What do you need for volleyball? The answer pretty much depends on your game and you.
Are you out in the wild, camping with your friends? Then you don’t need anything more than a ball and nets if you can manage.
Are you practicing indoors with your coach for hours? Then you need technical shirts, shorts, shoes, and maybe you can skip the socks but definitely take your water bottle.
Are you training as a part of the team for the next big match? Wear the warm-up kit first! In a competitive game? Your clothing and accessories must be decided by guidelines!
If you can’t wrap your head around the plenty of things you may need, here’s a checklist with details on which form of what will suit your performance the best.
What Do You Need for Volleyball?
Starting from head to toe, your accessories, clothing, gears, and even helpful machines have been discussed in this power-packed collection. Let’s take a look!
The Right Ball
This is pretty obvious, isn’t it? You are willing to play a game of volleyball, and you don’t have the volleyball itself, not so fancy! I have often come across and have embarrassed myself in situations where our friends would decide to play a game, and we all came decked up in some pre-arranged place. So all of us used to think the next guy was going to bring the ball, but nobody ever did!
Anyway, to play the game, your volleyball needs to be one that doesn’t cause you pain. Now, when you are receiving the ball, you are prone to injury, and naturally, you expect to get hurt and be in pain. But throwing a ball should never be painful. For indoors, a leather ball will do. Whereas, for outdoors, synthetic balls will serve best.
Now, we do not want you to have fitting clothes but form-fitting ones. These will let you move, let you throw and receive but neither get in the way nor hinder motion.
T-Shirts or Tanks
As you know, two of the most common clothing tops worn in volleyball are t-shirts or tank tops for both men and women, sports bras being another option for women. Standard t-shirts and tank tops are good for practice.
For competitive games, a jersey is a must, with coordinated colors and designs. Usually, these jerseys tend to be dry-fit, so no sweating gets in the way of the game.
When it comes to beach volleyball, the t-shirts and tanks may be swapped by beachwear for both men and women.
I want you to have all the groove in the game, and your baggy pants with baggy pockets should never get along the way. Hence, spandex is the first choice in the bottom clothing material selection. This is because, unlike the top part of the clothing where you can leave a little room, the bottom part needs to snug and tightly hug your legs.
No windy consequences and flowy pants are allowed, as you will be spending a good amount of time in the air, hustling, and jumping. So spandex shorts for both men and women is the right selection.
You will never get tired of hearing how important it is for you to wear volleyball shoes and not other kinds when you are playing volleyball.
Do you want to substitute it with basketball shoes? Volleyball shoes are lighter. Do you want to exchange it for running shoes or sneakers? Volleyball shoes give you more lateral movement and ankle support. Do you want multicourt shoes? Volleyball shoes are more cushioned for a safe landing.
So as long as you don’t have budget constraints, do get volleyball shoes. And don’t forget a pair of moisture-abstaining crew socks!
Other than the basic gears, you can take the following with you depending on the circumstances and the availability and of course, your preference for these items.
With players going mid-air, coming down, moving like crabs on the beach, you get to see a lot of material, unexpected and sudden movements while playing volleyball.
And it does not happen only in competitive games. You could be playing a friendly match, it could be an indoor practice session with your team or trainer, it could be a family game of beach volleyball, and you could still be injured. More so if you are clumsy like me or have previously had an injury.
The best thing you can do in such circumstances is that you can buy and wear knee pads that can prevent you from spraining or twisting your knees. The fit should be comfortable, and the thickness should decrease with your age.
For nearly the same reasons, you will need ankle braces. A lot of lateral movement means that irregular pressure will be taken by both your knees and your ankles. And there’s nothing worse than an ankle sprain! So you will find coaches mandating ankle braces to prevent this common injury. And even if they don’t, always get yourself ankle braces for letting you set and get the stability.
Just in case you have an injury in the arm mid-game, keeping arm sleeves with you will help reduce the pain. The compression can help you or your mate to heal faster from the muscle pull or strain.
Athletic tapes are also super important in case any one of your teammates or you yourself has an injury that an arm sleeve can’t suffice with. So what is an athletic tape? This is a form of taping that prevents injuries and keeps your bones and muscles in place. So, suppose your wrist or shoulder is overworked from movements and exercise or maybe, warm-ups. In such cases, taping with an athletic tape can help.
If you wear it beforehand, it can prevent breaks, sprains, and injuries. And if you wear it after the damage is done as a part of a first-aid, it can alleviate the pain and help the injury to heal faster by increasing the blood flow.
Volleyball Duffle Bag
So you have all the things that you want but don’t have a place to keep them. Not very thoughtful! Hence getting a duffle bag that fits most of your necessities in it (and, if possible, even the ball) is a good choice.
Just make sure that it has multiple compartments, is water-resistant, and can distribute the weight across two shoulders since things are going to get heavy for one.
A long practice session expects you to sweat a lot. And hence, getting yourself a towel that can wipe away the mess and gunk is a good thing to do. If you aren’t pleased with just towels, keep cleansing towelettes for yourself to do away with the bacteria-building mess.
For both female and male players, if you have shoulder-length to longer hairs, you should always keep hair ties close to you.
For shorter hair lengths, headbands would do. And for both that have bangs, you can get bobby pins and other clips that help you stay focused.
This goes without saying that if you were practicing or playing for hours, you would need a water bottle. For exceptionally hot weather when cold water would be bliss, get hydro flasks or Rambler bottles that can keep things nearly ice-cold when you finish the match.
Other than the ones mentioned, having the following is a tertiary achievement. If you don’t have the following, it will not hurt your game so much, but it is good if you can arrange for them.
With the advancement of technology, you really do get things that you could only imagine years ago. What do you do when you lack players, or worse when you need to practice alone?
Your coach may call in sick, you may not have a team or friends willing to play volleyball, BUt you can still practice with the first-grade jump serves, thanks to the serving machines available at most training centers. If you want, you can get a portable one for yourself too!
Now it usually doesn’t happen when we play with friends. But if you have a team where someone or the other is always puncturing the ball, or letting gas out by foul play, having extra balls or a ball pump that can fill your balls in occasionally is great additional equipment to carry.
So, what do you need for volleyball? Quite a lot of things, one might say! The basics are pretty simple: the right attire, the perfect ball, and supportive footwear.
But you can also carry towels, athletic tapes, arm sleeves, knee pads, headbands, towels, and whatever extra things you need for a good, clean and fun game. While having a serving machine and ball pumps aren’t a necessity, it is always good to have them.
And in case you want to, you can carry more hygiene products. After all, everybody is looking for a “clean” game!