Are you getting a little anxious about making the volleyball team? You are not alone. Right about now, millions of volleyball players are getting themselves prepared for the season. Most of them have a single question burning within them, “What if I’m not good enough?”. There are things you can do to increase the chances of making a team, and we are going to outline them today.
At Home Volleyball Drills
You’ll need to get yourself a ball. (and if you buy through amazon, please use my affiliate link Tackhikara High Performance Volleyball so that I make an extra dollar or two:) There are things you can do without a ball, but there are a lot more volleyball drills available to you if you have a ball. Drills you can do by yourself aren’t nearly as fun, but they are excellent for ball control. Here are a few examples:
Pass to yourself
Set to yourself
Left fist to yourself
Right Fist to yourself
Float Serve at a wall
Topspin serve at a wall
Pass the ball high, do a volleyball roll and pass the ball again before it hits the ground.
The list goes on and you can see a lot more examples on my Instagram page, @volleyball_challenge.
Recent studies say that you can actually improve your game, by watching others play. You can watch them in person, or you can watch the USA Women’s national team on your DVR. Watch with the intent to learn something. Especially if you are watching the Olympic team, or one of the top NCAA teams. Watch the blockers for awhile, what do they all do the same? Watch the setters, what do they do the same on every set?
Watching is a great tool to learn, but to take it a step further, you need to visualize yourself doing things correctly. Go watch great hitters, and then visualize yourself taking each and every step, loading your legs for the jump, and jumping and contacting the ball. If you know you have a habit you need to correct, visualizing is one of the best ways to make adjustments. Force your mind to make the adjustment when you visualize. For instance, if you don’t pull your elbow back when you hit, visualize yourself pulling your elbow back every night before bed. Make sense? It might seem hippy-dippy to you, but I assure you, it will help! Many of the most elite athletes in the world use visualization on a daily basis!
Find a club or camp to join
If you can find someone who is willing to give you some instruction, take them up on it! There are a bazillion camps in the summer. Your school probably offers one, or a nearby school certainly does. Find a way to get some instruction and feedback that you can use on your own when you're practicing.
Play Before the Day of Volleyball Tryouts
Playing volleyball makes you a better volleyball player. Seems obvious, right? It doesn’t matter if you are playing indoor, our outdoor, 2v2 or 6v6 or anything in between. Go and play consistently.
If you play with people who aren’t as good as you, you can work on expanding your own game. If you’re a setter, you can work on running down bad passes, and getting your set in an almost perfect spot, so your hitter has no choice but to score. If you’re a hitter, you can work on adjusting to bad sets, and figuring out how to score on bad sets. If you’re more of a passer/defensive person, you can work on reading the ball, and receiving a lot of serves.
You can also work on being a really good teammate by boosting up those around you, instead of putting them down.
If you can find a way to play with people who are better than you, thats the golden ticket. Ok, golden ticket might be an overstatement, and maybe it’s too old of a reference for you… good golly I’m feeling old! Anyway, try to find people who are better than you to play with. Don’t shy away from the challenge, let them hit at you, serve at you, pick on you. (All in good fun, of course!) Take it and run with it, they are going to make you better, even if you are getting your butt kicked in the meantime.
If you can play outdoor volleyball, do it. Sand volleyball requires you to have better ball control, and learn to be a more savvy player.
Well, that’s a wrap
I hope you’re feeling a bit more at ease going into tryouts. I want you to remember that your job is to do your absolute best, and I’m not trying to be cliche about that. Do you best, control the situation to the best of your abilities. After that, it is out of your hands and you can go home sweaty and exhausted knowing that you did your job.
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