Adding a Functional Strength Training Program for Your Volleyball Club

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Like any club in the country, when budgeting time comes at the beginning of each year, it means hard choices sometimes have to be made. Do we add the new program we have been discussing for a couple years? Do we expand on what we are already doing? Do we invest more in equipment and training tools? Can we finally hire that new full or part time staff member?

All of these questions are things we have to answer at the beginning of the season. For Carolina Union Volleyball, one program that we have sought to have in place over the last couple of years is a functional strength training program for our older National teams. Thanks to the JVA Sponsorship Program, we had $2,000 in sponsorship dollars from the JVA that we were able to put directly toward making this new program happen.

The nature of the club season doesn't allow for much of a true "building" period from a lifting standpoint, and the amount of time that we get with our kids prevents us from developing massive "gains" over the course of the season. So, our main focus is core strengthening and injury prevention.

The functional strength training program is broken up into 4 week blocks. Each block focuses on a different primary lift, along with three accessory body weight exercises. The main lift in each block was meant to be explosive or to focus on core muscles. These lifts are Squats, RDL's, Push Press, Deadlifts, and Power/Hang Cleans.The body weight exercises include lunges, planks, push-ups, mountain climbers, multiple exercises with a Bosu ball to help stabilize muscles, sit ups and other ab work with medicine balls, body weight squats, etc. 

Each training session is 35 minutes long twice a week on practice days. It is just enough time to fit all the exercises in without adding too much of a time commitment on the players. Our program is far from perfect, and we are working hard this next year to significantly improve upon it. But for a new club like ours, it is a start in the right direction!

It's also a start that may not have been possible without our JVA Silver Level sponsorship last season. As we all know, travel ball isn't cheap, and every time we add to a program, staff need to be paid, and thus, costs go up. The JVA sponsorship has allowed us to add this program without dramatically increasing costs!

For related education on fitness for junior volleyball, click here. For more education for Club Directors, click here.

About the Author

John Brannon is entering his fourth season as the Club Director of Carolina Union Volleyball Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has been a member of the JVA since 2011. Under his guidance, CUVC has opened it's own training facility with a State-of-the-Art Orthopedic Subfloor and has grown from 12 teams to 24 teams in just three years. 


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