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Where to play indoor volleyball in the summer

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IMG_1919It’s summer time – schools are closed and beach volleyball isn’t your thing. Here’s a list of locations uptown and a few downtown of where you can go to play indoor volleyball until September.

Majority of them will be from community centers, which ranges from $3 – $4 per person, for privately hosted indoor volleyball they’ll be $5+. Benefits of hosted volleyball events: you can register to reserve a spot and you’ll know how many people are going, but this will come at a cost premium.

For community centers, its first come first serves, you can’t reserve and you may not even get a spot. If you want to go drop in at a community center, make sure you arrive half an hour early to line up.

Follow this link to get a list of updated drop in locations: https://spikethru.wordpress.com/summer-events/

Markham Drop-In Locations

Angus Glen Community Centre
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/KdcBBsmNgc12
Cost – $3.75 per visit
Time & Day – 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm (Wednesday)

Cornell Community Centre
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/n2qZW8EJSJo
Cost – $3.75
Time & Day – 8:00 pm – to 10:00 pm (Wednesday) / 6:15 pm to 8:15 pm (Friday) / 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm (Sunday)

Armadale Community Centre
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/QkGSp2bUiKy
Cost – $3.75
Time & Day – 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Sunday)

Ronin Volleyball
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/WTnrj1czpot
Cost – $17 per session or $110 for 10 sessions
Time & Day – Refer to schedule – http://www.roninvolleyball.com/training/training-schedule/

Richmond Hill Drop-In Locations

Bayview Community Centre & Pool
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/YDptzhKt2U82
Cost – $5
Time & Day – Starts July 10 until Sept 4 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm (Sunday)

Elgin West Community Centre & Pool
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/h4a1cZi2T6D2
Cost – $8
Time & Day – 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm (Thursday)
Link – http://www.meetup.com/INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCE-VOLLEYBALL-Richmond-Hill-Meetup/

Willowdale Community Christian Assembly Gymnasium
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/LxqcLfHC2n12
Cost – $15
Time & Day – Refer to link – http://www.meetup.com/canadian-activity-network-can/#upcoming

Downtown Drop-In Locations

James Culnan Catholic School
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/GHUWir2enLA2
Cost – $5 first time or else $7
Time & Day – 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Tuesday)
Link – http://www.meetup.com/Toronto-GSN-Indoor-Beach-Volleyball-Meetup/events/231560906/

St. Mary’s Secondary School
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/iLwXPV9iQtz
Cost – $10 + HST
Time & Day – 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Sunday)
Link – http://www.meetup.com/Toronto-GSN-Indoor-Beach-Volleyball-Meetup/events/231560906/

Miles Nadal JC
Map – https://goo.gl/maps/i25YSZzchCw
Cost – $10
Time & Day – 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm (Sunday)
Link – http://mnjcc.org/images/MNJCC/Schedules/Gymnasium/Gymnasium__Schedule_June_2016.pdf

If I’m missing any, please let me know so I can add it to the list. Sharing is caring, and we all want to get in some indoor volleyball time.

Have fun, enjoy summer!

Volleyball Tutorial by Coach Donny: Serve Receive Rotations for a 5-1 Offense

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IMG_1560As I mentioned in my previous blog posts, watching YouTube videos can help improve your volleyball techniques and formations.

Here’s an awesome YouTube video from Coach Donny on Serve Receive Rotations for a 5-1 Offence Volleyball for anyone wanting to up their game. Definitely go check out his other videos as he goes through passing, receiving, hitting, setting and much more!

“Learn all 6 of the serve receive rotations and specific formations for a 5-1 offence. This video also covers the rules so you understand how the different rotations work.”

If you’re in the San Fran area, make sure you check out Coach Donny‘s clinics.

Becoming a Better Volleyball Player – By Watching YouTube Videos?!

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cc-passAs I mentioned in my previous blog post, YouTube played a big part in my development. Watching is much easier than reading. I can spend hours and hours watching volleyball games, trying to analyze what the players are doing, watching videos on hitting, passing, and blocking. What I learned from these videos, I took to my volleyball clinics or drop-ins. I came across a few that have helped me the most so far so I thought I’d share them with you.

