Basketball, football, baseball (softball), and soccer—those are considered real “team sports.” But what about volleyball? Some people think it is a fun “activity” but not a serious sport, and they think you should encourage your kid to pick other sports.
Your kid should play volleyball because it provides many physical, mental, and social benefits. It’s a sport that is relatively easy to learn and can be played by almost anyone. In volleyball, there is a low risk of injury, and people of almost all fitness levels can partake in the activity.
For anyone who scoffs and says that volleyball is not a sport, remember that the people who organize the Olympics disagree.
Here is our list of 13 why reasons kids should be encouraged to play volleyball.
1. Tones Muscles.
Almost every muscle group gets to be used in volleyball. Your legs, arms, back, butt, and core muscles are called into action when you jump or use your hands and arms to knock the ball over the net.
- Leg muscles—calves, shins, hamstrings, and glutes are used as you jump and move to hit the ball.
- Arms—forearms, triceps, biceps, and deltoids will be used as you pass, hit, and block the ball.
- Core—Abdominal and lower back muscles get worked out when players react, block, or hit the ball.
Because a player must exert more force when playing on the loose sand, beach volleyball means those muscles get used even more. Heavily used muscles have little choice except to get toned.
2. Burn Calories.
Our bodies burn calories pretty much no matter what we do. We burn about 80 calories per hour of reading. In the 5-10 minutes that it’s going to take you to read this post, you will burn approximately 13 calories.
If we take a person who weighs 130 pounds, he/she will burn 177 calories playing volleyball, but 472 if playing competitively. Beach volleyball also burns around 470 calories per hour, and water volleyball burns 180 calories.
For comparison, soccer burns 413 calories, softball 295, and competitive basketball will burn 472 calories. Competitive volleyball ranks right up with other competitive sports!
3. Improves Eye-Hand Coordination.
During professional volleyball, the ball can travel at a speed of about 130 km/h (81 m/h). Obviously, your kid is not going to be returning a spike of that speed. The point is that volleyball requires good coordination between the eyes and the hands. Not only is it essential for spiking and digging, but also for body balance.
4. Improves Mental Skills, Especially Concentration.
If you find yourself telling your kid to “pay attention,” then volleyball might be a good way to help him stay alert and on his toes. In this sport, the ball could come to the player at practically any point, so paying attention is essential. Even if the ball does not come to her first, they will need to stay alert to help a teammate.
5. It Is Fast-Paced.
One thing about volleyball is that it’s not boring. If your kid complains a lot about things being “boring,” then volleyball might just be the thing for them. The six players on the team know they always must be ready to return a ball, set up a play for a teammate, or hit the ball back over the net—not standing around in the outfield waiting for a fly ball to come their way.
Keep in mind that the average set in a game is around 20 minutes. There’s little downtime there.
6. Teaches Teamwork.
Teamwork is a vital thing that every child should learn, and when it comes to volleyball, there is plenty of teamwork involved. To put it simply, a volleyball team simply cannot operate with a single (or few) individuals doing all the work. After a serve, the entire team will need to work together to get the ball across the net.
7. Social Activity.
Another vital thing about childhood is that plenty of socializing should be involved. Well, one simple way to up the amount of social activity your child engages in is through sports, and volleyball just so happens to be a top pick. Volleyball will require the teammates to constantly communicate during a game.
8. A Popular Team Sport.
Those people who consider volleyball a sport (not all people do, which is something that I have yet to understand) don’t think it is all that popular. However, it is more popular than people give it credit for. It is among the most popular team sports worldwide, a statistic that comes as quite a surprise. Furthermore, in the US, volleyball ranks as one of the most popular high school female sports programs.
It is important to mention that years ago, former US women volleyball captain, Cynthia Barboza, refer to volleyball as the “ultimate team sport”. That’s something to think about!
9. Everyone Is Constantly Involved.
Unlike some other sports, where some kids are left out and don’t really get involved in the game, volleyball requires all participants to be actively engaged. Whenever the ball is in play, every player knows the ball could be headed their way. For instance, the other side could try to ground the ball, or your teammate could be trying to set up the attack.
10. Can Be Played Indoors or Outdoors Year Round.
One thing that is a huge bummer for children who play seasonal sports such as baseball, soccer, or football, is that when the season ends — so does the sport. This means that your child is left without their favorite sport and important social activity for months at a time. This can lend your child to feel bored or as if their skills are wearing off during the downtime.
However, the benefit of volleyball is that it can be played virtually year-round in any type of weather. Raining outside? Then don’t worry — just head inside and play on a regular basketball court. Is the weather beautiful outside? Then go ahead and use the sand or another platform where you can stick a net and call it a day.
Being able to play year-round without any breaks in-between means that your child can enjoy the sport as much as they want without the bummer break time. This also means that he or she can continue to hone their skill to become a top-notch player all year round.
11. Low-Contact Sport.
Another concern for parents is the contact involved in many sports such as basketball and football. Well, the good news about volleyball is that there is a low chance of your child being injured, especially by another player, during gameplay. Sure, they may accidentally run into their teammate here and there, but, compare to other sports, it’s an overall low-contact and safer sport.
12. Easy for Beginners to Learn.
Worried about your child, who is just barely getting into the world of sports? Don’t worry — there is no extensive background needed for volleyball. It is a fairly simple sport, and your child should be able to get the hang of it in a relatively short time. Even an amateur child will be able to figure it out and get involved in the game.
13. Fun to Play and Watch.
Volleyball is both fun to play and watch. The rules are straightforward, there is always something going on, and no matter how competitive the players are, opponents are not out there to hurt one another.
As you can see, volleyball exercises the body and mind, while also teaching your kid teamwork and social skills. Your kid will be learning these while having a good time, and you won’t have to worry too much about your child getting hurt.