We all know the best athletes play more than one sport. From Michael Jordan and his baseball days to Jackie Robinson and track, well-rounded athletes produce success. While some coaches and programs may be particular about single-sport athletes, many will see the numerous benefits like lower burnout and injury rates and be attracted to multi-sport athletes.
So, what can you do when your indoor season ends to further your volleyball career? Try picking up another sport.
Here are some of the best options for offseason sports to help your volleyball recruitment:
While this might feel like an obvious choice, beach volleyball provides a different experience, works a different set of muscles, and challenges your knowledge of the game. Beach volleyball courts are a bit smaller and the ball is a bit lighter, but they must be covered by a team of two instead of six.
Because beach volleyball only has two players on a team, there is no room for specializing and no substitutions. You must be able to perform ALL skill sets, not to mention performing them on the sand where it is harder to move and jump explosively.
One season of sand volleyball will have you working on your court awareness, well-rounded skill sets, and your speed and vertical on the hardwood floor.
Track & Field
Distance, sprints, jumping, throwing, the possibilities are endless for staying in shape in the Spring. Volleyball requires a mix of endurance and explosive muscles.
Track events offer anything from 100-meter sprints to mile run competitions. These events, especially a mixture, will keep volleyball players in shape by the time summer workouts roll around. Field events like the triple or high jump work on the muscles set needed for a well-tuned vertical.
If individual competition and muscle development appeal to you, track and field might be a great offseason option when it’s time to put away those court shoes.
The X’s and O’s may be different, but the court and the team-minded competition remain the same. Basketball will of course provide the much-needed cardio in the offseason, but will also push you to have a similar sense of working with a team and understanding the game happening around you, and reacting quickly.
Swatting a shot at the basket will only help you time a block at the net in the fall and communicating defense with four other girls on the fly will keep you talking to the five around you on the volleyball court.
Basketball will keep you competing with a close-knit team and sharpen those court skills needed to produce winners.
Volleyball is all about angles and how the ball contacts the body. Soccer requires very similar skill sets, just with a different set of rules on those body contacts.
Hand-eye coordination, footwork, and speed are crucial in both sports. These sports train so similarly, in fact, that “Footvolley” - volleying a soccer ball over a volleyball net to an opposing team- has made an appearance as a new competitive and training sport that combines the core rules of both games.
This may be the most “out of the box” of the five, but if football players can justify ballet to refine their skills, flexibility, and prevent injury, we can certainly see the benefits for volleyball athletes, too!