Hand Pass a Volleyball

Now a hard driven ball is exactly what it sounds like. The ball will be coming towards you at full speed, so you must be ready to dig it instantly. Place your hands up early, in front of your forehead. Note that when you set a ball, you try to make the shape of the ball so you can absorb it, then push it out. However, when volleying a spike it is very difficult to absorb the ball, so instead we place our hands in a flat but firm position.

As the ball comes to you, do not try to absorb it. Instead, push a little towards the ball. The idea here is to not have a “clean” volleyball. If you hear a small thump, that’s a good thing. With a volley-set, you should aim to make contact with the ball at your finger tips. This may not always happen when volleying a hard driven pass and that is OK. Your palm, or fore-fingers may also make contact.

Lastly, it is important that you direct the ball towards where you want it to go. You will most likely not have time to shift your body to face your target, so instead we compromise and follow through with our hands towards where we want the ball to go. Additionally, step with your front foot towards the target.

4 main steps listed above:

1. Maintain a balanced posture with your weight forward and your feet staggered about a foot and a half apart.

2. Place your hands up early and hold them in a flat but firm position.

3. As the ball comes towards you, do not try to absorb it but instead push towards it. This will not be a “clean” volley. You should hear a thump.

4. Follow through with your hands, and step with your front foot towards your target.

Basketball Rebounding

Practice proper timing. It has been said that the guy with the highest vertical jump is the guy that will get the most rebounds. Now, that can be true at times, but timing is actually a lot more important than jumping ability.

You can have all the hops in the world, but if you have horrible timing, you won’t find much success with grabbing rebounds. If you jump too early you won’t get the rebound, if you jump too late, you definitely won’t get the rebound. So, make sure to always estimate the proper timing of your jump before you decide to just jump in the air and hope to catch a rebound.

The second tip to improve your rebounding is, always box out your opponent. This is a crucial component to successful rebounding. When you box out your opponent you increase your odds of getting a rebound, and you decrease the odds of your opponent getting a rebound.

Boxing out is also used to aggravate your opponent and it can also be used to intimidate softer players who try to avoid physical contact. You need to assert yourself when there are loose ball opportunities. 9 times out of 10, the guy who boxes out his opponent effectively will end up with the rebound.

Lastly, you need to have a high belief that every rebound is yours. That means you need to use your full effort to go and get a rebound regardless of how difficult it may be to actually get the rebound.

Sometimes you can look at the way a shot was taken and realize that the basketball is going to end up in the opposite direction of where you are, but that shouldn’t stop you from boxing out your opponent and making an attempt to get the rebound.

Basic Skills Used in Volleyball

Passing – Passing is the act of directing a ball coming from the other team in the form of either a serve or other non-attack form of play toward the net where it can be set. Quite often these passes are executed using the forearms (sometimes known as bumping), but they can also be done overhead (at least in the indoor game).

Setting – After a ball is passed (or dug) on the first contact, a second one is used to provide an attackable ball to a hitter. This set is usually executed overhand in the indoor game, though can also be accomplished using a forearm pass. You will see the latter – generally referred to as a bump set – in the beach game quite often where the restrictions on ball-handling are somewhat tighter.

Hitting – Also known as spiking, hitting is the process of attacking the ball into the opponents court. The objective is to score a point by causing the ball to land on the floor or to be played out of bounds by a defending player. This is generally accomplished by jumping and hitting the ball above the height of the net with a downward trajectory.

Blocking – The first line of defense against a hitter is the block. In blocking, a player (or players) attempt to prevent the ball from being played into their court by stopping it from crossing the net at the point of attack. This is executed by jumping very near the net and extending the arms above the head, and into the opponents side of the court for those with the height and/or jumping ability to do so.

Get a Better Basketball Shot

BEEF is an acronym that stands for balance, eyes, elbow, follow-through. This is a strategy used everywhere to teach good shoot form and is an extremely effective strategy.

B – Balance

Balance is extremely important when shooting the basketball. A player’s feet should be shoulder width apart when they prepare to shoot. This gives the perfect amount of balance on each side of the body. With the knees bent, one foot should be a little in front of the other. The foot that should be in front is the one that is one the same side as the player’s shooting hand. (If you shoot right handed, your right foot should be a little in front) Not only is this good for your aiming but it gives you a good aspect of where your feet should be pointing, at the basket! From here you should be balance and bent down ready to move on to the next step.

