Off-Season Training - Learning How to Prepare for the Season
Read about volleyball off-season training.
On other pages we have talked about
the importance of having conditioning in volleyball player's training schedule all year around.
Here are few
ideas how to train during the off-season:
Off-Season Training - Transition period
Transition period is the time right after the volleyball season.
Athlete is transitioning from the previous season towards the next one.
Most athletes try to take anything from few weeks to few months off
before starting to prepare for the next season. Taking time off doesn’t
necessary mean athletes won't do anything. Athletes could just
rest – but most often we can’t sit even one week without doing any
and Refresh - Other Ball Games Are Great
Transition period is the time when athletes could stay away from the
sports specific training – and do sports that they can’t be doing on
the season. Volleyball athletes could be playing other ball games,
doing long distance running, hiking, bicycling or combat sports just to
Especially other ball games are great since they develop your hand-eye
coordination and usually require fast changes in directions and
footwork very similar to volleyball. The main idea behind transition
training is to relax and have fun. You let your body and mind
refresh for the next season.
Out of Shape?
- Time to Work on Endurance
Volleyball Off-Season Training -
If the athlete is badly “out of shape” and gets tired easily -
transitioning period is a good time to put extra attention to endurance
training. It should be always part of your training, but during this
period it could be done excessively since other training is not on the
Swimming, Bicycling for Volleyball Players?
As we remember for volleyball athletes long distance running,
bicycling, swimming, rowing are not the best exercises during the
training season or playing season. If someone absolutely wants to do
long distance running and other traditional cardio training,
transitioning period is the correct time to do those. As long as you
remember to lessen, even minimize that traditional cardio training when
getting closer to the season.
Endurance Training for Volleyball Players
Training for volleyball endurance closer to the season should be very
different from traditional cardio training. We are arguing traditional
cardio is not the most beneficial because you are not training with the
energy systems and heart rates needed in volleyball. In volleyball
heart rate is not up constantly. You have 5-10 second bursts, following
with a little break. Plus you have timeouts and breaks between the
Therefore we believe plyometrics, suicides, footwork or circuit type of
training fits better for volleyball endurance. Any workout, which make
you work for 5-10 seconds, then having a little break, then working
again for 5-10 seconds, etc. is good for the volleyball specific
Plyometrics as Endurance Training
Low impact plyometrics is one example of volleyball conditioning,
which developes endurance, but also works on quickness and
footwork. Again, you make athletes work on 5-15
and allow only a little rest between the sets - to imitate the
volleyball match. Players repeat various sets after another.
"ladder drills" or "dot drills" are good examples of low impact
You should include several sets of low impact plyometric exercises into
each training session. For example low impact jumps, various
footwork drills such as ladder drills, dot drill, etc. Look
at "Other Endurance Drills" below for more examples.
couple of minutes rest between those different sets - it imitates
the break between the sets in the volleyball match. This
training could last anything
from 30 min to more than one hour - depending on intensity.
Volleyball Off-Season Training - Endurance Training Examples
Running suicides between volleyball court lines. Coach could divide the
area between back line and 10 foot (3 meter) line to half – to have
equal 10 feet (3 meter) distance between each line. Keep the running
phases relatively short, for example up to 10-20 seconds. Let players
have a little rest between each set before going again.
Between the Lines
One modification of suicides would be to shuffle back and forth between
center line and 10 foot line. Again keep the work out phase relatively
short, for example 8-15 seconds. Then repeat again after a little rest.
Instead of running/sprints you can use various footwork drills
(shuffling) for endurance training.
An athlete jumps low jumps over the line (or
imaginary line) with the fast tempo. The athlete starts from the right
side of the line, jumps to the left side, back to the right side, back
to the left side, etc.
You can perform several other drills on the line:
- facing left or facing right when jumping over
- jumping over the line with one foot only, or
- tapping “left foot- right foot – left foot” as
fast as you can the left
side of the line. Then moving over the line and tapping “right foot-
left foot- right foot” as fast as you can the right side of the line.
Keep repeating this cycle. (Basically you touch three times each side
the line with your feet as quickly as you can).
- you can do it also by facing left or facing
- Touching left side of the line with both feet
(left-right), then touching right side of the line with both feet
(right-left). You do touches unsimultaneously quickly after
Real Volleyball Off-Season Training Starts after Transition Period
After transition period, athletes suppose to start more sports specific
off-season training, which prepares athletes to the on-season
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