Off-Season Conditioning for Volleyball

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By Joe Fondale // Strength and conditioning coach of Ohio University's volleyball team, which has won the MAC regular season and tournament titles for four consecutive years

In the off-season, we use conditioning drills that reflect the demands of our sport. That is when we build our base so we don't have to worry about it during camp or in season. Also, we don't need to condition in season because our coach runs a very high-intensity practice. We use intervals, tempo runs, shuttles and volleyball-specific movements to get in shape for the season. I really like shuttles, because they make you sprint and change direction quickly. I always tell my athletes: "Go at full intensity like a game, because if you're just jogging through, [the drill] is not sport-specific."

I never want my athletes to go out and run two to three miles to get in shape, because that won't prepare them for the short bursts that volleyball entails. Running that much will get you in shape, but not for volleyball, which is played with a different intensity, so you have to train that way.

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By Joe Fondale // Strength and conditioning coach of Ohio University's volleyball team, which has won the MAC regular season and tournament titles for four consecutive years

In the off-season, we use conditioning drills that reflect the demands of our sport. That is when we build our base so we don't have to worry about it during camp or in season. Also, we don't need to condition in season because our coach runs a very high-intensity practice.
We use intervals, tempo runs, shuttles and volleyball-specific movements to get in shape for the season. I really like shuttles, because they make you sprint and change direction quickly. I always tell my athletes: "Go at full intensity like a game, because if you're just jogging through, [the drill] is not sport-specific."

I never want my athletes to go out and run two to three miles to get in shape, because that won't prepare them for the short bursts that volleyball entails. Running that much will get you in shape, but not for volleyball, which is played with a different intensity, so you have to train that way.

Here's an off-season conditioning drill used by the Bobcats. Fondale puts the Bobcats through a timed shuttle progression that closely mimics the intensity they exhibit on the court. After performing the 300-Yard Shuttle, rest for 30 seconds, then complete the 60-yard shuttle. Perform 5 reps of this sequence.

300-Yard Shuttle
• Starting in athletic stance, sprint 50 yards
• Touch line; sprint back to start
• Repeat 2 times for total of 300 yards

60-Yard Shuttle
Starting in athletic stance, sprint 5 yards
Touch line; sprint back to start
Touch line; sprint 10 yards
Touch line; sprint back to start
Touch line; sprint 15 yards
Touch line; sprint through start
Benefit: The 300-yard shuttle conditions for the duration of a game. The 60-yard shuttle conditions for the short, quick bursts the sport demands.

Times
300-Yard Shuttle

Defensive specialists: 60 seconds
Outside hitters: 62 seconds
Middle hitters: 65 seconds

60-Yard Shuttle
All positions: 12-14 seconds


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock