Defining strength training
Put most simply, strength training is applying stress to organisms in a way that allows them to come out stronger, according to Gattone. Here’s more:
Foundation for strength training: Functional movement
No matter what level volleyball player or athlete you are, the starting point is “functional movement,” says Gattone. He advises that any athlete who is going to begin a strength program start off by determining his or her functional movement. In this video, Gattone runs through a short checklist of things to look for when testing functional movement.
Should you train for skill or for athleticism?
Gattone says it’s a combination of the two. But he adds that training starts with building an athletic base that includes flexibility, strength-to-body-weight ratio and good joint stability. He elaborates here:
Should kids specialize at an early age or play multiple sports?
Young athletes may decide that volleyball is their main sport, but Gattone emphasizes the importance of not specializing too soon. He says research shows that early specialization may make a young athlete better at that sport initially but may also limit his or her upside in the long run. He talks in this video about what he recommends for grade school- and high school-age athletes.
An argument against sports-specific training
Gattone sounds a note of caution about doing lots of repetitious skill work when training young kids. He points out that their bodies aren’t yet strong enough for that type of stress. This calls into question the growing trend toward sports-specific training.
It’s not all about breaking a sweat
Many people measure how good a workout is by how much they sweat. Gattone encourages people to rethink that mindset. As he explains here, training is about a whole lot more than just perspiration.
How useful are programs like CrossFit?
Gattone notes that it’s essential to do an assessment of each player to determine how ready he or she is to handle the training program that is being recommended. Even something as simple as a plank can be detrimental if it’s not done correctly. His point: Evaluate the athlete before beginning any type of program.
How important is core training for volleyball players?
For starters, Gattone says “core” is a misused term. Many people view the core as just the abdominals, but he would expand the definition to include everything between the knees and the chest. Here are more of his thoughts on effective “core” training. Hint: It’s more than just doing bunches of crunches.