Just wanted to say sorry to anyone out there who checks this blog. It has been a fairly busy time for me recently and haven’t been able to put up regular content. I have just moved to Adelaide to start studying a Masters of Physiotherapy (Graduate Entry). I have also just started a new job with Tennis Australia as a part-time Strength & Conditioning coach. This has kept me pretty busy, but also gives me plenty of oppurtunities to learn, which hopefully will flow through to the blog.

I have a break from uni coming up in a few weeks, so hopefully I will be able to get some content up then.

Hang in there loyal readers, it’s coming….

2 Replies to “Sorry!”

  1. Volleyball Training: A Targeted Approach

    Training for volleyball players should focus on the skills, movements, and power requirements that are specific to the game of volleyball – duh, right? Although sport-specific training is being implemented more now than ever before, there’s still far too much training being conducted that is archaic and in many cases counter-productive (do we really care how much weight a volleyball player can bench press or power clean? I sure don’t!). Surely there is a role for resistance training but it should be targeted to meet the demands of the sport. Close attention should be paid to ensuring that the resistance training doesn’t lead to increases in muscle hypertrophy (increase in size/cross-sectional area of muscle fiber) that result in a decrease in flexibility and range of motion about the joints. This phenomenon can lead to alterations in movement patterns (which can actually reduce maximum force and velocity production) and increase the risk of injury. What follows are some suggestions and examples of the some of the volleyball training that we conduct at the Speedology® Institute in Louisiana.


    40-yard dash speed is meaningless for volleyball players. 1st step quickness is the goal. We train sport-specific movements using specialized training gear. All gear used allows for a free and full motion of the specific movement pattern being performed. The results we experience simply can’t be produced with barbell Olympic lifting being the primary focus. We have moved Olympic lifting to a limited and auxiliary role for most sports, certainly for volleyball!
    Speedology® Speedbands – have a direct, causal and immediate effect on speed. Although used primarily for sprint speed we find that they are beneficial for volleyball players in that they directly stimulate the fast-twitch fibers of the hip flexors. Many of our high school volleyball players also play other sports so that makes the speedband training especially useful! We will do 4 sets of 15 reps each leg as a “warm-up” to our lower-body training (most of our athletes will argue that it is a warm-up!) Each set is followed with 2 explosive short sprints (maybe just 10 yds for volleyball players).
    The speedbands can also be used to both resist and assist the pass/dig movements. This is AWESOME training for volleyball players. This is volleyball-specific training that has a direct and immediate effect on performance. Athletes perform 10 reps moving right, 10 reps moving left focusing on the blasting the 1st step. Immediately off the bands we will perform a full speed “shuttle” between 2 cones (cones are placed at a distance that allows for 2 or 3 steps), digging at each cone. The shuttle will consist of 6 digs.
    (Longer bungies can be used to perform movements along the net or any other volleyball movements that require more than then the super fast, short movement of the dig.) We focus on resisting the movements in the off-season and transfer to assisting (overspeed) the movements pre-season and in-season.

    Skillz® Weighted Vest and Shorts – obvious benefit for resisting sport-specific movements and great for all plyometric training. We incorporate standing vertical
    jumps, broad jumps, tuck jumps, and box jumps in our volleyball training and we have our players wear the vest and shorts for all of them.
    For example: we do a high rep (15) explosive leg press followed immediately by 10 max vertical jumps, you can also perform the approach and spike for 10 reps (no set or strike, just the full speed movement). We often alternate the two for a total of 4 sets (leg press, vertical; leg press approach); 4 sets of hex bar squats (performed by exploding straight into a calf raise) for 10 reps immediately followed by single leg step jumps for 20 reps.
    Whatever plyometric training you perform the weighted vest and shorts will help to significantly enhance power and explosiveness. We use the vest and shorts right up to the start of the season when we transfer our focus to overspeed training. The Skillz® brand is outstanding. The snug and comfortable fit allows for unimpeded and full-speed movement. When it comes to this kind of training gear you must be very discerning as to protect athletes from training-related injuries. For this reason we only use the very best available at the Institute.
    Katapult® Plyometric Training Shoes – clearly, maximizing vertical leaping ability is of paramount importance for volleyball players. The Katapult® shoes will help any athlete who desires to improve their vertical leap. We have documented some remarkable results from our training protocols coupled with use of the Katapult® shoes. On most lower-body or speed training days we have our athletes in the Katapults throughout the entire workout.


    By “prehab” I’m referring to preventive maintenance for the shoulder joint. We do everything we can to prevent stress-related injuries before they occur! The stress to the shoulder experienced by volleyball players when spiking (and serving to a lesser degree) is very similar to the stress experienced by baseball pitchers. Therefore, I employ similar rotator cuff and scapula work for both pitchers and volleyball players. The protocols I use are extensive and they would have to be explained by using too much technical terminology for this forum. Therefore I would recommend conducting an Internet query of “rotator cuff exercises”. You will find plenty examples – there even some YouTube videos of exercises.

    In closing I encourage you to commit yourself to being the best you can be – so PLAY HARD OR GO HOME!!!

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