Be a Multi-Sport Athlete

Don't just play -- practice moving well and building strength.

Twitter has been abuzz over the past week with references to the importance and desirability of playing multiple sports:

Volleyball athletes are particularly challenged – most volleyball recruiting happens out of a six- to eight-month club season that runs up against a two-month school season, leaving little time for rest – and forget about participating in another sport. What’s the solution?

I was reflecting on this conundrum this weekend when Triangle volleyball and strength coach Jim Freeman posted a great article by Mark Rippetoe to his blog. Jim and I are both advocates of strength training for volleyball athletes, and as I read the article, it struck me that volleyball athletes do have a way to address this challenge.

In short, consider movement and strength training to be your other "sport".

Learn to move. Learn to build strength. Practice healthy movement patterns. Dedicate yourself to at least two days per week of strength training. Reserve time every day for mobility work and learning how to to effectively maintain your body as a performance machine.

Volleyball athletes may not be able to letter in three sports. But you can use volleyball training as a foundation to build strength and movement competency for a lifetime of active fitness.