Focusing On Flexibility: How Stretching Can Help Your Volleyball Skills
If you're a volleyball player who wants to improve your game, look at all of your preparation including post-game and workout stretching. While strength and speed training seem like they could benefit you more, you have to include stretching if you want a comprehensive program for improving your skills. Increasing your flexibility helps prevent injury and improves how you feel after each game or practice session.
If you improve your flexibility, you're more likely to see a slightly better ability to reach over time. Part of volleyball includes trying to run up and reach the ball as it is hit near you but not at you. The easier it is to suddenly reach over and hit the ball, the better your chances of having a great game.
Less Strain on Your Joints
If your body is used to moving in a certain way and has been trained to accommodate sudden shifts and changes of position, you're less likely to experience strain on your joints. Remember, injury can occur not only through an acute strain, like straining an ankle, but also through general overuse and stress on joints and muscles. Stretching helps train your joints to expect and survive these unexpected movements.
Loosening up Tight Muscles
Stretching, even after you're done playing, helps prevent muscles from becoming too tight and restrictive. Even if you feel relatively limber after all that activity on the court, once you cool down, your muscles can stiffen up and make it harder to adequately move the next time you warm up for another practice session or a game. Obviously, you'll still seem limber, but you just won't have that extra bit of flexibility that could prevent a strain injury.
Relaxing After a Tough Game
Finally, a post-game or workout stretch helps you relax after all that lunging and jumping. When you're tired out from a tough game, stretching can be soothing and meditative if you do it right. If you skip it, you could end up feeling spent and tired, rather than calm and relaxed.
Stretching doesn't have to take long, and your coach (if you're on a team) should be able to provide you with a good routine. You should also consider buying some supplies to practice playing volleyball on your own and stretching when it's over. Consider reaching out to a company that focuses on selling wares like volleyball carry bags or Olympic volleyballs to help up your personal game.