Imagine taking your new car out for a spin and driving it at red-line RPM’s for a full tank of gas. How long do you think your new car will last? Not very long.
Similarly, athletes cannot function at peak efficiency all year long either. Yet, many clubs encourage athletes to play their sport year-round, without any significant breaks. Athletes need cycles of training and rest if they are to play their best at the key moments in the season. As Ard Biesheuvel & Mary Dyck stated in their book Coaching Volleyball Champions, “The coaches are doing a great job technically, but I worry about overuse. I see a lot more burn out with the girls where either they are getting injured or they feel they have played enough volleyball and don’t want play year-round. When some women get on college teams, they have played so much and earned their goal of a scholarship, but they’re totally burnt out.”
This is why we at C4 takes a Cycled Training Approach (If you want to do some research on it, the technical term is periodization.) After a player’s high school season and club tryout, she needs a physical and mental break from volleyball. She needs rest. We do not practice in November. Instead, we use November for rest, sports psychology, and preparing for recruitment. We begin some physical training/fitness in December. By the time a player begins practice in January, she is refreshed and raring to get back on the court.
This information is consistent with Sports Doctors are telling us. Too many clubs are unintentionally damaging their athletes’ volleyball careers through overuse injuries and athlete burnout. Don’t be fooled. By starting a player’s club season in November, you are actually risking long-term harm to their volleyball career. At C4 we believe that physical and psychological rest is crucial in helping our players enjoy volleyball well past their college volleyball career.