Volleyball Tips:How to Win in the Playoffs

Get Your Team Ready for the Big Match

Volleyball players
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The regular season is over and your team has performed well enough to earn a spot in the playoffs. Now it is time to get your players ready to fight to go as far as they can and, hopefully win the championship.

Every match matters in the playoffs because it is win-or-go-home. The stakes are higher, the crowds are bigger and the anticipation is mounting. Make sure your players are ready not only for the physical challenge, but also for the mental and emotional challenges as well.

Here are a few tips to help you succeed in the playoffs: 

  1. Ease off the Throttle
  2. Reduce Outside Distractions
  3. One Match at a Time
  4. Fire on All Cylinders
  5. It's All About the Team

Ease off the Throttle

In order for your team to do their very best in the playoffs, they need to stay healthy. The regular season is over and so too should be any heavy training. The focus is no longer on improving skills or conditioning. Trust what you've built over the last few months of the season. Your team is in good volleyball shape, as they performed well enough throughout the year to make the playoffs. Focus on continuing to do what you've been doing to be successful and fine tuning the little things that make the difference between winning and losing. 

Reduce Outside Distractions

Volleyball is not the only thing going on in your players lives. However, at this time of the year it is extremely important that your athletes tune out the noise and focus on the task at hand.

Though they may have final exams or relationship issues or a other things to do, make sure they leave all of that outside the doors of the gym. It will all still be waiting for them after the match and they can pick it back up then. When they walk on the court, the only thing they should be thinking about is the game.

One Match at a Time

It is very easy to get ahead of yourself and worry about the toughest matches you will need to play down the line. In order to get there, you need to win the match in front of you first. Even if your first round opponent isn't up to your skill level, don't overlook them. Keep working on the things you'll need to do to win over the entire playoffs, but focus each day on the opponent you'll be playing next. Move forward only when the job is done or you may not be moving forward at all.

Fire on All Cylinders

If you haven't emphasized it during the season, now is the time to make sure that your players are taking care of themselves in every way. It is important that they get enough sleep, that they rest their legs, that they eat right and that they prepare themselves mentally every day. In the playoffs, there is no room for error so make sure your players take measures to ensure an optimal performance when it counts.

Build Up and Motivate

It's not always the most talented team that wins. Sometimes the team that performs the best as a cohesive unit can prevail. If there are any issues between teammates or between the players and coaches, work them out before you take the floor.

Your team should be on the same page and working together, not worried about who said what to whom or who is starting that shouldn't be. Everyone should know their role and buy into the shared goal of the best possible finish.

By now you should know what fires your team up. Do some fun things, share some meals together, encourage your athletes and let them know that you believe in them. Don't forget to give them an outlet for their nervous energy. When they take the court, they'll be focused and ready to fight to the finish.