Shedding Calories Across the Court

 Paul Bradbury

 Paul Bradbury

One of my biggest regrets is not playing volleyball on a collegiate level. I spent most of my summer days practicing my serve and training relentlessly to play at a competitive level. With the hot days dwindling away, I realized that my time was up. No matter how much I trained, I could not stay committed and I left it all behind before starting college. The fast pace motion, the yelling on every play..it was my zen. It was my private sphere that nobody could enter, rendering the day's obstacles insignificant. Above all, I was in the best shape of my life. 

Volleyball is a high intensity sport that involves a combination of strength, speed, and agility. It burns calories and fat at a rapid pace, about 99 to 133 during a half-hour game of non competitive volleyball, while a more intensified hour long game can burn up to 400 calories. You can burn even more calories if it is played outdoors. So in the last few days of summer, take advantage of that opportunity and hit up the nearest beach for a more thrilling workout. The physicality is amazing, it molds your body in unexpected ways. It will definitely stregthen your upper body because of the little mechanics that play into serving, hitting, bumping, and setting. The muscle memory is sharpened just as the lower body is also utilized for running and moving side to side. It can improve cardiovascular and respiratory systems, rounding out your workout with a whole body exercise. 

 Playing volleyball enhances your energy level and can improve motor schools that can transfer to other sports and workouts. Hand eye coordination will quickly become a vita skill as volleyball is all about quick thinking Serving is just as mental as it is physical, you cannot take your eyes off all of the ball. On defense, you have to anticipate where the ball will go and be in a position to play anywhere on the court. Setting is all about teamwork because your hitters rely on you to give them a good set. Due to its quick changes of pace and direction, volleyball places a large number of demands on the technical and physical skills of a player. Flexibility and good balance are important because you never know where you will end up as you might have to step up and help at any time. Muscular strength is key because volleyball requires a upper body and core muscles for nearly every play. Your lower body is emphasized through a squat like stance. When passing the volleyball, you must always be low, using your legs to gain power. When the ball is coming to you, you need use your legs to push upwards and extend your arms, propelling a ball coming at you at a fast pace. You have to master the technique of being fast, but able to tame your strength to direct the ball towards your setter. 

Volleyball requires teammates that work well together during a fast pace, mentally challenging game. It involves great leadership and the ability to handle good games and losses, while keeping composure and looking towards a better game. The competitive nature can increase your desire to succeed and boost your mood with friends. Although it can get heated at times, it does not always have to be so serious and goal oriented. It can be used to reduce stress and encourage your accomplishments, while you contribute to a whole. As a person, it can really improve confidence and body image as you develop and sculpt yourself in different ways. All of these benefits are relatable to different aspects of your life, pushing you to accomplish more as you become motivated to achiever different goals over time. The best part? You're not doing it alone so there won't be a dull moment. Team members become a close group of friends that people can rely on outside of the sport, encouraging each other to stay focused and have fun throughout the game.