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Those other days......

One of the stark differences between school volleyball and club volleyball is the amount of time players spend "in-training" with their coaches/staffs. With school volleyball, especially in Oklahoma, most players can expect to spend a minimum of 4, if not 5-6 days every week working in they gym with their coaches and teammates.

In club volleyball, that "in-training" time is significantly less, as most club teams only practice 1-3 times a week. So, with less time to work with their coaches, the ability of players to make themselves better outside of the "in-training" times becomes a bigger component to their development.

So, here are some recommendations to players to maximize their volleyball development.

- Take ownership of your training: Players that are serious about becoming better at their sport should expect to be pro-active with their planning. DON'T rely on your parents or club coaches to tell you everything regarding what to do and when (though coaches, and especially parents, can be good "assistants" as players continue to learn this responsibility).

- Make good decisions: If you're consistently "grounded", behind in your other responsibilities such as academics, chores, etc., being consistent with your athletic development outside of team events will be more difficult.

- Plan and prioritize: It should feel easier to complete all of the things you want to accomplish if you have a better grasp of what needs to be done and when. The "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" method is usually not one of the better methods of training (but may still be better than none at all.)

- Get feedback and advice: Ask a coach what you can work on with your situation (some may have sisters/brothers/parents/neighbors/nearby teammates that can participate in some drills, others may not). Ask a parent/guardian to advise on planning and prioritizing. These things are great ways to take advantage of the expertise "the adults" have, and at the same time, show them you are doing your part to take responsibility for your progress.

- Clinics/lessons: Some clubs and coaches will offer additional opportunities to work on specific skills, techniques, etc. Don't be afraid to take advantage of extra opportunities to "put the work in".

The less "in-training" doesn't have to be a detriment to your progress as a volleyball player (or any sport). You just have to know how to maximize your situation to it's fullest. And after all, isn't that one of the necessities of being a competitive athlete?

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