Strength Is Your Foundation

The repetitions of training and the work a player does off of the court for strength are all factors that determine how well a player can move.

Always try to keep your feet as wide as your shoulders. This gives you a stable base. As you become more accomplished as a player, your base will become wider as you get stronger. If possible, keep your head between your knees when you move so that you stay balanced when moving laterally. When moving forward or backward, keep your body weight distributed evenly on your feet and not on your toes or heels. Keep your head slightly in front of your trunk. If you lead with your head, your body will follow. If you fall back with your head, your body will again follow and you will be caught out of position. Your feet should be pointing straight ahead. Avoid having your toes out like a duck or in like a pigeon.

To maintain a stable body position, keep your knees in line with your toes. Often beginners are not strong enough to hold this position. This is one of the reasons why we focus on strength being your foundation. Beginners tend to have their knees cave in and do not stay in line with their toes. Your knees should be slightly bent so that you can move easily in any direction. The size of the step you take when moving toward the ball depends on how far you have to move. It is always best to step first with the foot closest to the ball in the direction that you want to move. If not, you are most likely going to cross your feet, which gets you nowhere on your first step and costs valuable time.

When you think of the best athletes in the sport and how smoothly and gracefully they move, what do you think of? These players are so efficient in their movements that no wasted motion occurs. They seem to glide as they move. As you become more accomplished and experienced in volleyball, you will notice how much better that you will move as well. You learn that if your knees are not bent you cannot move. If your body weight is not balanced on both feet or you are leaning in one direction more than another, you do not have time to get to a ball that is moving the opposite way. This awareness comes with experience, by moving over and over again.

When moving to play a ball, try to face your target or the position or player to whom you are sending the ball. Track the ball coming toward you by focusing on the bottom half of the ball. You want to beat the ball to the place on the court that it is moving toward by working to keep the ball between you and your intended target.