Home Blog Volleyball Article
Questions? Call us! 1-800-406-3926

NBC Camps Blog

January 12, 2024   |   Tagged Skills,

Volleyball and Self-Control- why self-control is so crucial to volleyball player and coach development

Volleyball player learning to jump

Volleyball and Self-Control
The research is mixed because self-control can be multifaceted. You must have self-control to excel at this sport. Those with strong self-control work harder, achieve more, and advance to greater success. However, too much self-control can inhibit your game.

Those with high self-control have higher pain tolerance, focus better, have higher grades, stronger stamina, and greater mental and physical toughness. Because of their self-control, their concentration is high resulting in fewer mistakes. Because of their body control and physical fitness, they have greater athleticism, body control, and physical control. They also have a greater understanding for volleyball IQ knowing strategy along with skill mastery.

However, athletes who have too much self-control in some areas, can deplete their decision-making in other areas. A person can be very disciplined with their physical fitness but out of control with their anger. Also, too much self-control throughout the day can make you weary under pressure. For example, a very strict school day can lead to an “all work and no fun” mindset which could be a direct path to burnout.

Spontaneity, fun, creativity, laughter, and outside-the-box thinking are crucial for top-level players.

Researchers have found that large expenditures of self-control require time to recoup. For example, a hard-fought match will render the team bankrupt of self-control and no amount of motivation can help them overcome their deficit. Like a boxer unable to lift his arms after a brutal round, the same is true on the court. If you have taken too many hits, nothing can help but a chance to regroup.

How to Improve Volleyball Self-Control

  • Each practice, take time to outline your goals so that they are stronger than your desire to quit or cut corners.
  • Push past thresholds at least twice a week. Pain produces change. If we stay with what is comfortable, we can’t achieve our dreams.
  • Notice when you want to quit and why you want to quit.
  • Put accountability in place that makes quitting impossible or makes doing what you have vowed not to do impossible.
  • Write down what you say to yourself during practice. Notice what you say in your mind especially when you start to struggle with self-control. Look at these words after practice and then discipline yourself to rewire your thinking to say something different. What words would be a better, stronger choice.
  • Associate your temptation with something negative. For example, one athlete kept hitting snooze on her alarm and sleeping through her early morning workout. Then, she taped a picture of herself at the school she wanted to play for. That visual cue was powerful enough to get her out of bed and motivated her to become a season’s starter.

NBC Volleyball Athletes, what we love about you is that you want to get better. More than wanting just to become a starter, you want to be excellent at your position. You want to be your very best and push yourself to the goal not for the sake of what others think but for the inner joy and satisfaction it brings when you lay your head on the pillow at the end of your day and know you worked your hardest.

Volleyball Coaches and Self-Control
It’s crucial for you to understand the diminishing returns of self-control. Some kids have more than others naturally. Stress, tough family life, lots of intense and pressured decisions are going to make self-control for student-athletes tough. It’s one of the reasons why some student-athletes can fall apart during high-pressure times. They may ace the game and then get in an alcohol-related accident just after. The willpower to overcome fear depleted their decision-making and made them vulnerable to temptation.

As a coach, it’s very important for you to understand what your students face on a daily basis. Have you ever experienced a practice where everyone was focused and then have a practice where the team was totally out to lunch? They just ran out of their self-control. They can’t focus, they can’t catch, they can’t dial it in. When you have a practice like that, instead of shaming the athletes and criticizing them, get curious. Notice their focus is finite—what can you do to help them succeed? If their self-control is shot, they need a recovery period to build it back. If you have a high-intensity drill, have some drills that don’t demand so much concentration.

Watch your own self-control. The more challenging your day, the less margin you will have as a coach. Technical fouls come from loss of self-control which happened much earlier in the day most likely before the game even started. Pay attention to how short your fuse is becoming. Have strategies to protect yourself from getting too close to your edge.

About NBC Volleyball
Since 1979, NBC Volleyball has been training athletes to succeed on and off the court. Developing grit, mental toughness, leadership and personal faith is taught along with comprehensive skill work. For more information about NBC Volleyball visit www.nbcvolleyball.com.

Share This

Find a camp that's right for you:

Get into camp!

If you need more assistance, just give us a call
at 1-800-406-3926 we would be happy to help!