What will volleyball teach you about life? Unexpected insights.

Volleyball is a sport that will teach you a lot about yourself and life. Let’s discuss what you will discover after you have played volleyball for a while. It can turn you into a better person and can lead to success in a lot of other areas of your life as you will learn the core principles of how people think and act. I wouldn’t have had a successful career or family life without playing volleyball for several years.

What you will learn about yourself

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

Sometimes you don’t want to play or are tired. You can’t let your team down so even if you are feeling down, you have to go to the training. This discipline that you will build up over the years will help you later in life. There are often moments when you don’t want to work or don’t want to clean. If you have built up your discipline, you will be able to push through these short-term feelings and do the thing anyway. 

You will also learn that thing takes time. Volleyball takes a lot of practice before you are able to perform the moves and handle the ball well. You have to practice certain drills over and over again before you get great at them. The same is true in life. Some things just take a lot of time. This makes people give up and stop their journey. Volleyball teaches you that you have to put in the work and that the results will follow over time. Sometimes you just have to trust the process and go step by step. 

Volleyball will push you to your limits, both physically and mentally and this will teach you a lot about yourself. Do you really want to achieve your goals or do you just kind of want it? What are you made of? Do you push harder during difficult moments? All these things can teach you what you are made of and if you really want to push for excellence. There is nothing wrong with just wanting to have fun, not everyone wants to become a professional athlete. This can also be something that you can take away from a rough training session.

The previous text should make it clear that volleyball will teach you a lot about life. You will understand how you can pick up new skills (with the learning curve that we discussed). This will help you to deal with new requirements in life. Knowledge is rapidly evolving and if you know how you can learn fast, you will be able to be a step ahead. You will also be able to handle other people better and your social skills will improve as you have to deal with a lot of other players. So volleyball is not just a sport but an activity that will help you to grow as a person as well. This is often an underestimated aspect of playing volleyball as a lot of people just see a ball moving around. You will have to develop all aspects of your personality if you want to become a great volleyball player. You will learn a lot about yourself and the world along the way. It will not always be easy but it will be a rewarding journey. You can always talk to your coach if you are struggling with a certain aspect as he/she has probably been there as well. 

What you will learn about others

You will learn a lot about how other people think. For example, how do they deal with a setback? How do they handle a win? This can help you to understand the different ways people react to different situations. You can see what behavior is productive and what behavior isn’t. For example, some players complain a lot when they miss a serve. This is not helping at all as you can’t go back in time. Therefore, wasting too much time talking about this can distract them when they have to serve again. They should accept that it happened and practice to get better. 

Photo by Josh Duke on Unsplash

Losing can sting. You can learn about how to deal with these setbacks and how to move forward after them. You have to accept how things have gone and move from there. You can’t control what happened before so don’t ponder too much on it. 

It also made me aware that a lot of people are sometimes lazy and want to take the easy way out. This makes it easy to stand out from them. Just arriving 5 minutes earlier and practicing a few more times will make sure that your coach notices that you are motivated. It does not take that much effort to arrive 5 minutes earlier but not a lot of players do it. These small things add up over time and you will notice a lot of progress if you stick to it. 

You will also learn to listen to others if you play volleyball. If there is a ball falling between you and another player, you will have to communicate who will catch the ball. This can be with words but also with body language. These skills are very useful as a lot of things are communicated non verbally. 

What you will learn about working together

If you want to succeed in life, you will have to learn how to work together. Volleyball is actually one of the best sports to do this as you can’t defend or attack on your own. Volleyball teams are therefore very close and celebrate (almost) every point that they score. This creates interesting team dynamics and you can learn how to build and manage a team. Sometimes there are small tensions between players and you will learn how you can handle this. One person can have a negative impact on the team, a new player can join the team, and so on. This are all things that you can experience in real life as well. If you have already dealt with it with your volleyball team, you will have a lot more confidence to do it again when you manage a team at work.

There are even some volleyball drills to improve the team spirit:

Being able to work with other people without making them angry is a superpower that a lot of companies need. Therefore you can make a great career if you can leverage this skill in business.

Managing the emotions of people can also be useful in your family life. Family members can get angry at each other and if you understand the dynamics, you can defuse the situation quite easily. Therefore playing in a volleyball team will teach you a lot about how you can handle other people and how to deal with multiple scenarios. 

People find connection and positive words very important. There is a reason that volleyball players cheer after almost every point. This can teach you to be more optimistic and celebrate even the small wins. People really like it when you give them props for something that they worked hard on. Even the most serious people will appreciate a sincere compliment or some support.

What you will learn about leadership

You will learn how to work with a coach or mentor. Fumbling around by yourself can cost you a lot of time. This is why every volleyball team has a coach. In several areas of your life, you can get a coach as well if you want to move forward fast. You have learned in volleyball to listen to an expert and can use these dynamics in other areas of your life such as a career.

Let’s take a look at how a great coach works:

If you want to become a leader yourself, you can become the captain of the volleyball team. It is also possible to learn a lot from your coach and current team captain. You have to be a good follower before you can be a good leader. There are a lot of nuances in leadership, from understanding psychological elements to being decisive. All these elements can be learned from playing volleyball and observing how decisions are being made during a game. 

Volleyball is a strategic game and you will learn a lot about tactics and how you can use these. You will also learn about who is tired and who still has energy. Managing your resources effectively is key in a lot of aspects of life and therefore this is another lesson that you can take from playing volleyball. 

Not every coach that you have to play with will do a good job. You can learn a lot from their success or failures. Sometimes the team and the coach are just not vibing and things are not working out. This can happen if there is a different vision or the coach is indecisive. I had to grow as a coach as well and the first few years it is quite challenging to find out how far you can push your players and how you can keep everyone motivated. All this comes with experience and often small nuances are important and affect the relationship between the players and coach.

For me, playing volleyball has been a great adventure. I had to deal with a lot of challenges along the way but with the support of my teammates and coach, I was able to overcome them. This has made me more resilient in life as well. I know that I have good friends that allow me to talk about a problem and together we can find a solution for the challenge that is ahead. This has given me a lot of confidence to tackle the multitude of challenges that life gives us. Therefore I can say that playing volleyball is one of the best decisions that I have made as it is a lot of fun and allowed me to grow as a person and form deep connections with other people along the way. 

Try it and see what it teaches you about life. I am certain that you won’t regret it and have a lot of fun along the way. From the outset, volleyball can be intimidating but once you try it for a while you will start to get the hang of it. After this, it is practice, practice, and practice. Volleyball requires a lot of skills. You have to be able to handle the ball, deal with regulations, with a team dynamic, and a coach. All these aspects will teach you more about yourself and life. It can be challenging to play volleyball as you have to learn so many things but you can transfer these skills to other aspects of your life (from business to family life). Therefore it is very useful to play volleyball as you learn more about yourself, others and the world.