Volleyball ranks third among the team sports, after football and basketball. The teams comprise of six players as per the official rules but can also range from any number with the maximum being six and the least being two players.
To attain a score, a team must ‘ground’ the ball in their opponent’s court space. This is essentially making sure the ball hits the ground on the opponent’s’ side of the net within the court boundaries. Volleyball makes for an enjoyable sport by the beach as well a great professional sport. The main point to take home from this sport is that teamwork is the principal.
Benefits of playing volleyball
1. Burning calories
Scientific research affirms that twenty minutes of participation in a volleyball game burns a hundred and twenty-six calories (1). As the player moves within the court, keeping up with the sporadic movements of the ball, the changes in direction increase the amounts of energy expended per minute. This game hits two birds with one stone since one gets to have group fun and at the same time burn calories.
Bottom line: volleyball keeps the muscles in motion, which consumes calories in the body.
2. Keep a Toned Body
While playing volleyball, the upper part of the body should balance with the lower to ensure balance and coordination. The lower part covers for speed and balancing requirements since as the ball moves sporadically, the player’s movements should be spontaneous and coordinated. On the other hand, the upper body requires hand and eye coordination to direct the ball’s course. These requirements of the sport will have the dormant muscles along the body’s form to join in and ensure the movements are well-coordinated (2).
Bottom line: Exercising the muscles in the upper and lower parts of the body, concurrently, ensures that the whole-body tones properly.
3. Heighten the Body’s Metabolic Rate
To increase the metabolism of the body, the body needs to use up energy constantly. Engaging in sport is one of the most excellent ways of doing this. As the player scuttles across the court to save the ball or goes in for a spike, the body has to expend energy and engage the muscles. At these high metabolism rates, energy distribution to the various organs is now at optimum levels (3).
Bottom line: The need for energy in the muscles while on a volleyball game, increases the body’s metabolism rates to cover the energy requirements.
4. Rejuvenate Vital Organs in the Body
Scientific research confirms that, body exercise ensures vital organs like the kidney and lungs remain in a healthy state (4). By engaging in exercise, the body requires pumping substantial amounts of blood to ensure the muscles have ample supply of oxygen for respiration purposes.
Consistent exercise engages the lungs and heart in respiration, which is vital for their rejuvenation. The health of the heart and lungs prevent cardiac and respiratory conditions like asthma and heart attacks.
Bottom line: The internal organs needed for provision of blood and expulsion of waste materials rejuvenate as one exercise.
5. Improve the social attributes of an individual
In a team, the spirit is not individualism but inclusivity and this ensures that the team players trust each other. This aspect of a team ensures that the individual learns and improves their social attributes in relation to social relations (5).
Teamwork will be a requirement in various scenarios of life starting with work or even educational settings. Start small by trusting in your volleyball teammates while on the beach and the social attributes automatically spill over to other circles.
Bottom line: Volleyball teams allow the player to exercise in a social setting, which allows them to grow their social skill.
6. Reduce the stress and anxiety levels
Stress barrages people in their daily lives and it is a normal phenomenon. The constant barrage of stress without respite, however, may cause adverse effects on the person’s health. Therefore, engaging in exercise, especially one that involves concentration offers a relief of stress and therefore improves the mental health of the individual.
Volleyball is a sport that demands constant concentration. The player, therefore, has to disengage mentally from distracting thoughts to focus on the game (6). This mental escape ensures the player gets a break from stressing thoughts while focusing on the game.
Bottom line: a volleyball game draws the player’ focus from all the anxiety and stress-inducing factors by fully engaging their concentration.
7. Escape the risk of obesity and gathering body fat
While exercising the body is constantly respiring to provide energy. This prevents the accumulation of body fats that might cause conditions like obesity. Obesity is a condition rendered by an accumulation of body fat often due to lack of exercise. When the body fat accumulates in the body the risk of a heart attack and other cardiovascular anomalies also increases (7).
Volleyball has the player running or making spontaneous movements, which keep the body constantly alert and agile. The constant movements in volleyball leave no room for accumulation of body fats and hence obesity is not a risk to the player.
