Pain and Volleyball do NOT go together
Despite what you sometimes hear, pain and volleyball are NOT supposed to go together. Quotes like, “pain is weakness leaving the body”, “no pain, no gain” and “pain is temporary” are ludicrous!
Your calves, hamstrings or lower back should not to hurt prior to warming up. Your ankle, knee or shoulder joints should not ache during practice and game play. And you should not be in pain afterwards. When you are in pain, in any of these situations, you are either already hurt or about to get hurt.
If you are hurt your body tells you, in the form of pain/discomfort among other things, to take caution or even stop. Pain when you’re at rest or sedentary, pain during activity and pain after activity all indicate a problem. Believe me. You can visit a skilled physician, chiropractor, PT or athletic trainer to help you overcome your complaint – if you do, find someone who truly listens and is willing to find a solution with and for you. It is VERY important to realize that your pain is yours, and yours alone. Whomever helps you does NOT feel what you feel. You have to explain and share your pain/discomfort as well as you can, which can be difficult.
About to get Hurt
If you are about to get hurt your pain often subsides when you’re done practicing, playing or working out. It can also lessen when you are “warm” (after warming up) and when you rest or recover (do not workout or practice) for several days. In this case you can reach out to your coach and strength coach to discuss adjusting and improving your practice and strength & conditioning programs. You can also discuss your concerns with your athletic trainer. Remember that discussing what you feel is important. It helps you stay healthy and on the court. It allows you to be your best. Which is, of course, great for you but also for your team, your coach and everyone else involved.
U R a Battle Angel
Last but not least, sharing that your body aches or hurts does NOT make you weak. It actually shows the opposite. It tells your coaches and teammates that you are strong, willing to improve and not afraid of doing what needs to be done to become your best. Sharing, of course always kindly and respectfully, requires courage!
NOTE: there are situations in which pain like “acute muscle soreness” (muscle soreness felt during or immediately after physical activity, i.e. a 120 second wall squat can hurt) and “delayed onset muscle soreness” (muscle soreness hours or days after intense physical activity) are considered OK-ish. Of course too much and too often is never a good thing. That being said, I am of the opinion that a smart and very well balanced practice and workout schedule can prevent muscles soreness all together.
In a next article we’ll talk about why playing and practicing through pain can be a bad idea.
Next article “Why Playing Through Pain Can be Bad“.
Hey, I am a Dutch trained PT (not licensed in the USA), LMT and certified personal trainer. I have worked with many athletes from all over the world. Among which professional soccer players, Olympic level track athletes, IFBB bodybuilders, NFL and MLB super stars and of course high school, college, professional and USA national team volleyball players. Oh and also … , coach Jill is my wife.