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7 Benefits of Beach Volleyball for Indoor Players

Many coaches and athletes that play indoor volleyball try to avoid beach volleyball as they feel it detracts from their indoor game. Volleyball is volleyball whether it is in the sand or on the hard wood. 

Some of the distinct advantages that outdoor volleyball provides for indoor players are as follows:
  1. More touches
  2. Better reading and anticipation
  3. Better adaptation to external influences
  4. Player height is less influential
  5. Ball control will improve
  6. Increased vertical jump and conditioning
  7. Better team communication
  1. With only 2 players on your side of the court, it means you touch every other ball on your side.  When playing indoors, you can go whole rallies without ever touching a ball.

  2. Because beach volleyball is more about shot and angles rather than hard hits, in order to play defense you must be able to read and anticipate shots, serves and attacks more often.  Reading the game according John Kessel is the most important aspect of becoming an elite volleyball player.

  3. With beach volleyball you will always have at least one external influence going on.  Whether it is the sound of the ocean, the sun in your eyes or the wind blowing your ball sideways, you must be able to adapt to the conditions.  In the indoor game this translates to being able to adapt to large or small crowds and opponents gyms better.

  4. Whether you are short or tall, beach volleyball doesn't care.  The shorter athlete can often have much more success while playing sand volleyball.  Speed and accuracy account for many many points in the sand.  The tall athlete can benefit by having to learn the skills of passing, serving and playing defense.  While a middle blocker may only play front row indoor, they are required to play all positions while in the sand.

  5. In the sand you will no longer be receiving serves overhand.  This will force you to move your feet and pass the ball more accurately.  Also because in the sand you will often not be able to get to the exact position in time, you will learn very quickly to pass balls that aren't perfectly in front of you.  Ball control needs no further explanation, if you watch a game, there is no question ball control in the sand is much harder than indoors

  6. As the sand under your feet shifts and as you are forced to jump higher to hit over the net, your volleyball conditioning will improve.  Playing barefoot will increase the strength in your feet, directly corresponding to an improved vertical jump.  Having to cover the entire court with only two people and diving for balls will no doubt improve your overall volleyball conditioning.

  7. Beach volleyball can get very unorganized very fast if teammates choose not to communicate.  Indoor we can often get away without calling balls and because there are 6 people to take the ball it is often dismissed as unimportant.  In the sand, if teammates don't communicate, the ball will fall flat in the sand.  Almost all sets are called after the pass in order to give the hitter the best options.
These are just a few of the reasons to go out to the sand and play some beach volleyball.  Indoor players will see huge improvements in their game by visiting the beach.  Also a little sun won't hurt for you stark white indoor players!  See you on the court!

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