Success on the volleyball court is directly related to the amount of work done off the court, and nobody works harder than the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team.
Need proof? How about 12 straight Western Athletic Conference titles?
Behind the Rainbow Wahine’s dominance is a training regimen that includes work in the gym and on the beach. “We just go out to Waikiki Beach and do our conditioning in the sand and water,” says Thomas Heffernan, Hawaii’s head strength and conditioning coach. “[The beach] is one thing that we are very fortunate to have.”
Running on the sand and against the current provides resistance, which makes for more difficult workouts, Heffernan says. The resistance builds stamina, which helps players stay focused during long matches—a key advantage when the team on the other side of the net starts to get winded.
The Wahine typically wrap up their weekly beach workouts with an hour of conditioning drills, finishing with Shoreline Sprints. “It’s a great drill to get the girls’ heart rates up and really push them to their limits,” Heffernan says.
• Start waist-deep in the water facing the beach
• Sprint all the way up to the top of the beach
• Once at the top of the beach, perform exercise of choice for 20 reps [e.g., push-ups, crunches, hurdle jumps, squat thrusts]• Walk back to the water
• Start next rep once you reach waist deep in water