E – Eyes

Bent in position holding the ball, you know need to use to eyes to look at the basket. Yes, this seems like it should go without explanation, however there is a little more to it than that. The eyes are your greatest tool for aiming the ball and you would think most people know they should look at the basket when the shoot, but it needs to be more specific than that. Players who are great shooters do not just aim at that orange ring up on the backboard, they pick an even smaller part on the rim to look at. This results in a more precise aim and results in more accurate shots. I have always been taught to shoot at the inside of the rim right in the middle, I know some people who are taught to aim at the front of the rim. I do not really agree with that because if you aim at the front of the rim you will hit the front of the rim and it won’t go it. With that being said I recommend aiming at the inside back of it.

E- Elbow

At this point you are balanced and looking at the right part of the rim. Now it is time to start shooting. The most common mistake for players who have bad shots is they do not keep their shooting elbow in. The reason for this is because keeping your elbow in takes a little bit more of an effort (at least at the beginning, until you get used to it). However, people who do take the time to be conscious about it will see that they are able to get more power in their shot because they have more muscle pushing the ball. While you jump off of both feet, tucking your elbow in you want to push the ball in the air toward the rim, don’t forget to keep your eyes on the rim!!

F – Follow Through

Almost done with your shot but there is still one last part… the follow through. This was the part I had the most trouble with when I played. It is important that your hand points to the rim when you are releasing the ball. Not only do you want it to point at the rim, but you want your arm to be extended and your hand to stay high up in the air. At the end of your shot your aim should be basically straight up and down. My problem was that after my shot my arm would be pointed toward the rim, instead of straight up. This importance of having your hand straight up is because it affects the arch on your shot. You want to have a high arch on your shot because it creates a better chance of your shot going in the basket if it is coming from higher up. Holding your follow through a few seconds after each shot is important because it is a good way to assess how you are shooting and to ensure you are following though the right way.

Time Jump When Trying to Block in Volleyball

Distance off the net

While the biggest timing factor is the hitter’s jump, you need to adjust your block jump based on how far off the net the hitter will be attacking the ball. The further back, the more you must wait to account for the longer time it will take for the ball to reach you. A back row attack, for example, requires a bit of a delay in your jump compared to a ball set tight to the net.

Speed of the hitter’s arm swing

The final little adjustment to timing comes by accounting for how hard the hitter attacks the ball. This is just like adjusting for the hitter’s distance off the net. An attacker with a fast arm swing will get the ball to you quicker than a player with a slow one. As a result, you have to delay a bit for the latter and jump a bit earlier for the former. If you can catch the hitter setting up an off-speed shot, that could also factor into your block timing (or your decision to go up at all).

Commit vs. Read

The jump, distance, and arm swing timing factors are going to be the same whether you are commit blocking (going up with a hitter without waiting to see if they are getting set) or reading blocking (waiting for the set). If you are commit blocking you still have to time your block based on the hitter’s jump, how near the net they are, and the speed of their swing.

Get The Mental Edge On Competition

One way to separate yourself from your competitors is to do the things they refuse to do.

Make sacrifices such as going to sleep early and waking-up early so you can get a jump on the rest of the competition. Those are two things that most people don’t want to do. Who wants to go to sleep early?

Most people don’t even discipline themselves to go to sleep at a specific time every day. Just by doing something as simple as that you can develop your mental toughness and discipline.

If you go to sleep early, you will wake-up early. Waking up early will give you more time to work on your game and study the game of basketball.

Avoid junk food and stay away from anything that doesn’t contribute to your progression as a basketball player (drugs, alcohol, excessive partying, negative people).

Some athletes think because they’re always active, that eating junk food won’t affect them. In some cases that may be true, but if you want to get a slight edge over your competition I recommend you cut junk food out of your diet.

Make an effort to eat vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, milk etc…

Eating healthy will give you more energy and make you feel better. Cut out junk food and replace it with fruits for the next 7 days, and I bet you will notice a big difference in the way you feel physically and mentally.

Increase your knowledge and understanding of basketball by reading relevant books and watching documentaries.

