy-duty vinyl ball comes in various surface textures. This type provides very little give. It will retain its shape and is textured for better gripping possibilities when the surface is wet.
Med Ball Training Menu Total Body Training Exercises GROUP 1: UPPER BODY STRENGTH EXERCISES (MU) MU-1 Med Ball Push-Ups Place one hand on med ball, other on floor. Perform a push up—lower until elbow of arm on the med ball is just below 90º, then push up. Med Ball Push-ups
Chapter 4 MU-2 Chest Press
GROUP 2: LOWER BODY STRENGTH EXERCISES (ML) ML-1 Squats - Shoulder-width Stance
Stand in ready position. Grasp medicine ball with both hands and place on chest. Under control, push med ball away from body while fully extending arms; return. Chest Press
MU-3 Incline Press Same position as MB 2 only push medicine ball away from body at a 45Â° angle upward.
MU-4 Soccer Throw Without Release Stand in ready position. Place med ball behind head on the neck. Under control, extend arms as if to perform a soccer throw in.
Grasp med ball with both hands and place on the neck, feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out slightly. Lower the body under control until top of thighs are parallel with floor, keep back straight. Make sure that feet stay flat on the floor and knees stay over the toes throughout lift. Squat-shoulder-width stance Maintain a tight abdomen and flat back throughout the lift. Return to upright position. Do not let knees come together.
ML-2 Wide Squats Same as ML-1 only place each foot 6â€? outside shoulder-width stance.
ML-3 Overhead Squats Soccer Throw
Same as ML-1 only place the med ball overhead with arms locked.
MU-5 Overhead Press Same position as MB 4 only push med ball away from body directly overhead.
MU-6 Overhead to Waist and Back Lie on back with arms fully extended, med ball in both hands and touching the floor. Pull medicine ball over body and touch the waist. Pull Overhead to Waist & Back medicine ball back to overhead, touch floor and repeat.
MU-7 Reverse Pullover - Extension Lie on the floor on stomach. Grasp medicine ball with both hands, arms bent, elbows touching the Reverse Pullover-Extension floor, ball on the neck. Push medicine ball up while trying to lift chest off the floor and repeat.
MU-8 Big Circles Overhead Standing Grasp medicine ball with both hands, arms slightly bent, medicine ball in front of the head. Move medicine ball around in as large a circle as possible while keeping arms slightly bent at a level just over the head.
Big Circles Overhead - Standing
ML-4 Speed Squat Same as ML-1 only lower the body until tops of thighs are just above parallel to floor and quickly return to a position where the knees are slightly bent at the finish. Movement should be quick but controlled, avoiding full extension of knees at the end.
ML-5 Single-leg Squat Grasp med ball with both hands and place on the neck. Balance on one foot. Lower body as much as possible without losing balance. Keep other leg extended out front. Make sure balancing foot stays flat on the floor, and the knee stays over the toes throughout lift. Maintain a tight abdomen and flat back throughout the lift.
ML-6 Lateral Lunge Grasp medicine ball with both hands and place over head, feet shoulder-width apart. Step sideways far enough to allow the knees to extend over the toes, but not beyond. Trail leg remains straight with ball of the foot in contact with the floor.
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) GROUP 3 - CORE STRENGTH EXERCISES (MS) MS-1 Chest Press Crunch Grasp medicine ball with both hands and place at the chest. Start by lying on back with heels placed 6â€? from buttocks. Curl the upper body and Chest Press Crunch press the med ball away from chest, parallel with the floor. Return to start position slowly while keeping the abdominals pulled in.
MS-6 Superman Lie on floor on stomach. Hold med ball behind head with both hands. Lift upper body and head high off the floor, under control. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
MS-7 Superman Twist Same as MS-6 only rotate the body to one side.
Power Exercises GROUP 1 - UPPER BODY POWER (MP) When performing power exercises the ball should travel in a straight line.
MS-2 Sit-up - Push Medicine Ball to Toes Grasp medicine ball with both hands, place ball overhead and on the floor. Start by lying on back with Sit-up to toes legs slightly bent. Lift the med ball and upper body off the floor and try to touch toes with the med ball. Return to start position slowly while keeping the abdominals pulled in.
MP-1 Chest Throw to a Partner Grasp medicine ball with both hands and place on chest. Throw ball explosively to a partner, at chest height, who is about 6 to 8 feet away. Partner catches medicine ball and immediately throws it back.
MP-2 Soccer Throw
Same as MS-2 only place med ball between feet or knees.
Stand in volleyball defensive position. Place medicine ball behind head and on the neck. Under control, extend arms as if to perform a soccer throw. Pull ball from neck and explosively throw at partner on a straight line at a spot just over the head. After releasing the medicine ball, arms should be fully extended.
MS-4 Medicine Ball Reverse Twist
MP-3 Throw Backward Overhead to a Partner
Place med ball between feet or knees. Start by lying on back with legs pointed straight in the air at the ceiling. Slowly lower both legs off to one side of the body and at a right angle as close to the floor as Med Ball Reverse Twist possible without touching it. Lift legs up to the start position while keeping the abdominals pulled in. Repeat on same side until all repetitions have been completed.
While standing grasp medicine ball with both hands and place at waist. Move med ball away from body and throw the ball overhead to a partner who is facing your back 6 to 8 feet away.
MS-5 Medicine Ball Russian Twist
MP-4 Granny Throw to a Partner
Grasp medicine ball with both hands and place at the chest while lying on floor. Start by raising upper body until shoulder blades are just off the floor. Rotate the upper body with the ball held 12 inches away from chest to one Med Ball Russian Twist side. Return slowly to start position while keeping the abdominals pulled in. Rotate the upper body to the other side with the medicine ball. Repeat until all repetitions have been completed.
Stand with feet spread wide, knees bent, and back held tight and straight, grasping medicine ball with both hands placed between the feet. Reach back between legs as far as possible and Granny Throw to Partner explosively throw med ball to a partner at a spot at shin height. Follow through with the arms to overhead.
MS-3 V Sit-up - Lift Medicine Ball to Hands
Throw Backward Overhead to a Partner
Chapter 4 MP-5 Center Snap to a Partner Stand with feet spread wide, knees bent, and back held tight and straight, grasping medicine ball with both hands and place between the feet. Position medicine ball about 12â€? in front of the feet, then explosively throw med ball to a partner between the legs.
MT-4 Pike Wall Jump and Press Med Ball to Wall
Center Snap to Partner
MP-6 Underhand Throw and Self-catch Grasp med ball with both hands, extend arms as if they are about to pass a volleyball. Place body in a volleyball ready position. Toss med ball high in the air and in front of body so you have to move to catch it.
Underhand Throw and Self-catch
GROUP 2 - TOTAL BODY POWER (MT) MT-1 Front Total Body Jump Throw Stand ready 4 feet from a wall, facing the wall. Grasp med ball with both hands and place at the chest to a squat position. Explosively throw high overhead to have it hit against the wall. As the med ball is released perform a maximum vertical jump.
Stand ready 2 feet off the net. Grasp med ball with both hands and place high on the chest. Take 2 to 3 steps at an angle to outside the antenna. Change direction immediately and come back to the net. Stop at the net, immediately jump vertically, pushing med ball up over the net in blocking motion.
MT-6 Meter Step, Jump & Press Med Ball over Net vs. Partner Stand ready 2 feet off the net. Grasp med ball with both hands and place high on the chest. Perform a meter step, immediately followed by a maximum blocking jump by piking the feet toward the net while pushing med ball up over the net. Partner mirrors movement, jumping at the net while trying to block.
MT-7 Total Body Vertical Jump with Throw
Front Total Body Jump Throw
Stand ready 4 feet from a wall with back facing the wall. Squatting down, place med ball between feet on the floor with both hands. Lift med ball from the floor and throw high overhead and slightly backward to have it hit against the wall. As the med ball is released perform a maximum vertical jump.
MT-3 Granny Low Throw to wall with 2 Quick Steps Stand 10 to 12 feet from a wall, feet spread wide, buttocks back, and keep back straight. Grasp med ball with both hands and place between feet. Reach back between legs as Granny Low Throw far as possible and explosively throw med ball to a spot 2 feet off the floor and, taking two quick steps forward as the ball is released, finish in a volleyball defensive position.
Pike Wall Jump and Press Med Ball to Wall
MT-5 Step Transition & Jump with Med Ball Held High
MT-2 Overhead Total Body Jump Throw
Stand ready 2 feet from a wall with feet as if at the net. Grasp med ball with both hands and place high on the chest. Perform a maximum blocking jump by piking feet toward the wall while touching the med ball up and against the wall in block motion.
Stand ready 4 feet from a wall with back facing the wall. Grasp medicine ball with both hands and place between feet in a squat position. Perform a broad jump forward while keeping the medicine ball held in position. Upon landing, perform an explosive jump while throwing the medicine ball up and backward. Total Body Vertical Jump with Throw
Power Exercises GROUP 3 - CORE POWER (MC) MC-1 Med Ball Slam to Floor Place med ball behind the neck with both hands. Quickly pull med ball away from neck, throwing it as hard as possible onto the floor about one to two feet in front of feet. Follow through with body.
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) MC-2 Med Ball Jump Slam to Floor Same as MC 1, only make sure body is in mid-air when actually throwing the med ball.
Stability Ball Program (S) SSPD #3
Two players stand about 8 feet apart, facing away from each other. Player A holds med ball a waist-level, rotates body to left and throws med ball to player B to a spot about 1 foot to the side of Player B. Player B maintains foot position while Twist Throws Same Side to Partner catching med ball. Player B controls the ball by twisting, stabilizing and then twisting back to throw the ball in the same direction to Player A. Repeat to same side for required repetitions and then do the other side.
Stability balls are large, vinyl inflated balls that can be used for numerous exercises to aid in development of core strength, balance and proprioception (awareness of body position). This type of ball has long been used in physical therapy and is now becoming popular with many sport coaches and physical conditioning specialists. A ball can be used for specific upper and lower body training, spinal stability and mobility, stretching, and strengthening. It can be used to strengthen buttocks, thighs, abdominals, lower back, chest and arms. The best uses of a ball are training the core area or rehabilitating an injury without putting undue stress and strain on the body while improving static balance. Ball size is dependent upon size of the athletes. The smaller a volleyball player, the smaller the ball. A team should have one ball per four to six players.
MC-4 Chest Throw Bent-knee Sit-up
Exercise and Safety Guidelines
MC-3 Twist Throw - Same Side to Partner
Sit on floor with knees bent, med ball held at chest level, and perform a sit-up throwing med ball during ascent to a partner who Chest Throw Bent-knee Sit-ups is in a sit-up position about 6 feet away. Partner catches the med ball at the chest, resists momentum of the med ball and performs a sit-up throwing the ball back to partner on the ascent.
MC-5 Pullover Throw Sit-up Same as MC-4 only medicine ball is positioned overhead rather than at chest level throughout the exercise.
MC-6 Extension, Pullover Handback to Partner, Receive Back and Throw Down Two sets of players work together on this exercise. The groups are about 8 to 10 feet away Extension, Handback to Partner from each other. Lie on floor on stomach, with a partner sitting at a location just below the buttocks. Grasp med ball with both hands, arms bent and elbows touching the floor. Push med ball up and to partner while arching the back. Return to floor, again arch back and reach back for med ball from partner. The athlete with ball then throws med ball down and across the floor to the other players who receive the ball and repeat the activity.
• Start slowly and carefully. Many of the exercises require more strength, balance and coordination than the player may realize. • Begin with the easiest exercises progressing to the more difficult. Read all instructions carefully before performing. • Breathe slowly and deeply. Do not hold your breath. • Do not bounce when performing an exercise. • Never combine bouncing with bending and twisting of the spine. • Pay close attention to specific guidelines for low back and pelvic positioning when noted. • Gym shoes are the appropriate footwear. • Attempt more difficult exercises only after first mastering the basic moves. • Start with two sets of five to eight reps. Gradually increase to three sets. • Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.
Level of Performance Difficulty Easy Hard • large diameter ball • small diameter • soft or under-inflated ball • firmer • two legs or arms on ball • one leg/arm on grippable ball smooth surface
Menu of Exercises UPPER BODY (SU) SU-1 Push-up Place hands on floor, body or feet on ball, do push-up, chest touches floor. Easy Waist on ball Med Knees on ball Hard Toes on ball
Chapter 4 SU-2 Incline Push-up
SC-5 Back Extension
Place hands on ball, feet on the floor, do pushup, chest touches ball.
Place waist on ball, feet on the floor. Lift upper body just past horizontal position, hold for two seconds, then lower.
Easy Hands wide on ball Med Hands shoulder-width on ball Hard Hands touching together on ball
Easy Arms on chest Med Hands behind head Hard Hands reach overhead Incline Push-Up
Easy Elbows wide on ball Med Elbows shoulder width on ball Hard Elbows touching together on ball
SC-6 Trunk Extension Place pelvis, hips and abdominals on ball.
Place elbows on ball, feet on the floor, press up, hold in up position.
SC-7 Lo Ab Reverse Crunch Elbow Bridge
Pull knees low toward abdominals.
Lo Ab Reverse Crunch
Rear Shoulder Pull
Extend arms fully; bring dumbbells to arm pits. If you donâ€™t have dumbbells, use sand-filled buckets. V-Up
CORE (SC) SC-1 Hip Extension Place waist on ball; hands on the floor, start with legs on the floor. Lift both legs just past horizontal position, hold for two seconds, then lower.
Meet ball at the center and release to the feet.
SC-9 Superman Extend opposite arm and leg. Superman Hip Extension
Easy Middle of thighs on ball Med Hips on ball Hard Waist on ball
SC-10 Knee Tuck Bring knees as close to the chest as possible.
SC-2 Supine Hip Lift Place upper back on ball, both feet on floor, knees bent, extend one leg and hold. Easy Arms out for balance Med Hands on side of ball Hard Hands crossed and on chest
Crunch/Rotations Supine Hip Lift
LOWER BODY (SL) SL-1 Leg Curl
Place upper back on ball, both feet on floor, knees bent; perform an abdominal crunch. Easy Arms on legs Med Hands on chest Hard Hands behind head, elbows out.
From crunch position, rotate from side-to-side holding a weight plate.
Place shoulder blades and Leg Curl hips on floor, feet on ball with legs straight. Raise hips off floor, then pull heels toward buttocks and hold one second, return to start. Easy Arms on floor Med Hands on legs Hard Hands on chest.
SC-4 Twist Crunch
SL-2 One-Leg Buck
Place upper back on ball, both feet on floor, knees bent. Perform abdominal crunch while twisting to one side during the crunch.
Place shoulder blades and hips on floor, one foot on ball, One-Leg Buck other leg held straight and pointed to the ceiling. Raise hips off floor, push foot into ball, extend leg up and overhead.
Easy Arms on legs Med Hands on chest Hard Hands behind head, elbows out.
Easy Alternate legs Hard Complete all reps on one leg, then on the other leg.
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) SL-3 Squat
WU-2 Inclined Push-up
Stand with a ball placed between the low back and a wall. Lower into squat while pushing against the ball as it rolls to the shoulder blades. Stand up, again pushing against the ball as it rolls down to low back.
Start with hands placed higher than shoulders on a box or bench. Use the same variations as WU-1.
WU-3 Declined Push-up Squat
Start with feet placed on a box or bench. Use the same variations as WU-1.
SL-4 Leg March GROUP 2 - LOWER BODY STRENGTH (WL) WL-1 Squats Shoulder-width Stance Leg March
Use forearms and elbows to stabilize the body, then do a flutter-kick motion with the legs.
Weighted Vests Program (W) SSPD 4 Body weight has long been used to improve performance. With the addition of externally applied weights, one can enhance athletic performance by increasing “body weight” through the use of a weighted vest. This apparatus can be worn next to the body, allowing freedom in performing any body weight exercise. To improve performance levels, one must always use proper progression. Therefore, start with between 2 to 5 pounds of weight in the vest while engaged in general fitness movements as opposed to volleyballspecific movements. Once correctly performing the recommended number of repetitions, athletes can start increasing overload. This is done by adding repetitions, increasing the amount of time the vest is worn, adding more weight to the vest, adjusting placement of the vest weights, or any combination of these factors. Weighted vests should be worn in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
Weighted Vest Exercise Menu
(All exercises should be performed with body weight only for the required number of repetitions prior to using a weighted vest)
Strength Exercises GROUP 1 - UPPER BODY STRENGTH (WU) WU-1 Push-up Toes touching the floor. Start with back straight and head up. Keep a straight line from head to feet. Touch chest slightly to ground. Variations a. Hands Triangle - touch index fingers and thumbs together to form a triangle. b. Shoulder Width - place hands shoulder width apart. c. Wide - place hands 6 inches or more beyond shoulder width.