Bottom line: heightened metabolism in sport ensures that the body burns cholesterol and therefore reduces the chance of falling prey to increased body fat that causes obesity.
8. Improves muscle and nerve coordination
For the body to move a single muscle, nerve communication has to take place (8). While in a volleyball game, the player has to make quick movements while ensuring they are balanced and coordinated. This attunes the body to use all the nerves in the muscles in order to have better control (8).
The brain when fully concentrating coordinates the sporadic movements and therefore the player is always nimble. The muscle and nerves of the player come out the better in coordination, which will be in their favor while partaking in other activities outside the court.
Bottom line: movement of a huge group of muscles constantly by the brain in volleyball improves the body’s muscle and nerve coordination gradually.
9. Prevent osteoporosis
When not in constant use, the bones may acquire a porous quality, which is the condition that is osteoporosis. When the bone weakens by osteoporosis support also deteriorates following overall weakened body state. Exercise, however, can improve this condition or prevent it altogether. The constant use of the muscles enables the bone to gain firmness and strength to support the constant muscle movements (9).
In volleyball, the service, or a duck to save the ball will ensure that the bones gain strength over time as the bone mass develops to support the muscles. The observation hence follows that players have increased bone mass in comparison to people who hardly exercise.
Bottom line: continuous exercise strengthens and heals their porous aspects by constant use and muscle tension.
10.Improved focus and concentration
A volleyball player has to keep pace with various aspects of the game. These aspects include a fellow teammate’s positions and movements, the ball movements, and various plays by the opponents. The brain is hence always pinging with information as they strive to keep their own movements coordinated. As the player gains a footing in the game so does their ability to concentrate on a single activity increase (10).
Bottom line: the constant focus required in a volleyball game hones the concentration spans that the player can exercise on a singular indulgence.
11. Improved speed and agility
As the player begins playing, he will find that his speed is a bit slow. Reliance on speed will often prove ineffective and hence the need for agile maneuvers. Even with the gradual increase in speed, to cover the court in seconds before the ball grounds requires flexibility and agility.
The sporadic movements of the body often hardly encompass movement and eventually flexible maneuvers will have to suffice. The flexibility of the body as it adjusts to the movements gradually improves and so does the speed not only in moving in any direction but also reaction (11).
Bottom line: the constant sporadic movements and maneuvers made in volleyball ensure that the player gradually gains physical speed and agility.
12. Improved physical function
Without enough exercise, the body gradually becomes unfit and this may cause discomfort from ailments. When the body is unfit, certain nuisances like headaches and muscle pains will often arise. This discomfort disappears by engaging in exercise. The body’s immunity and physical strength will often improve when it is constantly engaged in exercise (12).
Volleyball is an all-out game that exercises the body muscles equally this ensures that the body’s physical strength and metabolic rate heightens. The body, therefore, improves its immunity from common afflictions.
Bottom line: the persistent exercise in volleyball just like any other sport ensures that the body’s functionality remains at its peak, which prevents minor ailments.
13. Behavioral discipline
A study on the volleyball players’ normal lives showed that they are more likely to have discipline when engaging in other activities. Playing in a team requires the player to think critically before acting and often exercise restraint. In volleyball, strict discipline is necessary if one is to attain prowess and success (13). This self-discipline when honed and incorporated in the player’s daily life, may also lead to remarkable success.
Bottom line: social behavior improves significantly while engaged in a sport like volleyball, which requires focus and discipline.
14. Gain Emotional Control
In volleyball and any other sport for that matter, great emotional control is necessary even when one is losing the game (14). This control will often determine whether the ultimate score is in favor or otherwise. When the player loses control over their emotions, they more often than not also proceed to lose the game.
Emotional control will always work hand in hand with mental focus thus when one loses, the latter collapses. Observations show that volleyball players will have greater control over their anxiety, anger, paranoia, and any other emotions that arise in moments of panic.
