Pinpoint sets and earth-shattering kills propelled the 2006 Purdue Boilermakers to a 23-11 record and their second consecutive trip to the Sweet 16.
Drew Kramer, the team’s strength and conditioning coach, says that wrist flexibility was a major contributor to his team’s ability to steamroll the competition last season. He says, “Even though volleyball success depends highly on the explosiveness of a player’s lower body, something as small as wrist flexibility is extremely important because of all the setting and hitting involved. So getting more flexible there not only helps prevent injuries, but increases our power, explosion and ball-handling skills.”
The Med Ball Set is one of Kramer’s favorite drills. He uses it to increase wrist flexibility for all players, regardless of position. He recommends giving it a try twice a week in the off-season to add some extra zip to your sets and kills.
Med Ball Set
• In athletic stance, hold 1 kilo med ball in set position
• Cock wrists and set med ball up
• Catch it, cock wrists again and perform next rep
Adaptation: Sit on the ground and have partner drop med ball to you. Dropping the ball from various heights will provide you with more of a load and increase your flexibility and strength.
1. Start out slowly. As you become more comfortable with the technique, speed up the transition of the set and catch until it is a continuous motion.
2. Keep proper setting technique throughout; don’t drop arms or lose posture due to fatigue.
3. Once you’re comfortable, generate the force of the set as quickly and explosively as possible.
4. If the med ball is too heavy, try using a soccer ball or women’s basketball.