Grasp hands and place on neck with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing out slightly. Lower the body under control until top of thighs are parallel with floor; keep back straight. Make sure feet stay flat on floor and knees remain over toes throughout lift. Maintain a tight abdomen and flat back throughout. Return to upright position. Don’t let knees come together.
WL-2 Squats Wide Stance Place each foot 6” outside shoulder-width stance. Perform squat as in WL-1.
WL-3 Step-up Stand just in front of an 8- to 16-inch box or bench. Place one foot on the box. Raise body off floor by pressing foot down into box while pushing hips up and forward. Upper body should be held tall with chest out and back straight throughout entire lift. Lower body until one foot returns to floor. Be sure to lock ankle of foot that is raised off floor; do not use it to push off.
WL-4 Speed Squats Lower the body until tops of thighs are just above parallel to the floor and quickly return to a position where the knees are slightly bent at the finish. Movement should be quick but always under control. Avoid full extension of the knees at the end.
WL-5 Single Leg Squat Use both hands for balance. While balanced on one foot, lower the body and bend at the hips, knees and ankles as much as possible without losing balance. Keep the other leg extended out front. Make sure balancing foot stays flat on the floor and knee stays over the toes throughout lift. Maintain a tight abdomen and flat back throughout the exercise.
WL-6 Lateral Lunge Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Step sideways enough to allow knees to extend over the toes, but not beyond. Trail leg remains straight with ball of the foot in contact with the floor.
Chapter 4 GROUP 3 - CORE STRENGTH (WC) WC-1 Crunches
WB-2 Squat Jump - Wide Stance
From a prone position on the back, place both hands behind the head with heels 6" from buttocks. Curl the upper body toward the abdominals raising shoulders 6" off the floor. Return to start position slowly while keeping abdominals tight.
WC-2 â€œVâ€? Sit-ups Start by lying on back with legs slightly bent and arms extended overhead in a sit-up position. Lift arms and upper body off the floor and touch toes with the hands. Return to start position slowly while keeping abdominals pulled in.
WC-3 Russian Twists Place both hands at the chest while lying on floor. Start by raising upper body until shoulder blades are just off the floor. Rotate upper body to one side and then to the other.
Same as WB-1 only place feet wider than shoulder width.
WB-3 One-legged, Step-up Thrust Stand approximately six inches in front of an 8- to 16inch high box or bench. Place one foot on the box until top of thigh on the box is just above parallel with the floor. Propel the body off the floor by pressing the lead foot on the box down into the box while extending hips up and forward as you One-legged Step-up Thrust jump up. Knee of the trail leg drives up to assist the lead leg pushing down on the box. Land by immediately returning the lead leg to the box and the trail leg to the floor with bent knee. Then immediately perform the next thrust.
WC-4 Back Extensions Lie on floor on stomach. Place hands on chest or behind neck. Lift upper body and head high off the floor, under control, and hold for one to two seconds.
WB-4 Split Squat
Place feet in lunge position with knees bent. Lower body until top of thighs are just above parallel to floor. Perform a quick jump while switching foot positions and try to keep hips at the same level. Continue to switch feet back and forth.
Same as WC-4 only lift upper body, head and legs (which are held straight) off the floor and under control.
WB-5 Split Jump Squat
WC-5 Inverted Twists Same as WC-4 only rotate the body to one side while coming up. Repeat to other side.
Same as LP-4 only perform a maximum jump for height while switching foot positions.
GROUP 1 - UPPER BODY POWER (WA) WA-1 Clap Push-up
WB-6 Lateral Lunge Jump WA-2 Clap Push-up Incline WA-3 Clap Push-up Decline These exercises (WA-1, WA-2 and WA-3) are performed the same as the upper body strength push-up series, only explode off the ground and clap your hands at the highest point of ascent.
GROUP 2 - LOWER BODY POWER (WB) WB-1 Squat Jump Feet shoulder width, hands locked behind the head. Lower body until thighs are just above parallel with floor. Assure feet stay flat on floor and knees stay over toes throughout. Jump as high as possible and land with bent knees. Maintain tight abdomen and flat back throughout. Return to upright position, avoiding knees coming together. Immediately perform the next jump. Squat Jump
Place feet shoulder width apart. Take a sideways step and lower body until top of thigh is parallel to the floor. Push off the foot that is placed out to one side and jump as high as possible. Maintain an upright chest position throughout lift and keep back flat. Upon landing move foot to other side and jump.
Any movement patterns that volleyball players use to enhance quickness of movement in the lower body can benefit from the use of weighted vests. Start by using only five percent of your own body weight in the vest and do simple movements. In the beginning, use weight vests for short periods of time, 30 to 60 seconds. Gradually build up the time until reaching 2 to 3 minutes. Afterward, go immediately to contrast training by going back into the mix without a vest to receive maximum benefits.
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) VOLLEYBALL-SPECIFIC MOVEMENTS Setters:
Menu of Exercises
1. footwork 2. jump setting 3. jump serving 4. practice game play 5. jump training 6. all speed, agility and quickness training 1. footwork 2. jump serving 3. practice game play 4. jump training 5. all speed, agility and quickness training
BEGINNING BALANCE EXERCISES—LEVELS 1 AND 2 BB-1 Stand on one foot with both eyes open. BB-2 Stand on one foot with both eyes closed BB-3 Stand on toes of one foot with both eyes
1. footwork 2. jump serving 3. practice game play 4. jump training 5. all speed, agility and quickness
WEIGHTED VEST VOLLEYBALL-SPECIFIC MOVEMENT SAMPLE PROGRAMS Week 1
DAY 1 Activity No. Time Interval
1, 3, 5 3-5 mins
1, 3, 5 3-5 mins
1, 3, 5 3-5 mins
1, 3, 5 3-5 mins
DAY 2 Activity No. Time Interval
2, 4, 6 3-5 mins
2, 4, 6 3-5 mins
2, 4, 6 3-5 mins
2, 4, 6 3-5 mins
Start with the Strength Program and progress to the Power Program in 4 to 6 weeks.
Balance Object Program (BB) SSPD #5 Balance objects are used to create unstable and uneven surfaces. The use of Dyna Disc pillows, Airex pads, Bosu Balance Trainers, balance steps and balance boards will challenge and improve a player’s balance, kinesthetic awareness and stability; thus improving volleyball skills.
Progression • Start slowly and carefully doing the easiest exercises first and attempting more difficult exercises only after mastering the basic moves. • Start with in-place or static balance activities; progress to static in-place general exercise activities. • Progress to in-place basic volleyball activities or skills. • Progress to dynamic balancing activities. • After mastering dynamic balance, progress to static dynamic general exercises. • Progress to dynamic basic volleyball activities or skills.
Level of Performance Difficulty Easy
large ball under platform two legs or arms on board
small ball under platform one leg or arm on board
Program Considerations • Start by balancing for five seconds and progress to 15 seconds or more. • Balance for two or three repetitions of any one type of balancing activity. • Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.
open. Stand on toes of one foot with both eyes closed Stand on one foot with both eyes open while bending at waist and lifting one leg up to horizontal. Stand on one foot with both eyes closed while bending at waist and lifting one leg up to horizontal.
ADVANCED BALANCE EXERCISES—LEVELS 3 BB-7 Stand on toes of one foot with both eyes open while bending at waist and lifting one leg up to horizontal. BB-8 Stand on toes of one foot with both eyes closed while bending at waist and lifting one leg up to horizontal. BB-9 Stand on balance board with both feet; side edges of the board do not touch the floor at either side. BB-10 Stand on balance board with both feet. Alone or with a partner play catch with a volleyball. BB-11 Same as number eight only set ball to oneself or to a partner. BB-12 Same as number eight only pass ball to oneself or to a partner. The rest is up to you and your imagination. You, the coach, or your fellow athletes can come up with new and stimulating exercises. This will keep the learning experience fresh.
More Information on Balance Training Strength and conditioning professionals often focus exclusively on increases in strength and power when designing training programs. While each of these components is vital to optimal athletic performance, balance training should also be included in the conditioning program of volleyball athletes. Why is balance important in volleyball? A lack of balance will inhibit performance and increase the risk of injury or re-injury. Moving quickly to dig a wellstruck ball or adjusting your body position in the air as you go up for a kill are both examples of game situations when superior balance would improve performance capabilities for volleyball athletes. Further, in essence, running and turning are a series of stepping strategies. During running, the body is displaced forward beyond its base of support. Balance is regained as the leg is brought forward to catch the body and prevent a fall. During running and cutting activities, balance is successively lost and regained. These demands become
Chapter 4 even greater when volleyball athletes perform these movements while simultaneously handling the ball. Just a few years ago, doing balance training in the gym would have attracted a lot of odd stares. However, the importance of balance training is now more readily accepted in the training programs of athletes.
Definition of Balance Balance has been defined as a type of movement control where the body's state of equilibrium is controlled for a given purpose. Balance has also been defined as a state of body equilibrium, or ability to maintain the center of body mass over the base of support without falling. A broader definition suggests balance can be described in three ways: ability to maintain a position, ability to voluntarily move, and ability to react to forces acting to disrupt balance.
Balance Innate But Can be Improved To a great extent balance is innate; however, with training and experience balance can improve enormously. Using carefully designed balance programs, coaches can help athletes improve their balance. Balance training can also help develop motor skills, increase body awareness and improve visual awareness.
POWER DEVELOPMENT Week 9
2,4,6 3-4 x 8
Group 2 LB Pwr (MT) 1,3,4,5 Set-reps 2 x 10
2,6,7 3-4 x 8
Group 3 Core Pwr (MC) 1,3,4,7 Set-reps 2 x 10
2,5,6 3-4 x 8
Intensity Medium EXERCISES Group 1 UB Pwr (MP) 1,3,5 Set-reps 2 x 10
Step 2 Weighted Vest Exercises (Use card SSPD 4) STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT Week 1
Intensity Medium EXERCISES Group 1 UB Str (MU) 1a, 2b, 3c Sets-reps 1 x 10
1b, 2c, 3a 1 x 12
1c, 2a, 3b 1x8
1a, 2b, 3c 2 x 15
2, 5 2 x 12
3, 6 2x8
1, 4, 6 2 x 15
Group 2 LB Str (ML) 1, 4 Sets-reps 2 x 10
Group 3 Core Str (MC) 2, 3, 4 1, 5, 6 2, 3, 4 1, 5, 6 Sets-reps 2 x 15 2 x 12 2x8 2 x 15 For Week 5 repeat Week 1â€”for Week 6 repeat Week 4 only do 3 x 15
PROGRAM DESIGN TABLES Step 1 Medicine Ball Exercises (Use card SSPD 2)
POWER DEVELOPMENT Week 7
Intensity Medium EXERCISES Group 1 UB Pwr (WA) 1a, 2b, 3c Sets-reps 2 x 10
1b, 2c, 3a 2 x 10
1c, 2a, 3b 2x8
1a, 2b, 3c 2x8
1, 3, 4, 5 2 x 10
2, 6 2x8
2, 5, 6 2x8
EXERCISES Group 1 UB Str (MU) 1,2,4,7 Set-reps 2 x 10
1,2,4,7 2 x 12
3,5,6,8 2 x 15
Group 2 LB Str (ML) 1,3,6 Set-reps 2 x 10
Group 2 LB Pwr (WB) 1, 3, 4, 5 Sets-reps 2 x 10
1,3,6 2 x 12
2,4,5 2 x 15
Group 3 Core Str (MS) 1,5,6 Set-reps 2 x 10
1,5,6 2 x 12
2,3,4,7 2 x 15
Group 3 Core Str (WC) 2, 3, 4 1, 5, 6 2, 3, 4 1, 5, 6 Sets-reps 2 x 10 2 x 10 2x8 2x8 Weighted Vest Volleyball-Specific Movement Exercises Done for Weeks 11 and 12
1,2,4,7 4 x 8*
3,5,6,8 3 x 15**
Group 2 LB Str (ML) 1,3,6 Set-reps 3 x 10
2,4,5 3 x 15
Group 3 Core Str (MS) 1,5,6 Set-reps 3 x 10
2,3,4,7 3 x 15
Intensity Medium EXERCISES Group 1 UB Str (MU) 1,2,4,7 Set-reps 3 x 10
* increase weight of the medicine ball, if using the same weight do 3x12 ** do four sets if time permits
DAY 1 Activity # Time Interval DAY 2 Activity # Time Interval
1, 3, 5 3-5 mins
1, 3, 5 3-5 mins
1, 3, 5 3-5 mins
1, 3, 5 3-5 mins
2, 4, 6 3-5 mins
2, 4, 6 3-5 mins
2, 4, 6 3-5 mins
2, 4, 6 3-5 mins
12-Week, Off-season Strength, Stability and Power Development Program (SSPD) Step 3 Stability Ball Exercises (Use card SSPD 3)
Step 4 Balance Object Project (Use card SSPD 5)
STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT Weeks 1 through 4
1,3 2 x 10-12
1,3 2 x 10-12
2,3 2 x 10-12
Difficulty Level Medium
1,2,3 2 x 10-12 3=1 x 10-12 Hard 3=Hard
1,3 2 x 10-12
1,3 2 x 10-12
2,3 2 x 10-12
Difficulty Level Medium
1,3,4 2 x 10-12
1,3,4 2 x 10-12
5,2,4 2 x 10-12
Easy or Medium
2,3,5 2 x 10-12 3=1 x 10-12 3,5=Medium 2=Hard
EXERCISES Upper Body Str (SU) Repeat week 1 Set-reps Difficulty Level
1,3 2 x 10-12 Hard
1,2,3 1 x 10-12 Medium
1,2 2 x 10-12 Hard
Lower Body Str (SL) Repeat week 1 Set-reps Difficulty Level
1,3 2 x 10-12 Hard
1,2,3 1 x 10-12 Medium
1,2 2 x 10-12 Hard
1,3,4 2 x 12-15
Same as Week 3
1,2,3 2 x 12-15 3=1 x 10-12 Hard
EXERCISES Upper Body Str (SU) Set-reps
Lower Body Str (SL) Set-reps
1,2,3 2 x 10-12 3=1 x 10-12 Hard 3=Hard
Core Str (SC) Set-reps Difficulty Level
Do beginning exercises starting on the floor 5 to 30 seconds, 2 to 3 repetitions at each position. Use the pillow, easy level after the floor position has been mastered at 30 seconds.
Weeks 5 through 8 Do beginning exercises on the pillow 5 to 30 seconds, 2 to 3 repetitions at each position. Continue to deflate the pillow to create greater instability.
Weeks 9 through 12 Do advanced exercises starting on the floor 5 to 30 seconds, 2 to 3 repetitions at each position. Progress to the pillow easy level after the floor position has been mastered at 30 seconds. Continue to deflate the pillow to create greater instability. Progress at your own rate based on exercise mastery.
Core Str (SC) 1,3,4 2 x 10-12 4=1 x 10-12 â€œDifficulty Level Hard Set-reps
Optional week 9-12 repeat weeks 5-8. The final weeks leading up to pre-season are devoted more to power development. The stability ball is primarily a tool used to develop strength; therefore, it becomes an optional activity.
Home-Gym Workout Training Log for Name: ______________________
DATE EXERCISE DAY M
Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest
Instructions 1. Enter date 2. Do listed exercise (See appropriate training card for code; i.e., MU-2=Chest Press) 3. Enter # of reps or time
4. 5. 6. 7.
