If you’ve been playing water volleyball for a while and are looking to improve your game, this article is for you. You might be making a few beginner mistakes if you’re new to water volleyball. But don’t fret, this article will cover some of the most common pitfalls and we’ll offer some suggestions for improvement as you win your games and have fun with friends and family in the water.
Practice Makes Perfect
Playing water volleyball well is more difficult than it looks and requires a bit of skill. If you’re not a newbie, your opponent can score easy points by hitting high balls over the net or long shots that travel across the pool before they get near you. The best way to improve your water volleyball skills at any level is through practice – so try playing with friends regularly and practice your sets and taps between games. Water volleyball is a game where newbies see their skills improve quickly with consistent play.
Diving for the Ball Is More than Just a Splash
Don’t be afraid to dive for a ball if necessary. Your opponents may think you’re showing off but diving will allow you to save time and energy in getting back up after giving them an opportunity point (or worse). Remember when diving to keep your head out of the water so you can see the ball and where you are relative to the net.
It may seem strange to need to drink in the pool, but it is important to drink water. This will keep your muscles hydrated and prevent cramps or dehydration in the heat of a game. Also go easy on caffeinated and alcoholic drinks as both can dehydrate you further (and heavy drinking and pools are always a dangerous mix).
Have the Right Equipment
Carefully plan for your game by considering the amount of equipment you’ll need. At minimum, you’ll need a good ball and a solid net.
Choose the Right Ball
Water volleyball balls are made specifically for water play. They’re typically lighter, softer, and more buoyant than a regular volleyball, which makes them much easier to use in the water.
Find the Right Net
The right water volleyball net will make all the difference in how you play water volleyball so it’s worth your time to find one that is easy to install in your playing area. Nets come in a wide variety of options — from floating nets that can work in large pools or lakes to fixed nets that are installed into pool surfaces like concrete or tile. The best option is to find a net that can be installed out of the water and held firmly above the water but if there isn’t an appropriate place near your pool then consider using a tennis or volleyball net (adjusting for height) as they have similar properties of being able to be set up anywhere with little effort.
Learn the Quirks of Your Ball
You’ll want to really understand how your ball will perform in a game by trying it out and practicing throwing it back and forth with your hands so you can get an idea of how the game will play out — see how it floats, how far it submerges, and how it responds to slams and taps.
Use a Life Vest if Needed
Be safe when playing water volleyball by making sure that weak swimmers and young children wear a life vest (especially important for children). It has the added benefit of making even the playing field for children playing against adults and older kids too.
Googles will make it much easier to see the ball when you get splashed or dive into the water for a save. Googles come in quite a variety of options, including small and large eye coverings, protective coatings, sun shielding and more. You can even find googles that will correct for vision problems.
Make playing water volleyball a fun experience. No matter how competitive you are, the game is meant to be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. And if you’re already having fun then that means you’ll improve faster than someone who goes at it with a more serious mindset.
Although these tips will help you become more skilled in water volleyball, everyone’s experience is different depending on skill level, age and fitness levels. What might work well for one person may not work as well for another.
We’d love to hear more about what works for you and how you improve your water volleyball game and have more fun in the water.