It has become more and more common amongst volleyball athletes to use technology to help enhance their overall performance. A Typical example of that is the Apple Watch …
In this short article, I explain whether you are allowed to utilize it or not, and how you can take advantage of an Apple Watch to, hopefully, become a better player!
Do the rules allow wearing Apple watches in volleyball?
The rules state that accessories like jewellery – except for a plain flat wedding ring – are banned.
The reason for this is primarily safety. Volleyball is a hectic game, and, although the two teams are separated by a net, there are still a potential range of obstacles with whom a player can make contact – each other, the ball, the floor of the net, even the bench or the umpire’s chair.
Wearing something that extrudes too much just is one more thing to worry about. That means no necklaces, dangling earrings, bracelets or other excessive ornamentation, although the rules in recreational volleyball tend to be more lightly observed than in more serious forms of the game.
Watches, though, are generally allowed, but the same principle applies. They must not be too obtrusive or so large that they could potentially harm another player or even the individual wearer themselves.
That means that Apple watches (Check this Example) would normally be allowed, although doing so is very much at the user’s own risk.
There is definitely no provision against the performance tracking capabilities of many smart watches nowadays, because that is regarded as a legitimate way for individuals to track and raise their game.
By the way, I encourage you to learn about these accessories you should use in volleyball!
How can an Apple watch help your volleyball performance?
At the basic level, an Apple Watch tracks the activities of an individual throughout the day – provided that they wear it on a continuous basis.
For this, a notification is set every time a friend completes a challenge – for example, manages 25 squats or lifts a certain weight in training,
People can also listen to their favourite tracks while training, alleviating some of the boredom of working out in the gym.
The standard app for exercising with an Apple Watch is called Workout, and this works well for many sports because it enables the user to set goals or start a custom workout.
There are also custom apps for specific sports like running, swimming and weightlifting.
Furthermore, the Apple Watch actually comes with its own app that helps track and improve volleyball performance without the need to have the iPhone in close proximity.
Called Volleyball Scoreboard, it helps keep track of the overall score and even sets, and it will provide detailed player statistics as many players can be added as needed.
While a game is running, it can help show a player’s heart rate, the number of calories burned or just act as a timer.
Other third party apps may also be available with the watch which may offer more specific training routines.
One other suggestion is to turn off notifications while training or playing to be fully concentrated on the game!
Can Apple watches help volleyball coaches?
When it comes to designing and measuring performance goals for top athletes, including volleyball players, data is the key ingredient. And the Apple watch gives more data points to make better coaching decisions.
For example, being able to accurately measure heart rates in between sets can help understand how well a player is responding to the training, and also whether the current workload is enough, is too much or needs to be increased.
It can also give an early indication of when a player is approaching what has been termed the “red zone” – when they are at heightened risk of injury if they carry on playing at the current level.
Some models of the watch also contain fitness coaching features…
A coach can pre-set a score which helps determine the level of activity that a player is achieving, and if this should continue, or whether a recovery period should be prioritised. This can be adjusted for age, fitness level and activity schedule.
It can also help provide warm-up routines, providing real-time feedback to a coach sat on the side-lines, which can be adjusted during a session.
Any risks associated to the use of an Apple Watch?
Many people would advise against wearing an Apple Watch when playing volleyball, because it may get broken or damaged in some way.
That is because it is an intensely physical sport and can involve a good deal of sprawling around on hard floors, made of materials like wood, cement or asphalt.
Given the cost involved with an Apple watch there will be those who consider that the risk is not worth it.
Other than that, I don’t really see other significant risks to be honest!
Can you play sand volleyball with an Apple Watch?
There is nothing specific in the rules that prohibit a player from wearing an Apple watch while playing beach volleyball.
Just keep in mind that sand is an aggregate, which means that not only is it highly abrasive, but it has a unique way of getting inside the smallest holes and openings.
And, once inside the internal workings of a watch, it can cause havoc and ultimately cause it to breakdown.
That may mean either expensive repair bills, or if the damage is too big, mean that the watch has to be replaced completely.
It should be noted that Apples Watches are not rated for solid particle protection. Sand has the capability of jamming up any holes, and also could potentially lead to scratching of the watch face. Even if the watch is under guarantee, there could be issues claiming a replacement if it becomes damaged playing beach volleyball.
And then there is the effect of salt water which can also cause a problem especially if the watch has a rotating bezel. There have been instances where sand has got under the bezel itself and become lodged. This can result in stiff and crackly bezel action.
Final Thoughts …
Finally, it is worth mentioning that at the end of the day, an Apple watch is nothing more than a Tool. That’s why you shouldn’t consider it more than that …
In other words, don’t rely too much on it, just use it to help improve some aspect of your game (like those related to your physical abilities).
However, if you want to become better physically in volleyball, then you should have a look at those important and simple drills … you will acquire some useful skills.