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Become a Stronger Outside Hitter

NBC Volleyball Camps checks in the college player Monique Hildebrandt with a Q & A on how to be a stronger volleyball outside hitter.

Q.  As a college player, did you set personal or team goals?
Yes, team and personal goals were set weekly. Our team goals were discussed and were worked on daily in practice and then in our weekly matches. Those teams goals were then evaluated at the end of each week and were either continued if they were not met or a new goal was set. Personal goals were handled with goal cards, our goals were written down and each action was to be described in how you were going to attain that goal. Overnight camps are great places to set personal goals with coaches.

Q.  What actions did you take to achieve your goals?
The first action taken is to write down your goals. When you write them down, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable for them. All of the personal goals set for myself were either performance, attitude or training oriented. For example: If one of my performance goals was to not miss any serves in a game. Then, my action taken to achieve this goal would be: I will serve 30 consecutive serves after practice without missing one, before I can leave the gym each night. This will help with focus and motivation to do it correctly in a game. I would then examine my goals for the week and make sure I was going through them mentally within every drill and match I was involved in. I would evaluate daily on my goals, and then look at  what I would needed to work on for the rest of the week. Once goals were achieved I would mark them off on my goal card. 

Q.  In achieving goals extra time is needed to spend on mastering your skills.  How often would you stay after practice to work on your skills? 
It is hard to organize time in college.  I was a student first and athlete second.  Therefore, the majority of my "free time" was spent studying. However,  I would stay after practice at least once a week to work on my timing, footwork and hitting form. It would just be me and the setter, going through repetitions of different hits. Proper footwork, timing, and repetition are very important when hitting. 

Q.  What advice would you give a new outside hitter?  Are there certain skills that they should practice?
The best advice I can give a new outside hitter is to get to know your setter and make sure to communicate with them. Learn the proper footwork, timing and get a lot of repetitions. Also, don't be afraid to take constructive criticism from more advanced players, we are always learning.

NBC Volleyball Camps offer intensive volleyball training at our summer training camps in Alaska, Alberta, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

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