Bottom line: constant pressure in the game exposes a player to various stress-inducing situations, which allow them to better explore and manage their emotional capacity.
15. Improved aerobic and anaerobic respiration
It is research proven that twenty minutes spent while playing a volleyball match corresponds to running a mile in terms of calories spent. Research has also shown that twelve minutes of an intense volleyball match will add up to the same figures (15).
In a volleyball match, the body requires vast amounts of oxygen for respiration as it moves the muscles. As the heart rate increases so do the amount of oxygen delivered to the muscles. In moments of low oxygen intake (anaerobic), the muscles, from regular exercise, will often efficiently use the little oxygen available.
Bottom line: While playing volleyball, the body is constantly respiring, thus helping improve the body’s anaerobic and aerobic capacities.
16. Better eye-hand coordination
In volleyball, the focus is always on the ball while the body moves by its own accord, which is instinctive (16). Directing the ball requires coordination of the arm muscles, which relies majorly on the information from sight. In accord, these aspects allow for easy movement but when eyes and hands fail to coordinate gross miscalculations result in loses.
When estimating distances and speeds, the eyes can often make mistakes. With ample practice, the player effortlessly engages their eye-hand coordination in the game. Volleyball requires constant eye-hand coordination while playing to direct the ball’s path.
Bottom line: volleyball engages the eye movements and hand coordination which when practiced frequently improves the brain’s ability to coordinate both simultaneously.
17. Building stamina
While it may prove easy to make fast movements in the first stages of a match, what distinguishes a true sportsman is the ability to affect it to the end of the game. Volleyball necessitates quick and spontaneous movements, which will require massive amounts of energy.
While the body recovers from rest, the energy stored is plenty but it if it is not enough the player loses their stamina a short while into the game. What counts in a game of matched skill is the point where the opponent’s stamina fails. Persistence in playing volleyball builds the body’s stamina and general strength. By engaging in exercise and ensuring you keep on a healthy diet regime, the body gradually gains stamina and is able to reserve greater amounts of energy and strength (17).
Bottom line: volleyball requires extensive amounts of stamina, which builds with continuous exercise and maintaining a proper diet.
18. Improves your mood
When the doctor’s diagnosis proves that the patient suffers from stress or depression, they often recommend that they engage in exercise. While exercising, the body releases the tension in the muscles and allows them to relax which ensures that the individual has lighter moods.
After respiring profusely in exercise, the body resumes normal functions with efficiency, which will automatically lighten the mood (18).
Bottom line: The release of tension from muscles during a volleyball game exercise ensures that the body relaxes and improves the moods of the player.
19. Have healthy joints
Any sporting activities require constant movement of the muscles in order to exercise various maneuvers. Volleyball is no different from other sports and the different types of play need constant movement on the court, which often needs quick reflex. Bone movement backs the movement of muscles and therefore strength is essential if this movement is to take effect (19).
By constantly playing volleyball, the bones start gaining lubrication from constant use and gain strength. Healthy bones and joints reduce the risk of catching diseases like arthritis. It follows that the player escapes aching joints and weak bones all caused by disease of the bones.
Bottom line: the body requires constant exercise to keep the joints effectively lubricated and ensure that the bones strong.
20. Prevent early muscle deterioration
Various studies on muscle deterioration show that it often begins after thirty. It often draws on faster due to the little exercising of the muscles at a younger age. Volleyball exerts both halves of the body in movements on the court, which require quick employing (20).
When the muscles are constantly active, they gain mass and strength, which prevents fast muscle deterioration in later years. The studies also show that individuals who constantly engage in exercise not only increases the period before which muscles deteriorate but also reduces the rate at which their muscles deteriorate.
Bottom line: volleyball always tasks the muscles while moving on a court, which steadily increases their mass and strength and prevents their quick deterioration.
21. Improved coordination and balance
By constantly moving, ducking, spiking and other quick movements while in a volleyball game the body naturally gains coordination. In the game, the brain needs to coordinate large groups of muscles. By constantly using this employing, the body gradually gains expert coordination and balance. When the player is well balanced, it becomes easy to carry out complex maneuvers that the game requires (21).
