First volleyball practice: how to prepare yourself.

Your first volleyball practice can be very exciting. It can also bring up a lot of questions as you probably don’t know what to expect. This can make you nervous. In this article, we will discuss how you can prepare yourself for your first volleyball practice so that you have all the gear that is needed and can go without having to worry about anything. 

How can I prepare myself for the first volleyball practice?

If you have friends that are on the team already, you can ask them some questions about what is expected of you, how the team functions, and so on. This friend can also introduce you to the other players when you go to the first training. If you don’t know anyone on the team, you can reach out to the coach or other players on social media to get to know them. 

You can learn more about the rules of volleyball to make sure that you understand the basics. A great way to do this is to look at videos on Youtube of the USA Olympic team. You will start to understand how they move, defend and attack if you watch a couple of matches. This is a lot more fun than just reading all the rules. You won’t know all the nuances when you go to your first practice as it can take months to learn all these. By watching a few games, you will at least already have a notion of what is going on. This also shows your coach that you are dedicated to becoming a good volleyball player. 

Make sure that you are well-rested and have eaten enough when going to your first training. This makes sure that you can pay attention. You will have to learn a lot of things during the first training so be sure that you are attentive. Don’t get distracted by other players as this might annoy the coach.

You can already visit the sports arena in advance to make sure that you know where you have to be and how you can get there. If you show up late for your first practice, it will be a bad start. Therefore it is a great idea to know how long it takes to get there, where the dressing rooms are, where the lockers are and so on. A quick visit can help you to figure out these things in advance. This will make you more relaxed when you go to the training. 

What should I bring to my first volleyball practice?

You can reach out to the coach or club to ask this question. In general, they will ask that you bring a water bottle so that you can drink it during practice. You will have to bring socks, a t-shirt, shorts to be able to play. A normal t-shirt will do. You might want to take a look at sporting socks as these are a lot better at dealing with sweat. It is annoying if you play with normal socks as these can get wet after a short period of time and you have to keep them on for the rest of practice. Therefore you might want to buy sporting socks. 

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

 You also have to bring a towel and shampoo and another pair of underwear so that you can take a shower after practice. Most teams require that you do this and are quite strict on this.

You will also have to bring shoes. Make sure that they are clean, don’t have black soles, and are sporting shoes. This can be running shoes or just general sporting shoes. Normal shoes are not made to practice volleyball with as they are not reinforced and will break quite fast. 

You might also want to bring a small lock so that you can close your locker safely. Most players have their phones with them and maybe also some school materials. Therefore it is interesting if you can lock away these items so that no one can take them away. 

Most volleyball players have knee pads. You probably don’t have to buy this in advance as a lot of people just want to give volleyball a try at first. Only after you are sure that you like it, you should start buying equipment.  Volleyball equipment is not that expensive in general but if you are not sure that you will keep going to the practices, it might be a big commitment to buy them already. 

It is also possible that you have to bring some documents (such as your registration form, insurance documents and so on). You can check on the website of your club what documents are required before you can practice. This might not be required if you are just trying volleyball out for once. If you want to become a member of the club, make sure that your fill in the documents so that the club can make everything official. 

It is possible that you will need to lend something to another player during your first practice. In general, this shouldn’t be a problem as players understand that it is your first time and they will often gladly help you out. 

During the first practice, you can check what other equipment the players are wearing. You can look at the colors and brands. This will provide you with an idea of what you can buy yourself. It is also possible to ask other players if you can test their gear to see if it would work for you as well. 

A hairband or things to keep your hair in shape are also very important. Most volleyball players have a ponytail to make sure that their hair doesn’t get in their eyes when jumping around. You have to be able to focus on the ball and there is no time to fumble with your hair. 

If you bring these items in a backpack, you should be good to go for your first practice. 

What will happen during the first practice? 

You will have to wear your outfit before entering the sports hall. This can be done in the dressing rooms. Most clubs also have lockers. The coach will introduce you to the other players. After this, you will have to do some warm-up drills. This typically involves running and jumping. Once this is done, you will probably work on your passing skills. It is normal if you are finding this difficult at first. It takes a lot of time to get the technique right and therefore you have to practice a lot and be patient at first. 

Photo by Katerina on Unsplash

Volleyball is a team sport so it is important that you befriend the other players on your team. You can ask them for their social media and you can try to hang out with them after the practice has ended. This will help you to get to know the other players. If you do this, you will often get invited to practice volleyball at someone’s home and this can really help you if you are just starting out. Don’t be too overbearing as building up a friendship can take time. Try to remember their names and where they are from. This is already a big step towards getting to know everyone. Share information about yourself as well. Don’t just ask questions as this can get weird quite fast as people feel interrogated after a while. 

To conclude, we have discussed how you can prepare yourself for your first volleyball practice. In some instances clubs have a clear checklist for this, in other instances, you have to figure it out yourself. You don’t need to buy a lot of equipment if it is your first training as you probably don’t know what you need and what type of material you like the most.

 It is only after going to multiple practices that you will start to see how everything works. This is completely normal and you should be patient. Some players have been practicing for several years so it is normal that they are better at certain moves. If you train weekly, you will make a lot of progress and soon you will be better at volleyball than you ever expected you would be. 

Going to your first volleyball practice can be a big step as you will meet new people, have to go to a new place, and try drills that you have never done before. Soon, however, you will get used to all this and will be happy that you took that first step. With the information in this article, you will be well equipped to get going. See you on the Olympic team!