How to Warm Up For Volleyball

What is the purpose of a warm-up? The answer is, “To prepare for competition or training.” It’s pretty simple, but sometimes that gets forgotten. With this idea in mind we can rephrase the concept of the title of this article to something like “How to Get Ready to Play Volleyball”. It doesn’t roll off the tongue as smoothly, but it makes the point.

So, having recast our subject, let me ask another question. Does jog-and-stretch get you ready for playing volleyball?

If you don’t know the answer to that, it’s a resounding “NO!” There are two reasons for this.

First, jogging plays absolutely no part in volleyball, so running a few laps around the court isn’t going to get you ready to play in any meaningful fashion. Sure, if you do it enough your legs will get warm, but not in a way that supports the type of explosive action you’ll be performing when the whistle blows. Let’s not even get into the fact that it does nothing for key parts of the body like the shoulders and core.

“But that’s where the stretching part comes in”, you may be thinking.

Hate to burst your bubble, but the second issue with jog-and-stretch is static stretching of the sort we most often see serves little purpose before competition or training. Research has found no evidence that it helps prevent injury. In fact, there are some suggestions it could actually reduce performance temporarily by forcing muscles to relax. Static stretching is good for developing flexibility once your muscles are already well warmed-up, but that’s about it.

So what’s the alternative?

Dynamic warm-ups have become common practice at nearly all levels of play in recent years. A quick search on Google or YouTube will lead you to plenty of examples of these types of routines. They are favored because they put muscles and joints through active range-of-motion movements, increasing blood flow in a way which is closer to the way the body will be used in competition.

Or you could just do volleyball stuff.

If you really want to get ready to play volleyball, do what’s involved in playing volleyball. There is a reason why pepper is so commonly part of pre-match and pre-training routines. It includes most of the skills one is getting ready to use, and if done properly, can do a great job of warming up the muscles and joints.

This is not me suggesting the only thing a player should do to warm-up is pass-set-hit with a partner, though. I’m just making the point that preparing to play may be best done by performing volleyball skills and movements in a lower intensity fashion. That way, not only does your body getted warmed-up, so does your brain, which is at least equally important.

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How Do You Pass in Volleyball?

Volleyball is a very unique sport in many ways and as a result the skills needed to play well can take a bit of practice. There are really three main things that you do in Volleyball. One is passing the ball (which is usually the first hit), then the second is setting (which is usually the second hit) and the last is spiking (the third hit). Of course, blocking and diving, along with various other techniques are used too. Learning to pass in Volleyball can be one of the hardest things to do, because once you start playing very competitive Volleyball the balls come very quickly. Being able to move into position and then prepare yourself for the ball to hit your forearms before the ball gets too low is difficult, and takes a lot of practice.

Learning to Pass in Volleyball is best done through a variety of Passing Drills. Of course, you need to vary these with other drills otherwise it becomes too boring. Being able to pass well means that your team will have good defense, which is a massive part of Volleyball. Of course, being able to set and spike well is just as important, but in general if you don’t ever let a ball hit the ground on your side of the net then you will be at a higher level than your opponents.

Passing in Volleyball is done by putting your two hands together, to form a ‘V’. You keep your forearms straight at the elbow, and bend your knees when the ball is about to make contact. Most people put their palms together flat, and then fold them together, so that it is a flat surface. It is best practice to pass facing the direction you want the ball to go; if you don’t then you are more likely to shank the ball. Like anything, once you know what to do it is just a matter of lots and lots of practice!

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