TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Even though practice doesn’t start for more than a month and the first match won’t be played until the end of August, members of the Florida State volleyball team are in high gear. Most returners and several incoming players are already on campus for off season strength and conditioning training.
This summer the volleyball program is under the watchful eye of assistant strength and conditioning coach Tyler Peacock, who also works with the two-time national champion FSU men’s track and field team. Peacock said the training regimen the volleyball team uses is very similar to that of the jumpers on the track team.
“They’ve bought into the program and they’re working hard,” Peacock said. “Sometimes it’s tough in the summer because it’s not mandatory. It’s really on them more so than me to get focused and get in here, but Summer (Weissing) and Makini (Thompson) have done a good job with that.”
The first eight weeks of the program were focused on general conditioning to give the players a base for the second part of the training. In addition to lifting weights, the program focused on building endurance through jogging, sprinting and running steps of Doak Campbell Stadium. With a strong conditioning base in place, the second eight-week segment of the program incorporates more plyometrics - exercises that use explosive movements to develop muscular power and the ability to generate a large amount of force quickly - that will improve the player’s jumping ability and quickness.
“This is definitely much better,” senior All-American Makini Thompson said. “These workouts are harder and I feel like I’ve gotten in better shape faster than all the other times I’ve worked out in the off season. When August comes around and we start practice we’re going to be in a lot better shape and be able to go into team drills quicker rather than doing drills to get us into shape like we usually have to.”
Three days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday the team goes through a total-body weightlifting session at 8 a.m. Then on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday they return in the afternoon for a conditioning workout that includes the plyometrics. As the program progresses more rest time will be allotted to keep the players fresh for preseason practice. Peacock said the program’s success is gauged on results and measured progression, rather than if the players are exhausted at the end of the workout.
“It’s a lot different, I like the way that Tyler puts it together,” sophomore transfer Jordana Price said. “Throwing the medicine balls is more fun than just lifting weights and things like stadiums are more explosive and things I’ve never done. The girls are really pushing each other and I think it’s going to help during the season.”
Florida State is looking to building on a 2006 campaign that saw it produce a 19-12 overall mark and a 13-9 record that was good enough for fourth in the ACC. FSU brings back three starters and eight letter-winners from last year’s team.
Photo gallery online at http://seminoles.cstv.com/sports/w-volley/fsu-w-volley-body.html