This article was co-written by Joey Pierron and Wyatt Semke.
As the cold weather descends, you may be wondering if there are still ways to stay in peak roundnet condition. While the weather may not allow you to play comfortably outside, there are plenty of other ways to keep your game strong. As is the case in any sport, the off season doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and rest. It requires plenty of training to make sure you are ready for next season. Here are some of the things you can do to improve your game once it gets colder outside.
Find gym space:
Look into local athletic complexes to see if they have gymnasiums that you can play in. Figure out open gym times and find out how busy they typically are to know if there will be enough room to play. Also find out if the facility offers free open gym times or if you need to pay an entry fee and/or have a membership. Additionally if any places around you have an indoor turf field, try to use that as well.
- Racquetball Courts:
Another good indoor option to get your touches in are racquetball courts. While it is a little tighter space wise, a few rules modifications will allow you get in some good, competitive roundnet. The first change is to allow balls to be playable off the wall. This can lead to wild rallies and is a necessity to deal with the smaller space. The other is to have the receiving team switch positions if the serving team wins the point since racquetball courts are narrow and don’t have enough room to allow serving from all four spots. One other bonus modification to try is to allow one bounce off the ground per possession. This is a fun way to warm up or just a way to create longer rallies.
- Indoor Volleyball Courts:
Bars with sand volleyball courts become a great option in the winter! Inquire about open times and ask about rental fees. Even better, if you know the owners they will likely cut you a deal ;) Many businesses are open to accommodating you to fill their schedule. After all it is more money for them!
- Practice at home:
This one will depend on the layout of your residence but we'll throw out a handful of suggestions to keep your options open. The first would be to hit and serve against a wall somewhere like your bedroom or basement if you have enough room (Disclaimer: remove any breakable items away from where you are playing. Roundnet World does not take responsibility for anything broken because of this article). The offseason is a great time to work exclusively on your serve! See our previous blog post on 'Serve like a pro' HERE. Experiment with new footwork and angles that you haven’t tried before! Another spot where you might have more room to hit around is the garage. Even if it’s not heated, it would block out the wind and elements to make it bearable to practice while wearing less layers. One final tip that you can use with pretty much any amount of space is to simply set the ball to yourself. See how many times you can set the ball before it hits the ground. If you could get in 100-200 touches a day, you will find that your control will start to improve #ballislife... Want more of a challenge? Only use your left hand! I bet you can't get past 50 on your first try ;)
You want your spikes and serves to be even stronger don’t you? The best way to get stronger is to hit the gym and lift. Focus on your training intensity over specific rep ranges. Muscles grow when you force them to grow. Also, be sure you don’t forget leg day, or you’ll end up with skinny rails like Dylan Fogarty (This one comes from Wyatt lol).
Conditioning and Agility Work:
Keeping your conditioning levels high should also be a priority of your off season plans. Spikeball tournaments can last hours and you don’t want to be out of breath as the day goes on. High Intensity Interval Training is a personal favorite, emphasize good form and do some work! If you prefer other options besides HIIT, distance running (or biking), and sprints or other agility based drills in are good options. You'll want to be in good shape when the season rolls around!
Try #1 ranked player in the world, Tyler Ciseks workouts for Roundnet.
Part 1 & Part 2
- Practice outside:
If you and whoever you play with can bundle up and tolerate the cold, do it! We’d suggest wearing gloves, a hat, and plenty of layers if you do attempt this. Also, keep an eye on the forecast. Last year in Chicago for instance, there were one or two days a month where it got into the 50’s and even 60’s. Any day that it is warm enough, you should take full advantage and play as long as you can! At the end of the day remember that snow makes for a softer landing on your dives!
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