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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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Off-Ice Hockey Training Part 1 – Developing an Effective Off-Ice Dynamic Warm-Up

Hockey is the greatest sport on earth. Finally recognizing this, the number of youth hockey programs in the U.S. continues to grow rapidly. Characterized by rapid high-intensity movements, high velocities, and full-speed collisions, it’s not hard to see why off-ice training would be advantageous. With injuries such as “groin” pulls, hip flexor strains, sports hernias, and shoulder separations plaguing the sport, it’s not hard to see why off-ice training is a NECESSITY.

Whether or not to train for hockey is not a question. It’s a no brainer. Hockey players that train excel and dominate. Players that don’t fall behind and are at an increased risk of injury. Almost all coaches and players recognize that much. The question I receive the most is, “Where do I start?” That’s the right question to ask and the question I’d like to address. In this article series, I’m going to walk you step-by-step through the process of creating an effective off-ice training program.

Where to Start

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Without a doubt, the best place to start is by adding a dynamic warm-up before every training session (off-ice AND on-ice sessions) and game. Trash the old jog around the rink and stretch as a team routine. Despite popular belief, stretching before high intensity activity doesn’t decrease injury risk. In fact, research suggests that it actually INCREASES the risk of injury! Believe it or not, stretching before high-intensity activity also leads to decreases in speed, agility, balance, and muscular strength and power. The jog and stretch may warm-up the body a bit, but it does nothing to increase functional range of motion around the joints you use during training or playing hockey. It simply isn’t effective in preparing the body for what is to come. The solution: dynamic warm-ups.

Things to Consider

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A dynamic warm-up is a series of exercises designed to increase body temperature, blood flow, joint range of motion, and neural drive to the working muscles. Sound better than decreased performance and an increased risk of injury? When putting together a dynamic warm-up, you’ll want to consider these things:

1) Skating takes the knees and hips through a full range of motion in all directions (flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, internal and external rotation).

2) Stickhandling and shooting take the shoulders through a full range of motion

3) Hockey involves both linear, lateral, and diagonal movements

4) Hockey is a high-intensity, high-velocity sport

5) The hip musculature and scapular stabilizers (muscles around the shoulder) are important problem areas to address to decrease injury risk

6) Core training should be performed during the warm-up, ensuring that athletes put maximum effort into it and that the appropriate muscles are activated for the training to follow.

7) The dynamic warm-up should last around 10 minutes

Taking these 7 things into consideration, let’s take a look at a basic program I’ve used with high school and college players in the past.

Every one of these exercises should be performed for about 15 yards.

1) Walking Knee Hug with High-Knee Hold

2) Walking Lunge with Overhead Reach

3) Inchworm

4) Walking Inverted Reach

5) Diagonal Walking Lunge

6) Butt Kickers

7) High Knees

8) Side Shuffle RIght

9) Side Shuffle Left

10) Carioca Right (Quick feet emphasis)

11) Carioca Left (Quick feet emphasis)

12) Carioca Right (Long stride emphasis)

13) Carioca Left (Long stride emphasis)

14) Straight-Legged March

15) 50% Sprint from Push-Up Start

16) Back Pedal

17) 75% Sprint from Push-Up Start

18) Back Pedal

Let’s take a look at how this warm-up addresses all the things I mentioned earlier.

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1 & 2) The knees, hips, and shoulders are taken through a full range of motion throughout this warm-up (notably in the lunging, cariocas, and inchworm).

3) Forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonal movements are all incorporated.

4) The warm-up involves higher intensity movements and increases in speed.

5) The psoas, a hip flexor commonly problematic in hockey players, is isolated and activated during the walking knee hug with high knee hold as you’ll hold the knee against your chest, then let it go, holding it using your hip flexors as high as possible for a second before moving into the next step. The other muscles around the hip are activated through the side shuffling and cariocas. Lastly, the scapular stabilizers and other muscles around the shoulder are activated during the inchworm.

6) When performed correctly, inchworms should effectively warm-up the abdominal musculature, and the walking inverted reach should activate the glutes. While this is far from sufficient core work, it’s a good starting point.

7) Lastly, this program can easily be performed within 10 minutes.

Wrapping Up

There are an infinite number of dynamic warm-up exercises you can perform. While I prefer moving warm-ups, it’s entirely possible (and sometimes better in the beginning) to sufficiently warm-up an entire team using stationary (not progressing over a distance) movements. Performing a dynamic warm-up before practices and games will save you valuable ice time as you won’t have to spend as much time on the ice warming up. Follow the guidelines in this article to design your own warm-ups and/or use the sample warm-up I’ve provided before every training session, practice, and game and you’ll be making the first step towards improved performance

Stay tuned for part two of this series, where I’ll go into why most of the core training incorporated into off-ice training programs does nothing to improve performance, and show you the most effective functional core training for hockey players.

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Ice Hockey Training – How to Be the Best

How does a hockey player nowadays make the NHL (National Hockey League)? This is a very important question as hockey players are entering the NHL at such a young age in this 21st century. In other words, how does a hockey player rise above the rest? The answer is actually quite simple.

The better hockey player:

  • Learns faster
  • Trains smarter
  • Improves tremendously each year
  • Trains to improve as quick as he can
  • Is more competitive and wants to win more than anyone else
  • Loves the game and is willing to do what it takes to be great
  • Studies the best players in the world
  • Is exposed to proper training equipment
  • Is passionate about the game and continually wants to learn more

These are only some of the attributes of a great player. We can put these attributes into categories. One category could be the uncontrollable qualities. Being passionate, and loving the game are uncontrollable. Too bad that if you are not born with these feelings than you are not going to the NHL. However, if you are born with them, there are many things you can do to feed your “fire” and improve at a faster rate than the rest.

One thing you can do is work on the mental game. A great way to do this is to watch what the pros do. When I say watch, I mean study and analyze, rewind and watch in slow motion. Do what the pros do and have what the pros have.

Another way to improve faster than the rest is to use old and new training tools to tune up your skills. One of the best hockey training tools out there right now is the Tape-2-Tape. Tape-2-Tape allows you to work on your passing, stickhandling, and one-timers without needing a partner.

The Hockey Training Programs

From Visually.

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Volleyball Warm-Ups

Warming your body up is essential in any sport, regardless of whether you are training, or whether you are playing a full on game. When it comes to Volleyball, warming-up is important because of the number of muscles that are used, and the extent that they are used. You need to warm-up your legs, feet, stomach muscles and most importantly the arms and fingers. Warming your body up in Volleyball should be done slowly, and stretching needs to occur at the same time. If you don’t stretch before playing Volleyball you will end up with sore muscles afterwards. It’s vital to stretch after playing Volleyball too, as this removes the lactic acid that builds up.

Warm-ups for training can be done at any pace, in many different ways. Often just playing a simple game is a great way to get people motivated and into gear. However, warm-ups on a court can have a huge effect on your opponents. You want to look intimidating, as this will help to give your team the edge. I don’t mean that you have to be rude when it comes to spiking and hit balls at them, but you want a routine that looks professional and that works well. With this, they will see that you know what you are doing and will be intimidated.

Doing the skills that you would normally in a Volleyball for your Warm-ups are vital. Plenty of setting, passing and spiking is very well worth it, which is usually where pepper comes in. Warming your body up on a Volleyball Court is usually very standard, with spiking being done 5 minutes in, and then with serving being done too.

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