Whether you play Volleyball recreationally on a weekly basis, play for a team in competitions or just simply a weekend warrior, one thing is for certain – you’re going to need some equipment.
Before you go ahead and purchase your next piece of equipment however, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions. These questions will not only allow you to buy in confidence but also save a a bit of money in the process.
Health and Safety:
With all sports there’s going to be some health and safety involved – in this day and age there’s no way around it. Health and Safety can apply to both yourself (or if you coach – your players) and the equipment you’re using.
Where are you going to store your equipment? As you’ll see below there are all sorts of different pieces of equipment available on the market that range from the very small to the very big. Having an idea on where you’re going to store your equipment when it’s not in use before you purchase it, could save you some headache further down the line.
Most of us live on some sort of budget. While I do list healthy amount of items below, you don’t need them all. Of course if you’re budget allows for it then by all means grab what you need but always be aware of purchasing the equipment you need vs the equipment you’d like…
Buying portable volleyball equipment is essential if you’re intending to use them across different venues. They’re also great if you’re looking for a quick assembling and dismantling process. Fortunately for us volleyball players, we live in an age of convenience and as you’ll see below most pieces are built with portability in mind
Finally, and probably most importantly – what’s your purpose? When I say that, I mean, what do you want to achieve? Is it just to have fun and play a few games of volleyball with some friends on a Wednesday evening? Or, is it something a bit more serious for you? For example, are you looking to add some equipment to your training so you can really squeeze that extra 10% out of your game? Answering these questions before-hand will not only give you a good indication of the type of equipment you’ll need going forward but could also save you a bit of money in the process.
Essential Volleyball Equipment
Definition: We’ll define essential volleyball equipment as the equipment you need to actually play the game to it basic standards. Everyone no matter what their purpose is will need these essential pieces of equipment to take part in a game volleyball…
You’re going to need some sort of volleyball net to play. These days, most volleyball nets come with a good size selection and are usually are sold in sets. In order to have your net setup and ready to use you’re going to need; the net itself, some poles to help the net stay up and usually some hooks and additional rope to add a bit more stability and tension.
Finally, some sets come complete with a ball, pump and storage carry bag so you can carry it to where you need it to be and store it without damaging it.
Here’s a net from Amazon you might be interested in;
And here’s a net more suited for training and competitive game play…
Another essential piece of equipment you’re going to need if you want to actually play the game is the volleyball itself. If recreational or casual volleyball is your thing then you’ll usually be able to get a half-decent volleyball with your net (like the one above). If however, you’re at a more advanced level and take your volleyball training seriously, there’s a good chance you’ll need a ball of higher quality and better durability.
Good brands to look out for include;
A well-made volleyball can cost anywhere between $20-$100+.
Here’s some I recommend you check out;
And for the essential volleyball equipment – that wraps it up.
We’ll define ‘must haves’ as the equipment as not actually needed to play a game of volleyball but still – highly recommend.
If you’re playing on harder ground or indoors, do yourself a favour and pick up a pair of knee pads. It’ll save the health of your knees in the long term and give you freedom to really put your all into each game without worrying about picking up injuries.
Volleyball knee pads can come in all shapes, sizes and colors and most are really inexpensive. So if you haven’t already got yourself a pair here’s a few to check out;
This isn’t really going to apply if you’re play beach volleyball. If you play indoors or on harder surfaces you’re going to need to get some
suitable footwear. While most indoor types of trainers and shoes will do – some brands have ‘specially’ made indoor shoes for volleyball.
You’ve got two options where footwear is concerned. You can head over to somewhere like Amazon and search hundreds of different shoes, find the pair you like and order some or you could go into your local sports clothing store and check them out there.
There are of course positives and negatives to both….
If you purchase them online, you run the risk of the shoes of not fitting properly as you can’t try them on before you buy them. But it’s pretty easy to just stick them back in the post and get a refund.
If you pop into your local store there’s a good chance they won’t have anywhere near as much selection on offer.
