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Why is speed so important to a beach volleyball player?
Speed, in some way, shape, or form, is crucial to almost every sport and beach volleyball is no different. There are different types of speed. Gymnasts need to have speed to perform multiple flips. Baseball players need straightaway speed to pursue a fly ball or get to first. Most volleyball training programs neglect to incorporate speed exercises in their workouts and that is a huge mistake!
Meanwhile, our 60 day strength and conditioning program, tailored specifically for beach volleyball players, covers everything you need to know to jump higher, hit harder, and run faster.
Beach volleyball players need to train for speed more than indoor volleyball players because when it comes to defense and setting transition balls, we have to cover bigger distances. Defenders in beach volleyball have to cover 26 feet from sideline to sideline. We need substantial lateral speed but we also need the arm speed to spike harder. In this article, we are going to give you some speed drills for beach volleyball players.
Speed will undoubtedly help you dig more balls on defense. Strong, powerful legs with good sprint mechanics means you'll be covering the whole court in less time. Our speed workouts for volleyball will also help you set more balls cleanly. If you can react and run to your partner's digs with more efficiency, there is no doubt that you are going to be able to set better and therefore, win more points.
Most people don’t know that speed exercises also help you jump higher. When you train using plyometrics drills that increase leg strength and power, those increases will show in your vertical leap.
Beach volleyball players who can run fast can usually jump high and vice versa.
Every step during a sprint for elite runners actually produces a force of about five times that person’s body weight. When our legs train to produce that much force, we are going to be faster, we are going to jump higher and we are going to be all around better athletes.
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All this being said, we have to remember that we need to train specifically for our sport of beach volleyball if we want to become better beach volleyball players. Have you ever seen a volleyball player sprint for 100 or even 40 yards in a match? No. We don’t have much use for any speed beyond the first 6 steps and usually we don’t need it for more than four steps.
Every defender in the world should be able cover a beach volleyball court in two steps and a dive. We only see the necessity for speed beyond three steps when we are chasing down a wild dig. Even then, no one is going to be running more than 50 feet to pursue a ball in a volleyball match.
Since we know beach volleyball players don’t need to be fast over long distances, we don’t have any need to learn or train technique for maintaining max velocity. We only need to train our acceleration mechanics for short distances.
Acceleration or first step quickness requires a hard forward lean, a rigid core and strong piston like steps. Running tall is the death of acceleration, especially for beach volleyball players who have to be low at the end of most pursuits anyway. Defenders have to end their runs in dives and if a setter can get to a ball on his or her feet, they are going to need significant depth and knee bend to execute the set.
Beach volleyball players do not run tall. No matter how tall you are, run low!
Beach volleyball players also have to train to accelerate in all directions. We are almost never facing our line of acceleration. First, you have to turn or pivot slightly to get on the right pursuit angle and then you have to be fast. Often, you’ll need to adjust your line while running because of wind and spin adjustments. A forward facing start position and long straight lines will not serve a volleyball player as well as short bursts of speed in multiple directions.
Speed, as the saying goes, kills. In some sports, that's a bit of hyperbole. In beach volleyball, it's literal: Speed will get you kills.
Check out a few of our favorite exercises that we pulled directly from Jump Higher, Hit Harder, Move Faster - The 60 Day Strength & Conditioning Plan for Beach Volleyball.
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If you want to increase your vertical in beach volleyball to jump higher, hit harder, and win tournaments. All you have to do is sign up for our Beach Volleyball Mastery. We'll help you build a great foundation that lets you add strength without putting on unnecessary size. We'll also equip you with all of the fitness knowledge and programming you need for everything volleyball.
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