Consistent play and practice required in volleyball avail the player easy balance and motor coordination.
Bottom line: volleyball games require the application of balance and coordination in movements and directing the ball’s course which after ample gives the player easy body coordination.
22. Feel motivated and energetic
In any game, the players have a single-minded focus to win which motivates them. The players attain it better in a team since the energy and focus are greater in a group setting. In volleyball, the individual is only a part of the team, which is a single entity (22).
The social behavior tendencies of individuals allow them to tap into the general group mentality of the team and attain motivation even if they previously had none. This easy way of motivation follows that the individual eventually gains the motivated outlook as they go about their normal lives.
Bottom line: confidence and motivation in a volleyball team improve self-motivation in the individual.
23. Improve body reflexes
In a volleyball match, ball movements are sporadic and players have to clamber to save it at a moment’s notice before grounding (23). Any individual in the team should have an alertness about them that allows them to identify their fellow teammate’s movements for a more coordinated play.
This alertness ensures that the body’s reflexes are always on prepared for any movement or ball directions. In volleyball, it is from the observation that the ability of a player to effect movement at a moment’s notice increases their body instincts considerably in contrast with other methodic games.
Bottom line: sporadic movements in volleyball require instinctual responses from the player, which improves their reflexes continuously.
24. Improved decision-making
While playing a game that entirely depends on the body’s ability to move in any direction without warning, the ability to retain focus is always on the test (24).
In volleyball, the time to make decision reduces to a fraction of a second at. In volleyball, hesitation may mean losing the game to the opponents. Making these decisions on the spur of a moment ensures the mind gradually gains the ability to make precise decisions immediately.
Bottom line: volleyball games require split-second decision making that reduces the strain of clouded judgments in the individual player.
25. Improved mental health
Studies show that while volleyball does not increase the intelligence quotient, it improves academic and other fields of performance. This phenomenon infers that volleyball enables the player to gain clarity while dealing with issues on the court (25).
This clarity, when perpetrated in the normal daily activities, ensures the gradual increase in performance. In volleyball, quick decisions exercise the brain muscle, therefore, reducing confusion wrought by the daily activities.
Bottom line: mental clarity in volleyball enables the player to attain better mental health by exercising decision-making skills, which leads to reduced stress and anxiety in their daily activities.
The team’s welfare always tops the needs of an individual. When the team scores it is not from an individual’s effort, but it is usually a collective team effort. In volleyball, the teams are close-knit to ensure that trust is strong. The social bonds that build the volleyball teams avail the player greater ease in trusting other persons even outside the court (26).
When playing among friends the trust gradually increases by playing on the same team. This teamwork ensures that whenever the individual is part of a team they are able to accommodate other people’s attributes.
Bottom line: volleyball teams enable the player to exercise their team building and social bonding skills in the team setting.
27. Dietary discipline
The nutrition requirements of the player’s body are a key contributor to their performance in the game. Nutrition requirements for any athlete should have ample energy foods to provide for the constant energy requirements of the body (27).
Foods that reduce performance need avoidance since the body requires peak performance in the game. The players will therefore always check on what they ingest and seek advice from nutritionists.
Bottom line: dietary needs of an athletic body spur the player to improve their diets and adhere to more healthy foods that provide the required nutrients and energy for the body.
28. Boosted immunity
The body has a natural mechanism of protecting itself from illness. When the body constantly exercises, stress reduces. Therefore, the body attains a self-sufficiency in promoting its own immunity (28).
Observations show that the body of the player is not only averse to contract minor ailments but also has greater ability to fight off major ailments than that of a less fit person. The number of players who fall prey to health conditions of the heart and other minor nuisances is lower.
Bottom line: heightened metabolism in players strengthens their immune system and therefore prevents minor ailments and improves their recovery time.
29. Gain a better outlook on life
Volleyball and any other sport have a confirmed effect of improving the outlooks of their players regarding life. Regular exercise is also a confirmed source of improved moods and most physicians will go ahead and recommend it to aid in the healing of depression in their patients (29).
