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Volleyball moves so quickly that just one second of broken concentration could have disastrous repercussions for your team. When you're on the court, you need to be in the game, completely focused on the ball and on the match. To become a better player, learn how to shut out negative influences and use your head as much as you use your body to be successful. Armed with the right concentration tactics, you can seal out anything that comes between you and the ball.
Watch the Ball
It might sound silly, but watching the ball can help you gain focus on the court. You might think that you watch the ball when playing, but keeping an eye on it and really watching to predict its movement and trajectory are two completely different things. Shut out noise by training your eyes on the ball, listening to its rhythm and working to predict where it will go. That way, you're not only focused, but you're also one step ahead of the ball, knowing what you need to do next.
Jeering players, cheering fans and a yelling coach can all fray your nerves when you're trying to get in the zone. By resetting yourself to play, you help to concentrate your focus better on what's happening on the court, not all of the stuff going on off-court. Repeating keywords in your head before you play can help reset your focus before game play starts again. Choose three empowering words that help bring you back to the court. "Focus," "contact" and "power" all serve to help center your thoughts before you go into action again, reminding you of the type of player you want to be.
You've probably noticed that some players tend to do the same things over and over again. A server bounces the ball a few times before sending it across the court, or a setter stretches before each play. These rituals work to bring a player back to focus. By choosing a ritual to try before a play, you help to concentrate your thoughts on what happens next. Whether you bounce the ball or check your feet, you help bring yourself back from distraction and get back in the game after the half or a timeout.
Talk to Coach
When you're fatigued or distracted, tell your coach. Your team is only as good as your weakest player, and if you can't seem to focus or if you're so tired that your technique has gotten sloppy, it's time to tag out and bring in a fresh player. You can then take the break on the bench to center yourself, regain your energy and concentrate on the game from a new angle. After a 15-minute break on the sideline, you'll be ready to head back on the court and dedicate yourself to the game.