Enter weight used (bw= bodyweight) Enter # of sets completed Enter rest between sets or exercises Go to next exercise
# Reps 10 Weight bw # Sets 2 Rest :30
6-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA)
Six-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA) Including Menu of Exercises
layers build on the foundation developed in the off-season. Training focus shifts to converting strength and power to improved spiking velocity, foot speed, quickness, agility and jumping ability, which leads to improved volleyball skills. Equipment in this package is ideal for preseason situations. This six-week preseason program is designed to improve volleyball players’ conditioning before the season. Choose a level—beginning, intermediate or advanced—based on training ages of your athletes. Beginning is up to two years of yearround training for volleyball. Intermediate is two to four years and advanced is over four years. If your preseason is longer than six weeks, repeat the six-week cycle subtracting the number of weeks from the final week and start there. For example, if you have an eight-week preseason, after the sixth week start the final two weeks at week five. NOTE: On an indicated training day, choose one piece of equipment from each category as listed above. For ladder exercises, you can substitute cones to add variety.
Objective Tasks 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Increase footwork speed. Increase volleyball skill rate of speed. Develop coordination at speed. Jumping power. Change of direction and deceleration skills and development. 6. Program design.
Competencies 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
How do I convert off-season to preseason? Establishing goals. What exercises do I do? What equipment should I use? How do I design a program based on the principles of volleyball conditioning?
Warm-up/Cool Down (WU) (CD) SSPD/SFQA #1 See Chapter 3 for details on how to do the warmup and cool down routines.
Equipment Categories Choose one in each category Category 1 Category 2 Ladder, Cones, Tubing, Jump Rope, Boxes Hurdles
Jump Rope Program (JR) SFQA #2 Jump rope training can be performed with various types of jumping patterns and sequences. Jump rope is a low-impact training method that will help develop volleyball players’ quick foot movements, ability to get off the ground powerfully when initiating a jump, and help coordinate hand and foot movements. Gains can also be achieved in endurance, both muscular and aerobic.
Rules of Jump Rope Training • Start slowly for three minutes of intermittent jumping with easily learned foot patterns. • Gradually progress to 10 minutes continuous jumping; increasing speed and difficulty of foot patterns. • Maintain proper quick hand and foot movement techniques. • First work straight ahead, then progress to lateral and backward jump training. • Starting at Level 1, the number of foot contacts can be relatively high (300 per training session working up to 1,000 or more). • Rope jumping should be 5 to 10 minutes total time including rest periods, one to two times per week. Perform at the beginning of practice or as part of warm-up when the body is fresh. • To start, measure the rope based on your height. Standing on the center of the rope with two feet, the tip of the rope should reach to the underarm. In jumping, wrists do most of the work; body is erect and eyes look straight ahead. Jump just high enough to clear the rope. Land lightly on the balls of your feet. • A team of 12 to 18 volleyball players should have at least one rope per player. This will help save practice time during the season.
Jump Rope Menu JR-1 Two-leg Jumps
SFQA 6-WEEK PRESEASON PROGRAM SPEED, FOOTWORK, QUICKNESS AND AGILITY When doing this program refer to the enclosed equipment-specific program for identification and description of exercises to be performed.
In-place, light feet and under control.
JR-2 Two-leg Jumps Straight forward, light feet and under control.
JR-3 Two-leg Jumps
Equipment • • •
Tubing Cones Jump Ropes
Straight backward, light feet and under control. • •
JR-4 Two-leg Jumps Laterally right, light feet and under control.
6-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA) JR-5 Two-leg Jumps Laterally left, light feet and under control.
JR-15 Two-leg Slalom Jumps Backward Turn hips from side to side, light feet and under control.
JR-6 One-leg Hops Forward, straight ahead, light foot and under control.
JR-16 Run In-place Light feet and under control.
JR-7 One-leg Hops Backward, straight back, light foot and under control.
JR-17 High Knee Run In-place
JR-8 One-leg Hops Laterally right, use left foot, light foot and under control.
JR-9 One-leg Hops Laterally left, use right foot, light foot and under control.
JR-10 One-leg Hops Laterally right, use right foot, light foot and under control.
High Knee Run In-place
Lift knees high, light feet and under control.
JR-18 Run, Moving Forward Light feet and under control.
JR-11 One-leg Hops Laterally left, use left foot, light foot and under control.
JR-19 Run, Moving Backward
JR-12 Two-leg Side-to-Side Jumps In Place
JR-20 Quick Scissors In-place
Light feet and under control.
Two-leg, Side-to-Side Jumps In-place
Quick Scissors In-place
Light feet and under control.
Switch feet from a front to back split, light feet and under control.
JR-13 Two-leg Slalom Jumps In-place JR-21 Heel Toe Similar to quick scissors except front foot landing is on the heel with all weight on back foot.
JR-22 Crossed Legs
Two-leg Slalom Jumps In-place
Turn hips from side to side, light feet and under control.
JR-14 Two-leg Slalom Jumps Forward Turn hips from side to side, light feet and under control.
Jump in place, switch right leg over and in front of left, then repeat to other side.
Chapter 5 JR-23 Double Turns
TS-2 Start Forward from Upright Sprinter's Stance Player sprints explosively for 3 yards, straight ahead from a two-point upright sprinter's stance (one foot slightly behind the other).
TS-3 Start Forward and at a 45° Angle from Volleyball Stance
Jump in place, turn rope twice around before feet touch then jump again.
Tubing Program SFQA #3 Coaches have long used latex tubing with the idea to either add resistance (overload) to a skill or to assist by allowing athletes to perform skill movements at a faster rate. Proper progression is important. Resistance and assistance is determined by increasing tension of the cord by decreasing its length.
Program Considerations • All the exercises must be done with a partner. • No cord should be stretched beyond twice its original length. • Be sure cords are securely tied, hooked or snapped in place at all times. Routinely inspect cords for cuts, nicks and rough spots. • Exercises should be performed for no more than two to four repetitions. Within 60 to 90 seconds, perform the same activity at full speed without the cord. Do one to three sets. • It is imperative that volleyball players are fresh before and during any exercise. • All straight-ahead and lateral exercises can be performed as resisted or assisted. • When performing assisted exercises, start by stretching the cord to only 50 percent of its original length. If a player can perform the exercises with perfect technique, then increase the length.
Player explosively sprints for 3 yards at a 45° angle ahead from a back row, defensive-ready position.
TS-4 Backpedal - Stop - Start Forward from Volleyball Stance Player backpedals 3 yards without assistance; stops and quickly changes direction into an explosive, 3-yard sprint straight ahead.
TS-5 Backpedal - Stop - Start at a 45° Angle from Volleyball Stance Same as T-4 only action is at a 45° angle ahead.
TS-6 Vertical Jump, then Sprint from Volleyball Stance Player performs a vertical jump and lands in a volleyball stance; then quickly sprints straight ahead for 3 yards.
GROUP 2 RESISTED FOOTWORK LATERAL (TL) (All exercises start with an eight-foot cord securely attached to the waist. The cord is straight but not stretched. After the required distance is reached the player slowly returns to start).
TL-1 Crossover Step from Volleyball Stance Player at net explosively performs a crossover meter step to the right and repeats the other way.
TL-2 Three-meter Crossover Steps from Volleyball Stance Same as TL-1 only crossover meter step is done three times.
TL-3 Slide Step from Volleyball Stance Player at the net explosively performs a lateral slide meter step to the right and repeats the other way.
Tubing Menu GROUP 1: RESISTED FOOTWORK STRAIGHT AHEAD (TS)
(All exercises start with an eight-foot cord securely attached to the waist. The cord is straight but not stretched. After the required distance is reached the player slowly returns to start).
TS-1 Start Forward from Volleyball Stance Player sprints explosively for 3 yards, straight ahead from a back row, defensive-ready position.
TL-4 Slide Step from Volleyball Stance - Vertical Block Jump Player performs a lateral slide meter step to the right and immediately jumps vertically, simulating a block at the net; then repeats the other way.
TL-5 Three Cone Sandwich from Volleyball Stance a. Three cones are placed on the floor 3 yards apart. b. Two cones are placed on the sides, one cone placed in front.
6-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA) c. Player explosively performs a lateral slide meter step to the right; returns to the start position; sprints straight; returns to start; then laterally slides to left and returns to start, repeating twice.
TJ-3 One Step Forward - Vertical Jump From a volleyball stance, player takes one step forward then explosively performs a vertical jump and immediately repeats.
GROUP 3 RESISTED JUMPING (TJ)
TJ-4 Slide Step Vertical Jump
(All exercises start with an 8-foot cord securely attached to the waist. A partner stands on the cord, which secures it to the floor).
From a volleyball stance, player performs a slide 1-meter step to the right and immediately performs an explosive vertical jump; then repeats to the left.
TJ-1 Vertical Jump from Low Squat Position
TJ-5 One-Meter Crossover Step Vertical Jump
Player squats into position, explosively performs a vertical jump and immediately repeats.
Same as TJ-5 only perform a 1-meter crossover step.
TJ-2 Vertical Jump from Volleyball Stance
TJ-6 One Diagonal Step - from Volleyball Stance, then Jump Vertically
Same as TJ-1 only performed from a volleyball stance.
Same as TJ-5 only perform a 45째 step.
Ladder Program (LP) SFQA #4 Ladders are tools that develop volleyball player coordination and foot quickness. To benefit, train five to 10 minutes, three to five times per week. The beginning of practice or as part of warm-up is an excellent time to use ladders during in-season. Ladders should lie on the ground and be as flat as possible. They are roughly ten yards long and have 20 rungs attached to web-strapping, which forms squares approximately eighteen inches wide by twenty inches long. It may take a few sessions to learn the more difficult movements (see Tips on Learning Ladder Exercises below). As you become familiar with ladder patterns, additional patterns can be integrated to further enhance position-specific foot quickness.
Ladder Menu Choose seven patterns or five minutes. Do each exercise two to four times.
LP-1 Quick Feet Run
Run on balls of feet with one foot in each hole. Move feet quickly close to the ground, with hands moving quickly back and forth by the pockets.
LP-2 Quick Skips
Skip forward on balls of feet with one foot in each hole; hands move quickly by the pockets.
LP-3 High Knee Run
Run on balls of feet with one foot in each hole. Drive knees forward and up to 90 degrees with hands moving quickly back and forth by the pockets.
Chapter 5 LP-4 Side Skips
Skip sideways with quick feet. Hands move by the pockets rhythmically and quickly.
LP-5 Crossover Skips
Skip sideways and bring crossover knee to hip height.
Crossover left foot in front of right foot and into next box. Then bring right foot into the next box. Now move left foot behind right foot and into the next box. Then bring right foot over to the next box. Continue laterally down the ladder.
LP-7 Side Shuffle + 1
Place left foot in first hole, leave next hole empty and place right foot in third hole. Start by stepping with left foot into the open hole and then immediately place right foot into next hole. Always keep one foot in a separate hole when proceeding laterally across the ladder. Shuffle sideways, look up and down.
LP-8 Quick Skier
With one foot in a box and one out, move sideways while quickly exchanging foot positions.
LP-9 Hop Scotch
Straddle ladder and jump with both feet into next square, then jump out. Continue process down the ladder.
6-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA) LP-10 2 In/2 Out 2 1
Go down the ladder laterally or sideways. Start with both feet in box sideways, then move the left foot out and up next to the box, then move the right foot out and up to the next box; then bring the left foot back in and up to the next box, placing the right foot in the box. Repeat steps to end of the ladder. Note: make sure to change lead foot upon return.
LP-11 Ickey Shuffle
Weight on the big toe and inside edge of heel. Follow the 1-2-3-4 foot pattern in the illustration.
LP-12 Ladder Straddle
Start with feet straddling the first square. Now jump 90ยบ and straddle the side cord, repeat 90ยบ jump and straddle the next ladder; repeat pattern.
LP-13 2 Out/1 In
Move sideways along the ladder, step in with left foot, step with right foot to outside of next box, step back with left foot, repeat sequence with other foot. Follow the 1-2-3 foot pattern in the illustration.
LP-14 Quick Jumps
Start with feet together and jump down the ladder. Keep feet together, staying on balls of the feet.
Chapter 5 LP-15 Hops Forward
Hop continuously on one foot to midpoint of ladder; switch feet for the rest of the way to end of the ladder.
LP-16 Sprint in Quick "Dorsi-Flexed" Feet Run Forward
10-yard sprint in, transition to a quick feet run, outside the ladder, forward.
LP-17 Run with Inside Foot Plant Right-left-right, plant, turn right with a crossover step with outside leg. Continue sequence in other direction.
LP-18 Run with Outside Foot Plant Left-right-left, plant, turn right with a crossover step with inside leg. Continue sequence in other direction.
LP-19 Outside Sprint with Shuffle Start with feet outside of ladder. Sprint then stop and do a six-step shuffle.
6-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA) Ladder Learning Tips 1) Start with simple movement patterns. Just as with resistance exercises, follow a progression easy to difficult, beginning-intermediate to advanced. 2) To teach an exercise start by making sure the ladder is in an open area and the surface is free of any obstructions. Have a coach demonstrate the exercise to you. Then do it but follow the coach through the pattern in a line. You can cheat by watching the person in front of you. Next, repeat the pattern with the coach watching to make sure the pattern is correct. All of these activities should first be done walking. Introduce and master only a few exercises at a time. 3) Be sure to remember that going through the ladder is not a race. No one should be keeping time to see how fast you get through it. Also, this is not an exercise to improve endurance. It is important to remember that control is the first priority. Once control is established, speed through the ladder can be increased. A good indicator of going too fast is not being able to complete the run-through without losing technique or getting tangled in the ladder. Without control and proper technique, improved foot quickness will not be obtained. 4) It may take a few sessions to learn more difficult movements. Work on creating a sense of flow through the ladder and RELAX. If you have difficulty, try using a cue to help you over the rough stops. For example, say "crossover" every time this step is required. Stay smooth and focused. It will come, just give it time. If you are still having trouble use a little mental imagery technique prior to going through a difficult movement. Visualize your feet accelerating through the pattern.
Box training should be done for 5 to 15 minutes, including rest time, one to two times per week. To gain the most benefit from box training the body should be fresh and without fatigue. Perform only once a week during the season.
Program Considerations • Volleyball players must start with a relatively low amount of foot contacts; 100 to 200 contacts per training session. • For young players ages 10 to 12.
Box Menu LEVEL 1 BASIC JUMP TRAINING (BT) Choose five activities and do two to four sets of ten to fifteen repetitions each.
BT-1 Ankle Jumps Jump off the ground in-place, keeping knees locked.
BT-2 Squat Jumps Start with quads parallel to floor; jump straight up and high as possible.
BT-3 Tuck Jumps Jump straight up, bringing knees up to the chest.
BT-4 Butt Kick Jumps Jump straight up; point knees down and kick heels to buttocks.
BT-5 Pike Jumps Jump and kick legs straight out in front while trying to touch the toes.
BT-6 Side-to-Side Jump side-to-side over a line or an imaginary hurdle.
Box Training or Plyometrics Program SFQA #5 Box (jump) training can be performed with no equipment or with boxes and hurdles of various heights. Jump training, or plyometrics, will help develop a volleyball player’s ability to get off the ground powerfully and quickly. Jump training was designed to help teach the explosive change in muscular contraction from eccentric (or lengthening the muscles) to concentric (or shortening the muscles) and in some cases the opposite. It is extremely important that jump training be supervised. Volleyball players must focus on proper body positioning and technique, including landing. For volleyball players to derive optimum benefits from jump training, maximum effort must be given followed by adequate rest. Use a rest period of one to two minutes. As conditioning improves, less rest time is required. The least amount of rest should be about four times the amount of time the activity is performed.
BT-7 Split Squats Set feet in split lunge position; switch feet fast without raising hips.
BT-8 Mogul Jumps Feet together; jump while twisting hips 45° in a rapid motion; move forward and backward.
BT-9 Lateral Jumps Jump laterally to the right three to ten times. Repeat to the left.
BT-10 Clock Jumps Feet together, three to five foot jumps; forward and back, right and back, back and forward, left and back.
LEVEL 2 USING 4-INCH TO 12-INCH BOXES FOR
Chapter 5 TWO-LEG JUMPING (BA)
BC-3 One Leg Hop Sideways
• Players must start with a lower amount of foot contacts than in level one; 50-100 contacts per training session. • Young players, ages 13-14, can progress to this level. • Gradually increase height of the box or hurdles as you become better conditioned. Choose four or five activities and do two to four sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each.
Hop sideways for three to five hops out and then back on the same foot.
