Winter is almost upon us! Even you lucky Californians and Floridians are beginning to pack up that beach volleyball net as the increased wind and decreased temperatures have forced us all indoors.
Of course, volleyball never stops. All you indoor players are seething to get the season underway, but maybe you have your eyes already set on next Spring. Indoor volleyball is no easy task, but playing on a court is much more familiar than navigating through sand. Some beach volleyball tips to get you through the winter will go a long way towards ensuring you dominate your next season on the sand.
Why now? Because champions are built in the offseason. Whether you are an indoor volleyball player or not, here are a handful of beach volleyball tips that will get you ready to go months ahead of time.
Don’t Skip Leg Day
We have previously discussed the technical differences between beach volleyball and indoor volleyball on our blog, but scoring and court size mean very little if your body isn’t prepared to handle the rigors of the sand!
In this interview with Stack.com, you’ll find a very effective workout plan from pro volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings where she explains how she develops her lower body strength.
A big part of tailoring your workout regimen towards beach volleyball over indoor is simply moving your workouts to the sand in order to become more familiar with the terrain. Bodies are funny in the sense that they’re so adaptable.
One big key to get your body acclimated to playing on sand is by doing sprints instead of jogging. This will simulate the quick bursts of movement you’ll need to master to become a great beach volleyball player.
Invest in Quality Shades
You might already rock some pretty stylish sunglasses on the regular, but it’s unlikely they’ll translate to the beach volleyball court. For serious players, this is a department where you’re going to need to up your game.
Your typical aviators aren’t going to cut it because it’s important to have sunglasses with UV coating, polarized lenses and rubber grips to make sure they stay in place while sweating. Oakley’s are a good bet to ensure your performance is at its best.
It’s important to make sure the lenses are polarized since the sun’s rays will reflect off the sand and ocean and provide a bad glare, which will alter your performance. That’s the last thing you want!
The Wind is a Factor
This goes without saying, but you aren’t going to get adept at playing to the wind without lots of practice.
One beach volleyball tip to keep in mind is keeping the ball as low as possible on passes and sets. A high set exposes the ball to the wind more due to the longer hang time, making it harder for your teammate to finish.
Topspin and sidespin are crucial as well, particularly on windier days. You’ll have more control over the ball if you can put a little mustard on it to cut through any effects the wind might have. Get out there and play around to see what feels comfortable. Developing a wicked slice serve could be a devastating weapon to add to your arsenal that you didn’t get to brandish in your indoor volleyball league.
Now, Let’s Get to Work!
There’s no way to simulate the environment of the beach, so the only way to work on your craft is to get out there. Hopefully it’s not too cold where you are, but if so, a couple days of bundling up and hitting the beach for some workouts will pay off next season.
Let us know if you have any beach volleyball tips as well!