Can you believe it's almost time for another season to get started? It always seems that no matter how many years you play, the excitement for a new season never fades and then it’s over before you know it! Because practice time is so limited during volleyball season, it’s important to make the most of the time with your teammates and coaches while you can. By prepping for the season before it arrives you are not only bettering yourself as a player, but also doing your part in helping your team. As a college coach, here are the top three things I expect my players to do to prep for an upcoming season.
Be Prepared Physically
Most schools only have a short window to get their teams ready for the season. As a coach, the last thing that I want to do with my players when they come to campus is to take time out of practice to get them in shape. Make sure to schedule or find time to do your training and conditioning over the summer. No matter how hard it may be at the time, you will always thank yourself in the long run. If everyone on your team comes back in the gym in good physical shape, you will get more time with a ball to work on skills to make sure you are all ready on the court.
Be on Top of Your Mental Game
Come to try outs and practices with the mentality that you want to get better. Speaking as a coach, the best players are not always the most skilled or athletic but those that come in day in and day out and want to get better. They aren't going to settle for anything less than their best. They want to compete.
Set Your Priorities
What do you want to accomplish this season? Don't let small things get in the way of those goals. Sure, you will set team goals, but it takes each individual team member working together and trying to better themselves to be successful. If you have a tournament, do what it takes to make sure you are physically and mentally ready. This means getting the proper amount of rest and fueling your body the right away – not staying up all night eating junk food. Not only are you setting your priorities, but you are doing your job to help your team.
In my opinion, volleyball is the epitome of a team sport. It will take each and every member of your team to help make your season successful so make sure you do your role to help your team get off to a successful season. Good luck and have fun!
Written by Ashlee Pritchard
Ashlee Pritchard is the head volleyball coach at Marian University in Indianapolis. This fall she will be in her sixth year leading the Knights. She played four years at Taylor University in Upland, IN. When she is not coaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, her two year old daughter Charlotte and their English bulldog.