BC-4 Alternating Hops Hop forward for two hops on left leg, then two hops on right leg; repeat for 20 yards.
BC-5 Ice Skater Hops Hop side-to-side from one leg to the other for distance. Use the style of an Olympic speed skater.
BA-1 Ankle Jumps Athlete jumps onto box using just the ankles; flex in knees is kept to a minimum.
BA-2 Box Jumps Start on floor; jump onto box landing quietly; jump down; quickly jump up and repeat.
BA-3 Multi-box Jumps
Jump up and down using multiple boxes; be quick off floor and land quietly.
Bound or use an exaggerated running stride, leaping from foot to foot, for 20 yards.
BC-7 Crossover Bound BA-4 Box Vertical Jumps
Start on box and step out; land and quickly jump vertically.
Bound or leap side-to-side crossing one leg over the other; continue for 20 yards.
BC-8 Power Skips BA-5 Lateral Box Vertical Jumps Start on box and step out to one side; land and quickly jump vertically.
High knee skip for the greatest height and distance; continue for 20 yards.
LEVEL 4 12” TO 18” BOX JUMPS (BD) BA-6 Box Land, Lateral Start on box and jump down; move laterally one step and quickly jump vertically.
LEVEL 3 SINGLE LEG HOPPING (BC) • Proceed to forward-moving hops and leaps off one foot using no equipment. Start with a relatively low number of foot contacts; 50-100 contacts per training session. • Young players, ages 14-15, can progress to this level. • Choose four or five activities and perform 3 to 5 sets of each exercise using 8 to 12 repetitions.
• Before advancing to Level 4 players should be able to squat at least one time body weight for females, and one and one-half times body weight for males. This will help to reduce the chance of injury. • Foot contacts should be in the neighborhood of 30 to 50. • Start with five to six sets of five to six repetitions. Rest at least 60 to 90 seconds between sets. Start with boxes 12- to 18-inches high. Players can safely proceed to boxes of no more than 18- to 24-inches in height. • Young players, ages 15-16, can progress to this level.
BC-1 One Leg Hop Forward Hop forward for ten hops on the left foot, then switch to right foot.
Choose three or four activities and perform each drill four to six sets of five to six repetitions each set.
BC-2 One Leg Hop Backward Hop backward for ten hops on the left foot, then switch to right foot.
BD-1 Side-to-Side Jump Start on box and jump down to one side and back up; then to other side and back up.
6-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA) BD-2 Box Jump
Volleyball-Specific Box Exercises
Start on floor and jump onto box landing quietly; step down and repeat.
Box Jumps and Backrow Attack
BD-3 Box Jumps Start on floor and jump onto box landing quietly; jump down and quickly jump up; repeat.
BD-4 Multibox Jumps Jump up and down using multiple boxes; be quick off floor and land quietly.
Box Jumps and Backrow Attack
BD-5 Box Vertical Jumps
For this drill a series of boxes may be lined up behind the endline and in the backrow. Make certain that the last box is far enough behind the 3-meter line to permit a full backrow approach. The athlete executes a series of jumps onto and off the boxes and then goes immediately into a backrow attack as a partner tosses the ball.
Start on box; step out; land and quickly jump vertically.
Lateral Box Hops with Block Jump
BD-6 Lateral Box Vertical Jumps Start on box and step out to one side; land and quickly jump vertically.
BD-7 Box Land, Lateral Start on box and jump down; move laterally one step and quickly jump vertically.
12-inch Hurdles Menu (BB) BB-1 Hurdle Jump Jump over hurdles set up in a straight or zigzag pattern.
BB-2 Slalom Place hurdles in random sequence; jump over hurdles landing and facing the same direction or turn in opposite direction.
BB-3 Jump Variations Using your imagination, set hurdles up in various patterns.
Lateral Box Hops with Block Jump
A series of boxes may be set up along the net beginning at one pin. A coach or partner with a basket of balls stands on the opposite side of the net near the far pin. The athlete completes a series of double-leg hops with arms in a blocking-ready position. After coming off the last box, the athlete must execute a full block jump and stuff block a ball hit by the coach or partner. This drill may also be done in combination with a box and mini-trampoline or a beat board.
BB-4 Split Jumps Alternate Box Hop and Block Jump
Start with one foot on either side of hurdle; jump high and quickly switch feet.
BB-5 Side-to-Side Jump side-to-side over a hurdle. BB-5â€”Side-to-Side
The volume of jumps can be significantly increased by having the athlete start with a lateral box hop, but after coming off the box,
Alternate Box Hop and Block Jump
Chapter 5 execute a full block jump in place before going to the next box. In effect, each block jump is preceded by a depth jump stimulus. It is critical to emphasize that the foot contact time be as brief as possible and the jumps maximal. Technique work can be added if the boxes are placed along a net and coaches or players are stationed with a ball at every jump blocking point. With such a scheme, players can increase their jumping ability and work on a point of technique, such as penetration, at the same time.
Cone Program (CP) SFQA #6 Cones are tools that are set up in patterns to help develop volleyball players’ coordination, ability to start and stop quickly, foot quickness, agility, change of direction and dynamic balance. For a player to derive optimum benefits from the cones, s/he should work for 5 to 10 seconds with at least 60 seconds rest when first starting out. As conditioning improves, less rest is required. The least amount of rest should be about four times the amount of time the activity is performed. Cone activities should be done for 5 to 10 minutes, one or two times per week. The beginning of practice or as part of warm up are excellent times to use cones. Start with activities that most athletes can learn and perform correctly while moving slowly and under total control. As proficiency of movement improves, so can speed. Start with simple movement patterns.
CP-5 Ten-cone Row Cut Run three to five steps laterally; change direction quickly at cone.
CP-6 Ten-cone Row Cut and Spin Run to cone; plant outside foot; crossover and reverse spin; then run to next cone.
CP-7 Ten-cone Row Variations Using your imagination, set cones up in various distances and spacing.
CP-8 Clockwork Set up cones three to four yards out from a middle marker at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 positions of a clock. Run up to 12 and back; shuffle out to 3 and back; backpedal to 6 and back; and shuffle out to 9 and back.
Diagram for CP-8
Additional Cone Exercises CP-9 Square Drill
CP-3 Twenty-foot Crossovers
Net Set up six cones on one side of the court, one at each of the four corners and one at center court; the other at center back line. Starting at back center perform a variety of movement patterns toward the net (sprint, shuffle, carioDiagram for CP-9 ca, etc.). At the net do a variety of "at net" volleyball-specific movements (block jumps, slide steps, spikes, etc.). Backpedal to the back corner and then return to the starting cone. Repeat in opposite directions and using the other side of the court. Digs and rolls can be added to the movement patterns to work on off-floor agility and mobility. For team situations set up the same cone placement on the other side of the net. Have the team spilt in two with athletes "mirroring" the movement patterns of a partner on the other side of the net.
Two cones, 20 feet apart. Run laterally with crossover step.
CP-10 Star Drill
Cone Menu Choose two or three activities and do them for 5 to 10 minutes. Perform each drill two to four times.
CHANGE OF DIRECTION ACTIVITIES CP-1 Ten-foot Up & Back Two cones, 10 feet apart. Run forward; touch; then backpedal to start.
CP-2 Twelve-foot Up & Back w/180s Run forward; touch cone; pivot; run back.
CP-4 Ten-cone, Two-row Weave Run up and back in a “W” pattern forward and backpedal.
12 Ft. 4 Ft. Diagram for CP-4, CP-5, and CP-6
Place a cone in the middle of the court with 8 around the perimeter. Do a variety of movement patterns toward the center cone (sprint, shuffle, carioca, backpedal, etc.). Move the outside cones closer to the center cone to increase quickness.
Diagram for CP-10
6-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA)
Start Athlete starts in a defensive
position at the center cone. S/he [d] begins the drill by touching the cone and performing a knee drop.
Start Net Athlete starts in a defensive position at the center Start/Finish cone. S/he begins the drill by touching the cone and performing a knee drop. 1. Sprint to cone [a] and perform a knee drop. 2. Sprint across end line to [a] [b] 2 cone [b] and do a knee Diagram for CP-11 drop. 3. Sprint to and touch the middle cone. Drill is completed when athlete touches the middle cone. 3
CP-11 Knee Drop
1. Sprint forward to cone [c] and perform three consecStart/Finish utive block jumps at the net. Diagram for CP-12 2. Sprint across the net to cone [d] and perform three consecutive block jumps at the net. 3. Sprint to the middle cone and touch it. Drill is completed when athlete touches the middle cone.
Preseason Volleyball Conditioning Program BEGINNING LEVEL Week 1 2 Day 1 2 3 1 2 3 Category 1—Choose one activity from this category Ladder (LP) or Cones (C) ex’s 1-7 ex’s 1-42x 2x 2x ex’s 5-11 ex’s 2-6 2x 2x 2x ex’s 8-15 ex’s 5-8 Jump Rope ( J) 40 secs. ea. ex. 50 secs. ea. ex. ex’s 1-5 1x 1x 1x ex’s 3-8 1x 1x 1x ex’s 5-10 ex’s 12-17 ex’s 15-20 Boxes (B) Level 1 ex’s 1-5 ex’s 5-10 Week 1 2 Day 1 2 3 1 2 3 Sets x Reps Sets x Reps Category 2 Tubing (T) Group 1 Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex’s 1 & 4 2x4 2x4 ex’s 2 & 5 2x4 2x4 ex’s 3 & 6 Group 2 ex’s 1 & 3 2x4 2x4 ex’s 2 & 4 ex’s 5
60 secs. ea. ex. 1x 1x 1x
70 secs. ea. ex. 1x
2x 2x 2x 50 secs. ea. ex.
70 secs. ea. ex
Sets x Reps 3x10
Sets x Reps
3 1 2 3 Sets x Reps
4 1 2 3 Sets x Reps
5 1 2 3 Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps 2x4
Sets x Reps
3x10 6 1 2 3 Sets x Reps Sets x Reps
Preseason Volleyball Conditioning Program INTERMEDIATE LEVEL Week 1 2 Day 1 2 3 1 2 3 Category 1—Choose one activity from this category Ladders (LP) or Cones (C) ex’s 1-7 ex’s 1-4 2x 2x 2x ex’s 5-11 ex’s 2-6 3x 3x 3x ex’s 8-15 ex’s 5-8 Jump Rope ( J) 40 secs. ea. Ex. 50 secs. ea. Ex. ex’s 1-5 1x 2x 1x ex’s 3-8 2x 1x 2x ex’s 5-10 ex’s 12-17 ex’s 15-20
60 secs. ea. Ex. 1x 1x
70 secs. ea. Ex. 1x
2x 2x 2x 50 secs. ea. Ex.
70 secs. ea. Ex
Chapter 5 Boxes (B) sets x reps Level 1 ex’s 1-5 ex’s 5-10 Hurdles/Cones (C) Boxes (B) ex’s 1-2 ex’s 3-4 Week 1 Day 1 2 3 Sets x Reps Category 2 Tubing (T) Group 1 ex’s 1 & 4 2x4 ex’s 2 & 5 ex’s 3 & 6 Group 2 ex’s 1 & 3 2x4 ex’s 2 & 4 ex’s 5 Group 3 ex’s 1 & 2 3x10 ex’s 2 & 3 ex’s 4 -6
sets x reps
sets x reps 3x10
sets x reps
sets x reps
sets x reps
2 1 2 3 Sets x Reps
3 1 2 3 Sets x Reps
sets x reps
sets x reps
4 1 2 3 Sets x Reps
5 1 2 3 Sets x Reps
2x10 6 1 2 3 Sets x Reps
sets x reps
sets x reps
sets x reps 2x2 2x2
sets x reps
2x4 2x2 2x2
3x4 2x2 2x2
3x4 5x10 3x10
Preseason Volleyball Conditioning Program ADVANCED LEVEL Week 1 2 Day 1 2 3 1 2 3 Category 1—Choose one activity from this category Ladder (LP) or Cones (C) ex’s 1-7 ex’s 1-4 2x 2x 2x ex’s 5-11 ex’s 2-6 2x 2x ex’s 8-15 ex’s 5-8 2x Jump Rope ( J) 40 secs. ea. Ex. 50 secs. ea. Ex. ex’s 1-5 1x 2x 1x ex’s 3-8 2x 1x 2x ex’s 5-10 ex’s 12-17 ex’s 15-20 Boxes (B) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps Level 1 ex’s 1-5 3x10 ex’s 5-10 5x10 Level 2 ex’s 1-3 5x10 ex’s 4-6 5x10 Hurdles/Cones (C) ex’s 1-2 ex’s 3-4 Level 3 ex’s 1-4 ex’s 5-8 Level 4 ex’s 1-3 and ex’s 4-6 Category 2 Tubing (T) Group 1 Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex’s 1 & 4 3x4 2x4 ex’s 2 & 5 2x4 ex’s 3 & 6 Group 2 ex’s 1 & 3 3x4 2x4 ex’s 2 & 4 2x4 ex’s 5 Group 3 ex’s 1 & 2 4x10 ex’s 2 & 3 5x10 ex’s 4 -6
2x 60 secs. ea. Ex. 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x
4x 70 secs. ea. Ex.
2x 50 secs. ea. Ex.
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
4x 4x 4x 70 secs. ea. Ex.
Sets x Reps 3x10
2x 2x 2x 2x 2x Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps 2x4 2x4
Sets x Reps 2x4 2x4
Sets x Reps 2x4
Sets x Reps 3x4
5x10 2x10 4x10
6-Week Preseason Speed, Footwork, Quickness and Agility Development Program (SFQA)
Home-Gym Workout Training Log for Name: ______________________
DATE EXERCISE DAY M
Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest Reps/Time Weight Sets Rest
Instructions 1. Enter date 2. Do listed exercise (See appropriate training card for code; i.e., MU-2=Chest Press) 3. Enter # of reps or time
4. 5. 6. 7.
Enter weight used (bw= bodyweight) Enter # of sets completed Enter rest between sets or exercises Go to next exercise
# Reps 10 Weight bw # Sets 2 Rest :30
In-season Conditioning Maintenance
In-Season Conditioning Maintenance
his in-season program is designed to generally maintain the power and conditioning levels gained during the pre-season. The concepts of training age and time sequencing, as explained for the pre-season, apply to this in-season conditioning programming.
In-season Conditioning Maintenance Program When doing this program refer to the enclosed equipment-specific program for identification and description of exercises to be performed. Athletes should lay a good conditioning foundation by following the offseason and pre-season programs (also enclosed) before doing an in-seasons maintenance program.
