Category Archives: Training/Conditioning
I’ve pretty much shouted loud and clear the research and MODERN thought processes on stretching, but I still cringe every time I go to a national qualifier and see circles of girls get in a large circle and start to do stretching.
DO YOU WANT TO LOSE? DO YOU WANT TO GET INJURED?
Watch this video and then lets keep talking! (I don’t know Dr. Polka, but he is right on track!)
Did you see the quadriceps? Did you see how weak they got? Do you think you can jump in volleyball with weak quadriceps muscles? and yet we pull our legs behind us up to our tail and say that we feel loose after we finish stretching….right?
So now I ask the same questions? Do you want to get hurt? Do you want to LOSE matches?
Not all coaches know the same information. Does that mean they are bad volleyball coaches? Not at all. Does it mean that they might be bad volleyball performance enhancement and conditioning coaches? Most likely.
Your club and/or school should have a warm-up and training routine provided by a knowledgeable professional. What does this mean to Coach Anderson? Your program must be designed my someone holding a Master’s degree or higher in the field. If you find a trainer with a CSCS from the NSCA to write your volleyball program, you are ahead of the rest. As many people of say in Master’s programs, “What I learned from my masters degree is that everything I learned in my undergraduate degree was wrong.”
See you on the court!
In a recent article from VolleyballMag.com, Brian O’Keefe wrote an article on his decreasing or at least decrease vertical jump and his desire to stay competitive on the floor. He goes on to discuss his achilles tendonitis and its possible effect on his vertical jump.
To start, one thing to note is that he mentions age. Starting at about age 30 our muscles begin to make a phsyiological adaptation to conserve energy and begin to convert unused muscle into fat. Two bad things happen here; the first is that you are losing muscle. The second is that your strength to weight ratio is decreasing. My favorite line I hear from athletes as they get older is “I haven’t gained any weight since high school.” You may not have gained pounds on the scale, but a comparison of your high school body will tell us many things.
To continue, the muscle you lose to fat is not necessarily the most important change. The other thing changing is that some of your muscle fibers are actually converting into slower muscles. This usually occurs because you aren’t using your “fast” muscles as much as you were previously. (The physiology behind this is way more complicated than I have explained here.) By losing your “fast” muscles, you lose the ability to create large powerful movements using those muscles.
Basically to solve these two problems, the answer is to train. You can gain those muscle fibers back and you can decrease your body fat, but both will be necessary to get back to your starting point.
I’ll continue in my next post…..
See you on the court!
One of the most unpracticed techniques in non-elite level athletes is that of mental training. Mental training has many many benefits and has been shown to improve performance throughout many case studies. Psychology is a complicated topic, as it is hard to truly see into anothers mind, so the key to mental training in my opinion is maximizing your own ability to train mentally. Coaches may not be able to monitor this facet of training as readily as they would like, but often times you can see an athlete mentally prepare as they wait on the sidelines or prepare for a match or practice.
WATCH YOURSELF GET BETTER!
First off, if you haven’t had someone video tape a hit, dig, pass or entire match, maybe start there. Then watch yourself. See if you can feel in your body, the movements that you make on the tape. Its the year 2011, every 10 year old has a video iPod or video phone, so get a friend and do this ASAP!
Now that you have watched yourself, the rest is simple. Simply close your eyes and imagine yourself performing the skill you just watched. Research shows that THINKING through the process of performing a skill actually sends the very same signals from your brain to your muscles as does actually performing the skill. Watch yourself mentally perform the skill correctly, with perfect technique! (whatever your coach would suggest that is)
So what does this mean? It means you can get more reps in!
One of the most difficult parts of volleyball is obtaining court time. Use this technique anytime you aren’t playing to get added reps. Coaches can spend time teaching their athletes how to mentally train to get results outside of the gym.
See you on the court!
For weekend athletes, volleyball may carry the biggest risk of the tendon injury known as “jumper’s knee,” a new study suggests.
Medically known as patellar tendinopathy, jumper’s knee is an overuse injury of the tendon that runs from the kneecap to the shinbone. It typically causes pain below the kneecap, especially when a person is running, jumping or climbing stairs. After it progresses, the pain may become more constant.
The nickname comes from the fact that the problem is common in jumping sports. Studies of professional athletes have found that volleyball, basketball, track and field, and soccer have some of the highest rates — as high as 45 percent in volleyball.
The new study, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, gives the first estimates of how common jumper’s knee is among amateur athletes.
Dutch researchers found that of nearly 900 adults who played any of seven recreational sports, volleyball enthusiasts had the highest rate of jumper’s knee. Just over 14 percent either reported symptoms of the injury or said they’d been diagnosed with it.
