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The Mental Side of Volleyball

If You Want to Succeed At Volleyball, Make Sure You Have Your Head on Straight


As is true with most sports, playing volleyball is mostly mental. Yes, you need to make sure that you learn your skills well and that you are confident about your ability to perform them when it counts. But you also make sure that you are mentally prepared for any situation. Here are a few tips about how to get your mental game in order.

1. Mental Toughness

Your state of mind is is as key to being good at volleyball as your skill set. To be a great player you have to learn to be mentally tough. Train your brain as well as your body and you will find success. Here is a definition of mental toughness as it pertains to volleyball and here are some tips for developing it.

2. Team Building

Each year as a team comes together to play a season of volleyball, the dynamic is different. When you have different types of players, different personalities, different work ethics and different goals, teams can be very disjointed. Team building is a technique used to put groups of people on the same page, whether in the work place or on the field of play.

3. What to Do When You Hate Your Coach

Chances are that at one point or another during your career you are going to run into a coach you don't like. It may be his coaching style, his decision-making or even just his personality itself that rubs you the wrong way. Before you transfer or quit the team, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

4. How to Handle A Hostile Crowd

Every once in a while you will enter into another team's home gym and find that their crowd is not so welcoming. The last thing you want to do is allow the crowd or a few hecklers to make a difference in the outcome of your match. Here are a few ways to deal with playing volleyball in front of a hostile crowd.

5. How Clutch Are You?

Imagine for a moment that you’re in the fifth set of the championship match. Your team has been battling well against it's biggest rival. Your opponent just put the ball away to go up 14-13 and is serving for match point. As your team lines up in passing formation, it is time to call the play. With the match and the championship on the line, who do you want to get the set and to ultimately take that all-important swing?

6. Mental Imagery

As many have said before, excelling at sports is mostly mental. You have to believe in yourself and your teammates and when the pressure is on, you have to stay calm and relaxed. If that is true, why is it that we spend so much time focusing on the physical training and so little time mentally preparing for matches and competitions?

7. Never Let Up

The loss of focus is a danger that volleyball players at all levels can fall prey to if they’re not careful. It is very difficult to keep your intensity level high for the entire duration of the match, which can last up to three hours. Losing focus for just a few points can give your opponents the cushion they need to steal the momentum or worse, to win the set or match.

8. Know Your Players

The hardest part about volleyball coaching is knowing when to push and when to back off. You want to make your players the best they can be and to do that you need to challenge them. Many coaches walk a fine line between motivation and badgering. If you take all of the fun out of the game for a player, they may burn out.
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