Equipment • • • • •
Medicine Ball(s) • Jump Ropes Cones • Weighted Vests Tubing • Boxes Stability Ball(s) • Ladders Balance Objects/Dyna-Discs
Equipment Categories Choose one in each category CATEGORY 1 ladder, cones, jump rope, boxes
CATEGORY 2 med ball and/or weight vests
CATEGORY 3 deluxe tubing
CATEGORY 4 balance boards, stability balls balance object/ dyna-disc
In-Season Volleyball Conditioning Plan BEGINNING LEVEL Category 1—Choose one activity from this category Week 1 2 Ladder (LP) or Cones (C) Day 1 2 1 2 ex’s 1-7 ex’s 1-4 2x 2x ex’s 5-11 ex’s 2-6 2x 2x ex’s 8-15 ex’s 5-8 Jump Rope ( J) 40s ea. X 40s ea. X ex’s 1-5 1x 1x ex’s 3-8 1x 1x ex’s 5-10 ex’s 12-17 ex’s 15-20 Boxes (B) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps Level 1 ex’s 1-3 2x10 2x10 ex’s 4-6 2x10 2x10 Level 2 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Level 3 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Category 2—Choose one activity from this category Week 1 2 Med Ball (M) or Weighted Vest (W) Day 1 2 1 2 Power - UB Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex’s 1-3 2x8 2x8 2x10 1x10 ex’s 4-6 2x8 2x8 Power - LB ex’s 1-3 1x8 1x8 2x10 1x10 ex’s 4-6 2x8 2x8 Power - CORE ex’s 1-4 2x10 2x10 2x12 1x12 ex’s 5-9 2x10 2x10 Category 3 Tubing (T) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps Group 1 ex’s 1 & 4 2x4 2x4 ex’s 2 & 5 2x4 2x4 ex’s 3 & 6 Group 2 ex’s 1 & 3 ex’s 2 & 4 ex’s 5 ex’s 1 & 2 ex’s 2 & 3 ex’s 4 -6
2x 40s ea. X 1x
40s ea. X
2x 40s ea. X
40s ea. X
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
2 Sets x Reps 1x10
Sets x Reps
2 Sets x Reps 1x10 2x12 1x12
2 Sets x Reps
2 Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
In-season Conditioning Maintenance Category 4—Choose one activity from this category Balance Object (BB) 5-10s/Ex. 5-10s/Ex. Level 1 ex’s 1-3 and ex’s 4-6 Level 2 ex’s 1-3 and ex’s 4-6 Level 3 ex’s 1-3 3x 3x ex’s 4-6 3x 3x or Stability Ball (S) Upper Body (SU) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex 1 1x10 1x10 ex 2 2x10 1x10 ex 3 Lower Body (SL) ex’s 1-2 1x10 1x10 ex’s 3-4 2x10 1x10 Core/Abs (SC) ex’s 1-2 1x10 1x10 ex’s 3-4 2x10 1x10
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps 2x10 1x10
Sets x Reps 1x10
Sets x Reps
In-Season Volleyball Conditioning Plan INTERMEDIATE LEVEL Category 1——Choose one activity from this category Week 1 2 Day 1 2 1 2 Ladder (LP) or Cones (C) ex’s 1-7 ex’s 1-4 2x 2x ex’s 5-11 ex’s 2-6 2x 2x ex’s 8-15 ex’s 5-8 Jump Rope ( J) 40s ea. X 40s ea. X ex’s 1-5 1x 1x ex’s 3-8 1x 1x ex’s 5-10 ex’s 12-17 ex’s 15-20 Boxes (B) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps Level 1 ex’s 1-3 3x10 3x10 ex’s 4-6 3x10 3x10 Level 2 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Level 3 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Category 2—Choose one activity from this category Week 1 2 Day 1 2 1 2 Med ball (M) or Weighted Vest (W) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps Power - UB ex’s 1-3 2x10 2x10 ex’s 4-6 2x10 2x10 Power - LB ex’s 1-3 2x10 2x10 ex’s 4-6 2x10 2x10 Power - Core ex’s 1-4 2x10 2x10 ex’s 5-9 2x10 2x10 Category 3 Tubing (T) Group 1 Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex’s 1 & 4 2x4 ex’s 2 & 5 2x4 ex’s 3 & 6 Group 2 ex’s 1 & 3 2x4 ex’s 2 & 4 2x4 ex’s 5
2x 40s ea. X 1x
40s ea. X
2x 40s ea. X
40s ea. X
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
2 Sets x Reps
2 Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
2 Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps 2x4
2 Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
2x4 2x4 2x4 2x4
Chapter 6 Category 4—Choose one activity from this category Balance Object (BB) 5-10s / Ex. 5-10s / Ex. Level 3 ex’s 1-3 3x 3x ex’s 4-6 3x 3x or Stability Ball (S) Upper Body (SU) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex 1 2x10 2x10 ex 2 2x10 2x10 ex 3 Lower Body (SL) ex’s 1-2 2 x 10 2 x 10 ex’s 3-4 2 x 10 2 x 10 Core/Abs (SC) ex’s 1-2 2 x 15 2 x 15 ex’s 3-4 2 x 15 2 x 15
5-10s / Ex. 3x
5-10s / Ex.
10-15s / Ex.
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps 3x10 2x10
Sets x Reps 1x12
2 x 12
2 x 12
3 x 15
10-15s / Ex.
2 x 10
3 x 20
3 x 15
3 x 15
Sets x Reps
1 x 12 3 x 10
3 x 10
3 x 10
3 x 20
3 x 20
1 x 10
2 x 15
2 x 15
In-Season Volleyball Conditioning Plan ADVANCED LEVEL Category 1—Choose one activity from this category Week 1 2 Day 1 2 1 2 Ladders (LP) or Cones (C) ex’s 1-7 ex’s 1-4 2x 2x ex’s 5-11 ex’s 2-6 2x 2x ex’s 8-15 ex’s 5-8 1x 1x Jump Rope ( J) 40s ea. X 40s ea. X ex’s 1-5 1x 1x ex’s 3-8 1x 1x 1x 1x ex’s 5-10 1x 1x ex’s 12-17 ex’s 15-20 Boxes (B) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps Level 1 ex’s 1-3 4x10 3x10 ex’s 4-6 4x10 3x10 Level 2 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Level 3 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Level 4 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Category 2—Choose one activity from this category Med ball (M) or Weighted Vest (W) Strength - UB Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Strength - LB ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Strength - Core ex’s 1-5 ex’s 5-9 Sets x Reps Sets x Reps Power - UB ex’s 1-3 3x6 2x6 ex’s 4-6 3x6 2x6 Power - LB ex’s 1-3 3x6 2x6 ex’s 4-6 3x6 2x6 Power - Core ex’s 1-4 3x12 2x12 ex’s 5-9 3x15 2x15
2x 40s ea. X 1x
40s ea. X
2x 40s ea. X
40s ea. X
Sets x Reps
1x 1x Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
1x 1x 1x 1x Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
In-season Conditioning Maintenance Category 3 Tubing (T) Group 1 Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex’s 1 & 4 2x4 ex’s 2 & 5 3x4 ex’s 3 & 6 Group 2 ex’s 1 & 3 2x4 ex’s 2 & 4 2x4 ex’s 5 ex’s 1 & 2 ex’s 2 & 3 ex’s 4 -6 Category 4—Choose one activity from this category Balance Object (BB) 5-10s / Ex. 5-10s / Ex. Level 1 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Level 2 ex’s 1-3 ex’s 4-6 Level 3 ex’s 1-3 3x 3x ex’s 4-6 3x 3x or Stability Ball (S) Upper Body (SU) Sets x Reps Sets x Reps ex 1 2x10 ex 2 2x10 3x10 ex 3 3x10 Lower Body (SL) ex’s 1-2 2x10 3x10 ex’s 3-4 2 x 10 3 x 10 Core/Abs (SC) ex’s 1-2 3 x 15 3 x 20 ex’s 3-4 3 x 15 3 x 20
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps 3x4
Sets x Reps
Sets x Reps
3x4 2x4 2x2 2x4
5-10s / Ex.
5-10s / Ex.
10-15s / Ex.
Sets x Reps
3x Sets x Reps
3 x 10
3 x 20 3 x 20
Sets x Reps
1 x 10
2 x 15
3 x 15
3 x 10 3 x 10
Sets x Reps 2x10 3x10
10-15s / Ex.
2 x 15
2 x 15
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights
fter a minimum four years of serious training, athletes should have developed a solid strength foundation. This broadly defined characteristic may be detailed in a highly specific manner for individual athletes. For one athlete it may mean a double-body weight full squat and a one-and-one half body weight power clean. For another it may mean a one-and-one half body weight squat and a body weight clean both for three or five repetitions. Once these specific criteria of the training plan are achieved by an individual athlete that person becomes an advanced athlete and, as such, is physiologically ready to benefit from more complex exercises and training plans. At such a time it is appropriate to introduce the power snatch, whose path into the training progression has been both physiologically and neurologically paved by the power clean, learned during the intermediate stage.
Objective Tasks 1. 2. 3. 4.
Exercise selection Teaching exercise eechnique in progression Program integration. Facilities and safety.
Competencies 1. Establishing Goals. 2. How do I teach this? 3. How do I blend ground based explosive lifts with other conditioning activities? 4. How do I design a program based on the principles of volleyball conditioning?
Introducing the Power Snatch The power snatch is an explosive lifting movement that takes the weight from the floor to straight-arms overhead in one quick, smooth movement. During the performance of the movement the legs, hips and back are forcefully extended, while the arms and shoulders are brought into play in flexion. No other single exercise has such a strong working effect on so many different muscle groups. Besides this, the power snatch has many other benefits recommending its use in the development of volleyball players.
How the Power Snatch Is Specific to Volleyball • Because it requires the arms, shoulders and hands to move overhead quickly in synchronization with the legs and feet, the power snatch is a great reinforcer of the quick, overhead movement of the hands and arms used in setting or overhead passing as well as the overhead movement of hands and arms in blocking. • Lighter weights must be used in snatching than in the power clean, so greater speed of movement is required, and quickness is enhanced.
• The extension of the ankles, knees, hips and back is biomechanically the same movement as that found in jumping. Thus, the power snatch not only strengthens muscles, it improves jumping ability. • In addition to this biomechanical similarity, there is also neuromuscular specificity in that the order and speed of the recruitment of muscle fibers to create the summation of forces necessary to successfully snatch a weight is the same as it is in the jumping movement used on the court. • The energy system used in snatching, the ATP-CP system, is the same as that which predominates in the explosive efforts made on the volleyball court. • The power snatch is a closed kinetic chain, ground-based exercise, just as are movements on the volleyball court. • The power snatch requires a focused mind intent on proper execution of technique, the same psychological trait that is so essential to high performance on the volleyball court. With all of these attributes, the power snatch can logically be inserted into the training plan of advanced volleyball players with every expectation of outstanding results.
Teaching the Power Snatch The power snatch is perhaps the most technically difficult of all the lifts. Nevertheless, it can easily be mastered if the proper teaching progression is followed. If at all possible, instruction should be done by a certified US Weightlifting coach or someone else proficient in the Olympic-style lifts. Slow motion and stop action video, if available, should be employed to illustrate key points of technique that will be emphasized later in a live demonstration. If not available, then sequential still pictures may be used to give athletes an ideogram of the lift as it should be done. It is important to paint an early picture of what the full movement looks like, so athletes know what they are working toward. If an older athlete can demonstrate the lift with ideal technique, that person should be used as younger players tend to have accelerated learning when a peer demonstrates. Many athletes pick up the lift right away, but most will have to relearn old motor habits. That takes time, and this is where a past history of doing power cleans can really speed up the learning process. During this process, however, it is important that the coach not try to move forward too quickly. The athlete must demonstrate complete understanding and mastery of the first step before being allowed to go on to the next step in the learning process. With this patient approach, outstanding technique will be assured. As in the power clean, the power snatch should be taught with a “top down” approach. Therefore, after a demonstration of the whole movement, work begins with the bar overhead.
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights Press Behind the Neck The bar starts off resting in a power rack or on a free-standing support and is approached from behind. The athlete secures a shoulder-width, clean grip and steps under the bar so that it rests across the upper back at the top of the scapulae. The athlete then steps back, away from the support, facing it. The athlete takes a deep breath, expanding the chest, and holds it. The head is held in a neutral position, and the eyes look straight ahead. The bar is accelerated overhead quickly in a pressing movement behind the head. A snappy lockout is used as the arms straighten completely and fix the bar in a balanced position just behind the ears. The breath is exhaled. The bar is held in this lockout position for 1-2 seconds and then lowered under control back to the shoulders. The athlete then steps forward to return the weight to the power rack or support stand.
Wide Grip Press Behind the Neck The athlete next learns how to move the grip out to the wide position used in the snatch movement and press from there. The width of the grip may be measured two ways. In the first, the right arm with the wrist closed is extended out to the side until it is level with the height of the shoulders. A tape measure is then used to measure the distance from the second knuckle along the length of the arm, across the back to the AC joint of the left shoulder (Figure 1). The tape is then centered on the bar, and the measFigure 1 urement is where the athlete should grip the bar, starting with the index finger. In the second method, both arms are held out to the sides at shoulder height but the elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. The measurement is made from elbow to elbow across the back (Figure 2). When the tape is then applied to the bar the grip should be taken with the point between the index and middle fingers Figure 2 positioned at the tape ends. It should be emphasized that the above measurements will result in ballpark figures. Individual adjustments must be made based on the athleteâ€™s degree of shoulder and hip flexibility and relative length of upper and lower arms. A simple guideline to follow is that the bar, when held overhead with the
arms fully extended, should be 4 to 6 inches above the head. Once the proper width of grip has been secured the press behind the neck is performed as before: taking a deep breath and expanding Figure 3 the chest, the athlete Start quickly accelerates the overhead in a pressing movement (Figures 3 and 4). At lockout breath is expelled and the bar is positioned with arms fully extended, elbows rotated in so that the superior aspect of the elbows is directly under the bar. This is Figure 4 the strongest position. Finish In addition, the shoulders should be shrugged up toward the ears at the top of the lift. The bar should rest 4 to 6 inches above the head, depending on the width of the grip, and slightly behind a vertical line drawn through the ears.
Overhead Support, Walking This optional exercise is good to do several times during the teaching process. It is very useful in teaching the proper position of the bar behind the ears and achieving perfect balance and body alignment. The bar is pressed overhead, behind the neck, with a snatch-width grip, as above. Once this balanced, lockout position is assumed the athlete is instructed to take a few steps forward, keeping the bar in the balance position. The athlete is then asked to take a few steps backward, then a few steps to the right and back to the left, etc. This process is continued until fatigue sets into the shoulder muscles. When this occurs, the athlete must rely increasingly on perfect bar alignment, positioning the bar in a balanced position, â€œbone-on-bone.â€? The concept is that with fatigued muscles the athlete must have better lifter-to-bar balance.
Muscle Snatch This is not only an excellent exercise to go through in the teaching progression, it is also an excellent warm-up exercise to retain in the training process. Once the behind the neck has been mastered, the muscle snatch now provides the athlete
Chapter 7 with the opportunity to learn what to do with the bar in front of the body. The bar starts in front of the body, on the floor, aligned just above the shoelaces. The athlete grasps the bar with a hook grip, learned earlier in the training process with the power clean and with the hands positioned snatch-width apart. The athlete bends over at the waist with the legs slightly bent. The bar is pulled up, keeping it as close to the body as possible. It should brush against the athlete’s legs, then against the T-shirt all the way up. The bar is wristcurled as it approaches the hips, which aids in keeping it close to the body’s center of mass. The shoulders are shrugged in a line up toward the ears, and then the elbows are kept above the wrists as long as possible as the bar is pulled up past the chest. The athlete then turns the elbows and wrists under the bar and locks it out overhead. The athlete should feel the muscles of the body working together in a chain-type fashion, smoothly accelerating the bar all the way up.
Power Snatch from the Power Position Next, it is time to learn the pulling motion that is peculiar to the snatch. It is very similar to the pulling motion for the power clean, but there are some minor differences. The athlete begins with a snatch-width grip and the bar resting against the upper thighs. The feet are about 10 inches apart, and the body weight rests on the mid-foot. Keeping the back straight and the head in a neutral position, the legs are bent and the bar is lowered to mid-thigh position. This is known as the “power position” and is the same position the body would Figure 5 assume before a maxStart imum vertical jump effort (Figure 5). Compared to the similar position in a power clean, the athlete’s shoulders as viewed from the side are farther in front of the bar, and the bar rests higher on the thighs by virtue of the much wider grip. From this starting position there are four phases to the lift. The lift begins with the pull phase. In this phase the legs extend forcefully up onto the toes as the back reaches full extension, and the shoulders shrug straight up toward the ears. The head remains neutral with the eyes looking straight ahead. The elbows should be rotated outward and stay over the bar, and the arms should remain straight as all the work should be done with the legs and back (Figure 6).
In the unsupported phase that follows, the athlete’s feet leave the floor as the arms quickly bend, elbows pulling as high as possible and staying over the bar as long as possible. The bar travels above the height of the shoulders. The feet split to the sides. Since the athlete is airborne for this tiny fraction of a time, the vigorous arm action serves to pull the body more quickly under the bar (Figure 7). With the supported phase, the body completes its task of going under the bar and securing the weight Figure 7 Unsupported overhead. Both feet return quickly to the lifting surface in a squatwidth position. The legs quickly bend as the arms help pull the body under the bar, whose upward motion has briefly stalled at the point of zero gravity. The elbows quickly whip under the bar, then straighten in a pull press motion. The head, while staying neutral, moves Figure 8 Catch forward under the weight as the bar goes overhead, coming to rest in a balanced position behind the ears (Figure 8). The recovery phase completes the lift. The legs straighten, and the athlete comes to a completely upright standing position with the bar held overhead on fully extended arms, as in the finish position for the Figure 9 wide-grip press behind Recover the neck. Two tiny steps are then made as both feet are moved back to their starting, hip-width position (Figure 9).
