Take your volleyball game to the next level by elevating your skills and working to improve your weaknesses.
- Step 1: Let teammates know you're going in for the attack. A split second can result in teammates running into each other. If you're readying a bump, mouth a quick "Got it" to let the others know.
- Step 2: Stay in shape during the off-season. Join at least one league and work on off-season conditioning. Running and jumping drills are critical, but consider cross-training with a different sport to work out underutilized muscles.
- FACT: Beach volleyball was first introduced as an official event during the 1996 Olympics.
- Step 3: Analyze the opposing team and play to their weaknesses. Serve balls to their weaker side. Accordingly, minimize plays to your weak side -- shore up your team's deficiencies by modifying the players and movement on the court.
- TIP: Don't overdo it -- if your body is showing signs of strain and the pain is constant, give the game a rest.
- TIP: Be sure to wear the appropriate safety gear, like elbow and knee pads, to prevent painful injuries.
- Step 4: Focus on the opposing team before the game begins. Face the team across the net during your warm-up stretches, sizing up their strengths and weaknesses. Your focus may also help to unnerve them and throw them off their game.
- Step 5: Use conditioning drills to improve your game. Repetitive skill and movement drills -- such as bleacher sprints -- will build the correct habits to use when setting, striking, and bumping. Consider mandating a separate conditioning day in addition to the regular practice.