Read biographies of successful athletes and watch their documentaries on YouTube. You can learn a lot from the experiences of basketball players who have achieved the goals you may have set for yourself.

Model Successful Athletes

If you live life with the same principles and disciplines of the top basketball players in the world, you will be able to guarantee your own success as a basketball player.

So, find out what the great basketball players are doing and then go ahead and do it.

It’s not just about training yourself physically; what separates the good from the great is mindset and discipline.

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were known for having ridiculous work ethic and relentless drive.

So, if I were you I would adopt the discipline of working hard and staying motivated. If Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan practiced every day, then you should be doing it too.

Adopting the mindset of the greats will certainly elevate your game above the competition.

Don’t Live In Fear

Dealing with your fears on the basketball court and in your daily life will boost your self-confidence, and self-control.

When you deal with your biggest fears in life, you will use that experience to help you overcome future obstacles and seize opportunities when presented.

Don’t let emotions and feelings hold you back from reaching your full potential.

Fear will hold you back unless you learn to fight it and use it against your competition instead of being used by it.

Marathon Running For Beginners

Just as a plant-based diet often begins with small steps, such as avoiding meat one meal a day (or one day a week) or eliminating a single kind of meat from your diet, until you’ve actually begun running, it’s totally natural for you to believe you’re not capable of getting in shape to run a marathon.

Only after you have run around the block or survived 5 minutes on the dreaded running machine do you start to recognize your true potential. After settling into a training routine, you get a few 5- and 10ks under your belt, and start to realize that a half-marathon is within your grasp.

I don’t mean to understate the preparation and commitment you need to run a marathon. But while you shouldn’t expect to get there overnight, it’s not as difficult as you might think. There are unlimited resources available to develop your marathon training plan, and first time runners should generally allow from 4-6 months, depending on your condition.

It’s OK if it takes you several months, or years to develop the confidence to sign up for a marathon, as long as you keep moving in a positive direction. Whether preparing for a marathon or starting a plant-based diet, you’ve got to expect occasional setbacks and self-doubt along the way. The key is to not allowing yourself to be deterred from reaching your goal.

Although I ran Tokyo Marathon, my first, in March 2009, after 1 1/2 years, I began to doubt whether I could do another marathon, and whether I would be able to make it to Honolulu, owing to time, finances, as well as minor injuries including knee pain and a sore achilles tendon. There were last minute surprises, too, like discovering I had forgotten to pack my 5-fingered grip socks just before laying down to sleep on the eve of the marathon!

Once you make your mind up to run a marathon, you need to decide your specific training goals. Avoiding injury, more than a running a fast time, was my first priority throughout training the past year. In addition to running (cardio), I have been doing core exercises and yoga for strength, balance and flexibility. Although I was sucking wind at the end, I had finished the Honolulu Marathon, in a time that even surprised me.

After finishing a marathon, you’ll feel like you can accomplish anything. If you have prepared well, I guarantee you will enjoy it, and want to do it again. Scheduling another running event in the future will give a purpose to continue your training, too. Like a healthy vegan diet, running benefits your physical fitness and your mental outlook.

Run a Basketball Practice

The beginning of practice should start with stretching and warming up the muscles. Some coaches have this as a part of the practice right at the beginning, others make it clear to the players this is part of their job and they should warm up before practice and be ready to go right when the first whistle starts. I believe the ladder is more appropriate for older age groups. When it comes to youth practices I think it should be made part of the practice to ensure players are warming up correctly. This warm up could last about 15 minutes and include stretching and running. This will get the heart rate up and hopefully the players can begin to break a sweat. From here, a nice transition into ball handling usually goes well.

Ball handling drills can include one ball or two. Two-ball drill examples would be dribbling two balls at once while standing still and then dribbling two balls while walking/running up and down the court. For any ball handling drills it is important for you as a coach to emphasize looking up while the players dribble. It is important for them to get comfortable dribbling without looking at the ball. Other ball handling drills include dribbling a basketball in one hand while catching a tennis ball in another. Personally, I liked this one because I thought it was the most helpful in reaction time. Coaches will throw the tennis ball to the player and they would have to catch it and throw it back all while dribbling. Once this becomes easy, the player should be asked to do moves like crossovers, or behind the back in-between tennis ball throws. After about 30 minutes of ball handling you can move to teamwork drills.

