When you play volleyball, you have to use your whole body. You need your feet and legs to be able to run and jump. You also need your hands and arms so that you can intercept the ball. Your neck is used to see where the ball is going. Therefore volleyball is often called a full-body sport as you have to work with every part of it to become a great player. Let’s discuss each of these in detail so that you can improve over time.
Do volleyball players have strong legs?
Yes, volleyball players often have strong legs. Your legs can provide a lot of power when you have to keep the ball in the air. Therefore a lot of people train them in the gym to increase their strength as this comes in very handy during a match. You also need to remain agile when you play volleyball so your legs shouldn’t be too strong as you have to be able to start and stop at a moment’s notice. You also have to be able to jump so you have to find the balance between strength and agility when you want to play volleyball. This means that your legs shouldn’t be too muscular as this can affect how fast and how long you can run.
Some players have to focus on defending, whereas others focus on attacking. Every player has a clearly defined role and duty. Libero’s for example have to dive and run a lot. Blockers, on the other hand, don’t have to run as much but have to jump a lot. Therefore, the leg strength of a player depends on the role they have on the court.
Let’s look at some drills below:
In other sports such as weightlifting having strong legs is more important than in volleyball as you can play this sport even if your legs are not that strong. It can help you to hit the ball harder and jump higher but there is a limit to this as you also need to be light-footed if you want to catch the ball. You also have to be able to get up fast and heavy legs might be less suitable for this. Therefore we can state that volleyball players have strong legs but that there are other sports where players have to train this more often and focus on it harder.
Does playing volleyball make you jump higher?
Yes, playing volleyball can help you to jump higher as you get a lot of practice. The problem is that a lot of players don’t learn the proper jumping techniques and don’t reach their full potential. There are several methods that can help you to jump higher. Volleyball players need to jump to be able to block, serve and spike the ball. Therefore playing volleyball can help you to jump higher if you practice and try the techniques. Over the years you learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
You will only get better at jumping if you perform certain drills. The following video gives a great introduction to these types of exercises. A lot of players don’t do these drills as they prefer to train with a ball. They are missing out because if you can jump well, you will be able to defend and attack more efficiently. The right jumping technique will also help you to conserve energy, which is very important at the end of the match as players start to get tired.
During a volleyball match, you have to jump a lot, both in defense and offense. This trains your muscles and improves your coordination. This makes sure that you can jump higher and higher over time. You don’t always have time to complete a jump so you won’t always be able to jump as high as you can.
Most volleyball players retire in their thirties as it gets harder to jump over time. You are also wearing special shoes that offer an additional bounce. This doesn’t add a ton of height but all of these small things add up.
Training the upper body
The arms of a volleyball player also need to combine strength with agility. Ball handling is very important for volleyball players and strong arms can get tired after a while, making it harder to pass during volleyball. Volleyball trainers have to find the right balance between these two and therefore often provide drills that focus on strength but also suppleness. You also have to train your hands and fingers so that these have the strength to deal with an incoming ball. This can be done by passing to other players and catching the ball.
Volleyball is not a contact sport so you don’t have to push away your opponents. Therefore a strong upper body is less important than in sports where you have to come in contact with other players. Strong arms can help you to get up faster after you have dived (or dug) to get the ball.
Some arm swing drills can be seen below:
Training other parts of your body
You also have to be able to see where the ball is going at all times. This requires neck muscles that can move in different ways. These are often not trained as they can gain strength over the season.
Training your ankles is also important as they have to stand in multiple positions. This can be done by stretching them or turning them into multiple angels.
Training your willingness to win
It is possible that you will make a mistake or drop the ball. This happens to the best players. You shouldn’t let your focus disappear because you made one mistake. Therefore you have to be resilient. Accept what happened, learn from it and start over again. There are a lot of things happening in a match and not every ball touch is going to be perfect. This is part of the game and you will improve over time. You have to keep trying to get back in the game. Don’t let your team members down and push yourself to start playing at your best again. You can always analyze everything after the match but during it, you have to pay attention to what is going on and do your best to defend and attack.
A lot of players fade away after they have made a mistake. You have to get over this and start over again if this happens to you. This is a challenge at first but over time this will get easier and easier.
To conclude, we can state that volleyball requires different types of strengths. You have to be quite strong as this will allow you to jump higher and hit the ball harder. At the same time, you also have to move a lot and be quite agile. Muscles can tire out quite fast and therefore you should not be too muscular if you want to play volleyball. There is a reason why volleyball players don’t look like bodybuilders.