Preparing for a beach volleyball tournament – Part 1

Preparing for a beach volleyball tournament – Part 1

“What does it take to get yourself ready to play at your best?” If you don’t have an answer to this question, then it’s time to find one!

First of all, a warm up routine is more than just running around a bit and hitting a few balls. There are quite a few different aspects of warm up that need to be considered and it all starts a long time before you hit the court. Here is my list:

  1. Equipment preparation
  2. Mental preparation
  3. Physical preparation
  4. Tactical and strategic preparation
  5. Before the first point

This sounds like a lot, but if you can identify all of the components that go into getting you completely ready to hit the court you can incorporate a lot of it into the normal stuff you need to do before you go to the beach.


Let’s start with equipment. There is nothing more disruptive to your pre-game routine than discovering that you forgot to bring your board shots to the beach….

Treat your equipment preparation as a priority! The simple message here is; don’t leave it to the last minute!. Pack your back the night before. Make sure your drinks and snacks are ready, maybe a banana or two. Whatever you need get you through a few tough games. Depending on the tournament format you might be up for a few games before you can take a break to buy lunch.

Don’t leave it to the last minute!.
Pack your back the night before.

Other equipment might include and Elestiband for your shoulder, your game sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, towel etc. Everything you might need should be in your back the night before the tournament, so that when you wake up, you can think about playing, not worry about what you have forgotten.

Mental Preparation

Preparing yourself mentally for a match or tournament, as with your equipment prep above, should begin the night before.

You mental warm up is just as important as your physical warm up.

The first step in mentally preparing yourself to perform at your best is to “control the controllables” and remove any distractions. Check your equipment and plan your food consumption for the day. Double check your registration, or anything else that might interfere with your focus on the morning before you play. Ensure that when you get to the beach, you have nothing to worry about other than your opponents.

Once this “admin” side of things is out of the way, spend some time visualising your skills. Find a quiet few moment, (I usually do it while I am packing my bag), and imagine yourself playing. Go through 5 or 10 passes. Then 5 cut shots, 5 line shots, 5 power angle side outs, etc. If there is any area of your game that you are worried about, visualise yourself performing the skill perfectly a few times. It’s also a good idea to make the movements as you visualise.

On the morning before you play, repeat the visualisation a little bit. Visualise a few important points, in particular; your first serve going in, your first pass being perfect and your first attack going for a winner.

As you get closer to game time, bring yourself slowly towards an aggressive frame of mind. Not too aggressive, (I.e. not out of control), but get yourself mentally ready for a fight.

Look out for part two where we will talk about:

  1. Physical preparation
  2. Tactical and strategic preparation
  3. Before the first point

Next: Preparing for a beach volleyball tournament – Part 2