An example of a teamwork drill would be the “3 Man Weave.” this is a drill where three players run down the court together weaving around each other. A video explaining this in more detail can be seen here. The benefits of running this drill is to enhance communication while practicing game like speed. This drill tends to be hand at first for younger teams. If your team is really struggling with it, do not waste the entire practice working on it. Give it a certain amount of time (e.g. 15 minutes) and after that time move on to your next drill. However, do not forget about it the drill. Come back to it the next day and the day after that. You would be surprised how quickly the players will pick up on it the next few times you do it.

From here you can move to more game like situations. A good example of this would be scrimmaging. This is a great way for kids to get a good feel for what it will be like during the games and the type of coaching you will be giving during the games. Trying to stay consistent with you messages to the players is important so they know what you want from them. While scrimmaging, do not hesitate to blow your whistle and stop the game. If there is a situation or a play could be used as a learning experience it should absolutely be explained so that everyone understands what went wrong. It is better to do this right after it happens as opposed to at the end of practice.

To finish off practice, I always enjoyed when our coaches implemented practice end of the game situations. This would entail them giving us a certain situation, such as being down by 2 points with the ball and 15 seconds left, and then we have to practice what we would do if it was a real game. This drill would be done 5 versus 5 and usually would switch offense and defensive after each try. Not only is it very fun, but it gets the players comfortable with “high pressure” shots.

Hit a Volleyball

There are a few factors to consider when training/learning how to hit a volleyball, also known as an attack or spike. One of those factors is the approach, the “run” towards the ball after it is released from the setter’s hands. First, make sure you are standing behind the ten-foot line with your right foot slightly in front of your left foot and arms down beside you. Next, take a step with your left foot and then another with your right foot. You will then want to plant or hop quickly with your left foot. You can think of it as well as left- right, left. You will want to practice this by starting out slowly and as you get the hang of it, speed it up to a quick “run”. Bend your knees and jump bringing your arms up in the air.

The next factor to consider when hitting a ball is your positioning. Having the correct positioning will make a huge impact on the way you make contact with the ball and hit the ball. The most important detail to having proper positioning is, always, always; keep the ball in front of you. By doing this, you will be able to place the ball where you’d like. This is once you have gained some experience.

Your arm swing also plays a big role in being able to properly hit the ball. One rule of thumb to keep in mind is to always put your entire body behind the hit/attack, not just your arm. Keep your arm straight in the air and open your hand. Make sure you strike the ball on top and in a downward motion.

Timing is the most difficult part of hitting. The best advice I can offer to you in order for you to master your timing is to practice, practice, and practice as timing is dependent on many variables coming together such as the height of your vertical jump and the speed of your approach.

Shooting The Basketball

Don’t Be The Typical Baller

The typical baller is going to focus all his attention on his three-point shot and neglect all the other shots.

Don’t be the typical baller. Understand the importance of form shooting close to the basket and develop a consistent release.

Practice form shooting about 4 feet away from the basket and focus on consistent form and a smooth release. Keep your eyes on the rim and the ball in line with the eye of your shooting hand. Release the basketball with the same speed and form on every shot attempt.

Also, focus on making a swish shot that doesn’t touch the rim, but instead, falls straight through the net.

Your Form Must Stay Consistent

The best shooters in the world are the best shooters in the world because they have developed a consistent form that never changes no matter how close or far they’re from the basket.

You should be able to drain 20-25 shots in a row 4 feet from the basket. You should even be able to make these shots with your eyes closed. If you can’t make 20 shots in a row when you’re 4 feet from the basket, do you really think you should be shooting threes?

Once you can hit 25 shots in a row from 4 feet, then shoot from 5 feet, 6 feet, etc…

As you get further down to the mid-range and three-point area, the only thing that should change is the power coming from your legs, your form needs to stay the same.

Fundamentals Will Make Everything A Lot Easier

If you want to get an edge on your competition, you need to do what they’re not doing. Most basketball player’s get cocky after a while and forget about the importance of mastering the fundamentals.

Go back and watch some films of Michael Jordan, and you will notice how everything he did looked effortless. He was able to make those excellent moves because he mastered the fundamentals.