In my research, I stumbled across Coach Donny on YouTube. His videos are very elaborate and detailed, not too long to be dull, but long enough to get the points across. He provides great tutorials and breaks everything down to the basics, so it’s easy to understand and apply. Coach Donny not only provides various volleyball tutorials, he also does videos on improving your vertical jump, spiking power and highlights from 9 man tournaments.

Learning about passing.

This video really helped get me started. Coach Donny goes into the fundamental of passing in volleyball and he breaks it down to 3 parts: the ready position, platform, and passing motion. A few keys points he discusses for each part are listed below:

Ready Position

  1. Feet should be shoulders width apart
  2. Feet staggered, normally with your dominate foot in front
  3. Knees bent
  4. Shoulders forward
  5. Arms in front and ready to form the platform, being neutral and fairly relaxed

 Forming Platform

  1. Locking the fingers, palm over palm with the fingers overlapping each other
  2. Thumbs parallel with one another and pointed down for a flat surface
  3. Have the elbows locked and keep them straight
  4. Form everything together in one motion, so there’s no wasted movements
  5. Contact the ball just above where you wear the watch, which is also known as the “sweet spot”

Passing Motion

  1. Knee, waist, sternum – Get the platform ready at the knees, contact the ball at your waist and finish your pass at the chest
  2. Power and control is with the arms mainly as legs tend to add too much power and lacks control – Legs are used for positioning
  3. Keep it simple and fluid

Just a few points I’d like to add is to square up to where you want to pass, the quicker you square up to the setter the easier it will be to pass the ball accurately. A few common mistakes players make when performing the pass:

  • Not moving back away from the ball, cushioning and absorbing the ball
  • Lifting your arms and using too much of your legs
  • Not square up to the setter
  • Not following the ball to your arms

I do advise for you to take professional clinics to ensure you’re actually doing everything properly. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and in the new year, join us Jan 4th to work off that turkey!

New to volleyball? We were all beginners once

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P1080800We were all beginners once. While by no means am I an advanced volleyball player, I wanted to share with you how I got started. Hopefully provide some motivation.

In elementary and high school, most of my friends were really into volleyball while I played basketball and never gave volleyball a thought. I stopped playing sports altogether in university and after being a bit “unfit” during those years, I figured I should pick up a sport again. After a few injuries sustained in basketball, I wanted to look for a more non-contact but physical sport and that’s how I found my interest in volleyball.

As with learning everything else, I knew the fundamentals and the foundation of volleyball was critical. You can’t build a pyramid upside down, you know? I wasn’t very motivated to learn something new entirely. But if I was going to dedicate my time to something, I wanted to get good at it. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take 10,000 hours to get good at something. It can simply take 20 hours equating to 45 minutes a day for a month. Now that’s not exactly how dedicated I was, but it helps to put into perspective that it doesn’t take 10 years to learn something new.

I started doing some research and looked for local volleyball clinics and found one in the Toronto area.

If you want to improve your skills, clinics are a great place to start. As I improved slowly, I began looking for places to drop in and play. Practice does make (close to) perfect. It’s a good idea to participate in clinics as well as go to drop-ins so you can constantly apply what you’ve learned to real life games. It provides a sense of satisfaction and success. Since I was new to the sport, the clinic allowed me to drop in to spectate before committing to their 10 week long program. I started from their beginner class and practiced enough to get to their advance class.

Believe it or not, Youtube also played a big part in my interest. My girlfriend always makes fun of me, but when I get interested in something, I’ll watch Youtube videos for hours to learn the skill. As a more visual person, watching something slowly, continuously was a good way for me to learn. But remember, take what you learn to the clinic so they can help correct and improve your posture. You don’t want to injure yourself from doing something you learned on Youtube!

In the next post, I’ll introduce you to a few Youtube channels I found particularly helpful. Stay tuned…

Volleyball, sportsmanship and team building

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When I first started to become interested in volleyball, I found myself missing a few opportunities to play because my friends couldn’t make it. I hear that a bit sometimes too from others and it’s completely understandable – playing with people who are unfamiliar to you can cause a little anxiety. But this is what I’ve found with our group of players at SpikeThru.

