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Pre-Tournament vs. Post-Tournament Practice | Junior Volleyball Association

Pre-Tournament vs. Post-Tournament Practice | Junior Volleyball Association

In my ten years of professional playing experience, I learned that a pre-tournament practice is critical for the team to perform their best. All of the heavy work should be conducted during earlier practices.

Here are some keys to focus on during a practice before a tournament:

  • Fundamental reps: plan drills that are lighter in physical exertion and focus on making sure the team is feeling good about their skills
  • Lineups/ rotations recap: refresh memory of your team lineups and rotations.
  • Light lower body/ core strength: since volleyball is a high-impact sport, incorporate some lower body and core conditioning to help the athletes perform more consistently and reduce injuries.

Below is an example of a 2-Hour Pre-Tournament Practice Plan:

0:00-0:10   Warmup games: Dodgeball, Newcomb (or other fun games the team likes)
0:10-0:20   Serving drill: serving targets with a time limit( use dots/ chairs/ boxes to mark the area we want the team to focus on)
0:20-0:40   Serve-receive by rotation: five good passes each rotation
0:40-0:50   Hitting lines: hitting by positions, setters switch after setting each attacker
0:50-1:15   6v6 Wash Drill: Starting side receives two balls: a serve receive and a free ball. Starting side needs to win both balls before the opposing side gets 5 points
1:15-1:40   1 Game to 25 and Stretch
1:40-2:00  Lower body/ core strength and cool down

Squad hold 15x
Plank for 1 minute
Band side shuffle to the net and back
Hip dip planks 20x
Repeat this circuit 3x

After a long weekend with 7-9 matches, the players are physically and mentally exhausted. It is very different from my playing experience since I practiced eight hours a day and was trained to compete over the course of a longer season with significantly less matches each week. Therefore, coaches need to recognize that the main focus for post-tournament practice should be recovery and injury prevention.

Here are some keys to focus on during a practice after a tournament:

  • stretching
  • slower-paced
  • non/low-jumping reps
  • resolving problems or weaknesses discovered in the games.

Below is an example of a 2-Hour Post-Tournament Practice Plan:

0:00-0:30   Film studying/ team meeting: Discuss what problems occurred during the tournament that the team can improve on
0:30-0:50  Recovery yoga/ deep stretch
0:50-1:20   Serve receive from boxes: Servers on the box with a controlled serve to a designated area, passers focus on passing/angling reps and building muscle memory
1:20-1:50  Problem solving from film…

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