One of the biggest determining factors to the success of your practice is your warm-up. It is very easy as a coach to slip into a routine of running and stretching before every practice. But is this practical for a warm-up?
Here are five warm-up games perfect for getting your squad ready to play their best.
Note: Please do not avoid stretching as a result of this article, but let's see if there might be better ways of getting your players' blood pumping, as well as doing activities that better transfer to volleyball.
Why Games Work
Running can be boring for players, so rather than getting their blood-pumping running laps, I have them play several different games to get their joints and muscles warmed up.
I have my players start off with warm-up games to get them going. We typically stretch right after the games. However, while the players are having a good time in the game, they are really getting a great workout, too. Here are some of the games I like to use.
Knee Tag is a simple drill that quickly gets your players sweating and working their legs hard.
Have everyone partner up and assume a defensive-ready position. When you say go, the goal of each player is to touch their opponent's knee as many times as they can. It is pretty simple but you will quickly see that those players that have a high ready position are extremely vulnerable to having their knees touched.
As they get better, they will learn to move quickly to avoid knee touches and the real smart players will use their arms to deflect their opponents attempts and counter with their own. I usually have them rotate every 30 seconds so they have a new partner. Once in a while, I'll have them keep score and have a mini-tournament.
Freeze Tag is one of my favorites to do once my guys and girls have learned to dive properly.
Pretty simple: Set up a defined playing area for your team. Half a volleyball court works well for 10 people. One person is "it" and their goal is to "freeze" everyone by tagging them. If the person who is "it" successfully freezes everyone, they win.
The catch is that anyone not frozen, may "un-freeze" a player by simply diving through the legs of a person who is frozen.
Anyone who is still tentative when hitting the floor will surely be tagged when trying to unfreeze someone. Winning the game is usually difficult for the person who is "it" and sometimes, I'll have two people be "it" depending on the numbers and how smart my team is at unfreezing people.
Pay attention to how tough it might be for one person to win and adjust the game. The person who trying to tag everyone will get tired really quick!