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Summer is no break for volleyball players

By Staff
Editor's note: The following is part three of a four-part series on the off season workouts of high school athletics.
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
The summer months may mean a break from school for athletes who play high school sports, but it doesn't mean a break from workouts. For high school volleyball players in the area, the summer is a busy time of weight training and court fundamentals.
Most area volleyball teams are working out three days a week. At Falkville, Amy Keel has her Lady Blue Devils working out at 7 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday while Danville coach Holly Little follows a similar schedule. Little has the Lady Hawks running and lifting weights, as well as participating in on court drills this summer.
"We keep them active in the summer," Little said. "They don't have an off season anymore. A lot of my girls play softball and basketball, so they don't really get a break. They go right from one sport into another and then in the summer we work out."
Hartselle volleyball players have conducted summer workouts since the early 1990s.
"Once school begins, we only have about a week of practice before our first match," Hartselle High volleyball coach Tanya Lybarger said. "It's not enough time to get the girls ready to play. So workouts in the summer are really important."
Lybarger says that every other top volleyball program in the state has summer workouts. That being the case, she says the Lady Tigers would fall behind and wouldn't be able to be competitive if they didn't work out during school vacation.
"It's important to help the girls stay in condition," Lybarger said. "If the girls laid off for the whole summer break, it would be really tough to get to get them back in match condition in time for the season."
The Lady Tiger summer workouts are focusing on on-court fundamentals and weight training for strength.
Weight lifting is scheduled on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, while the players practice two or three nights each week.
In addition, the Lady Tigers will attended a volleyball camp at The University of Alabama during the last week of July. The camp is part of Lybarger's plan for the girls to maintain their skills.
"I like the idea that they keep a ball in their hands pretty much year round," Lybarger said. "They need to stay active-if they do that, I'm happy."

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