5 Ways to Improve Your Volleyball Game While Staying at Home

Such interesting times we are in. As everyone is sheltering in place and facing unprecedented new circumstances, I decided to write a blog to help you pass your days at home. I recently began coaching for our local high school’s beach volleyball team here in Ventura, CA. I was enjoying every minute of it. After playing Division 1 Beach Volleyball at Georgia State University it was so refreshing being able to share my knowledge and see how the game has grown over the last few years while also being able to invest into girls at the high school level. We had been training since February and we were getting ready to start our season when the news alerted us that we needed to be cancelling practices. With this time off I figured I would share some ways to stay sharp during this time away from practices and tournaments.

  1. Agility Training at Home

Find ways to do some sort of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. I love finding online workouts that can all be done in your house or in your backyard. Finding ways to get your heart rate up is key. An example of one that is correlated to agility specifically is through agility ladders. If you don’t have an agility ladder you can take chalk and draw one on the sidewalk. Looking up different exercises to do within the ladder will help your coordination skills tremendously.

 Below are some great examples on youtube as well as a clickable photo to an agility ladder at a great price!

2. Make your List of Volleyball Goals For The Rest of The Year

It’s always been so interesting to me as an athlete how much time we spend in training on the beach and how little time we spend reflecting in notebooks. Grab a piece of paper or even better, choose a journal that will be strictly designated to volleyball.

Take time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses as a player. These can range anywhere from “serving specific spots” to “controlling ability to forget mistakes quickly.” Take advantage of this off time to really analyze your game and how you will improve once we are back to practicing. We usually find it easy to point out our weaknesses, but remember; it is also important to know your strengths as well so that you can leverage those to the best of your ability. Set objectives for how you will be continuing to use your strengths when practice resumes. 

Lastly, take some time to think about your overall goals and where you want to be as a player by the end of the year. Think about the type of setter, teammate, hitter, and overall athlete you aspire to be. Think about the moments you want to experience during your time as a volleyball player. Just like my dad always says to me, “If you don’t have goals and aim for where you want to be..how are you going to get there?”

3. Pepper Against a Wall

Don’t have a pepper partner? Use the wall or garage to pepper against. Look up different variations and play around with different distances from the wall to challenge yourself. As long as it doesn’t drive your mom crazy you should be okay with doing this. And if it does.. tell her it’s very important that you keep up your ball control during this time 🙂

4. Read An Inspiring Book

I found reading motivational books during my season to be very helpful for me mentally. One of my favorite books is “How Champions Think” by Dr. Bob Rotella (below you will find a clickable photo to the book). Finding ways to improve your mental game is really going to set you apart as a player. Find an ebook or pick up an inspiring book that’s been on your shelf for awhile. Even spending 20 minutes a day reading is sufficient.

A look at what went into some of my game day prep during college days

5. Go for a Run Through your Neighborhood

Not only will going for a run allow you to get some fresh air, it’s also going to keep you in shape. Text multiple teammates to keep you accountable with this. Team work makes the dream work!

Hope you found at least one of those tips helpful as we are all going through this time. I hope you are all finding ways to stay positive. As an athlete it is often hard to function when your outlet has come to a stop. Take this time to be grateful for the game and all that it’s given you. We are so blessed to be able to play beach volleyball, and sometimes that is easy to forget. Hopefully this time has been a reminder of how much the sport has given us in so many different aspects.

And to the girls that I coach- Miss you guys and all your faces… can’t wait to get sandy and coach again soon. Until then.

Xoxo,
Brooke

Thank you to the amazing photographers Ebb Dudley, Jae-Hee Yook, Daniel Wilson, and Scott Allison for being able to capture these moments I will always be able to look back on. Your hard work is appreciated and doesn’t go unnoticed.

Here you’ll find a link to more of my favorite things that are all volleyball related that have helped my game in many ways if you’re interested! (books, cones, volleyball bags, etc.) https://www.amazon.com/shop/brookie_b00?listId=Optional%5B3VYI64VZW4MI5%5D&ref=idea_share_inf

Interview with my 86 Year Old Oma Anna

“And where is this going to be posted?!…THE INTERNET?!?” My Oma’s first question when I told her I’d love her to be my first feature on my blog…

I stopped by her place today and got a chance to catch up, as well as get some burning questions answered. I will admit I had to hold back tears at certain moments because I started to realize as I was asking these questions that this interview will turn into a very fond memory that I will always look back on one day. Spending time with grandparents is so important, and I wish I realized it sooner. If there’s anything I can advise it would be to spend time with those over the age of 75 as well as those under the age of 6. There’s so many things to learn and perspective shifts that happen every time I spend time with humans that fall into those two categories..a perspective that leaves me feeling more grounded and more focused on life’s bigger picture.

