Speed and agility are important attributes if you are a volleyball athlete. While the importance of agility training or change of direction is clear and widely accepted, classic speed training such as speed racing is not as important in volleyball as it is in other sports such as basketball. However, many experts in sports conditioning agree that there is a place for some other types of speed training for volleyball players.
Speed of the feet in volleyball
The type of foot speed in volleyball is characterized by the athlete being able to move quickly from point A to point B. This rarely requires more than three or four steps in any direction, so long-distance speed training is not very functional for the volleyball athlete. Instead of this, the reaction exercises that require that reactions to a stimulus and move quickly are critical. Jumps (with one leg or both) and fast jumps, such as jump rope, are good ways to improve the speed of your feet for volleyball.
Speed contributes to power
Power is extremely important in volleyball. The spikes, jumps and services are examples of the use of power in volleyball. Power can be defined as the combination of strength and speed, therefore incorporating specific speed training to common movements in volleyball, can improve your power in sport. You can increase the power at the top important to hit the volleyball through specific exercises such as medicine ball throws and plyometric push-ups.
Agility in volleyball requires quick and sometimes weird movements while you adjust your body to the position of the ball during the game. According to the authors Al Scates and Mike Linn, as a volleyball player, you should be able to change direction (sometimes in the air) in a fraction of a second to adjust to the ball. The agility in volleyball or the movement exercises should be shaped after what you have experienced during the course of the game. For example, use simple movement patterns to improve your agility, such as side jumps, reverse jumps, as well as complex movements such as short jumps (including short pattern movements from multiple angles)
Keep it short
By that most if not all of your movements on the volleyball court are short, powerful and fast, train that way. Keep your speed and agility training brief as this mimics what you will need on the court.
According to Scates and Linn, a hidden aspect of speed and agility training is flexibility. Flexibility not only improves your range of motion, but also your power and agility as a result. A dynamic stretch before your practice or match, and a static stretch afterwards, is the recipe requested by the sports conditioning experts.