By engaging in a friendly game of volleyball at the beach or a gymnasium court, the player has the opportunity to improve their moods as well as their view about stressing situations in their lives.
Bottom line: volleyball not only reduces the stress levels but also increases the player’s motivation to achieve their goals since it enables them to clear their mental fog and refrain from being depressed.
30. Improves cardiac health
The body requires copious amounts of blood for respiration in the muscles while in a volleyball game. By constantly pumping blood to the muscles, the heart muscles gain gradual strength, which prevents cardiac conditions like heart failure. The accumulation of fats in the cardiac muscles or constriction of blood veins also reduces with constant exercise (7).
Therefore, the constant exercise in volleyball prevents conditions like varicose veins or heart attack.
Bottom line: peak metabolic rates of the body during exercise ensure that the body is always burning calories which when left to accumulate can lead to cardiac complications.
31. Improved visual acuity
A study on sports players on the ability to follow ball trajectories and motions show that sports greatly improves the visual acuity of the player (30). These studies show that volleyball requires the visual ability to not only keep visual contact with the ball but also anticipate the probable landing position.
This follows the various exercises in volleyball practice, which help the player to direct the ball and anticipate its trajectory. The quick movements of the ball on the court require the player to not only increase the eye motion but also anticipate its direction and speed.
Bottom line: volleyball requires increased visual focus for the player to follow the ball movements and coordinate their body simultaneously.
32. Improves memory retention
The study on memory retention in old age shows that the individuals who engage in the sport have lower rates of memory loss at old age. The brain grows stronger as the individual engages in sporting activities. Volleyball requires constant use of the brain cell for coordination and therefore reduces their deterioration and enhances the production of the new cell in turn.
Through regular exercises in volleyball or another sport, the brain gains the ability to reproduce and retain existing brain cells, which directly relates to memory retention (31)
Bottom line: the metabolic rates of the volleyball player allow for improved cell regeneration in the brain that directly relates to memory retention and can last even in old age.
33. Improved motion range
The various studies prove that players have greater motion ranges. This occurs through constant exercise, which builds the muscle strength (32). The gradual muscle build in a volleyball player enables them to jump higher, move faster and maintain their stamina for longer.
The continuous drills and movements in a volleyball court ensure that the player builds their muscle mass and stamina, making them fit and agile.
Bottom line: athletic people have proven to have better motion span in jumping, speed among others due to their strong muscles and stamina.
34. Motor control
In volleyball, the player has to have effortlessness in both vertical and lateral movements while in the game (33). While the lower part of the body affects the direction of the body, the upper part creates coordinated movements while hitting and directing the ball.
The brain coordinates these movements since it is the neurological center of the body. By controlling large groups of muscle often, the brain attains an easy in coordination.
Bottom line: The constant multi-direction motion responses required in a volleyball match equips the player with heightened motor control in comparison to non-athletic persons.
35. Prevents drug abuse
In studies on adolescents, the rates of drug abuse were higher in those who had little to do on their spare time. The volleyball players were less likely to indulge in drug abuse since in their leisure periods they would have the sport to fall back on (34).
A survey of adults and young adults to determine their drug abuse tendencies showed that players have significantly reduced cases. The survey deduced that the players have to check on their dietary needs the player have less incentive to indulge in drug abuse. As the player works on keeping fit, the dietary needs can hardly accommodate alcohol or any other drugs.
Bottom line: volleyball practice enables the player to utilize their leisure time and in turn reduces the temptation to abuse drugs.
Tips for beginners
Playing volleyball is no walk in the park and prowess in the sport requires commitment and discipline. The game requires a firm grasp of the rules as any other game would, however, what really sets one apart is their ability to combine their own skill with those of their teammates to deliver a winning point. Concisely, all aspects of an athlete need channeling in the player for acuity and focus in the game. The following are points to start as a beginner.
a) Maintain a proper diet
The body of any player requires a lot of energy while running in the field. Therefore, nutritionists recommend a lot of carbohydrates and fluids. While playing volleyball the player is prone to attain injuries, which will require the healing of the tissue cells. Magnesium rich foods and proteins reduce the general healing time of the body to ensure that the player is always in great form.
