Movement Tips from USA Volleyball

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That dig you use against your grandpa at the family's annual Fourth of July picnic won't be a killer move in a competitive match against your rival school's squad.

"When it comes to competitive volleyball," says Patrick Borkowski, strength and conditioning coach for the U.S. Women's Indoor Volleyball team, "teams are going to try and take each other out of their structured element to score."

Agility plays a huge role when stopping the opposing team's attack. "When you have good athletic agility, your defensive area increases, helping you to cover more of the court," he says. Borkowski offers the following tips to stay agile on the court.

Stay ready. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet with a bend in the knees and your hips rotated back. Maintain a tight lower back and loose shoulders with your arms in front, ready to make a play.

Take quick steps. Volleyball players often overstride and reach to where they are going. Lower your hips and take short quick steps to keep control of your lower body. This will allow you to make fast decisions on the court.

Separate training: Take the time to work on volleyball and agility separately so you can fully benefit from the agility drills. Focus on body positioning and movement. Agility training should be performed no less than twice a week for at least 45 minutes.

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