Figure 6 Pull Phase
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights Power Snatch from Knee Height Once the athlete has demonstrated mastery of the power snatch from the lower power position, it is time to move down to hang position just above the knees. This lifting position is virtually the same as the power position but with some minor changes. The weight of the body shifts more to the mid-foot, i.e., slightly backward. The shoulders move even farther out in front of the bar. From this position it is critical to keep the bar as close to the body as possible, brushing up along the thighs, as the bar is accelerated to the power position and then overhead to the lockout position as before.
Power Snatch from Below the Knees Once the athlete has demonstrated mastery of the power snatch above the knees to the satisfaction of the coach the bar is then lowered to a position that is just below the patella. The legs bend even more, and the athlete’s Figure 10 shoulders move even farther out At Knee in front of the bar (Figure 10). The body’s weight shifts back a little bit in the mid-foot position. From that position the weight is snatched to arm’s length overhead as before.
Power Snatch from the Floor Again, it must be emphasized that the athlete should not advance to this progression until all preceding steps in the process have been mastered. The athlete approaches the bar and places the feet under it so that the bar is lined up directly above the metatarsal-phalangeal joint (where the toes join with the foot). In this position the feet should be hip-width apart with the toes pointed slightly outward at about a 10-degree angle. The athlete then secures a snatch-width grip on the bar, using a hook grip. The thumbs wrap around the bar first, then are grasped by the index and middle fingers. The ring and little fingers grasp the bar. The legs are then bent deeply to lower the body over the bar. A big breath is taken into the lungs, fully expanding the ribcage, and the back is tightly held, straight and flat. The shoulders are moved well forward of the Figure 11 bar, and the arms are Floor straight with the elbows rotated outward (Figure 11). The head is held in a neutral position, a natural extension of the spine, and the eyes are fixed on a point straight ahead. This is important to aid concentration. From this position the bar is slowly separated from the lifting surface and accelerated as it goes upward.
The weight is lifted through extension of the legs only. This means that as the bar moves upward the hips and shoulders should move upward at the same time, maintaining the same angle of inclination with the floor. The bar should actually move slightly backward as it moves up, and the weight of the body, while staying in the mid-foot area, Figure 12 shifts toward the heels. The Separation shoulders stay well ahead of the bar as it is pulled up to just below the knees (Figure 12). From that point the bar is rapidly accelerated through each of the other phases of the lift- knee height, mid-thigh that have been previously described and brought to the lockout position overhead.
Supplementary Exercises Lift-offs A very important supplementary exercise to do to ingrain and strengthen the start of the lift is the lift-off. In this exercise the starting position for the snatch is assumed, and the barbell is lifted only up to knee height, then returned to the floor (Refer to Figures 11 and 12). Lift-offs allow the athlete time to focus on just the all-important start of the lift, gaining confidence in execution. Considerable amounts of weight can be handled in lift-offs, so they also serve to strengthen the legs and back for this important phase of the power snatch.
Overhead Support Squats Another tremendous exercise that may be used in learning the power snatch is the overhead support squat. It is very beneficial to use this exercise early in the learning progression with an empty bar or even a broomstick. It requires a great deal of shoulder, hip and ankle flexibility and because of this is also a great exercise to use for increased range of motion or maintenance of flexibility. With light resistance it makes an excellent warm-up exercise. A barbell is taken from a squat rack with a snatch-width grip, resting across the athlete’s upper back. The feet are placed shoulder-width apart. The bar is pressed overhead to the lockout position just as was done for the behind the neck press. With the bar held in this position, the athlete takes a deep breath, completely expanding the ribcage, and descends into a full squat. The bar must stay in the balance position, fixed overhead on fully extended arms behind the ears (See Figures 13, 14, and 15 on next page).
Chapter 7 The feet must stay flat on the floor throughout. Many athletes are unable to do this, even with a broomstick, not because they do not have enough strength but because they have poor ankle and/or hip flexibility. In this case the coach must patiently apply stretching exercises and try to get the athlete to go just a little bit lower on the overhead squat each week. The athlete then extends the legs, keeping the barbell in a perfectly balanced alignment with the body, and returns to the starting position.
Figure 13 Start
Figure 14 Middle
Drop Snatch This excellent exercise employs all the mechanics of the push press behind the neck and the overhead support squat. It is a natural follow-up to the Figure 15 End overhead support squat. The barbell is taken from the rack with a snatch-width grip onto the shoulders just as in doing a behind the neck press. The feet are spaced hip-width apart. The athlete takes a breath, expanding the ribcage, quickly dips into a quarter squat position, and then bounces out immediately, driving the bar upward with the force generated from the legs. As the bar is driven up by the legs, the athlete splits the feet quickly apart to shoulder-width, drops quickly into a full squat position (identical to the overhead squat), and locks the weight overhead. The breath is driven up by the legs, the athlete drops quickly into a full squat position (identical to the overhead squat), splits the feet quickly apart to shoulder-width, and locks the weight overhead. The breath is expelled as the athlete comes up out of the squat to an erect standing position.
Snatch-Width Power Shrugs Power shrugs can be used to emphasize the important role of the trapezius muscles in the per-
formance of the power snatch. These may be done from the floor or from various starting heights in a power rack or with the barbell starting on top of a selected box height. In the power shrug the athlete uses the same mechanics as would be used for a power snatch, but instead of completing the movement the bar is driven up until the athlete has reached full extension up on the toes and the shoulders are shrugged up to the ears (as illustrated in Figure 6). At that point it is lowered to the starting position and another repetition begun.
A variation of the power shrug, this exercise is very beneficial in teaching the proper use of the legs in the power snatch. Lighter weights are used, and the athlete performs a rapid extension of the legs, hips, and back that culminates in a jump. The athlete jumps as high as possible with the bar and through this learns how to move the weight through a great range of motion, lifting the bar very high with just the force generated through the legs. The arms are not used and should stay straight and relaxed as the athlete shrugs the shoulders up to the ears at the peak of the jump. A useful learning sequence is to do a series of jump shrugs, generating maximum speed and force through the legs, followed immediately by a series of power snatches. This may be done sequentially in the same set with, say, three jump shrugs followed by three power snatches. The purpose of this is to teach the athlete to generate as much force through the legs and as little as possible through the arms.
Snatch-Width High Pulls High pulls are an extension of power shrugs. The barbell is taken from the floor or from a predetermined height, as in hang pulls, and pulled as high as possible without fixing the bar overhead. Usually the objective is to pull the weight up to chest or shoulder height, going from a forceful shoulder shrug at full leg extension, as in Figure 6, right into a powerful flexion of the arms. In this, the elbows should stay above the bar as long as possible to ensure that the force on the bar remains in a vertical direction. (Dropping the elbows will cause the bar to be pulled backward, not upward, and that type of motion is very inefficient.) High pulls may be done from various heightsâ€”below the knees, above the knees, or at mid-thigh within a power rack or with the weights set on blocks.
Dumbbell Power Snatch Power snatches with dumbbells offer a stimulating change from barbell work and are excellent for developing greater muscle control and balance as well as identifying any unilateral weaknesses. The athlete
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights begins with a dumbbell in each hand, grasped with a hook grip. There are two starting positions. One is with the dumbbells out in front of the knees, simulating exactly the position of a barbell, with the thumbs facing each other. The other is with the dumbbells held at the sides, thumbs facing forward. From the starting position the athlete explodes upward, through extension of the legs-hips-back, then executes a powerful shrug at the top, and rapidly turns the elbows under the dumbbells in a pull-press motion while rebending the legs to get under the weight. The athlete should review the four phases used in barbell snatches: the pull phase, the unsupported phase, the support phase and the recovery phase. These are almost always done from the hang position.
One-Arm Dumbbell Snatches Dumbbell snatches may also be done with one arm at a time. In this case one dumbbell is held in the hang position in any of the previously described starting heights, grasped with the thumb toward the body mid-line or facing forward. The athlete explodes upward, bringing all the forces that the body can generate to bear upon the resistance of that one dumbbell, and snatches it to straight arm overhead.
Split Snatches To this point snatches have been described with only the squat style of doing the lift, where both feet split slightly out to the sides. Snatches can also be done with a forward/backward split. During the unsupported phase, when the feet leave the lifting surface, one leg takes a big step forward and the other leg steps backward. Feet must remain hip- to shoulder-width apart. Any narrowing of the base of support will cause instability and a possible loss of balance. The forward foot should land slightly pigeon-toed, while the rear foot should point directly forward. In the recovery phase it is very important for the forward foot to step back first, then the rear foot steps forward to meet it. This is the best way to prevent the bar from being lost forward, which is the most common cause of misses. It would be easy to see where the split snatch could be preferred by setters, for example, in always splitting the right foot forward. Alternating from right to left splits can also be beneficial in not only taxing coordination but also in creating a greater balance in development.
Use of the Power Snatch in Training The purpose of using the power snatches in training is to enhance the athleteâ€™s power and speed. To have this effect, the resistance must be kept light to moderate. Use of heavy weights should be rare, perhaps for one brief period, once a year. Execution and speed of movement should be continually emphasized. The number of repetitions in a set
should be kept low, in the range of three to six, so that a set can be finished in 30 seconds or less. The idea is to work the ATP-CP energy system. There should be a 1:3 work/rest ratio to allow for adequate recovery. Athletes should be as cognizant of their rest interval as their work interval and push through their sets of power snatches in a disciplined manner. They must also be aware of the difference between pushing hard in a workout and rushing. It they are in a rush, fatigue will set in more quickly, and execution as well as speed of movement will deteriorate. The number of sets may vary widely, depending upon the objectives of training. During the early preparation period, where greater strength is the main goal, five or six sets of five repetitions is the usual dosage. Later on, in the pre-competition period, the emphasis may change to jump endurance and the number of sets may actually double. It is important to remember that any exercise can be utilized for strength, and that the number of repetitions in a set determines the training outcome. Power snatches should be done early in a workout, because they demand the utmost in mental concentration and physical vitality. They may be done in complexes with other exercises. For example, power snatches and power cleans may be used to compliment each other in the same workout, one demanding a greater strength component to overcome the resistance and the other demanding a greater speed component. They may be done in conjunction with plyometrics, and power snatches could be preceded or followed by depth jumps, for example, or a simulated volleyball movement and with or without an implement, such as a shot or medicine ball. Power snatches are usually performed one to two times a week in the training program. They are frequently alternated with power cleans. The most positive training adaptations are made with variable loads. Rather than trying to go heavy every training day it is better to go heavy-light-moderate. When these guidelines are followed power snatches will provide excellent, measurable gains in power and speed.
Identification and Correction of Errors As in any aspect of training the coach must be fully engaged in the process and on hand to direct the training and to correct technical errors. Athletes must be directed toward excellence regardless of whether they are on the volleyball court or in the weight room. Errors of execution due to faulty coordination of body parts are caused by either a poor understanding of the movement or a poor ability to translate understanding into physical movement. This factor improves rapidly with practice and the careful attention of the coach. The second factor is lack of execution due to physical limitations, perhaps not
Chapter 7 enough strength in certain muscle groups or a lack of flexibility. No amount of teaching will eliminate errors caused by physical limitation unless exercises are incorporated that are designed to remedy the physical weakness that is the underlying cause. Many of the same problems in execution of the pull occur in the power snatch as in the power clean and can be remedied the same way. In addition, the power snatch has more specific difficulties related to the bar going overhead. Problems relating to the pull will be touched on lightly. For more detail the reader should refer to “Step 1—Introducing the Olympicstyle Lifts Safely,” in the booklet 3-Step Approach to Better Jumping—Intermediate Program. Problems relating to the overhead movement will be dealt with in more detail.
Rounded Back This is the most serious mistake that an athlete can make in lifting, because if it is not corrected it can eventually lead to back problems. The coach should repeatedly demonstrate what a straight, flat back looks like. The athlete can then imitate this and do a self-check using a wall mirror. The athlete should fully inflate the chest, expanding the ribcage, then flex forward at the hips to grasp the bar, keeping the ribs fully expanded. It must be emphasized that the 33 vertebrae of the spine must be locked together and function as one unit. Another corrective measure is for the coach to place one hand on the small of the back and press down as a signal to flatten the back while pulling up on the shoulder girdle with the other hand. The back may also have a tendency to round because of weakness, so strengthening exercises should be performed such as lift offs, good mornings, stiff-legged deadlifts (knees unlocked), or hyperextensions.
Bar Too Far From Body When first learning the power snatch, one of the most common mistakes is to allow the bar to get too far out in front of the body with the arms doing essentially a reverse curl motion, This is very inefficient and greatly limits the amount of weight that can be used, and creates problems with balance. To correct this an empty bar or lightweight should be used. The athlete should be instructed to keep the bar in light contact with the body all the way through the pull, touching the thighs, workout shorts, then T-shirt, all the way up to the breastbone (ziphoid process). In order to do this, the elbows must stay rotated out, and they must stay over the bar all the way to the top. The coach should take up a position to the side of the athlete for the best view in determining this.
Bent Elbows When the coach is satisfied that the athlete can maintain a straight back and keep the bar close to the body, attention should be directed toward the elbows. The arms should remain relaxed and straight throughout the pull until the athlete is all the way up on the toes with the shoulders shrugged. The easiest way to determine this is to keep an eye on the elbows, If the elbows bend, it is a sign that the athlete is using too much arms and not enough legs-hips-back to lift. This error may be remedied by doing a lot of wide-grip power shrugs and power shrug-power snatch combinations.
Dropped Elbows Another common mistake in snatching is dropping the elbows prematurely at the end of the pull. This error causes the lifter to adjust in one, or both, of two ways: (1) leaning backward excessively and (2) rotating the bar out too far in front of the body. Both are wrong. To correct this error the athlete should perform snatch-width upright rows, keeping the elbows above the bar as long as possible. These may be followed by snatch-width high pulls.
Partial Extension of the Body Without full extension of the legs-hips-back much of the power that the human body is capable of exerting is lost, yet many athletes fail to come to complete extension. Often this is because they are in a hurry to get under the bar and finish the lift. They need to understand that full extension will give them more time, because the bar will be pulled higher and there will be less need to rush into the unsupported phase. This error can be corrected by doing a series of vertical jumps before snatching and also by doing snatch-width power shrugs and power shrug-power snatch combinations.
Throwing the Head Back Throwing the head back causes two problems in lifting. First, throwing the head back throws the weight forward (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction) and takes it out of the desired vertical path. Second, this action places the trapezius in a weaker position, and it cannot exert maximum contraction in shrugging the shoulder. To correct this problem the coach may stand behind the athlete and lightly place a hand on the back of the athlete’s head. This is a gentle reminder to maintain a neutral head position. In addition, it must be stressed that the athlete should pick a spot on a wall to focus on, straight ahead, and keep the eyes focused on it throughout the lift.
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights Poor Foot Movement During the unsupported phase and the action of going under the bar it is common for athletes to have trouble with consistent foot movement and placement. The feet will either move awkwardly in a forward-backward alignment or unevenly to the sides. A simple foot movement drill best corrects this error. The athlete should stand on the lifting surface with hip-width foot spacing, toes pointed out slightly at 10 degrees. The coach traces an outline of the feet on the lifting surface with a piece of chalk. Then the athlete places the feet at shoulder width or “squat” width and another chalk outline is made. With these outlines serving as a guide, the athlete assumes the starting position—but with both hands on the hips—and pushes up to full extension, then quickly splits the feet apart to the desired position. This action may be repeated several times before doing a set of power snatches and several times after until the proper footwork is ingrained.
Correcting the Overhead Movement In addition to problems associated with the pull, there are common errors that athletes make during the overhead portion of the lift.
