Monday, 22 Apr 2024

Five Ways to Improve Volleyball Skills Over the Summer

Many young volleyball players have a break between club season and school tryouts. It’s a common misconception that this is a time to sit back and relax. However, there are actually several ways that players can hone their skills and stay in shape during the summer. By following these five steps, your child can continue their volleyball journey and come back even stronger in the fall.

Play, Have Fun!

Volleyball is all about having fun, so why not encourage your child to just play this summer? They can try out different versions of the game, such as beach volleyball if they primarily play indoors, or doubles tournaments with a partner. The key is to focus on enjoying the game without any coaching involved. Playing in low-pressure situations and getting game-like reps will greatly benefit their development.

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Try Something New

The summer is a great opportunity for players to cross-train with another sport or explore individual sports that they may enjoy. They can try a sport where they use their hands instead of hitting a ball or even a non-ball sport like hiking, biking, rollerblading, or running. This is also a chance for you to spend quality time with your child and get moving together.

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Find New Playing Partners

If you want some alone time at home this summer, why not set up an outdoor volleyball net and have your child teach the game to younger siblings or neighbors? By teaching others their skills, they will better understand the game themselves. This also allows them to experience different partners and weather conditions, making them more adaptable to new teammates and situations. Alternatively, you can sign them up for a volleyball camp at a college they’re interested in, where they can meet new friends and learn from new coaches.

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Learn from the Pros

Watching great players compete is an excellent way to learn how to play volleyball. Encourage your child to watch YouTube highlights or attend live matches to study the techniques and strategies used by professional players.

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Go Solo

Working on skills alone is a fantastic way to improve during the off-season. All your child needs is a windowless wall, where they can chalk a line to represent the height of a net. Here are a few solo drills they can try:

  • Serve: Stand 20-30 feet away from the wall and serve above the line. Sprint in, grab the ball, and immediately set up the next serve attempt.
  • Forearm/Overhead Pass/Dig: As the ball bounces off the wall, play it up to yourself, pass it to the wall, and repeat. You can also practice passing at an angle by placing a box off to one side of the wall’s base and passing into the box.
  • Set: Throw the ball against the wall, move to the rebound, and set front or back sets. After the set, move to the hitter’s position, catch your own set, and repeat.
  • Spike: Stand 10-15 feet from the wall, set yourself, and hit the ball above the line on the wall. Practice different shots by turning right and left, such as line shots and cut shots. You can also train tip and roll shots, focusing on keeping a neutral and unreadable look before executing the shot. Additionally, you can bounce a hard ball off the ground and jump to hit it, or find a friend to set for you.
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Feel free to join in and challenge your child in these solo drills. Turn them into a game by playing 1 vs. 1 plus 1, where the setter sets for both sides, or by setting against the wall like handball. You can even see how many times you can string together a pass, a set, and a spike off the wall!

FAQs

Q: Can my child really improve their volleyball skills over the summer?
A: Absolutely! By following these five tips, your child can use the summer break to sharpen their skills and come back as a better player.

Q: Is it necessary for my child to cross-train with other sports?
A: While it’s not necessary, cross-training can benefit your child by developing different physical abilities and providing a break from the routine of volleyball.

Q: How can I make solo drills more enjoyable for my child?
A: Turn them into games by setting challenges, competing against each other, or keeping track of personal records. By making it fun, your child will be more motivated to practice.

Conclusion

Summer is not just a time for relaxation but also an opportunity for athletes to improve their skills and perfect their craft. By encouraging your child to follow these five tips, they will return to the court in the fall as more confident and skilled players. So let the summer be a time of growth and enjoyment in their volleyball journey.

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