By Guest Blogger Sarah Fielders, homeschooled rising 9th grader

Volleyball is a great sport for teenagers. It can help with strength, control, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and agility. If your child is going through a rough time, volleyball is a good sport to work out aggression. Not only is it a positive influence for mental and physical well-being but it is also super fun! It also teaches your child how to work as a team and the importance of teamwork.

Here are the basics on how to play:

Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding (landing) a ball on the other team’s court under organized rules. The six positions in volleyball are outside hitter, opposite, setter, middle blocker, libero, and serving specialist.

The outside hitter must be the player who hits and blocks on the front left side of the court. An opposite has the option to play all the way around, passing, playing defense, and hitting out of the back row. A setter runs the team’s offense. They aim to receive the second touch, setting it for an attacking player. The middle blockers job is to deflect balls or spikes. The libero’s job is to receive the balls, dig, and gain ball control. A serving specialist is a player who subs in just to serve. These players generally have a very tough or consistent serve and will replace defensive or attacking players who have a less challenging serve.

What I most like about volleyball is the feeling of power I get when I come in contact with the ball. When I’m in a game or just practicing, I forget about anything else that troubles me and I just play. It helps a lot if you’re going through a tough time or if you just want to have fun and let loose. You don’t want to get too competitive with volleyball or any sport for that matter. Simply, enjoy it and have fun! Always remember at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if your child wins or loses, as long as they had fun.

Here are some more details on the rules of volleyball:

  • There are only six players on the floor at any given time.
  • There is a maximum of three hits per side.
  • Points are made on every serve for the winning team of the rally.
  • Players may not hit the ball twice in succession (a block is not considered a hit).
  • There are some more rules but those are the basic rules.

Another awesome benefit of volleyball is making new friends. A lot of teenagers are self conscious or just shy and have a hard time making friends; however, with volleyball it forces you to make friends and communicate with people. All of my friends agree that volleyball is a great social activity!

Some exercises to help your child improve volleyball could be box jumps, shuffles, pass to yourself, pass against the wall, and running. For box jumps, grab a 12 inch box, hop onto the box using both feet and hop down continuously for 30 seconds. For shuffles, squat down into an athletic stance and move around the floor. When passing against the wall, you could also set or serve against the wall. If your kid is an only child and you are usually working then have them use a wall to pass. If you are not working or your child has a sibling then you or your other child could toss it to them.

It’s easy to get frustrated in volleyball whether you’re a beginner or not. Just remember to encourage your kid to not give up. If you have a backyard, consider giving them a volleyball net as a present. When my mom got me a net for the backyard it helped me improve a lot. It also helped me improve my serves. Serves are hard if you’re a beginner because you need to have the right amount of power and control. Just remind your child to be patient with themselves as it takes time to develop a great serve.

I love volleyball because it really helped me understand how to be a positive team member and speak up. I think your kids would really like it too!

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