How long do professional volleyball players practice a day? (answered)

Professional volleyball players generally practice about 8 hours per day. This is a broad definition of practice as we also consider watching the highlights of a game, getting a massage, hanging out with other players, eating, discussing tactics, warming up, going to the gym, stretching, and showering as part of this practice. During summer, players generally have time off and they don’t have to work as there are no competitive games. Therefore their workload can shift over time. When they are playing a game in the competition and a tournament in the same week, it is possible that they will work more hours that week. Volleyball players also have other obligations such as attending sponsor events, taking pictures, visiting youth teams, and so on.

At the moment there is no official league in the USA (except Athlethes unlimited). Players that want to play professional volleyball, will have to go to Europe or Asia to do so.

Let’s take a look at how good some of these players perform:

Professional volleyball players have to do a lot:

  • Dress up
  • Warm up
  • Do their individual drills
  • Train together with the team
  • Work on the strategy of the team and discuss this with the coach
  • Watch footage of the other team to see where they can be beaten
  • Eating healthy
  • Going to the gym
  • Stretch
  • Playing the matches 
  • Team building
  • Dealing with the sponsor
  • Dealing with their manager
  • Analyzing their own performance

They also need to drive there, shower, prepare their gear, and so on. So in theory they might work 8 hours but if take everything into consideration, you will see that most players work more than 9 hours per day. Some really want to improve and spend a lot of time on personal drills that they repeat over and over again. This means that they are training more than 12 hours per day. This is not for every player but some just want to win at all costs and they believe that putting in some additional work will give them an edge. 

It also depends on the approach of the coach. Some coaches want to train a lot and therefore train two or three times a day. Other coaches prefer to take it easy and only train once per day. Players often stay at the sports arena to eat and have a short nap at noon. This revives the players after the first training and makes sure that they are ready for the second one. In general, in the morning it is individual exercises and in the afternoon the coach will discuss theory or let players train together. You also have team-building activities as players have to get along well since volleyball is a team sport. You are not going to win a game or even score a point if you don’t work together. 

Let’s take a look at how a great coach works:

From time to time players also have other obligations such as meeting junior teams or greeting the sponsors at certain events. Some players really dislike doing this and often they get permission from the team so that they can skip these events. Other players enjoy meeting new people and therefore even volunteer to attend the events. 

Players often have a manager that tries to get them into a better club. Negotiating with your manager to make sure that you have a great contract, can take a lot of time. You have to think for yourself to decide what you want. In some instances, it can take away quite a lot of focus as being unsure about your future is not a great position to be in. 

Watches have sensor nowadays that lets players and their coach know when the player needs to rest. Your body needs to relax from time to time. Sensors can measure when you are tired. At that point, it might not be a good idea to push a player as it can do more bad than good. This data is quite new and not every team or player is using it already as some players think that wearing sensors is too intrusive. 

It is also possible to analyze footage of a game to see if a player is less active than usual. This can indicate that there is a problem and that the player needs a few days off. People are not machines and our bodies need time to rest. Finding the right balance between practicing and resting is very important for professional players as they have to do this for multiple years. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Especially at the end of the season, everyone can be tired and teams might decide to train less often.

Players also often study their own statistics to see how they are evolving. If they want to join another club, they might need to improve certain parts of their game and the statistics can help them with this. They can see how many points they scored and how many assists they gave. All of these things are taken into consideration when you apply to join another club. 

To conclude, we can say that professional volleyball players have to train a lot. They generally spend about 8 hours per day on volleyball and often have one or two days off. During some periods of the year, they will spend more time practicing and playing as there are a lot of matches in a short period of time. During summer there is no competition and players will be less active. New technologies allow players and coaches to see how well they are performing. This will affect when and how players will train in the future.

We have discussed how much professional volleyball players make here.