Magnesium also works to psyche up the player as it is involved in the production of estrogen, a primary strength, and motivating hormone in both male and female bodies.
b) Take ample rest
In this case, ample rest refers to sleep. During sleep, the body mends the worn out the tissue and other injuries it may have attained during the day. This is more important for the player since the time taken to heal the injury and repaired worn out tissues determines how well they get to play on the next day. Since cell regeneration peaks at night, it also means that the brain cells regenerate at this time.
It solely explains why many wake up refreshed after a night of ample sleep. It ensures that the body is relieved of fatigue and stress factors for an easy start.
c) Ample warm up before exercise
When preparing for a game or high-intensity exercises, it is important to prepare your body for the activities that you are about to carry out. The muscles and the blood vessels require ample preparation for the intense workout. This preparation prevents incidents that could occur such as muscle cramps or reduced blood flow to the muscles. Warm up exercises are therefore recommendable for a player to tune the body to the exercise needs.
If any volleyball beginner wishes to attain prowess in the game, they have to maintain a clear focus on their commitments. Practice, diet, and all other aspects of a fit player come into play and these must strictly adhere. Volleyball is a game of focus and determination and as much as the player works in a team, their individual commitment counts for their own as well as the team’s progress.
e) Keep hydrated
The body tends to lose a huge amount of water while engaged in exercise and this will need replenishing. Hydration is a major factor while playing any sport for an athletic game. To keep the body well hydrated ensures that the body cools off effectively and allows maximum focus while in the game. The player may also need to take a quick energy drink to boost their energy while in the game.
f) Work on speed and agility
In a game where the ball is always fast and the opponent seeks a point of weakness to earn the extra point, speed is essential. The body of a volleyball player needs acute attuning to take quick reflexes and movements. The movements are not necessarily with the whole body since quick sight will help save on speed. By improving on the speeds and body reflexes, the assurance of quick reaction allows for an easy play.
g) Branch out
Volleyball is a sport, which requires a unique blend of skills from different games. Speed and jumping attained in track sports are only a pair among the many skills required in volleyball.
Other skills like eye-hand coordination in racket games offer a perfect blend to suit the player greatly. Beginners will benefit themselves greatly if they did not box themselves off other games since the myriad of skills attained will come in handy in volleyball.
h) Build on body strength
Studies show that volleyball players require greater body strength to prosper on a volleyball court in comparison with other sports. The upper and lower parts of the body require exercise since they are equally tasked in maintain balance and speed. A beginner may seek to improve their top speeds and their upper body muscles, in particular, the back and shoulder muscles. These are solely responsible while spiking and serving. Other muscles like the trunk also require practice to ensure balance and reflex motion (36).
i) Build stamina
In a volleyball game, stamina is at times the determining factor. Usually, a volleyball game can take more than ten minutes of intense action. The player should ensure they have the greater stamina to last them the entire game. For a beginner, stamina is built with continuous exercise and playing (36)
j) Join local teams and practice with available teams
Whether at the beach or in a school gymnasium, court practice usually heralds perfection. Volleyball like any other sport requires time to perfect skills, speeds, and reflexes to a point where the play is effortless, and stamina is relentless. The constant drills and exercises provide the skills required. However, only by playing will one attain perfection in using these skills. The local teams also put the players in a position to learn from more accomplished players in volleyball (37).
Jacky has a degree in Sports Science and is a Certified Sports and Conditioning Coach. He has also worked with clients around the world as a personal trainer.
He has been fortunate enough to work with a wide range of people from very different ends of the fitness spectrum. Through promoting positive health changes with diet and exercise, he has helped patients recover from aging-related and other otherwise debilitating diseases.
He spends most of his time these days writing fitness-related content of some form or another. He still likes to work with people on a one-to-one basis – he just doesn’t get up at 5am to see clients anymore.