Whether you’re practicing with your teammates or practicing alone, If you want to make the most out of your next volleyball practice, ask yourself the following three questions.
What do I want to achieve?
To become a better volleyball player, you first need to know what you want to get out of each practice session. It’s, therefore, a good idea to come up with a few specific goals, covering both the short term and long term.
For example, in the short term, there might be an aspect of your game you want to work on – whether that be improving your passing, hitting with more power, improving your serving accuracy, and so on.
Your short-term goals should then help you achieve your goals in the long term, such as becoming team captain or achieving an athletic scholarship. While these long-term goals can’t be achieved overnight, it’s helpful to look at the big picture to help keep you motivated and know what you’re working towards.
You’ve probably heard of setting SMART goals before. This is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. So when it comes to setting short-term goals, make sure that they’re SMART.
Why do I want to practice?
Your reason for practicing might be as great as achieving an athletic scholarship and perhaps one day playing professionally, or simply because you love the team aspect of volleyball and the opportunity to make new friends.
Whatever your motivation might be, getting clear on the reasons you come to practice can not only help you achieve your goals but can make it easier to practice on those days where even packing your volleyball backpack can seem like a chore.
If you’re struggling to come up with a few reasons why you want to practice, see if any of the following resonate with you:
- Because I love the team aspect
- Because my friend(s) will be there
- Because volleyball gives me confidence
- Because I want to keep fit and stay healthy
- Because I love winning
- Because I want to build character
- Because volleyball is fun
- Because I’m good at volleyball
- Because I want to get a scholarship
Maybe just one of these reasons resonated with you, or perhaps several did. If there’s more than one reason why you want to practice, it can be helpful to see which one is the most important and then use it to motivate you.
How can I train best?
You might be thinking that it’s the coach’s job to come up with the drills and training plans, and then it’s your job to execute them. While that’s correct, don’t forget that you know yourself best, especially when it comes to your strengths and weaknesses if you’ve been playing for a while.
Therefore, don’t be afraid to talk to your coach and ask them if it would be possible to work on a part of your game that you feel is important. While it might not always be possible during team practice sessions, your coach might have a few suggestions on what you can work on alone.
Besides this, remember that consistency will always win. In other words, training regularly is better than training irregularly, even if you hit it really hard in those sessions. Having said that, it’s important to rest and get well if you’re suffering from injury or illness, as well as wearing the correct protective gear while you recuperate like a knee brace.