Critiquing a ball-oriented volleyball warm-up routine

This video got a fair bit of attention recently (on Twitter, I think), which is how I came to learn about it. Upon review, however, I was disappointed. The second half where they are using balls in strength and conditioning work I’m fine with. There are some good elements there. They don’t specifically require a volleyball, but since you have them at hand, why not put them to use for you? The first half, however, I found to be utterly useless, for reasons you may understand if you’ve ready my comments in Are your warm-ups wasting valuable time?.

Jogging, as I noted in the referenced post, is of little value to volleyball players. Now these guys are adding in silly things like spins. And what’s this stuff with tossing the ball up in the air? The only real attempt to have anything volleyball-like in there is the bits where the players mix in some sets and forearm passes. The mechanics of those skills, though, are poor – making their inclusion worse than useless. They are reinforcing bad habits, effectively.

If you want to have players moving and executing ball-handling skills then have them move in a volleyball-like fashion (shuffles, transition footwork, short runs, etc.) and execute those skills with proper technique – especially when dealing with young and developing players. Things like jog-and-set or jog-and-pass might be good for mixing things up in a big camp or to have a bit of fun (team shuttles, etc.), but they should not be used on any kind of regular basis.

John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John is currently the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

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