Looping The first of these errors is looping the bar out at the top of the lift as the weight goes overhead and the athlete drops under it. This is perhaps the biggest error that lifters make because it initially throws the bar forward out of its vertical path. The athlete then has to pull the bar backward to get under it. This forward-backward movement is along the horizontal plane and is exactly the opposite of the type of vertical bar momentum that is desired. In order to correct this problem, the coach must reinforce the concept of the bar passing close to the face in its overhead path as the elbows are turned under it as the press-out begins. Modeling the correct technique repeatedly with a broomstick is very helpful in learning this portion of the lift. The coach should also be aware that this problem might be caused by weakness at the top of the pull. To remedy this, upright rows may be done as well as snatch-width high pulls, all with an emphasis on pulling the elbows high and keeping them over the bar as long as possible. The coach can also emphasize that this portion of the lift is a pressing action right in front of the face and wide-grip presses or push presses may also be done.
go under the bar and finish the lift. Jump shrugs and high pulls may be used to correct this. Another mistake may be caused by dropping the elbows, and this can be corrected by doing upright rows. The coach must emphasize that the elbows stay above the bar as long as possible. The key words as the bar reaches the top are: extend-shrug-stay close. Another exercise to use here is the muscle snatch. When doing these the coach should also emphasize moving the head forward, under the bar, to achieve the bar-behind-the-ear position desired at the lockout, arms fully extended.
Fear of Going Under the Bar Another factor in lifting that stems from an athlete’s unfamiliarity with the snatch is fear of going under the bar. Some athletes have a degree of anxiety in pulling the bar over the head. This hesitancy can be corrected by doing a lot of supplementary exercises that involve work above the head. In this category would be the behind-the-neck press with a snatchwidth grip. Push presses can be done next. An excellent exercise to gain confidence in the overhead position is the drop snatch. All the while the coach should emphasize the balance inherent in the overhead position when the bar is properly placed behind the ears. Overhead support squats are also excellent to teach the correct position. Once confidence is gained the athlete can go back to power snatches with a light weight and gradually increase the resistance from there.
Poor Lockout Position Poor position at the finish of the lift may be caused by either a lack of flexibility, lack of sufficient strength, or a combination of these factors. To remedy poor flexibility, shoulder stretches with a partner may be done as well as a lot of overhead support squats with a broomstick or an empty bar. To improve strength, behind-the-neck presses should be done as well as push presses. Finally, it is always beneficial to go back to the walking overhead support exercise. Probably quicker than anything else, this will teach athletes where to properly align the bar when it is overhead. The coach should continually emphasize: (a) elbows under the bar (“bend” of elbow faces upward to the bar), (b) shoulders shrugged, (c) head forward but in a neutral position, (d) eyes focused straight upward ahead, and (e) bar held on fully locked-out arms behind the ears.
Missing the Lift in Front Very often in the learning process, athletes have a problem with losing the lift out in front of them. The head and shoulders get caught too far behind the bar to get under it in time to finish the lift, and the bar comes crashing down in front. The root cause of this error is usually an incomplete pull. The athlete must be reminded to come to complete extension before attempting to
Misses Athletes will make mistakes and they will miss lifts from time to time due to faulty technique. In the power snatch, lifts will most frequently be lost to the front. When this occurs it is important to know how to drop a weight. It is critical that an athlete not try to “save” a bad lift, because making a habit of this can
Chapter 7 place the body in some very awkward situations and greatly increase the stress on one particular area such as the back or the shoulders. It is very easy to drop weights lost forward. The athlete merely steps backward and lets the weight descend to the lifting surface. One or both hands may be kept on the bar to guide it down, but this is not necessary (the bar will fall in a straight line). If a lift is missed behind the head, then the athlete should step forward and immediately release the bar with both hands allowing the bar to fall behind the body. Trying to hold onto the bar will create a high probability of a shoulder injury.
Safety In order to perform power snatches safely, several requirements must be met. The first requirement relates to the facilities and equipment. The athlete must have a designated area (8 x 8 feet square) for doing power snatches that provides a good surface that is clutter free. The best surface is a smooth wooden one. A highly polished surface is not desirable because the athlete will be likely to slip. Neither is a “sticky” surface, and obviously the lifting surface must be even. Where the plates will be contacting the surface, heavy rubber matting is desirable. This not only protects the floor but also makes the athlete feel more comfortable about dropping misses. The area must be designed with misses in mind, even if these are rare (as they should be). Also for this purpose, rubber bumper plates are a tremendous asset. They are designed to be dropped. Collars should be used at all times and the area should be kept free of clutter. When not used, plates should be in plate holders and never left on the floor. Good, straight bars should be used with knurling to provide a good gripping surface. The athlete should be properly dressed in shorts and T-shirt or sweat clothes that provide warmth and freedom of movement. Lifting shoes or cross-trainers should also be worn. Lifting belts, wrist straps, chalk and tape should be available for use. An athlete should never lift alone and should never lift without the supervision of a coach. The coach should be certified by the U. S. Weightlifting Federation, C.S.C.S. certified, or have the knowledge and experience consistent with teaching the power snatch correctly and providing a safe environment. Finally, along with facilities, equipment and supervision, safety is built upon two critical factors: (1) correct technique and (2) proper loading. The coach must be active and constantly monitoring technique and making corrections when necessary. This is the best insurance against injury. The proper weight should also be selected. Athletes must lift weights that are well within their capacity. When an athlete starts missing lifts, this is a sign that the coach
should step in and reduce the weight, insisting on strict execution. When all of these guidelines are followed, the power snatch can become an excellent addition to the tool chest of exercises that are used to train volleyball players.
Split Jerk in Training Volleyball Players The split jerk is an advanced overhead shoulder movement that requires a great deal of power and allows the athlete to handle the heaviest weights in arm extension/shoulder flexion. It should be introduced into the training process only after the athlete has demonstrated a mastery of other pressing movements. In this exercise, the athlete is able to take a very heavy weight from the shoulders after a clean or after lifting the barbell off a power rack or support stand, and explosively drive it to full arm’s length overhead while splitting the feet fore and aft underneath it. This very dynamic, closed kinetic chain (ground based) movement can be of great benefit to volleyball players when used properly in the training process. Rationale of its use in the physical preparation of volleyball players includes, but is not limited to, the following: • The forceful extension of the body combined with the upward thrust of the arms biomechanically mirrors the block jump. • Splitting the right leg forward renders the jerk biomechanically similar to the setting movement. It is therefore useful in reinforcing the coordination and timing of body segments, which results in the greatest summation of forces that would be used in setting and overhead passing. • Like all of the so-called “quick” lifts, the split jerk has a strong working effect on the ATP-CP energy system and is physiologically specific to the same type of repeated explosive efforts required in volleyball. • The maximum coordinated effort of both upper body and lower body limbs, connected through active involvement of the torso, makes the split jerk superior to other methods of training the shoulders/arms, particularly isolation exercises involving machines. • The full range of movement required by the jerk as well as the lockout position behind the ears promotes shoulder joint stability and flexibility.
Teaching the Split Jerk The split jerk is built on a solid foundation of overhead pressing movements. A background of power snatches also makes it very easy to learn the split jerk and gives the athlete a great deal of confidence in doing so. There are also great similarities between the timing and coordination of the power snatch and the split jerk that facilitate going from one to the other.
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights A demonstration of the whole movement, repeated many times, should be conducted first while the coach indicates key points in execution. If possible a videotape or film of the split jerk should be shown, and the coach may use slow motion and also stopaction in analyzing the movement. This process will give the athlete a clear understanding of what is involved in the task at hand and an image in the mind of perfect technique. If video or film is not available, then still pictures or diagrams should be used in conjunction with the live demonstration. The “top down” methods of learning the lift may then be applied, progressing through the various exercises described below until the athlete is ready for the full movement. During this process the experienced coach will discover that there are several effective ways of teaching the split jerk and that no rigid formula needs to be adhered to. A major principle to follow is to adapt to the athletes being taught and to be sensitive to their learning curves. Thus, the coach should tailor the lead-up exercises that are selected to the level of the athletes being instructed. Some exercises may be skipped altogether. Others must be repeated frequently before athletes obtain mastery and can move on.
quickly presses the bar above the forehead, keeping it close to the face all the way. Once the bar clears the head, the head is thrust forward under the bar as the arms accelerate to full extension and the breath is expelled. In the lockout position the weight is fixed in a balanced position just behind the ears. Elbows are locked out completely and rotated forward. The shoulders are shrugged upward. This final position is important too, because it is identical with Figure 17 - Finish the final position assumed at the completion of not only the split jerk but all overhead pressing/jerking movements (See Figure 17). Once the weight has been held 1-2 seconds overhead it is lowered back to the shoulders as the chin is pulled back into the neck, and the head is moved out of the way. The athlete is then ready for the next repetition.
Military Press In the military press the bar is either cleaned or taken from a support at shoulder height with a cleanwidth grip. The bar should be resting across the shoulders above the clavicles. The elbows should be high, with the forearms at or approaching a position that is parallel to the floor. The bar is not gripped tightly, keeping undue tension out of the arms. The chest is expanded and the ribcage lifted up. The body is perfectly upright so that a vertical line could be drawn through the lateral malleolus of the ankle, the knee, the greater trochanter of the hip. the acromisclavicular joint of the shoulder, and the external auditory meatus of the ear. The eyes look straight ahead, fixed on a stationary point to the front of the lifter. The feet are hip-width apart (vertical jump position) with the toes pointing straight ahead or slightly out to the sides (10 degrees and no more). This is a critical first step to learn. It is the correct starting position for not only the military press, but also the split jerk and every pressing or jerking movement where the lift originates in front of the head (See Figure 16). From this position the athlete takes a deep breath, further expanding the chest, pulls the Figure 16 - Start chin back into the neck and
Press Behind Neck In the behind-the-neck press, the weight is taken off a power rack or weight support and placed across the upper back and shoulders just as it would be for a back squat. The hands grip the bar loosely with a clean-width grip. The body is fully erect and positioned as for a military press. The bar is driven directly overhead behind the neck and locked out in a position just behind the ears. The breath is expelled at the top as before. The lockout position is exactly the same as that previously described for the military press (See Figures 18,19 and 20). From the lockout position, the weight is lowered back to the shoulders and the legs bend to help absorb the shock of the barbell’s descent. The athlete then returns to the starting position and is ready for the next repetition. The press behind the neck is a great exercise for teaching the correct balance position of the bar behind the ears. After the weight is locked out, the athlete should find and hold that balance position for a second or two before lowering the weight.
Figure 18 - Start
Figure 19 - Middle
Figure 20 - End
Chapter 7 Push Press
Push Jerk Behind Neck
The push press teaches the athlete how to use the legs properly in driving the weight overhead. Because the legs are employed to thrust the bar upward much more weight can be used in the push press than in the military press. Beginning from the starting position already described for the military press (See Figure 16), the athlete descends quickly into a quarter squat and then drives upward with the legs to full extension. This action imparts momentum to the weight that causes it to rise up above the chest to forehead level. At this point the arms and shoulders take over and finish the movement by pressing the bar to arms’ length overhead (See Figures 21 and 22). This exercise can be a valuable lead-up to the split jerk because the athlete learns how to use the extension of the legs and hips in the same manner in which they will be used in the jerk.
Also called a power jerk, this is the next logical step in the teaching progression and should be taught only after the athlete has demonstrated complete mastery of the push press. This exercise is performed exactly as the Push Press Behind Neck with this very important addition: After the legs dip and drive the bar up as before, going to complete extension, they bend again, very quickly, and dip below the weight. This action allows the arms/shoulders to “catch” the weight in the lockout position after only a very brief pressing movement. In this action the timing is identical with that desired in the final product, the split jerk, and so the push jerk is a favorite lead-up immediately preceding the split jerk (See Figures 25, 26, 27 and 28).
Figure 21 - Drive
Figure 22 - Finish
Push Press Behind Neck The lifter begins this movement by assuming the same starting position found in the Press Behind Neck. As in the push press, however, the athlete quickly bends the legs into a quarter squat position and then forcefully straightens them, trying to impart as much upward acceleration to the bar as possible. Once the bar clears the back of the head, the arms Figure 23 - Start and shoulders take over completely and press the weight out to full extension (See Figures 23 and 24). At this point it should be stressed that behind-the-neck movements are the quickest way to develop overhead competence and confidence for the split jerk. This is because the bar travels in an almost perfectly vertical path to get to the lockout position, which is also behind the head. When the bar is pressed from in front of the head, as in a military press, the complication of pulling the chin back and clearing the head is introduced, and the path of the Figure 24 - Finish bar is in a slight upward-backward arc. For this reason, behind-the- neck movements are almost always the first ones done in a teaching progression for the split jerk.
Figure 25 - Start
Figure 26 - Push
Push Jerk Behind-the-head work is important in teaching the proper, all-important balance point of the bar in its final resting place behind the ears. However, the split jerk is done from the front position, so the push jerk or “power jerk” must now be done so that the athlete is able to practice clearing the head while driving the bar up rapidly. Figure 27 - Catch In order to do the push jerk, the athlete positions the weight across the upper chest and shoulders just as previously described for the military press (See Figure 16). The legs quickly bend into a quarter squat position and then explode upward to full extension (See Figure 6). As this action drives the bar up past the face, the chin is pulled back into the neck and the head moves backward to provide clearance. With the body at full extension and the bar at forehead height, the legs quickly bend under the weight, just as in the Figure 28 - Recover Push Jerk Behind Neck (See Figure 27). The arms/shoulders quickly press in coordination with this rebend of the legs, and the weight is locked out overhead. As the bar is thrust above the head, the head is brought forward and the weight comes to rest in its balance position, just behind the ears. At this point the athlete straightens the legs and
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights comes to a fully erect standing position with both arms locked out overhead, supporting the weight in a “boneon-bone” vertical alignment (See Figure 24).
Overhead Balance If the athlete is having difficulty in learning this “bone-on-bone” arrangement, then the overhead balance exercise may be done as it was for the power snatch. The weight is taken off a rack or cleaned to shoulder height and pressed or push pressed overhead. Once in the overhead, lockout position the athlete is asked to take a couple of steps forward, keeping the bar in a perfectly balanced position behind the ears all the time. Then the athlete is asked to move to the right, to the left, or backward, and this process continues until fatigue begins to set in. Once the muscles begin to tire the athlete learns not to “fight” the weight but to rely on balance to maintain it in a perfect position overhead. On the coach’s command the weight can then be lowered.
Finally, the athlete must learn how to properly split the feet forward and backward to get under the weight, the action that gives the split jerk its name. To do this the athlete begins in a fully upright position, without a weight, and with the hands on the hips. From this position a quick dip of the legs is executed, followed by forceful full extension up onto the toes. At this point, the athlete’s feet separate from the platform, and the right leg moves forward while the left leg moves backward. The feet contact the platform again with the right leg bent at anywhere from 120 to 90 degrees and the right foot flat on the platform and slightly pigeon-toed. The left leg contacts the platform behind with a slight bend in the knee and the ball of the left foot contacting the platform and pointing straightforward. Both feet should remain hip-width apart. From this position the forward right leg is the first to recover and pushes backward. Then the left leg steps forward. At the completion of this action both feet should be back in the starting position, hip-width apart, in line with each other with toes pointing straight ahead to out slightly (no more than 10 degrees). 5.
The Split Jerk Once the overhead work has been mastered and the footwork drill has been done, the athlete is ready to put it all together and do the full split jerk movement. The jerk can be conveniently broken down into several phases: 1. “Get-set” position. The barbell begins in a resting position on the upper chest and shoulders, previously described under “Military Press” (See Figure 16). The body is upright and in a perfect postural alignment. Eyes focus straight
ahead. Elbows are high. Chest is lifted up. Lower back is tight and strong and the feet are hip-width apart. A deep breath is taken. The Dip. From the get-set position the athlete dips quickly into a quarter squat position, knees pushing forward over the feet. The chest must be kept high, the elbows up and the back perfectly vertical. The athlete must avoid leaning forFigure 29 - Dip ward (See Figure 29). Extension. From the dip the athlete drives up violently and explosively onto the balls of both feet, imparting momentum to the weight and thrusting it upward in front of the face. The chin is pulled into the neck and the head moved back to clear the bar (See Figure 26). The Split or Catch. At full extension the feet leave the lifting surface and split evenly, forward and backward, to position the body under the bar. The feet maintain their hip-width distance apart as the right foot lands, flat-footed and pigeon-toed, in front. The ball of the left foot lands an equal distance behind and points forward. The arms/shoulders press forcefully against the bar, driving the body into position under it. The arms lock the weight out overhead in a position slightly behind the ears as the head moves forward under it. Elbows are turned in, under the bar, and the shoulders are shrugged. The barbell, the a/c joint of Figure 30 - Split the shoulders, and the greater trochanter of the hips should all be in perfect vertical alignment. Recovery and Completion. From the split position (See Figures 30 and 31) described above, the athlete comes to a fully erect standing position by pushing off the forward leg first and stepping backward half the distance, then bringing the rear leg forward to meet it. The breath is expelled. This Figure 31 - Catch sequence is very important
Chapter 7 because most lifts are lost forward and bringing the rear leg up first only serves to push the weight farther forward, out of the “behind ears” receiving position, and cause misses to the front. The final position must be “bone-on-bone” with the bar locked out overhead just behind the ears (See Figure 17).
