SMC Weekly Fitness: Men's Volleyball Outside Hitter Tillman Hubbard

Volleyball, a sport highlighted during the Olympics and in the United States, is often overlooked as being a physical sport. What's disregarded is that volleyball players must have good vertical leaps, strong arms, and most importantly a high level of endurance in order to be successful in their sport. To give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to step on the hardwood or on the sandy beaches, I interviewed Tillman Hubbard, outside hitter for Santa Monica College's volleyball team. During the off-season Hubbard is a workhorse, training up to five times a week while visiting his health club in the valley, "Body Dynamics." Meanwhile, throughout the season his workouts vary from day-to-day. "During the season on Mondays I lift weights and days we don't have games, I work out with my teammates," said Hubbard.

Hubbard's head coach John Mayer also plays a main role in the team's workout regimen. "Coach Mayer stays on top of us to make sure we're kept in shape at all times," said Hubbard.

As far as lifting exercises, volleyball players aren't necessarily focused on building sheer power, but rather improving their stamina and quickness. "When I work out, I work more on plyometrics and emphasize getting more repetitions in to build more lean muscle, speed, and endurance."

While Hubbard doesn't follow a stringent diet, he's still an advocate of eating right. "My diet isn't that strict, I eat healthy and try to stay away from processed foods and focus on eating things like whole grain bread, fruits, and vegetables," Hubbard said.

Hubbard is always trying to keep his healthy eating habits in check, but there is some food he just can't avoid. "I try to be careful with what I eat, but I can't resist In-N-Out."

In volleyball, outside hitters are normally the main passers and also the go-to-hitters on offense, so Hubbard must consistently work on his position using specific workouts to compete at the highest level. "I try to work on my explosiveness to help maintain my jumping ability and work on my quickness," said Hubbard.

While many athletes find themselves either listening to their iPods or performing some type of ritual before the game, Hubbard has never put much emphasis on it, saying, "I just eat and make sure I'm felling OK."

Hubbard finds influence and motivation from multiple outlets, but he feels there is one source that he can always draw from. "Coach Mayer gives a lot of inspiration to the team, and he's always pushing me to do the right thing."