The Orlando Volleyball Academy 17 Asics are off to a fantastic start to the 2012 season. In January, the 17 Asics captured the OVA MLK Tournament 18 Open Division crown by beating Boomers 18s, nationally-ranked A5-18s, and the #1 Ranked 18s team in the nation, Tampa Bay Juniors 18 Black. In February, the 17 Asics traveled to Las Vegas to for the SCVA Las Vegas Classic. With over 100 teams entered in the 17 Open division, it was a challenging tournament. OVA rose to the occasion, beating top teams from California and Texas. In the semi-finals, OVA fought and lost to the eventual champion Texas Advantage Volleyball 17 Black finishing 3rd. In March, OVA 17 Asics won the 18 Open Division of the Orlando Volleyball Academy Asics Invitational. Last weekend, the team traveled to the Mideast Qualifier in Indianapolis, Indiana. With over 40 teams entered in the 17 Open Division, the OVA 17 Asics defeated teams from CA, IL, IN and OH to win the tournament and secure their bid to the USAV Junior National Tournament held in July in Columbus, OH. This past weekend, the team clenched the 17 Open Title at the Big South Volleyball Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. The girls are now prepping for two tournaments before Nationals, the Show Me Qualifier in April and the National Junior Classic over Memorial Day.
The Orlando Volleyball Academy 17 Asics are led by outside hitter Lindsey Owens and setter/right side Hailey Luke. Both girls have been on the same team since they were 12s and have been a consistent force for this team. They have led this team to 2 AAU National Championships and 3 Top 3 Finishes at USAV Nationals. In 2011, both players were named to the All Tournament team at USA Nationals behind their 3rd place finish in the 16 Open division. Lindsey is a junior at Bishop Moore High School and led the Hornets to the State Finals this season. She is an outstanding 6-rotation player who can pass and hit with precision. Lindsey has committed to Virginia Tech in the Class of 2013. Hailey is a junior at Lake Brantley High School. Hailey’s hard work and dedication to the sport of volleyball has paid dividends. Hailey sets and hits right side for the 17 Asics. She has great vision of the court and has a high volleyball IQ. She is also an outstanding beach volleyball player. Hailey has committed to play volleyball for Florida State University in the Class of 2013. This team’s success stems from the consistency and mental toughness that this group has shown over the years. They always fight back and even when they are down, never count them out.
Pre-game is an exciting time for athletes and coaches alike. It’s the time when we finalize mental preparations, team build and prepare our bodies for the physical demands to come. Before your team hits the court it’s important to warm up our muscles. We spoke with sports performance specialist, Barry Lovelace with Athlete Training Academy, and asked his take on this subject. This is what he had to say:
Warming up is very important. Often coaches and players alike don’t like to take the time to warm up and I can’t stress enough how much I disagree with that. Entering a volleyball game with warm, flexible muscles is not only important for injury prevention but it’s also a way of alerting our bodies that there is work ahead.
The following is a simple and highly effective way to warm up your team that is also very time efficient. Go from one exercise to the next with no break in between.
1) Jog – Start out with a nice, easy jog. Keep with this for about 2 minutes.
2) High Knee Skip- Skip forward and as you do, drive your knee upward toward your chest with each skip. Use a full-range, exaggerated arm action; the opposite arm comes forward and up with each skip. Keep with this for a minute or two.
3) Butt Kick – Run forward and attempt to touch your butt with your heels. Thighs should be perpendicular to the floor. Lean your upper body slightly forward.
4) Lateral Shuffle – Move laterally (sideways) to the right by stepping out to the side with your right foot and then bringing your left foot to meet your right foot without crossing your feet. Keep your body square and do not twist. Upper body should lean slightly forward. Move to the right for ten shuffles and then to the left for 10 shuffles. Repeat 4-5 times.
5) Lateral Lunge – Take a big step out to the right side, lowering your hips and bending your right knee until the thigh is near parallel to the floor. Keep the left leg as straight as possible. Step your left leg in to meet your right leg. That is 1 lateral lunge. Do 10 to the right and 10 to the left.
6) Shoulders Front Raise – Stand with feet hip distance apart holding volleyball in both hands, arms straight down, ball against thighs. Use your shoulders to raise the ball to just above forehead height keeping the arms straight the entire time. Lower back down to starting position. Do 20 repetitions.
7) Raise and Slam – Perform shoulder raise as above. Begin to move arms back down and when arms are just past hip height release ball to the ground. Do 12 at half speed (simply releasing the ball down to the ground) and 12 at full speed (slamming the ball to the ground).
There you have it. A complete and total body warm-up that will prepare your volleyball player for the game ahead.
For more information on Barry Lovelace and Sport Specific Training, email him directly at Barry@Training4YourSport.com