Volleyball is generally considered as one of the safer sports to play, but as with anything that involves physical activity, injuries can and do happen, particularly sprains and strains.
Therefore, to drastically minimize the risk of any injuries occurring, make sure to follow these tips, regardless of which one of the volleyball positions your play.
Wear the Correct Gear
Thankfully, you do not need to wear as much gear in volleyball as other sports like football, which can take half a game just to put on!
As volleyball players dive all over the court – a court that is very hard – knee pads are a must. If you’re completely new to volleyball then diving and sliding may be a new concept to you, but wearing knee pads is always a good idea, even if you have plenty of experience.
When thinking of sports in which mouthguards should be worn volleyball may not immediately spring to mind. However, if you want to protect your cheeks, teeth, lips and tongue then you better be wearing one!
It’s all too easy to bruise your hips when you’re diving all over the place time and time again. This is why purchasing a pair or two of shorts with hip pads are a great idea.
Don’t think that any old pair of shoes will do. The best shoes for playing volleyball should contain plenty of rubber on their soles as well as padding all around, so traction and shock absorption is increased to counteract running and jumping.
Regardless of whether you’re a guy or a girl it’s a good idea to have some added support. For guys, an athletic supporter will suffice; for girls, think about wearing a sport bra.
Get in Shape
You can reduce the likelihood of injury by ensuring that you are in good shape by regularly exercising and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet all year round.
No practice session or game of volleyball should begin without you performing a few stretches to loosen up and warm the muscles. It has been scientifically proven that stretching is able to minimize the risk of injury, so don’t think about skipping this step just because you can’t wait to play volleyball.
Watch Where You Land
Did you know that the majority of ankle sprains in volleyball happen when playing close to the net? This is because it is all easy to land on either one of your teammate’s or opposition’s feet and twist your ankle. Therefore, take extra care in ensuring that you are aware of your surrounding and are able to land safely.
On a volleyball court you should always be alert and communicate clearly with your teammates. All it takes it calling “Mine” when you are planning to play the ball to make sure others get out of the way.
Disclaimer: You may sound like the penguins in Finding Nemo when constantly shouting “Mine”!
It is vital that you always use the correct technique when playing volleyball to avoid the risk of injury. It’s simply common sense that the correct technique leads to fewer injuries, but if that isn’t enough for – it has also been proven that those with correct technique suffer from fewer sprains and strains in volleyball
Don’t hesitate to let your coach know that you are suffering from cramp or some other form of pain and that you want to come out of the game until you feel that you are confident to get involved again.
Some people find it tough to speak up when they are in pain and think that it is best to play through the pain. If you do this, however, we can guarantee that you will regret it and it could even lead to being kept on the sidelines for a much longer period of time due to worsening the injury.
After the Game
Warming up before playing is just as important as cooling down after playing. While warming up results in – you’ve guessed it – warming up your muscles and increasing your heart rate, cooling down results in relaxing and cooling down the muscles, as well as disposing your body of lactic acid that causes cramp.
Gentle cardiovascular exercise is enough for a cool down session, such as light jogging or even walking.
Drink Plenty of Water
Volleyball takes a lot out of you and expends a lot of energy. Therefore, make sure you stay properly hydrated
Have a Snack
As mentioned, you expend a lot of volleyball playing volleyball, therefore it’s a good idea to eat a high energy snack during halftime.
It can get heated out there on the volleyball court, so you must always remember to stay calm. Not only will this ensure that your mind is kept clear and you remain alert, but a few choice words between players can also lead to fights and ultimately injuries.