3 Ways Volleyball Players Can Get in the "Zone"

Looking for a way to boost your performance and get into that ever-elusive "zone"?

Here are three volleyball performance keys to make you more effective on the court—and help your team maximize its potential.

Volleyball Tip No.1: Physiology

Defined, your physiology is how you use your body. How you breathe, how you move, whether you are moving fast or slow, where are your shoulders? Are they shrugged or are they back? Where is your head, is it up or down?

Your physiology is the fastest way to change your emotions and how you focus. Remember how you move the days you have outstanding days. Then walk, breathe, and move the same way you did then. You brain will fire off the same messages you had the day when you were unstoppable.

Go to a college or professional match and watch how the most confident players use their physiology. Then, model it. Confidence is a skill that you work on, not a trait that you either have or don't have.

Quick tip: If you shank a pass, move your body out and shake it out a little. Then, tell yourself, "Next one's going to be perfect."

Volleyball Tip No.2: What You Say to Yourself

The second way to master your focus is through your language or self talk. This is commonly seen through players that get frustrated and swear at themselves.

What you say to yourself and how you say it, will determine how you FEEL and where your brain focuses.

  • I can pass at a high level during the whole match
  • I am consistent
  • I will anticipate my opponent's next shot
  • I am swinging with power today, and feeling really confident
  • I get better as I go, and I adjust and learn from all of my mistakes quickly.

Point No.2 is about self-talk. Never tell your mind what it is that you "don't" want to happen.

For example, if you say, "I don't want to serve it out," or, "I don't want to shank this, I don't want to have a poor match today."

Your brain goes directly to that thought and you've subsequently pre-programmed your mind to struggle. Instead of using "don't," replace those thoughts with what you'd like to happen. "I will hit aggressively down the line. I am seeing the ball with ease today. I am serving it with power and effectively taking them out of their systems. I will have my BEST match today!"

Volleyball Tip No.3: Visualization

The third way to master your focus is though the process of visualization. This is the most EFFECTIVE way to pre-program your mind and body before competitions so that you respond without thinking and you compete naturally.

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With over 15,000 hours of beach volleyball coaching experience, Steven Ijams has achieved great success in building and maintaining a high level of educational volleyball settings.

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