Tips for the Off Season
What to do in the off-season
For many players, the regular volleyball season ends mid-spring leaving a nearly five month interim before the school season begins. This results in a lot of free time. What are the best ways to fill this time? We have three suggestions for you.
- Maintain relationships with teammates and your coach
You’ve been spending a huge amount of time with your teammates and your coach during the season, but time off means time away from them. It can be healthy to gain some distance from your team, simply because you’ve been through a lot together which can have some major strain on relationships. However, this does not mean you should abandon all form of communication until next season begins. A half-year break from seeing your team means that when you meet again, it will be tougher to play off each other’s reactions and work as a cohesive team. Spend time together and get to know who your teammates are aside from volleyball. Truly knowing and understanding your teammates will improve your bond as a team and improve the way you play together when the season starts back up. The off-season provides the perfect opportunity to strengthen teamwork outside of the game. You should also use this time to make sure your coaches and teammates know how thankful you are for their hard work. Coaches (as well as teammates) dedicate hours of their own time helping you become the best player you can be. They may frustrate us from time to time, but they truly do have the team’s best interests at heart.
- Take a break
Your body has taken quite a beating after a long season. Take this time off to work on some cross training to stay in shape while giving your volleyball muscles a rest. Try out the elliptical or a bike. Such exercise will keep you in shape without putting any percussive stress on your joints. A season away from your team generally means you are exponentially cutting back on the hours spent working out and in the gym. Make sure your diet mirrors this scale back. Adopt a low carb diet that will allow you to stay in shape and maintain stamina all year long. The off-season is the very best opportunity afforded to you as an athlete to take care of your body.
- Set goals for the season
Spend some time considering what you really want to get out of your volleyball career. Are you in high school with goals of one day playing collegiately? Conduct research as to how you can make this feasible. It may involve attending intensive camps which college scouts will visit. Goals do not have to be this distant. Make a goal to improve your vertical or work on your passing game. Consider the SMART goals method to devise goals that are Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Without a steadfast goal, you will find yourself playing aimlessly with a complete lack of motivation. Goals will help you stay driven and focused on the future allowing you to become the best athlete you can possibly be.
Though it might not seem like it, the off-season might be the time when you can improve your skills as a volleyball athlete. Take advantage of this time by taking care of yourself mentally and physically.