Training Insights, Applications, and New Innovations
Ramping up Properly for Fall
Fall season is upon us! As your staff prepares for camp, pre-season, navigating schedules, medical exams, new students, and all the other elements involved in getting back on the court, VERT is here to help.
One of THE most important things that coaches can do to start the season is to plan training
loads wisely. Pre-season should be treated as preparation for what matters most. If you’ve
watched one of my talks or read previous articles then you’ve heard this before, if you order a steak and it arrives burnt, you’re in trouble. If it’s undercooked, you can always cook it a little more.
From a training perspective, this is how we should look at building volume on the court. If we
start at 300 jumps on day one of practice, your athletes will not have the physical capacity to
properly manage such load, leading to a dramatically higher risk of both acute and chronic
injuries. Those may not pop up during week one (though they’ll certainly be sore), but they will likely creep up mid-conference play when we need our athletes performing at their best.
Then comes the question, “If I build my athlete’s capacity at a responsible rate, how high should I take their volume?”
In theory, by following a strict acute to chronic workload model and starting the season low
(roughly 85 jumps for middles average week one, 70 for outsides as an example), and building 10%-15% week over week, you may be able to get through that season with minimal injury, even with attackers getting well into the 200’s multiple times a week.
The argument for this model is reps. Don’t practice until you get something right, practice so
that you can’t get it wrong. However, there are multiple issues with working with such a heavy
load. First, even with proper linear progressions, you are still training your athletes in a fatigued state more often than may be necessary. Second, and most importantly, there is only so much cartilage in the knees. Volleyball is not a healthy sport for your knees, hips, back, and shoulders.That is not a revelatory statement, but it is a fact. All sports require such repetition that our bodies will eventually break down, so the name of the game is balance. At what volume, with what practice planning strategy will I get the most out of my athletes, while still limiting the risk of injury and elongating their careers?
Especially with new professional opportunities on the horizon, it will become more important
than ever, as stewards of our athletes, to ensure, should they have the opportunity to play after they leave your program, they can do so as effectively as possible.
Educating Recruits and their Parents
At multiple club tournaments this season, members of the VERT Performance Lab watched
some of our VERT Club teams compete. In many cases, we were watching alongside our
collegiate programs, as coaches examined potential recruits and supported future members
of their teams. This presented us with the opportunity to meet some of the future collegiate
athletes we would be tracking at the next phase of their volleyball careers.
Typically, players for us here at VERT are names and numbers......a lot of numbers. When your daily goal is to keep these players healthy and advise on training methodologies and optimal periodization models, it’s great to be able to meet them in person.
We’ve had parents dole out grateful hugs, learning their athletes were not only receiving the
care of the coaching staff but the added layers of a sports science team, solely dedicated to
monitoring their on-court training volume. It is always interesting to learn how little the parents and student-athletes really know about what goes into keeping their bodies healthy, from nutritional support to sports medicine, mental health, and bio-data.
VERT has begun scheduling calls with many teams and meeting with the players via video chat to tell them our story, explain the importance of wearing the VERTs, and answer any questions.This has led to stronger buy-in and helped our athletes take ownership of the important fact that, despite all of the support they have, each athlete is ultimately responsible for his or her body AND health.
If you are a VTS client and would like to schedule a call, please use the link below to select a date and time!
The Long Awaited VERT PATCH.
Introducing the VERT PATCH, that sticks inside the top lining of your athletes practice
or game shorts, for our most comfortable option to date.
For more information on the VERT Team System,
please schedule a demo HERE.
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