What training techniques would you suggest for an outside hitter to maximize the broad jump aspect of the hitting technique as a injury prevention and power/control goal?
Thanks in advance for your kind response.
As simple as it sounds, an Outside Hitter needs to practice broad jumping just as they practice any other skill set. One of the best training techniques to encourage broad jumping is the use of 'small balls' (tennis balls, wiffle balls, foam balls, etc).
The OH will start in the passing/serve receive position (not in 'hitting lines' - This is not grade school Volleyball) with a small ball held in her attack hand, she will mimic pass the ball, then release into her her footwork approach pattern as if she is going to get set. She then goes into her hitting approach with the mental focus of jumping and landing as far apart as comfortably possible, while throwing the small ball over the net, thus mimicking the attack.
I have found that these small ball attack patterns, with a throw to mimic the attack are an effective means of training broad jumping. With small ball attack patterns, each hitting position can incorporate this footwork and broad jump training. For some reason, the volleyball tends to mess with a players mind; they get so concerned about attacking the volleyball, that other techniques will suffer in a training environment (footwork, broad jump, elbow height, hand position, targeting zone, hair bow, eyeliner, etc).
When I would roll out the small ball cart, my players would just groan - Small ball drills are boring, and tedious and can be physically demanding. But, my players also realized that these type of drills did make them much better and while they would groan, they also let me know they understood the value of the drills.