Misses Misses should rarely occur in training. They should certainly never be a part of training with light-to-moderate weights. Only after an athlete has progressed over a period of months to heavy weights should an occasional lift be missed. If misses occur more frequently, this should be taken as a sign that too much weight is being handled, that technique has deteriorated, or that the mental state of the athlete is not in tune with the task at hand. When this is the case, the weight must be reduced, technical flaws must be identified, and the athlete must mentally refocus. Despite the coach’s best efforts, however, misses will occur from time to time, especially when athletes really begin to challenge themselves with increasingly heavier weights. The coach must plan for this and teach athletes how to handle misses early in the training process. In addition, athletes who have been taught how to handle misses go into lifting with a great deal more confidence and are not afraid to put heavy weights overhead. Misses are created by two circumstances: when the weight is too far forward and is lost to the front and when the weight is too far to the rear and is lost behind. In both situations the athlete must be taught not to try to save a bad lift. If it is a poor lift, then it is best to just let it go. Trying to “muscle” a lift up when the body is in poor position will place undue stress on the musculoskeletal system and may trigger an injury. As in a power snatch, when the lift is lost forward, the athlete should simply step backward, out of the path of the barbell, and let it fall back to the lifting surface. One or two hands may be kept on the bar to guide its descent, though it should fall in a straight line. It is important that the coach actually teach athletes this procedure. Thus, a portion of practice must be devoted to dropping the weight after a partial split jerk movement. In order to do this the athlete must lift in a clearly designated area that is clean and free of clutter and other athletes. The best lifting surface is an 8x8-foot platform of 4x4 lumber. Two ½- to 1-inch thick, 18- to 24inch wide and 8-foot long strips of heavy-duty rubber should be laid lengthwise on both ends of the platform. With this arrangement weights can be dropped from any height with no fear of dam-
age to the lifting surface. This is important because athletes will try to save lifts that they fear will damage the lifting area. This concern must be eliminated with a well-designed lifting platform. It is also of great value to acquire rubber bumper plates, because these can be dropped without fear of damage either to the lifting surface or to the weights themselves. With such an arrangement misses to the rear should also be practiced. It is doubly important that athletes not try to save lifts lost behind the head, because of the obvious potentially dislocating force on the shoulders. Instead, when the weight has slipped too far behind the head the athlete should let go of it completely and step forward, letting it fall freely to the rear. Handling misses in the above-described manner is one of the simplest, easiest things to learn in lifting. It gives the athlete tremendous security. It should not be neglected.
Variations There are some useful variations to the split jerk that can be applied to the training program from time to time. These are exercises that the coach should be aware of that may be appropriate for certain periods of time under certain conditions. They are as follows:
Split Jerk Behind Neck This is a tremendous exercise for placing greater emphasis on proper bar alignment in a vertical path behind the ears. It also places greater stress on the rear deltoids (shoulders). For setters, it can be a strong reinforcer of the backset movement and can be used to really increase the ability of an athlete to backset to a greater height or distance. To perform split jerks behind the head, the bar is taken off a power rack or support stand on the shoulders, just as it would be for a back squat. From that position the athlete dips, rams the weight overhead, quickly splits under it, then recovers to the finish position. All the steps and coaching points are the same as for the regular split jerk with the obvious difference being that the weight starts behind the head.
Dumbbell Split Jerk This is a very useful variation that places great demands on neuromuscular coordination and requires greater involvement by the stabilizing muscles. It is a great exercise to use during an unloading phase or during the specific preparation or completion periods of the training year. To perform dumbbell split jerks, two dumbbells are first cleaned to shoulder height. At this position the thumbs may be pointed toward the midline of the body, aligning the dumbbells parallel to the shoulders, or the thumbs may be pointed toward the rear, aligning the
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights dumbbells perpendicular to the shoulders. (The latter position is by far the most common.) From there the dumbbells are jerked overhead using the same mechanics as those present in the split jerk with a barbell.
One-Arm Dumbbell Split Jerk This is a good exercise to use when unilateral strength is desired and when independent coordination of one limb is an objective. A one-arm clean is performed first and the weight is positioned on the center of the shoulder with the thumb pointing toward the back. From this position the athlete dips both legs simultaneously and explodes upward to full extension on the toes, driving the dumbbell upward off the shoulder. As the momentum from this force continues to lift the dumbbell upward, the arm executes a strong pressing action, and the legs split to the front and rear to allow the body to drop under the weight. Recovery is then made by having the forward leg step backward half the distance, then the rear leg steps up to meet it. One-arm dumbbell jerks are very demanding. The athlete can handle the greatest weights of any overhead dumbbell movement, but a good deal of practice is necessary to acquire a consistent, balanced execution.
Troubleshooting Once the split jerk has been learned to the coach’s satisfaction the coach must continue to be on the lookout for flaws that may creep into the athlete’s performance of the lift over a period of training, particularly at the initial stage. Some of the most common errors and their corrections are listed below.
Incorrect Get-Set Position The most common mistake that athletes make here is to slump a little and drop the elbows, caving the chest in and rounding the back. This allows the weight to drop lower and gives the athlete more work to do. The athlete must be reminded to lift up both the chest and the elbows. Shoulder blades should be pinched together, and the lower back made tight and firm. The spinal column should become a rigid, single unit. It may be necessary to work on wrist flexibility, and in this case the athlete may grasp the bar in the “get-set” position while a partner lifts up on the elbows. This should be done before lifting as well as between each set.
Bottoming Out Frequently, particularly with heavy weights, the athlete will descend into the dip so quickly that too much downward momentum is created to be overcome easily. When this happens it is very difficult to overcome inertia and the athlete sinks too low in the dip and labors into upward extension. This also causes the athlete to
lean forward. To correct this the coach should emphasize a slower descent into the quarter squat position with focus on upward acceleration. It is also important to stress keeping the back vertical and the eyes focused on a point straight ahead. Bending over at the waist does two things: (1) it takes the bar out of a vertical alignment, and (2) it drops the bar too low, giving the athlete more work to do in thrusting it overhead.
Leaning Back Once leg extension has begun it is common for athletes to lean too far back as the bar clears the face, the feet split, and the press to lockout begins. Repeated push presses may be done to alleviate this, where the coach emphasizes tucking the chin back into the neck. It is the head that needs to move, not the entire torso. Behind-the-neck jerks may also be done, because it is easy to keep the torso fully erect with this exercise. The athlete is then asked to maintain the same vertical torso alignment with regular split jerks.
Pulling the Head Back When the head is pulled too far back, the lift will likely be lost to the front. Backward lean of the torso often accompanies this flaw and exaggerates the net result. The coach must emphasize keeping the bar close to the face during the pressing action and particularly stress moving the head forward, under the bar, as the weight nears lockout. Again, push presses to the front may be done with moderate weights to concentrate on this action of the head.
Losing the Weight Out Front This is most often caused by the following two things: (1) pushing the weight too far in front of the face and (2) taking too small of a forward step during the split. The first problem can be ameliorated by doing push presses or push jerks. The second problem can be handled by having the athlete emphasize taking a big step forward to get under the bar. The athlete can be asked to “stomp” on the platform with the forward leg, and usually this is all the encouragement needed to elicit a bigger forward movement under the bar.
Losing the Weight Behind “Looping” the bar out in front to clear the head often results in the equal and opposite reaction of pulling the weight too far behind the head to compensate. During the actual lift the athlete can step back quickly with the forward leg in an effort to get centered under the bar. Another step or two may be required to achieve balance. If this fails, the athlete must drop the weight. To correct this awkward situation, the athlete should practice push jerks in front of the head to correct the looping motion, with
Chapter 7 emphasis on keeping the bar close to the face during the pressing action. Push jerks behind the head should also be used to emphasize a more vertical bar path to the lockout position.
Improper Catch Another problem that can arise is that an athlete may experience difficulty in positioning the bar overhead during lockout, failing to reach the favored “bone-on-bone” balance point. The two best ways to alleviate this problem are by use of the jerk behind neck and the overhead balance exercise.
Incorrect Footwork The most common footwork errors fall into three categories. The first is too narrow a base when the athlete goes into the split. This creates instability and frequently causes the athlete to stagger from side to side somewhat. The second is too small a split. This makes it difficult for the athlete to get under the weight, as the center of gravity is too high. The third is stress placed on the medial aspect of the knee. Toeing out of the rear foot is undesirable for the same reason and also because the foot will have a tendency to slide in that direction, causing instability. All of these problems can be corrected through use of the footwork drill previously described. In addition, chalk can be used to draw an outline of the feet in their starting position and in their final, split position. When practicing the footwork exercise, both coach and athlete will then have a ready reference to check the correct positioning of the feet.
Using the Jerk in Training The split jerk is a tremendous developer of shoulder and arm strength and overall body stability. So are all the jerk variations previously described in this text. Predominately, however, this is the premiere exercise to use for the development of power in the shoulder girdle because of the explosive nature of the lift and the speed of execution that is required. Early in the preparation year it is appropriate to use a training cycle that progressively increases the weight until fairly substantial poundages are handled for five or six sets of five reps or less. At the completion of each repetition the weight should be held overhead in the lockout position for 1 to 3 seconds. This provides a tremendous stimulus to the joint capsule and promotes strengthening of the tendons and ligaments, increasing joint stability. This type of work should be done one to two times a week, it is important in laying the foundation for much more repetitious work to be done later. During the specific preparation period and the competition period, the focus shifts to the use of lighter weights, lifted very quickly, where there is a higher com-
ponent placed on speed of movement than on strength. With such lightweights, split jerks in front of the head can serve to simulate front sets, and split jerks behind the neck can serve to simulate backsets. Three to four sets of eight to ten repetitions with the lighter weight would be appropriate. Where greater strength is seen as a need, one day a week could be devoted to heavy jerks and a second day to lighter speed jerks. A 1:3 work/rest ratio should prevail, and split jerks, like any explosive exercise, should be done toward the beginning of a workout. The split jerk can be used in complexes with other exercises. A simple complex is power cleanfront squat-split jerk. Any number of similar or variable repetitions could be used for each movement in this complex. Split jerks may also be done in conjunction with medicine ball throws, either preceding or following them. They may also be effectively done with plyometrics. Hopping, jumping or bounding may also precede or follow jerks, and the same can be said for depth jumps or other box drills and use of rubber cables or other apparatus.
Safety Considerations It is absolutely essential that the athlete follow certain commonsense weight room protocols when employing the split jerk. First, athletes should never be left alone. Second, athletes should always lift with a qualified supervisor present—a certified strength coach (certified by the U.S. Weightlifting Federation or by the National Strength and Conditioning Association). Third, with this supervision present, athletes should be handling weights that are well within their capacity, and they should be doing so with strict adherence to the best technical execution including knowledge of how to drop misses. Fourth, athletes must lift in a safe area that includes: • A lifting platform or other designated area for doing the split jerk and related Olympic style lifts. • A clutter-free surface. Loose weights must be cleared out of the area and plates placed on plate holders. • The correct equipment. This includes a good, well-maintained, well-knurled, straight bar with oiled inside collars that allow for freely revolving sleeves and outside collars to secure the plates to the bar. Outside collars must be used. Finally, athletes must be dressed appropriately with shorts, T-shirt or sweat clothes, and lifting shoes or cross-trainers. A lifting belt and chalk should be available, and the belt should be used on heavy attempts.
Conclusion By following these guidelines, the coach can be assured that athletes can utilize the split jerk safely and effectively in their training. This tremendous exercise can become a great developer of shoulder girdle strength and explosiveness and can be adapted to meet the specific needs of the athlete for optimal transfer from the weight room to the volleyball court.
Performing Ground Based Explosive Lifts for Power Development Using Free Weights Volleyball Performance Tip Why the power snatch and not the power clean? Many strength programs emphasize the power clean as one of the basic lifts performed for volleyball as well as a variety of sports. Here are some important considerations as to why you may choose the snatch instead. • The power snatch ends with the arms extended, similar to the position of a volleyball block. • As less weight is used (compared to the power clean) and the bar must travel further you can create greater acceleration and verticality, two key components in jumping. • You are not required to rack or catch the bar. Such activity stresses the shoulders and elbows in a non volleyball specific position.
Volleyball Performance Tip Acceleration is more important than weight or speed when doing the snatch exercise. Acceleration is the rate of change in speed. If the weight is moved at the same speed throughout the movement, the full benefit of the exercise will not be realized. The goal is to improve the speed so that at the top the bar is literally moving itself, benefiting from momentum. This principle should be transferred to volleyball jumping to achieve maximum jumping height.
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Hosting Local Volleyball Conditioning Clinics/Courses
Hosting Local Volleyball Conditioning Clinics/Courses
olleyball Conditioning Specialists are encouraged to host local clinics and courses at 24-hour fitness centers. A clinic is a one time event lasting several hours, which presents an overview of the programs presented in this manual. This could involve one or more volleyball teams. A course is a six-to eight-week program with a volleyball team going through the program presented in this manual. In doing local clinics or courses we encourage the VCS to sit down with coaches and discuss what is going to take place prior to the event. After this orientation, the coaches can assist the VCS in conducting the clinic or course. This way the coaches aren’t put in the position of being taught with their athletes—such a separation is important.
Objective Tasks and Competencies 1. 2. 3. 4.
Who is it for? Identify your audience How do I let them know? How do I set it up on site? When is the best time to do this?
VCS Candidates VCS candidates are as follows: • Employees of 24-hour fitness facilities. • Club-based coaches from USA Volleyball. • Scholastic-based coaches from American Volleyball Coaches Association • Personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches interested in expanding their knowledge in volleyball.
Promotion Local • 24-hour fitness in house. • Mail or contact local coaches.
National • USAV and AVCA web sites and publications can promote your interest in hosting a local clinic or course.
Set up • Obtain the equipment discussed in chapters 3, 4 and 5. • Secure a training facility such as a 24-hour fitness location. • Set up a time when the facility and your intended audience are available.
USA CAP—COACHING TEAMS...ONE ATHLETE AT A TIME WHAT IS THE USA VOLLEYBALL COACHING ACCREDITATION PROGRAM (CAP)? USA Volleyball’s Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP) is your resource for cutting-edge information in the areas of skill development, tactical systems, conditioning, motor learning, mental training and much more. The USA CAP mission is to enhance the quality of instruction, training and professional status of coaching at all levels of volleyball. Values upon which the USA CAP program is based include integrity, education, commitment and enthusiasm. USA CAP offers several courses taught by diverse, experienced Cadre in IMPACT, Level I, Level II, Level III and the Volleyball Conditioning Specialist (VCS) throughout the year across the country. For a complete listing of scheduled courses, visit www.usavolleyball.org, click on the Education button & then on the CAP Schedule link.
Coaching Accreditation Program
Your organization can host a CAP course in your area... • • •
Be a leading contributor in advancing the knowledge, experience and confidence of your area coaches! Hosting a USA CAP course presents an opportunity to provide effective teaching to local coaches. Provide your coaches with the benefit of easy access to USA CAP courses. Offering USA CAP courses strengthens the training and competitive experience provided to area athletes. Cut the travel costs for area coaches to attend USA CAP courses. The USA CAP courses bring a worthwhile investment to your entire volleyball community! Contact USA Volleyball at CAP@usav.org if interested in hosting a CAP educational opportunity in your area!
“Your Success is Our Goal” - USA Volleyball CAP Cadre and Staff
This booklet is intended to provide general information and is not intended to provide individual conditioning or medical advice. Each individual should consult with his or her physician or trainer to determine if these methods are appropriate. ÂŠ2005 Performance Conditioning, Inc.