The secret behind volleyball popularity is that people at, pretty much, any age can enjoy playing it. Many recreational players believe that this is a lifelong sport! Indeed …
Volleyball could be considered a lifetime sport that you can practice from an early age (like 7) up to your 80s. However, to be able to do so at an old age, you need to practice in a moderate way and avoid some specific moves that only younger players are capable of to avoid any unnecessary harm or injuries.
In this article, I share exactly what you need to know to be able to enjoy volleyball at any stage of your Life!
The main reason volleyball is actually a lifetime sport!
Volleyball is a sport that involves little to no contact. In other words, you are not allowed to have any contact with the opposite team, thus the risk of getting hurt remains quite low.
And for a sport where people are rather safe and less likely to get hurt, practicing it even at an older age is not a bad idea at all. It is even a great idea!
Think about it, sports like American Football, Hockey or even Wrestling are young people sports and could be practiced only in a specific age window.
One more reason that makes volleyball a lifelong sport is its adaptability and flexibility. That is to say, we all know that at a higher level volleyball demands a lot of agility and movement. However, you can still play it (and have fun with it) with a much lower pace.
Later in this article I breakdown some helpful tips that you can implement to adapt the game to your age and physical abilities.
Volleyball is even recommended at an older age …
Now, that you’ve understood that volleyball could be practiced literally at any age, I want you to keep in mind that this sport is even recommended for older people.
Indeed, we are talking here about an aerobic sport that brings many health benefits to the table. Of course, don’t push yourself to avoid any unnecessary repercussions …
… However, practice it at your own pace with your friends or teammates so you can have fun and reap all those health and physical benefits.
For older people who suffer from extra weight, they also can rely on volleyball to lose some weight naturally without even realizing it. To get such a result you need to consider practicing twice or 3 times a week.
Tips to practice volleyball at any age!
As I’ve said before, since volleyball is a limited contact sport you can practice it safely at any age. Yet, by following those few tips, you can even maximize this benefit!
1. Adjust the pace!
You’ve seen it before in professional volleyball games where the pace is really high, to the point that some high pace sequences could last couple minutes straight back and forth between the opposite teams.
Obviously, if youth is not on your side anymore, you would want to avoid such a pace. Indeed, before you start you should agree with your teammates and opponent team on a specific pace that you can handle for 30 up to 45 minutes (or whatever timespan you want).
You should agree on that even if your team (or opponent team) have younger players who can handle higher pace games.
Otherwise you might quickly face fatigue and couldn’t enjoy the game as long as it lasts. Not to mention that playing at a higher pace than what you can afford could put you in vulnerable positions to unnecessary injuries.
2. Use Lighter ball
Using a normal ball is definitely Okey and shouldn’t cause any major issues. However, if for whatever reason you find yourself struggling to deal with volleyball balls that are well over one pound of weight, then there is no harm using a lighter ball that is less than 1 pound (usually around 0.6 pounds).
You never know, a player who spikes the ball straight to your face by accident. It is better to be hit with a lighter ball rather than a heavier one.
Not to mention that serving, passing and even spiking are easier to do with a lighter ball.
Important Site Note: I also highly recommend using a ball with a soft surface. By doing so you will avoid getting your arms hurt due to hitting the ball multiple times successively during a given game. This Soft Volleyball Ball on Amazon is a Good example.
3. Use a lower net level
As you might already know, volleyball net is quite a high and could get anywhere between 7’4 (for ladies) up to 7’11 (for men).
For older people who want to enjoy the game, such a height could be somewhat too much!
Indeed, if you lack some power you might struggle getting the ball to cross over the net. Especially, when you serve or spike the ball.
Also, for such a height you might struggle to jump high enough to counter the opposite team’s strikes & spikes right on the net.
Helpful Tip!: you can think of using your own Net! Indeed, there are some portable and adjustable Nets that you can adjust to the height you & your teammates wish. This Multi-Sport Adjustable Net on Amazon is a Decent example.
You can learn how to install a volleyball net correctly!
4. Protection is important
This tip is a no-brainer! If you want to increase your longevity playing a sport like volleyball, then you should take your protection from potential injuries really seriously!
Indeed you should protect your …
- Knees: in case you fall or slide, proper knee pads will help you to protect them.
- Fingers: in fact finger injuries are quite common in volleyball. Try to properly tape all your fingers or at least those that you think are the most vulnerable to injuries.
- Mouth: especially teeth in case you get hit in the face by the ball.
Don’t forget this: There is one more element that will help improve your longevity that few recreational players pay attention to … I am talking here about specialized volleyball shoes. Those were designed to keep your feet comfortable while playing and support moves like high jumps, dives and footwork.
5. Try to avoid these moves …
I believe that at this point you already know all volleyball moves that you need to execute during a game. Indeed, there are some of them that are not adapted for those who want to practice at an older age.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to choose and hand-pick the ones that you should avoid.
The idea is that if you want to keep playing volleyball even at an older age, consider dropping moves that are or could be risky …
… An example of this is diving! This move is super necessary in many cases to save the ball from dropping in your field side so the opponent team won’t score against you!
Yet, diving is quite risky as you can fall on your arm, face or chest which might cause some injury.
I highly invite you to check this article on how to dive without hurting yourself!
6. Include one young person in your team
Once you figure out the kind of moves you would want to stay away from, why not having somebody on your team (a younger player) who can take care of those moves.
By doing so, not only you will be able to avoid those risky moves, but also you will keep the games exciting overall as those moves (like diving for the ball) is what actually makes and keeps the game exciting.
Examples: What other sports can you play at any age?
Again, Volleyball is a great solid lifetime activity as far as you practice it properly following the guidelines & tips I’ve provided above.
In case you are looking for other similar sports that you can practice at any age, then here is a short list that may want to consider:
Tennis: This is Bill Gates favorite sport! Of course this sport requires strength, agility and strong sense of balance. However, even if you lack those attributes at an older age (like Bill), you can still play it at your own pace and smash the ball using moderate power. This will be even easier if you are playing with or against players close to your age/physical abilities
Badminton: If Tennis and volleyball were wife and husband, Badminton would be their little kid! Indeed, all what I’ve said before about both sports apply directly to Badminton. Learn the differences between volleyball and badminton
Swimming: If there is a sport that you should practice at any age, then it is definitely swimming. I personally know people who are decades older than me, yet look younger and stronger than me, simply because they were committed to swimming for a long time. Keep in mind that many people consider swimming as a good activity for volleyball!
Golf: You might think that golf is not even a legit sport! But, wait a moment; have you ever seen a fat golf player before? Probably not!! Indeed, walking 3 to 5 miles to go through all the holes burns thousands of calories. This will help keep you fit, regardless of your age.
I hope this article has given you enough confidence and insurance about volleyball. Indeed, many people tend to stay away from this sport at older ages as they think that this is no longer the right activity for them.
In fact, by following the few tips and guidance I’ve shared earlier in this article you will manage to enjoy this sport at, literally, any stage of your life.