What most people don’t know about beach volleyball is that it’s the second most popular sport in the world.
It is not only played around the world but is a favorite for many. The invigorating and fast game is not a leisure activity of the enthusiasts but requires an exceptional set of skills including agility, power, speed, and excellent coordination between the eye and hand movements.
But there’s much more to the game than our eyes see. Here, you will learn about everything by stepping into the life of a beach volleyball player.
Getting to Know About Beach Volleyball
There are a few necessary things to know about beach volleyball to fully understand what a player goes through before swaggering to a net.
On average, a volleyball player jumps at least 300 times during a game. No wonder, they are all so fit. That’s, by the way, the first rule of the game: the surface will be sand. This means players require additional energy to stay active during the game. The sand will tire you fast, make you slower, and your vertical jumps are not more than a few millimeters.
The game is played barefoot, so when players are outdoors, they have to deal with hot sand and of course, burning feet.
What we know today as a favorite game was introduced decades ago. The birthplace of beach volleyball is Santa Monica, California, where the game started unofficially between families to enjoy a fun day at the beach. It was by the 1930s that beach volleyball actually became a thing and got popular around Europe and USA. However, it took another almost two decades to officially set up a two-man tournament in 1947.
After another two decades, beach volleyball became a Californian beach sport and a part of its culture. To those who still think beach volleyball isn’t a real sport, there’s much more to the game than the eyes can see. In addition to being a very socially popular sport, the life of volleyball players has always been a highlight of how tough this game could be.
In some cases, the players have to literally live in camps on the beaches with little to no facilities just so they could keep up with the game spirit and do not lose volleyball as a social sport.
Life’s a Beach for Volleyball Players
Beach volleyball is thrice as strenuous as any vigorous workout. Imagine your feet digging into the soft surface, making movement slower, and disabling you from jumping higher. It tires you. And when that’s not enough, you have a deal with the blazing sun, scorching heat, and burning sand.
Whether it’s a workout, temporary accommodation in a tent on the beach, or the real game, the effort volleyball players put in is highly commendable.
The volleyball enthusiasts pack up and travel to different parts of the world to keep beach volleyball alive. For that, sometimes they even have to let go of their comfort and other luxuries of life. For instance, living in a tent on the beach for days without the necessary facilities – even real food.
Life’s really a beach for most volleyball players.
The first time beach volleyball was recognized and added to the Olympic Program was back in 1996. It’s incredible to see Olympic sports becoming so exciting, and there’s no way one can miss out the gorgeous game of beach volleyball.
However, don’t fool yourself with the amazing bodies and fitness of beach volleyball players. The eye-catching physiques are the living example of the strict level of training they undergo for the high-performance game.
While most people still consider it a ‘fun-game,’ the players are serious athletes who are willing to sweat buckets during training before every match. They do not care about burning hundreds of additional calories by practicing lightning-speed jumps and sprints, especially when the soft surface of sand makes it so difficult.
The training does not only involve a great deal of physical endurance but the perfect balance of mental focus and team chemistry. It’s more of hard work than anyone sitting in the audience could even think about. So when you see those perfect bodies, incredible endurance, and praise-worthy stamina, know there is an immense amount of hard work and dedication behind it.
Camping and Other Essentials of Volleyball Players
For beach volleyball players, camping is a part of their daily lives. Living in a wall tent with limited facilities only to access the perfect ground to practice is what every beach volleyball player experiences. It isn’t the easiest thing to do.
Before a tournament and even during one, players sometimes spend months on the beach without a break. The unique sports sets stricter rules for the players to ensure they keep up with the game’s requirements. It requires an immense amount of dedication and effort to be able to keep up.
Away from home and with limited facilities, it can be a very challenging situation for beach volleyball players to deal with. However, with the enthusiasm and willingness, they tend to cross all the hurdles to prove how fantastic the game is to the whole world.
While there are tons of positive aspects in a life of a beach volleyball player – such as the best escape from summer boredom, beach workout, ocean air, water, tan, and time with friends – one cannot ignore the hardships it involves to achieve the goals. At the end of the day, the effort is worth it.