The game of girls volleyball is fast paced, powerful, and physically demanding. The jumping, landing, quick start and stop, and overhead arm motion places considerable stress on the body. Each and every point requires all players to be in action contributing to the play. Combine this with extreme execution of force with touch and accuracy of the entire body and you have the potential for some negative physical outcomes.
What we’re going to do is put the nuts and bolts of science and practical application into action. It’s our jobs to connect what we know increases performance and make it happen for your athletes.
We’ll get her into an athletic ready position. We’ll explain why ‘first push’ comes before a ‘quick first step’. We’ll show proper arm action for the highest vertical jump. We’ll coach exercises to make her legs and core stronger. We’ll put her in positions to challenge balance. And, we’ll boost her confidence, keep her FOCUS(ed), and help her smile.
THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT, RIGHT?
Coaches, parents, and athletes want their players to be faster, more athletic, explosive, stronger, confident. They want their setter to place the ball with consistent accuracy. Outside hitters bringing the heat. Hard nosed aggressiveness to sell out for every ball, win or lose. Getting into any position on the court in three steps. Finishing off teams in early sets. Every athlete staying healthy not just to play, but to play a role in the team’s success.
The bigger picture paints girls being truly interested in something constructive, that’s safe, challenging, developmental in nature, and ultimately FUN. Big smiles, high fives, and anticipation for what’s next.
What it all boils down to is providing athletes the opportunity to be their best, be successful, and have a ton of fun along the way.
There’s a lot to offering a comprehensive Player Development Program. Work your way down the page. Think, question, and learn.
WHY A PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM?
There is no shortage of ‘speed & agility classes’ or sport specific branded programs for ‘jumping higher’ or ‘rotational power’. Five years ago I had to explain what performance training entails with the goal of justifying the need to coaches and players.
Today it’s different. Parents, sport & skill coaches know off-court training works. The hard part now is sifting through the hype of businesses promoting similar services.
If training for sport is a 100 chapter book, where chapter 1 is the first day you step on the court, and chapter 100 is a full collegiate scholarship, chapter 60 is sets, reps, exercises, etc. Chapter 60 is where most sports organizations want to start performance training and believe that’s where it fits.
We don’t. We start at chapter 1 because it’s the beginning chapters that make the difference.
A Player Development Program is much more than throwing down an agility ladder and running through cones. It’s more than just getting bigger and stronger. It’s goes beyond your coach telling you to work hard, hit the weights, and run faster. A developmental program assess your current skill level on a technical and tactical level, uncovers physical strengths and areas of improvements, and paints the complete picture. The difference is the ability to question why or why not, find an answer, and establish a workable plan.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Here’s the difference in real world terms..
What commonly happens:
Parent calls FOCUS.
“We’re looking for some jump training for my daughter. She plays volleyball and her coach says she needs to jump higher and be more powerful. She’s a great player and really wants this so we’re trying to provide every opportunity we can. What exercises should she do?”
She plays volleyball and needs to jump higher… go figure.
It’s left to me to assess the player in our facility, using our methods, to find the athlete’s current strengths and areas of improvement. This is a great start and prime scenario for this athlete to sign up for our base Strength, Speed, and Conditioning Program (which is awesome in it’s own right). But, I don’t know exactly where our main focus should be placed to enhance her on-court play. She’ll undoubtably get better, but are we maximizing the opportunity?
How our Player Development Program differs:
Parent calls FOCUS.
“We’re looking for some jump training for my daughter. She plays volleyball and her coach says she needs to jump higher and be more powerful. She’s a great player and really wants this so we’re trying to provide every opportunity we can. Here’s the name and contact number of her coach. She knows you’ll be calling and is open to speaking with you.. plus we’re very excited to see how this works.”
I call or visit the coach and go to work. Ask tons of questions and listen. Take notes. Through our detailed athlete profiling process the coach is able to tell me exactly what we’re dealing with.
“She is a great player with a ton of heart. If she wants to move on, she needs to get off the ground. Her arm swing is technically awesome but not powerful at all. She’s so strong technically but just not as athletic as she needs to be. I have hard time getting her to hit on top the ball sometimes. I don’t know if her shoulder is week or what. We’re trying to get her reps but something is holding her back. We do a ton of core and jump training but I’m sure there’s better stuff we could do. To be honest, she needs to be more confident. If she was more confident I think she would attack harder. How are you going to be able to help her?”
Now, combine all the information from the coach with our methods for assessing performance, plus identifying and ranking her talent.
Which approach do you think is gonna have more impact?
Vague generalized statements never get to the heart of the underlying need, especially when coming from independent sources. The athlete needs to get faster, but what about stronger? How do you know? How is it being assessed and measured? What would happen if the athlete gets stronger? Then what? What can we expect with the added speed? How do we go about not only getting stronger, but stronger in ways that directly transfers to the area of weakness? How is the athlete interpreting all this?
Training programs need to be specific to the athlete. Her stage of maturity, physical structure, experience, age, mental ability, and the all important drive to get better has to be factored.
A THREE PART PROCESS. THE PROOF.
None of this works without proof. Proof beyond words and opinions. Our Player Development Program is a three part process comprised of Talent Identification, Talent Management, and Player Placement. The underlying key for success is Total Program Integration.