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Volleyball Explosiveness

I hope someone can help me!

My wife and I coach a HS girls volleyball team and we are struggling. We have good skills and knowledge of the game but every time we play, we seem to come up short physically. We aren’t quick to react and we aren’t very explosive in our attacking or general movement.

We are new at the school and the program has never had a weight program. We are midseason right now so we don’t just want to jump into something but we want to start an offseason program.

I have some knowledge if lifting but not enough to build a program for a game I have never played.

Any former or current volleyball players out there? Even if your not, could anyone offer some help for developing great explosiveness for athletic performance?

Thanks!

I play rugby not volleyball but the basics should be the same. If they get stronger at squats/deadlifts/power cleans they’ll get more explosive. Box jumps or broad jumps are also good - low reps, long rest periods, done before strength work to avoid being fatigued whilst doing them. I think for training athletes two guys who generally give good advice are Dan John and Jim Wendler. There is an article on here by Wendler that could help;

The beauty of volleyball vs say basketball is there isn’t a lot of lateral movement in terms of jumping. For VB often times the player has to plant both feet and jump vertically. But you also don’t want to bog down your athletes with too much muscle (i’ve never seen a bodybuilding volleyballer) but lean and sexy yes. (Giddyup Misty May)

You want to incorporate squats into their program, but to keep the explosiveness follow it with a jump squat or box jumps (in moderation). CT had a good article about this awhile back. Odds are good that the exercises you narrow it down to will be the Clean and Jerk, Clean and Press (moderation), Hang Squats, Deadlifts, Sprints, OHS. They are technical lifts but require power to get moving. Especially through the hips - good for jumping.

Whatever you do decide to go with make sure you differentiate between a power/explosive program and a bodybuilding program. They are not necessarily synonymous with each other. And hypertrophy/size for a volleyballer is just bad juju.

This was the type of article I was looking for on this:

The term was “ballistic” movements. (jump squats or medicine ball work comes to mind.)

Furthermore, do you have access to all this stuff? Glute-ham raise would be great. Resistance bands, boxes, squat racks, and someone that can teach it if you are not qualified? Here is a great resource higher-faster-sports.com/articles.html

And another, needs pdf reader to view it http://msuathletics.ru/books/bible/vert_jump_bible.pdf

Another thing you can do is try to enlist the help of any of the colleges in the area. If any of those students are potentially going to end up in one of those colleges then they may have a vested interest in helping you with ideas and programs to use. Just a thought…

I’d also look at general conditioning. A lot of kids don’t have any athletic background and are out of shape. So push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, etc…combined with a jumping program should help a lot. I don’t think you need a lot of equipment to get a good response. I would be careful of overtraining them as well.

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_neural_charge/neural_charge_jumps

Here is a link to a bunch of CT’s vert stuff. The whole “neural charge” series is based on explosive body weight
exercises that can be easily incorporated into a group practice setting without any special equipment.

There is a whole series, but this may be a good place to start looking.

[quote]Ronrigo wrote:
I’d also look at general conditioning. A lot of kids don’t have any athletic background and are out of shape. So push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, etc…combined with a jumping program should help a lot. I don’t think you need a lot of equipment to get a good response. I would be careful of overtraining them as well.[/quote]

Pretty much this, girls tend to have even less general conditioning then boys. After this I suggest you stray from any olympic lifts. You will spend valuable time teaching them how to do something other than their sport, that you may not know how to correctly do, and risking unnecessary injury.

General conditioning/ Squats/ Rythm squats and depth jumps. Three of them can be incorporated without leaving the floor, and can even be punishment for slipping up.

The more limber you keep their feet the more explosive they will be to the ball and going up.

Thanks everyone! I can train the girls to do the lifts. Is there a rep count I should shoot for to get lean muscles? I know that they should stay away from heavy weights for low reps. I also know that my whole life, coaches have made me lift 3 sets for 12 reps. Since I’m not trying to make the girls “buff” would these rules make sense for their basic bench press, hang clean, squat, ect? I had planned on doing some high rep weight training paired with volleyball specific movement training and some jump training. Would a basic weight regiment like this provide nice results?

Btw, I haven’t read the articles posted for me yet but that is what I am going to do as soon as I post. So, sorry if I asked a question I asked was answered by a link.

Thanks again!

Most important is to start them off light (very light) to make sure their form is good then slowly add weight (e.g. 2.5 - 10 pounds per session depending how they’re going). 3 sets of 5 would be a better way to build up the squat for strength/explosiveness than 3 sets of 12 which would be better for adding mass.

If in doubt I’d recommend using an existing program e.g. something by Wendler, CT, a local College or something else someone has posted on here. Pick one and stick with it. Don’t try and combine different things from different programs, and keep it fairly simple