Tell me a little bit about when you were young..
“I was born in Europe and when I came to America I loved it and life was great…I had to work for every dollar when I came here, and I always tried to work at schools…I loved spending time with children.”

If you were to give to a 23 year old advice what would you tell them?
“Do your best.. don’t be afraid of trying things…and enjoy life…always be truthful”

Dating advice?
“That’s a hard question if I don’t know the other person you know…If you like the person don’t be afraid to date..always look for someone that’s honest”

Tell me about Joe…
“I met him and I said, “who is this tall guy?!”..And the next thing I know we were married” (I laughed) she continued…“People would look at us and snicker because he was so tall and I was so short”

Your fondest memories with him?
“We saw things eye to eye..we enjoyed life and enjoyed doing things together..(she paused and looked in the distance with a twinkle in her eye) then continued,“It’s hard to describe”

What kind of characteristics did he have?
“He was a wonderful person and had great character..very honest, very thoughtful.. he was a very hard working person..everything about him to me was special. And he was the only person I ever wanted to love in my life.. I never loved anybody else..”

Favorite characteristics about him?
“His honesty..his friendliness..then she laughed and said,“His looks too” (we both smiled)

Do you have a favorite age/time in your life?
“My favorite age was when I met my Joe.”

How many years were you married?
“Oh man I forget” (we both laughed)..“It was a long time but I miss him everyday.”

What’s your favorite memory as a mom?
“Giving birth and the feeling of them in my stomach before they were born..its truly a miracle”..then she whispered to me,“Is that too inappropriate for your blog?!” hahah

What was your favorite job?
“Working with the children at the school..I worked as an assistant teacher, the children loved me” then blurted..“Sorry for bragging but it’s the truth.” (I smiled)

I notice you always have your nails done..is that a must for you?
“Yes..I used to get money for ice cream when I was young and I would use the money to get nail polish instead.. she laughed and showed me her perfectly polished nails, “Look at how pretty they are”..Still getting her nails done at 86 years old??…I definitely am her granddaughter..

Do you have any TV shows you like to watch now?
“Jeopardy

Where is your favorite place to eat?
“Cocoa’s”

Best place you traveled?
“Europe was beautiful and I loved living there as well.”

Whats your favorite activity to do now?
“It’s hard to say..crochet and knitting are probably my favorites.”

Favorite saying?
“If you go to sleep with Jesus and wake up with Jesus.. what a wonderful way that is to end and start each day.”

View of her nightstand

Any secrets to living a long, fulfilling life?
“Always try to stay healthy, be kind, and love people.”

What are you thankful for?
“There’s so much to be thankful for..my health, and being able to live a long life… for my family…for my kids..”

How do you want to be remembered?
As loving all people and only seeing good in people..that I enjoyed life and did my best.” (that was the moment I could feel my throat burn as I held back tears)

Oma, there’s no one else I’d want as my first feature on my blog..You have taught me the significance of being kind, extending grace to all, and the importance of a fresh manicure…no matter the age.

Before I left she made sure to include her favorite line, “I need to give you kisses on both cheeks..you can’t be lopsided!”

  • What are things you’ve learned from your grandparents? What are your favorite memories with them?

Until Next Time…

Xoxo,
Brooke

About Me

“Don’t let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started.”

Marilu Henner

To be honest I have no idea what I’m doing regarding the whole “blogging” world..but I figured it’d be a fun way to share my thoughts and experiences with the world.

A little bit about me:

  • I grew up in the cozy beach town of Ventura, CA.
  • Played Division 1 beach volleyball at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA
  • Probably am too into zodiac signs (Fellow Sagittarius stand up!)
  • Graduated with a BBA in Marketing
  • Currently trying to figure out this whole adulting thing
  • Have an 8 year old best friend aka my niece Autumn
  • Have seen the movie Tangled an embarrassing amount of times
  • Spend way too much time walking the aisles of Target for no reason
  • Cried in the movie Gnomeo & Juliet (yes, the animated one)
  • Working on obtaining my Real Estate License in California
  • Weirdly, Monday is my favorite day of the week

In the future I will be posting about all the things I learned while living in Atlanta for four years, life as a collegiate beach volleyball player, the world of beach volleyball in general, life post college, cool spots around southern California, and all things health and fitness to start..

I would love to connect with: women that work hard towards their goals everyday, women in sports, entrepreneurs, and people that love TJ Maxx as much as I do…I am always open and love meeting new people even if you don’t fit into any of those categories..

My goal for this blog by this time next year would be to have given insight to girls and parents of children who are looking to play sports at the next level, tips that would be helpful to anyone heading out of state for college, and hopefully meeting new amazing humans..

Looking forward to this new blogging journey!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brookie_b00/