Volleyball is played above the net.
If you can’t play above the net things are going to be tough for you.
Many Volleyball players have room to improve when it comes to their reach and don’t even know it.
Over the last 10 years we’ve helped a lot of athletes develop and improve their jumping and we’ve put together this list of 3 easy tricks to get more reach over the net and improving a vertical jump.
1. Knee “fall in”
Knee “fall in” typically happens during what we call the loading phase of a jump. It refers to the way that knees come together just before pushing through the feet and leaving the ground. It’s most commonly caused by weakness in the hips. There are three reasons that this is #1 on our list.
First, in many cases it’s an easy fix. A couple of thera-bands or body bands and a few “Lateral Walks” will do the trick. You can find the bands and exercise with a quick google or Amazon search or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to help.
Secondly, this knee ‘fall in’ is a thief. It robs the lower body of power and torque. Both are necessary for all varieties of jumping.
Lastly, it’s a recipe for catastrophic injury. Especially in ladies. Hormones in the female body can create joints that are more loose than their male counterparts, throw in already weakened joints [as I mentioned above] and it’s a breeding ground for structural knee injury.
2. Make lots of noise when you jump
There’s this super famous guy…Newton. He said something like, ‘every action has an equal an opposite reaction’ or something like that. For athletes, this means that the louder you are when your feet hit the floor the more power you’re creating and that means; the higher you will jump.
On your approach as you plant your foot into the floor before you jump, make LOTS of noise and you’ll jump higher. We use the term, ‘step on the bug’. On that last step of your approach ‘step on the bug’ before you jump and you’ll make lots of noise.
At least, I know how much noise I make stepping on a spider…I usually scream, though. I don’t think that part will help you with Volleyball.
3. Abs, er…Core of steel.
Core strength is the most important and least worked on part of sport performance. The ‘why’ behind the importance of core strength is a little complicated to explain so stick with me.
All of our power comes from the ground, that’s why it’s harder to do everything when you’re in the air during a jump. Throwing, hitting, punching, swinging, etc. We’re all weaker while we’re in the air.
Whenever we do these types of sport movements our power comes up from the feet through our body and expresses itself with whatever it is that you’re doing. Take a Volleyball service for example, a jump serve is weaker than a standing serve with your feet on the ground.
When you have a weak core some of that power is used to compensate for the weakness in your core which means less of that power can come out when you make contact with the ball.
With a strong core, less of that power is used in the core for compensation and as a result more power comes with contacting the ball.
These 3 things; fixing knee fall in, force in the ground, and a strong core are key to getting more reach and jumping higher.
Just by fixing this things we’ve seen Volleyball players and other athletes improve their reach by several inches.