Bump, Set, Spike: Mental Tips From Volleyball Icons
Volleyball is a high-intensity sport that requires a blend of strength, agility, timing, and stamina. While played globally year-round, sand and hardwood versions of this dynamic game are showcased every four years in the summer Olympics. Volleyball is one of the fastest-growing sports at the youth level and has naturally gained tremendous popularity in college.
We scoured the internet to find mental tips some of the top players and coaches.
“Volleyball can be a very negative sport. You’re going to hit the ball out and you’re going to make an error. I think the biggest mistake players can make is getting down on yourself or others on the team. It’s learning how to play in the moment.” – Scott Fortune, 3-time Olympian, as told to The Athletes Village.
“I always used to get nervous before games and would wonder what’s wrong with me. I just learned to accept it and used the butterflies to my advantage. I would also take some quiet time before my match. No music, no noise. Just me by myself. That allowed me to get more focused.” – Kerri Walsh Jennings in an interview with the Positive Coaching Alliance.
“I realized that if I’d done everything possible to prepare myself for matches and tournaments, it took a weight off my shoulders and allowed me to play without the fear of losing.” 2-time Olympic gold medalist Karch Kiraly, on The Art Of Coaching Volleyball.
“Coaches definitely prioritize recruiting at certain positions over others,” Simic says. “Hitters are a priority over liberos and defensive specialists.” – National recruiting volleyball coach, Lana Simic.
“I would say to stick with volleyball even when you’re getting frustrated or when you think you’re so overwhelmed with how difficult practices are. It will definitely pay off in the long run. Just keep that vision in mind during the tough times.” – Amanda Kirtley, former player at Cal-Berkeley.
“Not paying attention in the huddle, giving a teammate a dirty look, reacting poorly to coaching instruction and slacking off are all great ways to make a bad impression with a college coach,” – Matt Sonnichsen, former coach at Louisiana Tech and Tulsa on sportsengine.