Here are a few more observations that I made recently at a volleyball tournament.
- Warm-ups – For this, I’m referring to the non-sport skill part of the warm up. While there was a lot of variation in the warm ups that teams did, many of them were using some type of dynamic warm up rather than entirely static stretching. The problem was that it was obvious that the athletes didn’t understand the importance of using good technique during the drills. They tended to go through them quickly without any effort on technique. That probably reflects the coaching that went into each warm up drill. Like many sport coaches, not enough emphasis is put on coaching the warm up. I was impressed to see one team making a lot of use of a massage stick prior to their warm up.
- Landings – I wrote earlier about one case of poor landing mechanics. While that was the one that stood out the most, there were examples on almost all of the teams of players consistently landing with their legs locked out. The reason why this probably doesn’t get corrected is that many of these teams do not regularly work with ATC’s or CSCS’s. For most of these athletes, if their volleyball coach doesn’t identify the problem and make corrections, it won’t get fixed. As we all know, this isn’t the sport coaches area of expertise. Plus, their focus is generally on sports skills, not sport performance. I will admit that I did see a couple of teams work in some injury prevention drills for their ankles so some of the coaches are doing something to prevent injuries.
- Jumping – A lot of the kids do need some work on their jumping skills. Not only could some technique work help, it is obvious that many of these girls need to work to develop basic strength.
On a very positive note, I did meet one young coach who “gets it”. She realizes that not all of the girls are there because they aspire to play volleyball at the college level. She does understand that many of the girls could benefit from developing their basic athletic skills. The coach also realizes that sometimes there are better ways to do things. I think that she will make her players better – the right way. We need more progressive coaches like her.