How to prevent common volleyball injuries

Injuries are never fun. Besides the pain and practice time wasted, they may leave chronic lingering effects. Prevention require a combination of rest and healing in recovery as well as strengthening and protections in prevention.

Common injuries include
- ankle spring/twists
- knee twists or ligment tears
- lower back pain
- shoulder muscle or rotator cuff strains
- general muscle sprains

I’ll highlight a couple aspects. They are not meant to be comprehensive. Please consult physical therapists and other literature to gain deeper knowledge.

Stretching

This is probably the biggest bang for the buck. You’ll hear this over and over again. But it takes discipline and skills to do it correctly and consistently.
NOTE: stretching is NOT a time to chat about your school day or latest celebrity gossip! Focus on what you are doing or you’ll regret it when injury occurs. There’s countless literature out there. I personally believe that

- Stretch before and after training – they serve different purposes.
- Never stretch cold – warmup first
- Stretch the right places.
- Ice down after workout

Shoulder
I also had rotator cuff issue in college. did a lot of stretching (some sample). Easiest is to just hold light weight and lie on bed w/ arm hanging off bed in L shape to naturally rotate shoulder.

Lower back
- this injury can be very severe but is often most overlooked. Without a strong core, you can not perform well in any sports or even basic life functions. Lots of core work is needed as mentioned later. Some simply planks and stretch will go a long way to engage the core before intense workout.
Some samples:

hamstrings
Quads
- common exercises should suffice. Make sure you are breath through them and do full range of motion. PUSH YOURSELF!

Strengthening

– I mentioned core strength. Lots of material is online from just simple planks, situps, to P90X worksouts. No matter what, you MUST include core exercises into your regular workouts as a volleyball player!

- shoulders, use rubber rope, for stretches and strength workout

Playing Techniques
Vball is an explosive sport requiring abrupt motions that can be harmless to muscle joints without proper care.

Hitting
- try to land on both feet. Common error is landing on non hitting foot, especially when twisting to hit a wrist-away shot. Try to approach at a angle and land firmly on both feet.

Blocking
- again landing on 2 feet will help to lessen injury when stepping on someone.
- flat hands and “focused” fingers will help. Meaning it’s easier to get hurt when you are lazy and just put your hands up as targets. You need to push your palms in front of the ball and keep them firm to stand a chance against a full spike

General court awareness
- you should always be focused and alert while playing. Avoid player collisions, stay balanced around the net to prevent foot under or leaning into the net. Beware of rolling balls onto the court. It will also prevent others from injury if you do not kick the balls around but rather give balls to coaches or place them down outside the court, preferably at the endline rather than sidelines.

Some more materials

- http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/volleyball-injury-prevention.aspx
- http://www.momsteam.com/sports/tips-to-prevent-volleyball-injuries

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