Improving Your Speed in Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball: Improving Your Speed on the Sand

Woman running on sand to train for beach volleyball

Two traits that talented beach volleyball players must exhibit are footwork and speed. If you want to improve your game, one of the best ways is to improve your ability to move around the sand. Many indoor volleyball players will head outside to try their skills on the beach and find they have a lot of trouble moving around. Pros refer to this as “getting your sand legs.” While the skills that make you successful in indoor volleyball often translate to beach volleyball, speed and agility can be slow to translate if you are unused to moving in the sand. Today, City Beach would like to share some tips for improving your ability to move on the beach volleyball court.

How to Improve Your Speed on Sand

When you first move to the beach, you will inevitably feel slow and heavy. Your agility will be hampered, and your vertical will decline. Having a constantly shifting surface beneath your feet simply makes movement difficult. So how do you improve your ability to get around the beach volleyball court?

Your first step is to simply get out and move on the sand. Take your morning run on the beach. Train on the sand. Your body will be using muscles that you simply do not use on an indoor court. After a few weeks, your muscles will begin to acclimate and react faster while on the sand.

Work on your vertical jump while in the sand. Unlike when you push off of an indoor court for your approach jump, sand will give way under your feet. This takes precious inches off your vertical and can cause you to feel sluggish.

In indoor volleyball, you can pound your feet on the hardwood to transfer your forward momentum into your jump. With beach volleyball, this method doesn’t work. Instead, focus more on your positioning and explode upwards. Before you take off, allow some time to transfer weight from forward to upward motion, this allows the sand beneath your feet to pack and provide a bit more vertical on the soft sand.

When playing beach volleyball, many indoor players feel as if they are just coming short on digs or transitioning to make plays on the ball. When playing on the sand, it is important to focus on playing “through” the ball.

Don’t think of the ball as your destination, and keep pumping your legs when you make a play on the ball. Indoor players have a tendency to get to where the ball will almost be, and then reach to make the play. In beach volleyball, you slow much faster and will find yourself coming up short on many of your plays if you don’t run through the ball.

Interested in Playing Beach Volleyball?

If you are interested in playing beach volleyball, contact City Beach today. We offer open play as well as opportunities to play on teams. To learn more call us today at 408-654-9330.

Volleyball 101: Skill Positions on a Volleyball Team

Understanding the Different Skill Positions of a Volleyball Team

Volleyball team posing in front of court

As volleyball players become more serious about their game and join higher levels of competition, they will find that specializing in specific positions becomes a larger part of their game and training. Higher level volleyball teams begin incorporating specific skill sets, where each player has a specific role to play. In order to take your understanding of the game to the next level, City Beach will discuss each of these seven roles and the significance of each position.

Positions on a Volleyball Team

    • Outside Hitter – An outside hitter hits and blocks the left side of the court. They most often attack the balls which the setter sets to the left side, so they place themselves on the left front position. They often play both front and back row, so they need a solid all-around skill set.
    • Opposite Hitter – Opposite hitters play on the opposite side of the outside hitter, on the right side. Opposite hitters play a similar role to the outside hitter, with front and back row responsibilities. Players in this position should be proficient at passing, attacking, blocking, serving, and defense. Many volleyball teams like to have left-handed opposite hitters to create difficult angles for the defense.
    • Middle Blocker – Middle blockers are a volleyball team’s best blockers. They hit mostly fast-tempo sets from the middle of the court. The primary job of the middle blocker is to stop the opponent’s middle, outside, and right side hitters. Typically, the libero will substitute in for the middle blocker when they rotate to the back row. The ability to block and provide difficult passes are key to success for a middle blocker.

 

  • Libero – The libero is a specialist who is only allowed to play in the backcourt. You can find the libero on any volleyball team because they will be wearing a different colored jersey from their teammates. The libero has the special ability to enter and exit the game without substitution requests. Liberos can play six rotations total but are only allowed to serve for one player. Successful liberos need to have the best passing and defensive skills on the team, as that is their main responsibility on the court.  

 

  • Setter – A setter’s primary responsibility is to take the second ball and set it up for one of the primary hitters to attack. The setter plays a huge role on the team and is often referred to as the “quarterback.” A setter typically plays all the way around, however, in some lineups (6-2), there may be two appointed setters. The ability to block, serve, play defense, and, most importantly, provide great sets are key to a setter’s success.
  • Defensive & Serving Specialist – Some volleyball teams use defensive and serving specialists as well. A defensive specialist plays back row defense similar to a libero. Unlike the libero, they do not wear a different jersey and must abide by the regular substitution rules. A serving specialist is a player who subs in just to serve. These players generally have a very tough or consistent serve and will replace defensive or attacking players who have a less challenging serve.

