On the first day we did two trainings. The day started with some ball playing, during which I felt the one-month break had brought some serious consequences… On the other hand, the hall was filled (if you can say “filled” about ca 10 people) with some amazing and skillful players, whose skills motivated me to keep playing even if I didn’t do so well. I particularly struggled with spiking – the ball just didn’t want to go where I wanted! But that problem practically disappeared as the training went on.
In the evening we did a running-jumping-clapping training outside, meaning that we started with some spurts, continued with a series of jumps on stairs and then began the most fun part – we played a clapping game, which is probably well-known for some volleyball players. Then we combined clapping with some strength excercises as well. It was an interesting training held by a really professional coach Ville, and I learned about a lot of new excercises I had never seen before.
I started to understand Finnish more and more as time went by, but occasionally I had to ask my Finnish-speaking friend Pille or someone else to translate something for me. By the end of the week I surely understood a lot more Finnish than I did before!
A little about Tuesday – two trainings, gym in the morning, ball in the evening. In the morning we did a lot of really tough exercises, most of which were new to me. There were 8 exercises to do in pairs. Legs, arms and core were all trained, so my body was hurting pretty much everywhere by the evening’s training.
We mostly concetrated on defense in the evening, sadly this has been and still is my weakest element, but in comparison with the Finns and Pille it was even more horrible… We also did some coordination exercises where multiple balls were used in pairs – me and Pille were a lot worse than the Finns in these ones. But we ended the practise with some classic ball play, which I also hadn’t done for some 2 months, and my performance was quite okay. At least the ball play boosted my confidence a bit after failing in defense and coordination.
Wednesday was a day off for us, and my muscles are thankful for that. Two trainings a day were planned for Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday, we started with some ball training in the morning, but the real experience was waiting ahead in the evening. We went about 25km from Salo to do a training in the forest. As the weather wasn’t the best during that time of the day, we didn’t do any running, but walking (practically climbing and trying not to fall) up and down the massive hills was as good as running! The hills were a lot higher than Estonian hills where we usually train. Everything seems to be a bit bigger in Finland! We also had the opporturnity to meet Ville’s dog, who was patiently waiting for us humans because the dog was always the first one to be on top of the hills. We seemed to be painfully slow for her! Also, if we happened to run low on energy in the middle of a climb, we could just reach out our hand and grab a handful of tasty blueberries from a bush. The forest was simply drowning in blueberries! In conclusion, a fun yet a pretty harsh training for us.
The last day of the week began with gym. We did mainly the same things as we had done on Tuesday, with some minor variations. It was a relief that most of the exercises felt a lot easier this time than they had felt on Tuesday. Evening’s ball training started with, as we Estonians call it, “the Russian”. It’s a 1vs1 warm-up game where you can only use bumping to get the ball to the other side. After some other warm-up exercises, including one where we had to play in defense, then sit down and catch our defended ball, we did a 6vs6 exercise. The goal was to get a kill with the first ball. Outside hitters and opposites got a chance to play in zones 2 and 4 on both sides, so there were many chances to try and kill the ball in different positions. All in all, it was a developing training and we left Salo with a really good feeling.
We would like to thank Team Salo for this great week. We learned a lot of new things and got a lot of motivation to keep training. Thank you for this opporturnity and hopefully we’ll see you again soon! Keep up the good work!
Kertu and Pille