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Volleyball Training Journal issue 015
July 03, 2008

1) Speed in Volleyball

2) Volleyball Strength Program



There are many different kinds of speed...

Start speed, acceleration, max speed, speed of recognition, and speed of creativity.

Start Speed

Start speed is also referred to as first step quickness.

In basketball, an athlete that has an explosive first step can more quickly get by a defender.

Tennis players increase the power of the first step to more quickly recover the ball.

In volleyball, first step quickness allows you to get to the ball early.

Often it's a fraction of a second that makes the difference when making a play.

First step quickness is very important for getting in position and making plays in volleyball.

Volleyball players have to generate a great amount of explosive power in just a few steps.

First step quickness is important for approaching fast and getting up high in the air.


Training specifically for increased acceleration isn't usually important for volleyball because most moves in volleyball take place using just a few steps (if any at all).

Maximum Speed

After a sprinter accelerates for about 100 yards, they are close to reaching their top speed. Obviously, you don’t ever reach top speed when playing volleyball.

Speed of Recognition

Speed of recognition is the ability to read the situation.

Speed of recognition allows you to appear much faster than you actually are.

In volleyball, often times an experienced defensive player reads a hitter anticipating where the ball is going to be hit. A good defender can often times anticipate where the ball is being hit even before contact with ball is made. This ability to anticipate can make it seem like the defender is lightning quick.

A smart defender knows there are only certain shots a hitter can hit when the hitter adjusts their approach.

For example, if after a hitter approaches and jumps up in the air, if they reach up high extending their arm, the defense should anticipate a shot or tip coming. As a defender, you see the arm extended up and you know they can’t hit the ball hard because they aren’t swinging… so now you are anticipating and ready to move to pick up the shot.

Also, if you know your opponent well and know their favorite shots, you can more easily anticipate the shot that’s coming.

Speed of Creativity

Speed of creativity is the ability to force your opponent into a situation where they don’t look very good.

A player that has the ability to create their own situations uses the speed of creativity.

An example in volleyball would be if you line your team up in serve receive with the intention to “bait” your opponent to serve to certain area of the court.

Or in doubles, if you line up in serve receive standing in the middle of the court giving away line tempting the server to go after your line.



I'm just a few weeks away from releasing my Volleyball Strength Program. This program won't be available to everyone, so if you haven't yet, get on the priority notification list.


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