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“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” -Robin Williams

And so we shall!  Let’s get moving and playing.

When I was in high school, I played two sports: tennis and volleyball. I could hold my own at tennis, but volleyball, not so much. I could serve and that was about it. For recreation, though, anyone can play and everyone can have a great time and get great exercise.

Volleyball is a really fun sport, and every time I see it on TV I daydream that I am one of the players, jumping high over the indoor volleyball nets, spiking the ball… Oh, I was lost in thought….

My one year of volleyball taught me so many good things, I thought I’d share some of them. Everyone agrees there are lots of advantages to playing volleyball.

Physical and mental health

The most obvious advantage is that it’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise. These types of exercises strengthen the heart and lungs and help oxygen flow more freely through your body. When your body and your heart are working better, it helps prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Exercise also helps you get in shape and tone your body leading to better overall health and more energy as well as better mental health and increased happiness and well-being.

Hand-eye coordination/agility and flexibility

A second advantage to playing volleyball is an increase in hand-eye coordination. With the quick movements of the ball and having to constantly be aware of where it is, you have to not only see it, but also be able to make a decision on how to handle the ball, should it come in your direction. What kind of pass will you make? How hard can you hit it without it going out? Which of the opposing team will you target with your spike or serve? Similarly, it builds sprint speed and agility because of its quick changes of pace and direction as well as improves flexibility of hands and feet.

Social interaction/Sportsmanship

Volleyball helps you learn how to work with friends and teammates with a common goal. This makes you feel a sense of belonging and value. You learn how to work as part of the team and learn how to work well with others in attaining that goal. This comes by knowing what your teammates are doing at all times, where they are on the floor, what their jobs are, what your job is… working together to make points for your team and to prevent the other team from getting points. It teaches how to accept defeat and how to win graciously.