College beach volleyball is a spring sport, which means summer has technically been “off season” for me. However, I try to use summer as a time to maintain my strength and conditioning and continue improving upon my volleyball skills. There’s definitely a need for balance – something I haven’t always been great at. It’s important to enjoy your summer break, but also acknowledge that it provides a great opportunity to get ahead, or at least not fall behind. I’ve had summers where I pushed myself to train too much so by the time fall training with my team came around my body was exhausted. I was afraid of having to spend the first month back with my team regaining my strength instead of focusing on improving my skills. After some trial and error, in recent years I learned how to balance my training load during summer – here’s what works for me!
During summer I’ll go to the gym sometimes, but I also like to mix up my workouts and keep them fun. Working out while on vacation might seem tough and not fun, especially if you aren’t with your usual team for motivation, but there are some ways around it. If you’re staying at a hotel, you can hop in the pool and do a couple laps or even just tread water for a little bit. Find a hike to do with someone, and if you want to challenge yourself then you can push the pace on the uphill parts. Grab a buddy to do a circuit with. One person can choose three exercises (for example lunges, mountain climbers, and jumping jacks), and then make a circuit out of it. You can do three sets of those exercises, or see how many rounds you can do in so many minutes. Then the other person can choose three new exercises. You can do this in a small outdoor space or push some furniture around in the living room. There’s many ways to get some training in while keeping it fun and still have time to enjoy your summer – it just takes a little bit of creativity, and of course commitment.
Sometimes it can be hard to get family members or friends to workout with you. If I’m going to the beach to do sand sprints, I’ll ask my dad or brother to join me. Even if they don’t do the sprints with me, they cheer me on and hold me accountable for how many sprints I said I would do or how hard I’m working. You can do this too! Go to the park and do sprints on the field, or find an empty street by your house, and bring family or friends with you for support. Or if you want to do a little workout circuit in the backyard, see if someone will sit with you. My mom would sit outside and read while I worked out and her presence alone helped hold me accountable to finish my workout and meet my goals. When in doubt you can also always go for a walk. Walking might not seem like a super intense workout, but it’s still a great way to get your body moving.
And then of course there is Hiveclass! There are great videos for conditioning and other sport-specific training, so all you need is a mobile device and some space. Whether you’re at home, at grandma’s house by the lake, or at a hotel, you always have the opportunity to workout. So with summer right around the corner, know there are fun ways to stay in shape no matter your plans.