  • We have a sociable crowd of players who are always keen to meet new people
  • Every player is extremely respectful of each other’s skill level
  • Like every sport, after each play, players encourage each other with a simple pat on the back or a quick high five
  • At the end of each game, we congratulate the opposing team for a good game

These are honestly all the small things that makes volleyball great, and why I truly enjoying playing with the SpikeThru crowd.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated once, twice or every single week and also thank you to those who have no yet had a chance to play with us but have supported us through Likes, Follows, Shares and Invites. 

We’ll see you all on Monday October 26th at our next drop-in.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Volleyball

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I recently came across this article on Health Revolution Fitness and thought this would be a great place to share why I got into playing volleyball.

“Whether you play indoors, on the grass, or on a beach, volleyball can be a great way to stay healthy and fit. It’s also a great way to stay involved in social activities, as it can be played with a single partner or with and entire team. Here are the Top 10 Health Benefits of Volleyball:

  • Burns calories and fat: One of the primary benefits of volleyball is that it helps you burn calories, which is an important component of a weight loss or maintenance program. Harvard Medical School reports a person can burn between 90 to 133 calories during a half-hour game of non-competitive, non-beach volleyball, depending on a person’s weight, while a competitive gym game of volleyball burns between 120 to 178 calories. An hour-long game of volleyball on the much less stable ground of sand can burn up to 480 calories.
  • Tones and shapes the body: The physical activities involved in playing volleyball will strengthen the upper body, arms and shoulders as well as the muscles of the lower body. Playing volleyball also improves the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Increases metabolic rate: Playing volleyball enhances your energy level and improves your overall performance in other sports and workouts.
  • Improves hand-eye coordination: Volleyball is all about hand-eye coordination. When you serve, you must follow the ball with your eyes, and strike the ball at the right point. On defense, you must react to where the ball is going and get in position to make a play. While setting, your hand-eye coordination helps you see where your hitters are, to make sure to give them a good set.
  • Builds agility, coordination, speed, and balance: Due to its quick changes of pace and direction, volleyball places a large number of demands on the technical and physical skills of a player. During the course of play, players are required to serve, pass, set, attack, block and dig the ball. These skills require flexibility, good balance, upper and lower body strength and speed in order to be played effectively.
  • Heart healthy: By getting your heart rate up, your body will circulate more blood and nutrients throughout your body, which improves your overall health.
  • Builds muscular strength: Volleyball requires a strong chest and core muscles for nearly every play. When you pass, you mimic a squat, and you must use your legs to generate power. When you set, you must use arms, legs, and hands, especially your thighs. When the ball is coming to you, you need to load your legs and arms, and push up. Your hands need to be strong to prevent injury.
  • Increases aerobic ability: According to Well Source’s Aerobic Mile Chart, you expend the same amount of energy playing an easy, slow-paced game of volleyball for 20 minutes as you would jogging one mile. You expend the same amount of energy spent jogging a mile by playing a vigorous 12-minute game of volleyball.
  • Improves interpersonal skills: Volleyball requires that teammates work cooperatively, and at a fast pace. A June 2008 study of adult men who engage in regular team sports found that team members developed better networking skills than men who were less involved in team sports, reports the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Leadership and cooperation skills as well as practice handling wins and losses appropriately provide valuable characteristics that transfer to dealing with others in many other situations.
  • Boosts mood and increases drive to succeed: Your involvement in volleyball can improve your mood, reduce stress and encourage pride in your accomplishments as a team member. The activity can also improve your self-confidence, self-esteem, your body image and make you feel happier about life in general. Involvement in volleyball can also improve your motivation and ability to succeed. As a team player, your cooperative efforts lead to the success or failure of the team. Team members encourage one another during practice and in the game to give everyone the confidence to keep on trying to master and perfect the necessary skills to win.”

SpikeThru offers volleyball drop-ins on Monday night, opened to all skill levels for these very reasons!

Special thanks to Health Fitness Revolution for letting us use this article! Check out their other Top 10 Lists here.

spikethru volleyball