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.
- 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.
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.
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