Jordan Pickett

Southwestern University

February 6th, 2023

How To Be Recruited To Play College Volleyball

Tips For Athletic Performance

  • Dedicate time for sleep and recovery

  • Proper hydration and nutrition

  • Track Workouts

  • Focus on Functional Exercises

Sleep and Recovery

Since sleep and recovery are THE places where training comes full circle; they should have the highest premium on them. It is physically impossible to perform at the highest levels without adequate rest and recovery.

All athletes should have 1 full day off at least, with no activity, and should sleep at least 8 hours a day. Add a nap or an extra hour with the most intense training days.

In addition, sleep is when memories are committed to long-term memory, so not only will sleep help with bodily recovery, but it will help in the college classroom as well. This can be challenging for some college students as they learn to prioritize their sleep. 

Hydration and Nutrition

Training at the college level is dependent on the athlete’s ability to keep their machine - their body - primed and ready for their performance. Proper levels of hydration and nutrition are vital to improving athlete performance.

Eating more, and eating more of the right foods (complex carbs, complete proteins, healthy fats) are necessary to improve performance. Physical performance decreases with even 1% dehydration. Fuel up!

Track Your Workouts

The saying that what you track/focus on grows, is valid for improving athletic performance as well. There are many aspects of athletic performance: speed, strength, power, agility, sports IQ, etc. Therefore, tracking what you want to improve is necessary.

Writing down in a notebook or via a workout tracking app what weights and times the athlete completed for their workout is a straightforward way to measure if they are improving their performance. If it is not tracked, they cannot know what they need to improve.  

The Athlete Performance Manual Written By A Nationwide Network of College Coaches

Functionally Train

Attention to functional exercises is essential to improving athletic performance, as opposed to exercises for aesthetics. Instagram and social media platforms reveal many trainers and bodybuilding experts that reveal their secrets to strength. A shredded physique does not equal athletic performance.

Functional exercises that improve mobility and stability in multiple planes of movement are more valuable than single-modality exercises that work only one muscle group.  The athletic performance uses all the muscles in the body in compound movements, so compound movements should be used. 

Bonus Tip

A note on core training for athletic performance. The core for sports is not designed to look like a 6-pack. The 6-pack look comes from a lean body. Athletes can have a solid core (transverse abdominals, pelvic floor, internal, and external obliques, lats, glutes, and inner thighs) and not be able to see their rectus abdominal muscles.

The core is designed to keep the spine safe. Unilateral core work is precious. Exercises where weights are on one side of the body, and the core has to stabilize, are extremely valuable vs. a traditional crunch.

Focusing on stabilizing the core during movements versus creating movement from the core will be more beneficial. The core is the connection point between multiple parts of the body. Having a solid core will drastically improve athletic performance.