When it comes to professional volleyball, there is no such thing as an off-season. Year round conditioning should be a way of life for any competitive athlete and a time to improve skills and build strength and speed.
The “Transition Period” is the time right after the volleyball season finishes. Most athletes try to take anything from a few weeks to a few months off before starting to prepare for the next season. Taking time off doesn’t necessarily mean athletes shouldn’t do anything.
1. Switch It Up
Want a break from volleyball for a little while? That’s fine! Perhaps try a different sport that you haven’t had a chance to explore. Volleyball athletes could be playing other ball related games, hiking, bicycling or combat sports. Other ball games are especially great for volleyball players as they help to further develop hand-eye coordination and usually require fast changes in direction and footwork similar to volleyball. Do your best to protect your joints and to give your body a chance to recover from any injuries during this time.
2. Cardio Boosts
Long distance running, swimming and biking are not as important for a volleyball player. Volleyball requires a certain kind of cardio that comes in small spurts of intense energy. In volleyball, heart rate is not constantly elevated. Five to ten second bursts of energy are needed, but then followed by short breaks, timeouts and breaks in between the games. Sprints, plyos and circuit training are the best cardio exercises for volleyball endurance.
3. Volleyball Core Strength
As we all know, your core is your powerhouse for the majority of sports. Instead of focusing on sit ups and crunches, as those can cause posture issues and incorrect movement patterns, try stability exercises. Developing your internal core stabilizing muscles, with exercises such as planks and bridges, allows you to transfer force properly through the body and aids in the development of movement mechanics that protect your joints.
4. Mental Health
Peak performance is the function of a still mind. Volleyball is a game of concentration, visualization and strategy. Mental imagery is proven to improve the game of all athletes. It can be used to practice new skills, refine existing skills and prepare for very specific points. Studies have shown it can be helpful in a variety of ways such as reducing warm-up decrement, lowering anxiety, and increasing self-confidence. Learning how to calm, focus and ready the mind can also be done through the practice of yoga and meditation.