Essentials of Volleyball Blocking And Jousting – Stability

Pic by Penny Won, Tstreet 15-Chis. THANKS!

Pic by Penny Won, Tstreet 15-Chis. THANKS! Pictured (left) Lily Dyer, (right) Olivia Root

Abdominals

Stability

Core Strength

Balance

These are the four essentials of volleyball blocking and jousting. They come from training for injury prevention and performance enhancement. They do not come from practice. They do not come from lifting weights, running or doing old school jumping jacks. Developing the four essentials of volleyball blocking is a fine art and delivers the added advantage of

Expansion

Expansion is the ability to expand your rib cage upward on the block while jumping to gain an additional inch and a half of height.

Blocking errors are far more likely when you are less stable in your movements. Training corrects this. Read more here.

You can not have stability without good balance. Balance is essential when getting behind the ball to make a pass, to execute an attack or block and after the attack or block when an athlete returns to the floor. Does the athlete always initiate a jump and land with the center of gravity perfectly centered within their base of support? Balance really can’t be addressed without including the need for stability. Better stability means better balance. This means better performance. Instability limits a player’s coordination, control, and skillful movement. Instability also wastes a player’s energy. Energy leaks occur when not all of the extended effort to perform a movement goes specifically toward that movement. A perfect example of an energy leak is when both knees come together at the initiation of a jump. Rather than remaining in line with toes and when the knees come together again upon landing. We see this with the majority of the female athletes. Not only do you lose power that could have gone into the jump, this energy leaks through the knees, creating stress on the knee. This stress will lead to knee pain and eventually injury. Training joint stability will eliminate energy leaks, improve power, reinforce proper alignment, and make joints stronger and less susceptible to injury, and improve balance.

A volleyball player with the best technique, knowledge of the game, and insight on the opponent’s strategy is less effective without harnessing these skills and the ability to combine all of them on court as the situation demands.

Training for the essentials of volleyball blocking and stability is progressive. The techniques when applied in a conscientious effort to develop the athlete will deliver high performance results. Your results will vary. Do not become discouraged. This takes time. You will have periods of rapid development and you will have periods where you will seem to have plateaued. Just keep working. On this journey you develop daily, not in a day.

Players new to training should establish their foundation with a qualified trainer. Your routines will involve nothing more than body weight and band resistance until your foundation is established and you can move on to more advanced training. The first phase of establishing your body weight and stretch band foundation can take months. NEVER START with weights if you are new to training. IT WILL DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. High school coaches are notorious for weight training with their players. JUST SAY NO until your basic foundation is established.

In your initial months of training you will focus on movement. Not muscle groups. You will learn and see how your body works and the movement will train your body to follow what your mind tells it to do. This can take a good part of your club season so start early. By mid-season you should be progressing onto very very light weights and start working on strengthening muscle groups that you’ve now trained to MOVE. Make sense?

I know my daughter spent months developing the core strength to balance on a half-round bosu-type ball. Then took more time to develop strength in her movement as she developed proficiency in executing the exercises without losing her balance on the soft half-ball. Then very light weights were added. When she could consistently do her sets without losing her balance we were ready to progress to a higher degree of difficulty. Interestingly, at this phase her center of gravity, strength and balance were so well-developed that it became impossible for the trainer to push her off the ball. Picture her trainer trying to push her off a surf board. THIS IS WONDERFUL STUFF. AND SHE’S AN EXCELLENT BLOCKER TODAY. Stability. ALWAYS LEAVE THIS TRAINING TO A QUALIFIED TRAINER. You will waste a lot of time doing it on your own, or thinking you are headed in the right direction with a high school program no matter how good that program is.

Here’s a YouTube example of the type of entry-level training you can expect. It looks easy. It is not. You will roll off the ball because you can not keep your balance when seated. You don’t have the core strength. IT IS VERY HUMBLING. Stick with it.

Dynamic Seated Hamstring Active Stretch Stability Ball

Got questions? Contact VolleyCall through our SUBMIT page.

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