Visit City Beach to Bring Your Game to the Next Level

At City Beach, we have coaches and trainers who are experts at helping young men and women improve their volleyball game. If you are interested in improving your game, contact City Beach today at 408-654-9330.

What Do Coaches Look For During Club Volleyball Tryouts?

Club Volleyball: What Do Coaches Look For During Tryouts?

Club volleyball coach at tryouts

When preparing for a club volleyball tryout, you may be wondering what exactly you can do to get a bid for a team. While each club team and coach has different values and preferences, there are a few things that most coaches will look for when scouting for new additions. Today, City Beach will discuss some traits that coaches tend to look for, as well as things that you can do to stand out during tryouts.

Specific Skill Positions

Most coaches will know what positions they need to recruit for when adding to their club volleyball team. The two most popular positions going into a tryout are outside hitters and liberos. Middle blockers and opposite hitters are positions that tend to have fewer girls. If you can play either of these positions, it may help you catch the coaches eye. Left-handed opposite hitters, in particular, are always in high demand by club volleyball teams. Setters are also extremely important, and talented setters will often get a more thorough look from coaches.

Versatility

Coaches love players who are versatile and able to fill multiple positions. During tryouts, girls are often asked to specify which positions they are looking to play. Having the ability and willingness to play multiple spots will improve your chances of landing a bid with a club volleyball team. Being unselfish and playing what is best for the team is a great way to get a coach to notice you.

Talent and Potential

There are some things that cannot be taught. Tall players are naturally going to stand out, as will athletic players. The truth is tall, athletic players will have a leg up when it comes to club volleyball tryouts. However, coaches are also always on the lookout for potential. Very rarely will they notice a girl who always serves in-bounds. An exceptionally hard jump serve, however, will always stand out. Girls should really give it their all and not focus on playing safe. A hard spike that is out of bounds will stand out to a coach more than a soft hit in bounds. This is a tryout, not a game, really give it your all while you are out there.

Hustle

Lastly, if you aren’t as talented or experienced as some of the other girls, it is important that you give the extra effort they may not be willing to give. A girl who is hustling on the court and plays with heart is something that always gets noticed. No matter what your physical skill set, hustle can be what makes sets you apart in the coach’s eyes.

Interested in Joining a Club Volleyball Team?

Keep an eye out for City Beach club volleyball tryouts. We host nearly 30 club volleyball teams of varying ages and skill levels. If you want to take your game to the next level, contact City Beach today.

How Club Volleyball Prepares You For Collegiate Athletics

Club Volleyball: How the Increased Competition Prepares You For College Volleyball

Female volleyball player in front of club volleyball teams

Club volleyball is quickly becoming the best method to prepare high school athletes for collegiate athletics. The NCAA recently performed a survey of over 21,000 college athletes, asking if they played club or high school sports. Women’s volleyball had an overwhelming result in favor of club volleyball. 91% of women’s volleyball players competed on a club volleyball team. Club volleyball has quite a few advantages over high school athletics. Today, City Beach will discuss how club volleyball is the number one way to prepare for college athletics.

Increased Level of Competition

One of the greatest aspects of playing club volleyball is the increased competition you will face. Not only are you playing with better players and competing for playing time on your team, but you will face teams that will force you to play your best. The majority of players who join club volleyball teams are serious about improving their game. If you can separate yourself from the pack in club volleyball, college scouts will notice.

Year-Round Play

Girls high school volleyball is held in the fall, while boys high school volleyball is generally a Spring sport. With club volleyball, you have the opportunity to play all year. Club teams like those at City Beach offer competitive play during what would be the offseason for those who only participate in high school volleyball. If you are serious about transitioning to collegiate play, it is important that you dedicate yourself to improving year-round.

High-End Facilities and Superior Coaching Resources

Perhaps the most important aspect of playing club volleyball is the access to high-end training and coaching resources. Successful coaches are in high demand for a reason. Coaches with experience and knowledge of what it takes to be successful at the collegiate level can provide you valuable insight into improving your game. Many high school coaches have some experience with the sport but are largely selected out of the available teaching staff. Most high school coaches have had some high school experience but very rarely were they also successful collegiate players. Club volleyball teams recruit standout collegiate players who can give guidance to players who are dedicated to becoming the best they can be.

Interested in Joining a Club Volleyball Team?

City Beach has club volleyball teams ranging from our 11 & Under team to our 18 & Under team, with varying levels of experience and competition. If you or your child are interested in improving their volleyball game in the hopes of eventually becoming a collegiate athlete, or just to become a better high school player, City Beach is the place to go. Interested in learning more? Contact us today at 408-654-9330.