Getting ready to hit the beach for some volleyball this weekend? Diana Zotos, HSS Physical Therapist, shares these tips to make sure you stay on top of your game!
1. The sun is your friend and enemy! Apply sunscreen prior and during the game. Sunglasses are not only a great way to protect your eyes from harmful rays, they are also your best defense against blowing sand.
2. Hydrate like crazy! The sun and beach can make you dehydrated alone.Add in vigorous physical activity, and you’ve got a big reason to keep hydrated. If you plan on playing for more than an hour, it’s a good idea to replace electrolytes like salt and potassium – salt packets, pretzels and bananas are great options.
3. One huge difference between volleyball and beach volleyball is the SAND! Its great to play barefoot boosts the strength in your feet and ankles. However, it’s inherently an unstable surface, which can lead to a twisted ankles. Make sure to practice some barefoot drills while standing on a balance board, bosu ball or even a pillow to gear up for your match.
4. Sand is also a great hiding place – be wary of items hiding in the sand that could hurt your feet. Check for glass or other debris on the court before play.
5. Volleyball at any level isn’t just about bump, set, strike. Whether you’re playing for fun or competitively, upper back, core, and hip strength will keep you injury free and help strengthen your game.
Diana Zotos is a physical therapist and certified yoga instructor at Hospital for Special Surgery’s Rehabilitation Department.