If I were to ask a non-athlete, or even an athlete who just doesn’t play volleyball, what they think the game of volleyball is I am almost 110% positive that they would say something along the lines of, “It’s basically like the game ‘Don’t Let the Balloon Touch the Ground’ that we used to play when we were kids.” Although this comparison may be somewhat true in the sense that you definitely don’t want the volleyball to touch the ground, there are several components that make volleyball way more than just ‘Don’t Let the Balloon (in this case, the ball) Touch the Ground’.
When people use this analogy to defend their statement that “volleyball is easy”, it absolutely drives me bonkers. Anyone who doesn’t know the sport of volleyball has no idea how much mental and physical strength it takes to play one competitive set of volleyball, let alone three. Volleyball players constantly risk their bodies to do everything in their power to keep a consistent rally going until it leads to a point in their favor. An average rally lasts around twenty to thirty seconds and although that seems like nothing to spectators, it becomes the longest thirty seconds of your life when you’re on the court physically giving everything you’ve got. Keep in mind, a match is to twenty-five points, win by two. This means that if two competitive teams play against each other and the score is 25-24, the match does NOT end. Instead, the teams keep playing until one team wins by two points.
In order to play volleyball, you have to keep a positive mental mindset at all times. It is incredibly important to astray from getting in your head over a silly mistake because volleyball is strictly a game of mistakes. If you think about it, no one gets an ace serve unless someone on the other team failed to pass the ball, no one gets a kill unless someone on the other team read the ball wrong and failed to dig up the hit… I think you get where I’m going with this. My point is that having a strong mental mindset is what leads to victories, and although this is very true for other sports, it’s especially true for volleyball. Out of all the volleyball games and tournaments I have played in, I could not tell you how many times a team has been down by over ten or fifteen points and has come back to win the game, and it’s all due to each athletes individual mindset that told them “I can do this.”
Like I said, the strong mentality has to be there, but the physical strength necessary for a volleyball player is even more crucial. Volleyball is considered an anaerobic sport which is often why many people think it’s easy. As a volleyball player myself, I can tell you one must be in great shape to play volleyball. The number of sprint bursts that you do in a game is uncountable, making it essential to have quick foot speed. Aside from just the foot speed, in volleyball you are constantly jumping. Whether you are in the front row as a hitter or in the back row as a defensive specialist, there is consistent jumping. In order to be able to jump several times in a row, volleyball players have to have incredibly strong legs. If you were to go in a weight room full of volleyball players and football players, not a single volleyball player would skip leg day and you would see most of them, if not all, doing just as much weight as some of the football players.
I could go on and on for days about all the little things that are so important for someone to play volleyball. All these “little things” that don’t seem like anything to many people, are what make volleyball such a difficult sport to play- not to mention the natural hand-eye coordination that one must have to play. Without these key components, volleyball wouldn’t be the intense sport that attracts viewers from all around the world.