For any team, no matter what the sport, practice is not fun. No matter what kind of fun you put in your volleyball drills, the fact of the matter is that they still involve a lot of practice, and are just plain hard work. Like any sport that requires conditioning, after the first few weeks of practices, you will find out who is really there to play. These first few weeks are generally considered the conditioning weeks. Volleyball drills and conditioning go hand in hand. It is hard for your team to understand exactly what the reason behind this conditioning is.
Volleyball is a very demanding sport. Because of this, your conditioning volleyball drills will push your players to the limits of their abilities, and beyond. One of the key components in the game is strength. A player must be strong enough to hit a blazing ball across the net. Their legs need to be strong enough to propel them into the air for that block that could mean the difference between winning and losing. However, pure strength isn’t quite enough. Your players will need to have a good dose of explosive strength. It is important to be able to go from a standing position to a powerful jump, with a blistering hit behind it. To this end, you should include some strength training into your volleyball drills, such as weight lifting, squats, or even working with a medicine ball.
Adding agility exercises into your volleyball drills will prove to be vital also. Agility is important in creating a winning team. Picture how boring the game of volleyball would be if there was no diving saves, or pinpoint serves. In every spike that is ever executed, agility and strength are important parts of the move. Even blocking, passing, and setting require some agility to be performed correctly. Adding such exercises as frog jumps or explosive push-ups into your volleyball drills will help your players’ agility become a stronger force with each practice.
The volleyball drills mentioned so far can be fairly tough. It is the hardest, yet most vital component of conditioning drills that will turn practice from a slight workout to a grueling thing of dread: endurance. It is great to be able to spike and serve beautifully in the first set of a game. Being able to perform the same move, with as much grace and power after playing for 45 minutes or more is what is going to make a winning team. Building the endurance of your team will make it so they can play just as well at the end of the game as they did at the beginning. Obviously, long distance running or extremely long practices could accomplish this, at least to a point. But this is where exercises like suicides and down-ups added into your volleyball drills will really pay off. These exercises are designed to cause a player to exert an amount of energy very quickly, followed by a short rest then repeating. This will help any player’s endurance become strong enough to last through an entire game.
Conditioning volleyball drills are, from a player’s point of view, the worst thing about any practice. They can be difficult to justify until an actual game is played. It is easy to see first hand what working on serving or setting will affect. These are visible gains that can be seen every time the ball is hit, either in practice or a real game. Conditioning isn’t visible, so progress can be hard to measure. That progress won’t be really shown until actual game time, at which time you and your team will see that of all the volleyball drills you worked on, conditioning can arguably be considered the most important skill to have worked on.