I worked a volleyball tournament over the weekend weekend and got to observe quite a bit of skilled play at different age groups.
One of the things I noticed was the lack of height on the jumping approaches. This translated into the ball trajectory being flat and going long and not angled down resulting in a kill. This also means that the athletes are using more rotational force and shoulder momentum to hit the ball which can turn into shoulder pain over the long term.
The long standing opinion that girls don't need to lift weights or strength train needs to end. The truth is that all athletes need a strength training program that compliments their sport and prepares them for competition. It is also not true that this program requires a lot of time. Developing functional strength for volleyball that will translate directly to on court performance can be done with a few exercises twice a week.
The first thing is to introduce the exercises to the athletes, teach form and develop neuromuscular control. Once this is acquired, a simple periodization model to increase resistance and decrease repetitions will suffice in building the necessary strength. The final step is to add in some plyometric activity to transfer this newly gained strength into power. Power is what will give the girls a boost when they elevate at the net to block and spike.
A simple program may look like this:
3 sets of 15 progressing to 4 sets of 4
Dumbbell lunge complex
3 way shoulder for additional stability
For power (teach proper landing)
Weighted vertical jumps
Short sprints/stair sprints
This simple program can have profound results if the athletes put in the effort to develop their strength.
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*This site is for educational purposes only, it is not meant to diagnose, treat or replace medical advice. Before starting an exercise program always make sure that you are healthy and able to do so safely.*