Next came European handball, with 13 percent of players reporting jumper’s knee, followed by basketball (12 percent), track and field (7 percent), field hockey (5 percent), korfball (5 percent) and soccer (2.5 percent). Korfball is a Dutch sport similar to basketball.
“Jumper’s knee is not uncommon in amateur sports,” lead researcher Dr. Johannes Zwerver, a sports medicine specialist at the University Medical Center Groningen, told Reuters Health in an email.
The relatively high rate in volleyball, Zwerver said, might be related to the combination of repeated jumping, how players land, and the hard playing surface.
There’s anecdotal evidence, he noted, that volleyball players who prefer the beach have a lower rate of jumper’s knee.
Zwerver recommended that people with symptoms of the knee injury see a doctor or physical therapist sooner rather than later.
Jumper’s knee can be difficult to treat, particularly once it becomes chronic — at which point there may be a significant amount of degeneration in the tendon.
Treatment usually involves rest, exercise therapy and, for short-term pain relief, anti-inflammatory painkillers and corticosteroid injections. In some cases of long-term jumper’s knee, a doctor might recommend surgery.
As for prevention, Zwerver said there are no “evidence-based” tactics that studies have established as effective.
But, he added, learning good jumping and landing techniques, along with conditioning exercises to keep the lower-body muscles strong and flexible, may help.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/rd4zZH American Journal of Sports Medicine, online July 7, 2011.
On a side note I would like to say that HYPER has had tremendous success with jumper’s knee. Our training method is used by elite volleyball players internationally. Contact HYPER if you need help with jumper’s knee.
This article is my first of many posts dedicated to Volleyball Specific Training. The first thing girls and guys do when they go to college is hit the gym. Whether your coach chooses kettle bells, bosu balls or Olympic lifts for explosive volleyball movements, it is one of the biggest changes from high school volleyball to college volleyball.
Because of “tradition” nearly every collegiate coach thinks that if they make their athletes stronger they will be able to perform at their best. As I take a look at Olympic athletes from many countries in the sport of volleyball, it doesn’t seem that they are extraordinarily muscular. So what is it that makes them so good?
Volleyball nutrition is a key element that I will not address right now. I just want to make a note, that there are very very few elite volleyball players with extra weight around their mid-section. They watch what they eat! Eat to train, train to win!
So how should we condition for volleyball? Let’s first ask, what are you trying to accomplish by conditioning? As both a volleyball coach and player I am 99% sure our primary focus is some combination of being a better volleyball player individually and to win more games as a team.
Our goal isn’t really to jump higher, hit harder, or become stronger. Our deep down most basic desire is to be better and win more games. What everyone is really trying to do is actually create better players. It’s just another way college volleyball coaches and high school volleyball coaches try and make their teams better.
Below is a quote from www.teachpe.com:
This usually occurs when the two skills in question are similar in some way. Having already mastered one of the skills, makes learning the second skill easier. Coaches can aid this positive transfer by making sure the individual understands the similarities between the two skills and by making sure that the basics of the first skill are well learnt so that they transfer more easily into the second skill.
This occurs when having learnt one skill, makes learning the second skill more difficult. This more often happens when a stimulus common to both skills requires a different response. For example, a squash player who takes up tennis may find it difficult to learn to not use their wrist during shots. Negative transfer can be avoided by making sure the athlete is aware of the differences and making practice sessions similar to match situations to ensure a larger, generalized motor programmed.
Positive skill transfer is what many coaches always believe is happening. The research is not definitive on if positive or negative transfer is more common, but we do know that negative transfer does occur.
As a coach the last thing I want my volleyball conditioning program to do is to create a negative impact on my game performance. So while your performance and conditioning coach still tells you that “power cleans” are most similar to your vertical jump, he may not realize that if you train to power clean, your jumps will become more like a power clean (positive transfer) and limit your ability to jump forward for a back row attack. (negative transfer) My goal as a coach is not to develop skills to improve lifting performance, but rather develop skills to increase volleyball performance. (I do realize this is a flawed example, but the concept is evident)
Now you are saying, “Okay Coach, we get the point!” So what should we be doing? If you feel you absolutely have to hit the weight room, I suggest the least similar movements to volleyball. Avoid doing squats and power cleans.
I haven’t come up with a catch name yet, but I will be coming out with a training program designed specifically for volleyball. The program will consider all the things mentioned above plus many more reasons why you have to stop doing the traditional exercises and even some of the trendy ones too. It will all be explained in detail with videos.
For now, let me give you an example of a great exercise for volleyball. The forward lunge is an excellent exercise for volleyball. It is one of the most strenuous exercises on the entire leg musculature and it is a very rare movement in volleyball. Rarely do I put my right or left leg more than 1 foot in front of the other. There are specifics of how and when to do them, which I will include in my training program release.
Stop thinking in the box! If you want to be better in games, you have to be better in training and in practice.
See you on the court!