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  • Writer's pictureCameron Branch

The Power of a Daily Routine: Unveiling the Daily Routine of a Professional Volleyball Player

Updated: Feb 23

It’s been 6 years since I signed my first professional volleyball contract with VCA Amstetten in Austria. That moment 6 years ago highlighted a childhood goal of mine, I was officially a professional athlete. I was determined to go all in considering that a poor performing season could have me sent home, or worse yet, not have another chance to play volleyball the following season.

Cameron Branch celebrating the MVP award after a game against Union Raiffeisen Waldviertel in Austria.  Photo: Union Raiffeisen Waldviertel Volleyball Team
Celebrating the MVP award after a game against Union Raiffeisen Waldviertel in Austria. Photo: Union Raiffeisen Waldviertel Volleyball Team

What I am most happy about is the work I did off the court during my first professional volleyball season (more on this to come). I focused on my mental game just as much, if not more, than my physical game. Together, I was able to finish the season injury free, as one of the top scorers in the league, and build relationships with people that I still connect with today.

Cameron Branch attacks the ball from the backcourt. Photo: Peter Maurer
Attacking the ball from the backcourt. Photo: Peter Maurer
Different from the structure, and the busy life as a student-athlete, I had much more downtime. This downtime presented me with an opportunity to learn strategies to improve my mental game. Through my research, I came across an article written by Dustin Watten entitled "The list 1.1 - 1-2% Better Every Day, Guaranteed". What inspired me about the article is the way Dustin showcased his routine. The routine is the same Monday through Sunday and consists of small, daily goals that Dustin aims to complete day by day, week by week. By completing the goals, this ultimately leaves Dustin feeling confident and prepared for when it matters the most, competition day. The work of Dustin inspired me to build a routine, one that I still follow today (see below)! The routine helps me to stay accountable to my health, my body, my performance, my mindset and my recovery which does not only benefit me day to day, but also long-term!

The Routine of Cameron Branch.
I highlight the goals completed. These small daily wins make me feel so good!
My Routine!

#1) Gratitude

Every morning, the first thing I do when I wake up is express gratitude. Gratitude is an appreciation for the amazing things you have in your life. I encourage you to write down three things that you are grateful for in the morning.

I am grateful for the roof over my head.
I am grateful for the sun that is shinning through my window.
I am grateful for the opportunity to play volleyball today.

#2) Make Bed

As soon as I roll out of bed, I make my bed! This is a huge win for me as I am a person who enjoys a clean room.

#3) 500ml

I drink 1 glass of water first thing in the morning. This helps me rehydrate my body after a long night's sleep.

#4) Roll

I spend 10 minutes using a foam roller or lacrosse ball on parts of my body that need attention (i.e., calves, quads, glutes, lats, pecs if you are a volleyball athlete). I perform myofascial release techniques to reduce tension that builds up from training. This also increases blood flow to improve recovery.

#5) Move

Daily movement is a top priority. I aim to achieve at least 10,000 steps per day. Active transport (using a bike or walking) is a great way to achieve daily movement.

#6) Breath

Breath work has been a transformational addition to my routine because it reduces stress and primes recovery. When I feel stressed, I will spend 5 minutes performing belly breathing whereby I inhale slowly through my nose, and exhale slowly through my nose for a total of 5 minutes. I also include breath work as part of my cool down to spark recovery after training.

#7) Podcast

Learning is one of my values as a person. While I do read, I find that information sticks better when I listen to it. Therefore I listen to 1 podcast per day on an interesting topic. I typically combine it with a daily walk to get some active recovery in!

#8) Service

Whether it is sharing personal advice to inspire and empower the next generation, or an act of service such as volunteer coaching, this allows me to feel a sense of purpose and fulfilment in my life.

#9) Read

I strive to read everyday to empower myself with knowledge that can support my lifestyle as a professional athlete. My favourite topics include health, exercise, nutrition and sport psychology.

#10) Write

While I am far from being the best writer, I strive to improve everyday. Writing gives me the opportunity to communicate with you! I spend a large part of my day writing and creating written content!

#11) Rainbow

If you have been following me, worked with me, or have attended one of my nutrition workshops, I talk about eating the rainbow. This simply means eating a variety of fruits and vegetables containing different colours every day.

#12) Video

Watching video is something that I've learned how to use and what to watch for. I spend 15 minutes every day watching film on myself or another player.

#13) Clean/Organize

My living arrangements have always been clean and organized. For me, less clutter equals less stress. I spend 15 minutes or more (depending on what needs to be cleaned/organized) cleaning and organizing my living arrangement.

#14) Journal

Journaling is an amazing tool for reflection. I take 5 minutes at the end of the day to reflect on how the day went, the lessons I learned, and how I can be better tomorrow.

#15) Sleep

I am a huge advocate for sleep being a foundation for health, performance and recovery. I record the hours I sleep each night as well as the quality and energy I feel upon waking up. By tracking sleep, this allows me to check in with my body.

Final Action Step!

Thank you for reading! If you thought this article was helpful, please click the share icon and share the article to your profiles so other athletes and coaches can benefit.

Follow along here on Instagram where I provide weekly tips on foundational resources including training, recovery, nutrition, and mindset!

Also, be sure to check out other articles within the  The Athlete Toolbox.

Author
Cameron Branch

Founder | Lead Coach | Branch Sports Performance

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