The best option is a combination of the two – try a pair on (or similar) in store. Figure out your size then find the exact pair you’re looking for online and order them.
Duffle Bag / Equipment Bag
Unless you intend to carry a loose set of poles and balls you’re going to need something to carry your stuff in. Again, one way of doing this is purchasing a volleyball net and using the carry bag it comes with to store your ball and any items of clothing you might have.
Another option, which is especially useful if you’re not carrying any additional equipment, is to purchase a separate duffle bag. Duffle bags usually comes in 3 sizes; small, medium and large.
You never know when your ball is going to start deflating on you so make sure you’ve got a ball pump handy. Most pumps are inexpensive and I’d personally recommend getting a pump with a bit of ‘bendy rope’ on it as they tend to save the life of your needles. Solid and stiff ball pumps are far less forgiving!
Here’s a pump I’d recommend;
Volleyball Training Equipment
Last on our list we’ve got volleyball training equipment. These are pieces of equipment that can you take your game to the next level. Some equipment to help you with your serves, some to help you training at home alone and some to help develop spiking and arm strength.
Improve Your Volleyball Pass
A common issue when learning to play volleyball is ‘over passing’ the ball and generally not having enough control over where the ball goes. The Tandem Sport Volley Training Pass Rite aims to solve this problem using an elastic band that’s attached to the wrists and ankles limiting the upward motion of the arms before connecting with the ball.
It comes in at a great price and has a healthy amount of reviews. Well worth checking out.
Improve Volleyball Fundamentals
Setting, spiking and serving are all important fundamentals to learn in volleyball – but how can you improve your serving for example away from games and team training?
One way for example, is to grab yourself a ball cart, a load of balls and set up your net. Then hammer away and start practicing your serves. There are a couple of problems with this though;
- Firstly you’ll have to have a good amount of balls at your disposal
- Second, once you’ve used all your balls you’re going to have to go and pick them up
Option 1: Use a Solo Training Aid
Solution: A solo volleyball training aid comes as one piece that you can attach to your waste.
Example: The Volleyball Star is a really inexpensive piece of kit that helps improve your serves and setting technique without the need to collect stray balls and without any other players involved.
Option 2: Use a Practice Station
Solution: Practice stations are becoming the norm for volleyball training. The best ones come with; a practice net that stops balls from straying half-way down court and a catching net to keep all your balls in one place for easy retrieval.
Example: A really popular one on the market at the minute is the Bownet Volleyball Practice station.
Another key area to focus on is your accuracy and placements of the ball. Having good accuracy is not only important for serving but also for passing, setting and spiking. To improve your accuracy, you’ll need to find a balance between control and accuracy – having control of over the force you apply to the ball and having the precision accuracy needed to place the ball where you want it to go.
If you have all control but no accuracy you’re going to find it hard to win points and vise-versa – it’s going to be pretty difficult to place a ball where you want it to go without first having some level of control. They go hand in hand.
A great way to develop a balance between control and accuracy is to use a target net….
Improve Volleyball Setting
What we tend to see with younger players and beginners when setting the ball is they use ‘too much hand’. A great way to start teaching beginners the proper setting technique is to get them to wear a small hand-held ‘device’ that forces them to stop using the whole of their hand and start setting the ball better.
Another way to improve setting is through finger strength.
Wrapping it all up…
All in all there’s a fair old amount of equipment and apparel on the market for volleyball and while this checklist has gone into depth on various different types of equipment you can use – you don’t need everything.
Not straight away anyway. I mean you could go ahead and purchase everything on this list but without taking the initial points we went into detail on at the start of this checklist post you might end up wasting your money on equipment that you; can’t store, carry easily or actually need right now.
So for my parting words, I’d say choose a few pieces of equipment from the checklist you think will help your game the most and go with them until your satisfied with the results and then head back to pick your next piece up – before you know it you’ll have a whole array of equipment that’ll take yours (or your players) game to the next level.
All the best
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