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Coaching Volleyball: Top 5 Ways Females Can Improve Their Volleyball Skills
I am frequently asked by female players what are some of the best ways to improve their volleyball skills. I decided to write this article to discuss five of the more popular things I suggest most frequently. Remember these may not work for everybody but it may give you some ideas as to what will work for you.
1. Play with the fellas.
I have to say this may be a very personal suggestion because it has always worked for me. Since I was young whenever I had the chance...I would always compete with the fellas. During high school recess there would be volleyball pick up games and I'd be the only girl but I played as much as I could.
I find that my mental toughness increased when I played with guys because they would say anything and everything during a competition. Either you learn to take it or you learn to give it right back. The beauty of this is guys almost never bring what is said ON the court OFF the court.
My physical toughness improved because guys hit hard and they move quickly and if I was going to compete with them then I'd have to learn how to dig their hard hits, set high and accurately, place my shots and just play smarter volleyball so I would add value to my team. (And so I'd be picked to play in the next game.)
I didnt' play to look cute or waste their time I played to improve my game since I knew my goal was to make the National team and play professionally in Italy so I kept finding opportunities to play with people who were bigger, better and faster than I was. In college I played with the UT Men's club team in the offseason and I'd practice on the men's courts-where they'd let me play- against guys on the beach in fours and doubles games in California.
2. Practice By Yourself.
To play better volleyball don't underestimate the importance of wall drills. I can't believe my garage door where I lived during my high school years is still standing. After my homework and many times before I would do thousand s of reps of setting and passing to the wall to improve my accuracy, to improve my ball handling, to improve my finger strength, to get use to and overcome the pain created by the ball contacting my forearms when passing.
3. Seek out a mentor.
Not everybody knows what they are talking about even though they may call themselves a coach. And not everybody lives in areas of the country where volleyball is the most popular or most practiced sport.
It's exactly for this reason a virtual volleyball mentoring community like volleyball voices was created. Luckily the Internet gives players a chance to find experts who can explain from experience, their expertise on how to perform certain fundamentals, what drills to practice to improve your individual and team skills, how to better your playing performance as well as volleyball forums and groups to join to talk about common problems and issues.
4. Play Sand Volleyball.
Not everybody can do this but those who can need to take advantage of the opportunity. The sand provides a soft, uneven pliable surface which contributes to indoor players increasing their jump and increasing their speed when they transition from practicing outdoors to playing indoors.
One of my two high school coaches was Chris Rundle wife of beach legend Larry Rundle who would often have our indoor varsity volleyball team practice and do conditioning drills on the beach since our school was so close to it. At first I would just die from exhaustion because the sand seemed to hold me back from doing any of the skills I was used to doing well. But it doesn't take long to get used to it. That was the first time I learned the benefit of practicing in the sand because when I started running and jumping indoors then I was alot faster and jumped alot higher since the gym floor didn't provide the resistance that the sand did.
5. Do Bodyweight Workouts.
For players who don't have access to gyms, gym memberships, free weights, or personal trainers bodyweight training is one of the best most efficient ways to make yourself stronger, lose fat and gain muscle in order to play better volleyball. Body weight workouts are exercises where you have to use the weight of your body as resistance.
So you'd use exercises that train multiple muscle groups at the same time - thus burning more energy, and fat, and with each repetition gaining more muscle. Exercises that are done include squats, lunges, presses, and rows. For more information on turbulence training or body weight training refer to volleyball voices.
Remember the ball is in Your hands.
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