TAKE A SEAT - Cross Training Using Sitting Volleyball [ARTICLE]

TAKE A SEAT - Cross Training Using Sitting Volleyball

By: Bill Hamiter and Cara Long

Originally Published in: Coaching Volleyball

Copyright and Provided by: AVCA

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It may come as a surprise that many coaches have turned to the sitting game looking for ways to cross train their court athletes. Players learn new skills and enhance their existing skill set much more effectively when the brain is fully focused. In many cases, court players will try to overcome deficiencies in certain areas by overcompensating with their feet, whether it be serving, setting, etc. If you take that strategy away from them, the player is forced to focus back on the key elements that comprise the movement that they need to work on.

Even incorporating elements of the sitting game into warm-up routines can make a notable difference. By isolating particular elements of the game, the player focuses on specific movements that they'll need throughout the match. For example, let's look at blocking. Distance away from the net, penetration and anticipation all contribute to an effective block, and because the ball speed is so quick in the sitting game, the defender must get into the best position possible in order prevent a lack of control. Take a look at how this drill breaks blocking down into the most essential movements, forcing the player to focus on hand placement and penetration.

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Likewise, the sitting game inherently offers an approach that necessitates incidental contact between players. Typically, court players will be hyper-aware of the players around them on the court and seeing glimpses of their teammates in their peripheral vision can lead to hesitancy and distraction. The act of following the ball in the sitting game will get them accustomed to contact and cause them to be more spatially aware.

Just as in blocking, the sitting game forces the setter to be more deliberate about their arm positioning and accuracy. If the arms are poorly aligned, they can't simply move their feet to compensate. Isolating the movement creates an ideal situation for observation and feedback.

Serving is another aspect of the game that the sitting approach offers instant feedback on. Each player typically begins their serve with the toss - which, when using your feet, isn't as important when the footwork can be used to correct for poor tossing. Isolating the toss, however, can force the player to focus on their ideal toss height and position.

Sitting also forces the timing to be dialed in - have the player focus on not rotating too early or late. Not rotating until the right arm begins to swing keeps maximum rotational force intact.

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In the sitting game, the reaction times are shortened considerably. When they receive the ball, due to the shorter distance that the ball travels, they need to be mindful about their positioning and passing. Increased focus on ball control can lead to more accurately getting the ball to the setter. The player must work on effectively redirecting the ball without much time to think about their hands and wrists.

The sitting game isolates movements and affords the coach an opportunity to observe specific elements of the game without extraneous movements and distractions. For more examples and possible drills to incorporate into your practice routines, check out "Cross Training Using Sitting Volleyball" featuring Bill Hamiter and Cara Long.

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