Posted On: 05/26/20 12:51 PM

Who comes out stronger through all of this?  At some point, we will return to volleyball, we will go from small group lessons, to team practices, to eventually playing.  It will happen.  I tell myself each day we will get closer.  When that does happen, who will be ones to come out on top?  Who will start the strongest?  Who will get back to their best version of themselves?  Or maybe even a better version of themselves.  Here are a few thoughts as to those might bounce back quicker than others. 

The Disciplined – This has been a mental grind on everyone, we can downplay it all we want, but this is a trauma that has all affected us one way or another.  Those who have found a routine and embraced the mundane will come back strong.  The consistency in workouts, reading books or podcasts to focus on the mental aspect of the game, the ones who kept at it even when there wasn’t a social media post behind it.  Those are going to be the ones who bounce back and will see the work when no one was watching pay off. 


The Well Rested – This hasn’t been a two-month vacation.  However, there may be some athletes who really needed some time off.  For someone who is playing elite club volleyball the high school season starts mid-August and for some if they make the state tournament, will go until the first part of November with tryouts sometimes the weekend after the state tournament.  From there, clubs will go from December to June or July depending on their national tournament.  July might be with high performance or college camps and all of a sudden it’s back to the high school season.  Some athletes are able to slow down.  For others, maybe that nagging shin injury or back injury that just needs rest have finally had the chance to slow down, fully recover, and will now come back faster to 100%. 


The Beach Players – With gyms being closed and now reopening there are still going to be restrictions moving forward.  However, parks and sand courts will have less restrictions which will give more athletes a chance to take their game to the sand.  Athletes who come to the indoor game after playing beach pick up a lot of skills throughout summer on the sand with being able to get creative with their shots, reading the other side of the net, and just an overall improvement in the IQ of their game.  Plus, they need to have all the skills, its tough to hide when there are only two people on the court. 


The Strong Servers – I’ve been thinking about various skills in volleyball and there are so many that are tough to simulate.  Obviously timing with attackers, blocking, and getting everyone back in sync will be tough, but before all that happens teams have to serve receive.  Even in talking with players, you ask them what is the toughest part about being away from the court and serve receive is something that doesn’t just happen.  It takes plenty of reps to be able to read and get the platform where it needs to be in order to pass on a dime.  Those who can serve aggressively and be intentional with their placement can score a lot of points while primary passers work into finding their groove.