Beach Volleyball Training with Sam Odea

Beach Volleyball Training with Sam Odea

Strength and Conditioning Work

I am in the gym 4-5 times a week. Strength training is ever evolving for me trying to find the perfect balance between power, strength, agility and injury prevention. Lately my top priority has been getting my lower back 100% for the upcoming European season. I am doing this with Dr Stuart McGills big 3 exercises. Front planks, side planks with hip abductions, and bird dogs. I have also had a big focus on further developing my posterior chain and working the stabilisation of my hips and core. I am using resistance bands to really get my glutes firing with my stabilisation exercises. Typically I am doing Lateral Band Walks, Claim Shells, Hip Bridges and Donkey Kicks. Some of my favourite (and most effective) stabilisation exercises are the Turkish Get Up, which is great for total body control and above the head shoulder stabilisation. The Single Leg Glute Raise from a bench is my both my favourite and most hated exercise, nothing else burns more.

 

Sport Specific Training for Beach Volleyball

We practice on the sand every morning Monday – Friday. If we have a competition on the weekend we will have the Friday off. If we are travelling to play plans will also change around travel dates. When we are here training in New Zealand you can find us down on the main beach at Mt Maunganui most mornings during the week. We practice for 2-2½ hours each session.

Beach Volleyball Warm Up Session - If practice starts at 9 we arrive at 8:30, because we practice in a public place and many people use our net we prepare the court each morning by raking the sand and correcting the net height. We then go through our warm up routines and any rehab exercises. A usual warm up will consist of a 5 minute run along the beach followed by some slow moving stretches, lunges, hip openers, shoulder and back rotations. We then move into more dynamic movements such as The Iron Cross, variations first with 1 leg over, then with both legs. We do these on both sides. Hip openers are important, I do walking forward and backward Fire Hydrants. Also some yoga poses, transitioning from downward dog into the cobra - more flowing movements. Then we finish the warm up off with a couple of sprints and some max jumps before starting the skills training.

Skills Session - Each skills session usually starts with a lot of setting, passing, and serving. Depending on the focus of practice we could set and pass 200 balls in the first hour. The 2nd half of practice will involve more jumping and game like drills depending on who we have there.

Cool Down - After a workout. I do 10 breaths at each of the following; A quad stretch in the lunge potion; a hip flexor stretch in the lunge position; A seated glute stretch; A wide leg straight legged hip opener, leaning forward. The best thing about practicing on the beach is going for a swim when you've finished, I'd swim 9/10 times after practice.

Beach Volleyball Training NZ

Recovery

A huge factor in sport, especially now that I'm getting older, is the recovery aspect. It’s become a large part of what I do to stay in shape and compete. I've found the best way for me to incorporate recovery into my days is to add it on to my existing trainings. I've found even spending 5-10 minutes especially after a gym session can make a huge different to how I perform at training and in tournaments. Recovery for me is all about consistency. I first started dedicating a session to just recovery but I never kept it up, so building it onto my training works best for best. After a sand session ill swim and cool down that way, at the gym I do the cool down routine mentioned above. If I'm feeling tight at any point during the week, I’ll roll out on a foam roller and stretch again. When we are travelling it can be even harder as your routines are mixed up. During long travel days ill always carry a massage ball and roll around on it in the airport between flights. I'll also make sure to have a good stretch at my final destination before stepping onto the sand. Getting good sleep is often over looked, but is the most important aspect to recovery. That along with staying hydrated throughout the day have been big factors in allowing me to stay healthy. I use an app to track my sleep and also have a glass of water first thing in the morning.

 

Nutrition

I train a lot, which means I eat a lot and cook a lot! I roughly follow an 80/20 rule with nutrition, 80% of the time I eat good food 20% I eat what I want. Some staples in my diet include oats and cereal for breakfast. Along with a coffee, oats with water give me enough energy for my morning training session. For lunch my favourites include roast veggies and different cuts of chicken. I'm always in between training sessions at lunch time so roast veg and chicken is an easy to prepare nutritious lunch. For dinner I'm usually with flatmates/friends so stir fries and curries are great for feeding a lot of people. And you can jam pack them with a lot of healthy ingredients. Because I am practicing a lot through the week I have a few key supplements I use throughout the day.


Daily Supplements - I use the Bioceuticals magnesium Forte; and the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), all of which are great for recovery. I take the EPA/DHA after my first training session and the Magnesium Forte before bed. Magnesium is essential for proper function of many cells and delivery of ATP. The EPA/DHA also has many benefits, but the main reason I take it is for muscle recovery.
Gym Supplements - I usually hit the gym in the afternoon after my morning sand session, so it can be tough to get going. Isowhey pre-workout fuel is awesome for those days when I'm feeling a little flat. It’s made with quality ingredients and it tastes great. I also use the electrolyte formula and often mix the two. I'll always carry some Isowhey Ultra lean protein for after the gym on the drive home.
Practice Session & Game Nutrition - I struggle to eat enough during tournaments so supplements come in handy when I am competing. The Isowhey refuel and rebuild is perfect for this as it covers all bases, replenishing my carbs for much needed energy and protein for muscle recovery.
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