Here are my 5 top tips for surviving the winter months on the chilly sand:
1) Socks: Make sure you have found yourself a good pair of sand socks. Don’t bother with sand socks made for volleyball, get yourself a pair of wetsuit boots. They should be 5mm thick, not 3, and on really cold days you can wear a pair of woolly socks inside!
2) Chilly Fingers: Have a good pair of gloves for before and after training (I don’t like wearing them while training, personally), and maybe consider bringing along a reusable handwarmer for emergencies and breaks.
3) Keep Moving: When planning your sessions, build up gradually. It takes a while to warm up properly, so don’t jump into something too intense too soon, or you risk snapping something! Winter is a great time for building lots of good quality reps-plan the trainings to avoid one person standing around too long and getting cold, and don’t let your water breaks be too long; little and often is better.
4) Hot Stuff: Have a hot drink in a flask or a good keep cup ready for when you need it. It’s a great comfort after a cold session-I like a good herbal tea. Make sure you don’t forget to drink water, though.
5) Layers: Beach volleyball players are like ogres. They should have layers (sorry for the Shrek reference…) A good base layer for when you are training. A light jumper for warming up in and for more low intensity stuff. Then heavier layers for when you stop, and clothes to change into. I have a Dry Robe that I can stick on after training and when I’m coaching-I love it. Or you can get a rugby sub jacket for a lot less-whatever fits your budget.
My big tip, though, is that there is nothing worse than staying warm and even getting a sweat on through training, and then freezing your butt off afterwards. Make sure you have some warm, dry layers to put on afterwards, and consider changing out of wet clothes if what you are wearing is damp.
I hope all this helps folks. If you think that there’s something I missed, please do add your comment below. You should all have no excuses now to get out there and crush it this winter!