More than just a Sport

Participating in any sport has benefits, but volleyball offers the opportunity for lessons that few other sports can. The volleyball community is a place where everyone is welcome and you can find a lifetime of play and competition. Volleyball brings families together to play and learn and offers the opportunity to create lifelong friendships and bonds. From character-building skills such as leadership, teamwork, respect and communication to the physical benefits of staying healthy and active, here are some of the things you can expect to gain by playing volleyball.

Why Play Volleyball

There are plenty of reasons why volleyball is the ideal sport for children and parents alike. Here are thoughts from both of those groups about why they enjoy the sport.

“You learn about communication, teamwork, dedication and organization/prioritizing your time. I miss the volleyball training because you get pushed past your limit and find out what you are capable of accomplishing.”

Misty May-Treanor

Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist; 2019 All-Time Great Female Beach Player

Gifts for Volleyball Players

Longtime USA Volleyball Director of Sport John Kessel is a legend in the volleyball coaching community, and in his popular blog, Growing the Game, he listed gifts that a volleyball player should receive. These gifts are inherent to the sport of volleyball and are easily shared with volleyball players of any age.

The Gift of Play

Play is simple, play is enjoyable, play is fun. And just playing volleyball is the best gift a volleyball player can receive. It doesn’t have to be in a full match, either, playing 1×1 or 2×2 can be just as much fun as the 6×6 game you typically see. This act of play, Kessel points out, actually helps athletes learn the game and the game’s skills better. The more you play, the more you touch the ball, and the more you improve. That’s the power of play.

The Gift of Struggle

Like all sports, volleyball allows athletes to experience success, and it allows athletes to experience struggle. Struggle teaches athletes to learn problem-solving on their own, to look within for answers and fixes. With so much of sport being mental, volleyball athletes can build their mental fortitude, which will provide benefits in sport and other aspects of life.

The Gift of a Lifetime Sport

Volleyball is one of the most popular sports worldwide, and you can play volleyball on a variety of surfaces – even on top of a mountain. Not only can you go anywhere and play volleyball, you can play it at any age. USA Volleyball actually offers a 75-and-over division at the annual USA Volleyball National Championship. From grade school to retirement, anyone can play volleyball.

The Gift of Support

This last gift is arguably the most important. Volleyball is a true team sport, and at the end of every point, teammates come together and encourage each other. Support can also come from parents, coaches and other friends and fans. This support is tremendous for an athlete’s self confidence and personal strength.

“The concept of ‘bettering the ball’ – volleyball is a team sport. Each person’s touch affects and is affected by the others. No one wins alone. Even your opponents can make you better. Achieving success in playing and officiating gave me confidence, wonderful opportunities and lifelong friends.”

Donna Friesen Wigton

2020 Nancy S. Sharpless Scorekeeper Emeritus

Eight Reasons You Want to Play Volleyball

  1. You Spend Most of Your Time Active
    Even if you don’t touch the ball every time it’s on your side of the court, you’re moving constantly to be in proper position.
  2. You Get to Jump…a lot!
    Going up for a block? You jump. Attacking? Jump? Serving? You certainly can jump. Hello stronger leg muscles!
  3. You Improve Your Reaction Time
    Volleyball is a fast-paced sport, and you have plenty of opportunities to improve your forearm/eye and hand/eye coordination.
  4. You Get to Play Offense and Defense
    While volleyball does have set positions, every player on the court has to be good at several things. Middle blockers don’t only block, hitters don’t only attack, and liberos even do more than just pass.
  5. There’s a Lot to Celebrate
    Every time the ball is put into play, a team scores a point, meaning there’s a lot of points your team gets to enjoy. Didn’t win it? The team gathers anyway to encourage each other in the next one.
  6. You Can Play With Anyone
    Volleyball’s a non-contact sport, so you’re not stuck with playing only with only one gender or only those your age. Mix-gendered competition has resulted in countless fun matches, and facing older players allows you to see different types of attacks and improve even more quickly.
  7. You Can Play Anywhere
    Grass, sand, a court or snow, you can play volleyball on any surface. The different environmental factors will just make your game that much more well-rounded.
  8. No Standing Required
    Sitting volleyball, the Paralympic variant of indoor volleyball, only has four core rule differences and can actually help your standing skills as it’s actually faster-paced. Plus, sitting volleyball allows more people to play the sport, and more volleyball players is always a good thing!.

“Volleyball is a community sport. You need others to play with you in order to have fun with it. I’ve built a lot of self-confidence and character by going out and exposing people to the sport of sitting volleyball. I love to teach people how to play, but it takes a lot of guts and spunk to run around a convention center full of indoor standing girls and rope them into playing sitting down. But once they do, they love it. It’s that immediate laughter they have when they first butt-lift that makes me love this sport.”

Katie Holloway

U.S. Women's Sitting National Team