100 Things Every Volleyball Player Should Know

(Reprinted with the permission of Volleyball Magazine and Editor Megan Kaplon) In May 2001, the editorial staff of Volleyball set out to put together a list of the 100 things volleyball players (sand and indoor) needed to know to be successful in the sport. Some are serious, some are ridiculous, and we certainly wouldn’t say we endorse all of them, but 12 years later, most are still undeniably true, even if we don’t always like to admit it.

Personally, if I had to add 101st, 102nd and 103rd items to the list I’d add; 1) every player turn their cell phone off and turn it over to a parent or coach to keep in their bedroom the night before every game or tournament; 2) if you are going to eat cake, eat it after you win the tournament – not during; 3) don’t approach top level volleyball with a rec-league mentality.

Here it is. A complete, exhaustively researched and finely tuned set of guidelines for you to live and play by. Tear it out. Put it in your pocket. Tack it to your wall. Just be sure it can be found easily the next time you’re in need of a healthy shot of inspiration.

  • Practice like you want to play.
  • When you’re playing defense or approaching to hit, remember that you have more time than you think.
  • Turn off your cell phone when you play.
  • Forget the last play and get ready for the next.
  • Know the name of the sport’s founder, including his middle initial: William G. Morgan.
  • Serve the front court passer.
  • Know where the sidelines are.
  • Make sure you own any ball you kick in frustration.
  • Stay positive if you shank a pass into the bleachers. But don’t giggle.
  • Never tip a bad set.
  • Keep you love for the sport by not over-training.
  • Never make the same mistake twice.
  • When playing coed, use total discretion when choosing teams.
  • Keep your eyes open at all times.
  • Don’t act surprised when you roof somebody.
  • Don’t bring a fake ID to a Master’s tournament.
  • Hit your cut shot until they touch it with both arms.
  • Look for an off-speed shot behind a three-person block.
  • Play with the attitude that every ball is coming to you.
  • If someone is struggling to pass your serve, stay on them.
  • Learn how to tape your own ankle.
  • Remember that the most expensive volleyball camp isn’t always the best.
  • Always set your best hitter on game point.
  • Talk during the play, not between plays.
  • Know that volleyball is life between contacts.
  • Maximize your strengths and attack your opponent’s weaknesses.
  • During arguments with the ref, avoid using the words “moron,” “idiot,” or “kook.” [Also avoid phrases that include the word “mother.”]
  • Serve in if you’re playing a weak team and go for it if you’re playing a strong team.
  • If you’re losing, making a change.
  • Never tip after you get blocked.
  • Check to make sure you’re wearing Speedos before you take off your boardshorts and run to the water.
  • If you bring the wrong uniform to a tournament, tell your club coach you want to play libero.
  • Keep in mind that you play volleyball with your feet.
  • Always be stationary when you contact the ball.
  • Don’t waste three bucks renting the movie “Side Out.” [But rent it if you find it in the 99 cent bin.] Better yet, write Netflix a letter saying you want it to be on “Watch Instantly.”
  • Dump the ball when you’re thinking clearly, not when you’re confused.
  • Take a look before you shoot.
  • Go beyond the ball with your arms when playing defense.
  • Don’t take a cortisone shot for your shoulder unless you’re playing for money.
  • If you’re getting most of the serves on the beach, don’t waste energy with jump serves.
  • Know where the ball is.
  • Learn to spell Fonoimoana.
  • Don’t abandon volleyball for golf if you’re 6’3” and being hounded by Playboy. [Referring to Gabby Reece’s brief attempt to qualify for the LPGA.]
  • If you think you’re trying your hardest try a little harder.
  • When setting, always go back to the hitter who has just made an error.
  • Find a sunscreen that has titanium dioxide.
  • Don’t bet against the UCLA men’s team at the NCAA final four.
  • Never let your opponents see you check the height of the net.
  • Always think: The next contact is the most important of my life.
  • Set the block with your feet; block the ball with your hands.
  • If you’re the setter, know who’s hitting and who the blockers are.
  • Understand that if you can’t pass at the highest level, you can’t play at the highest level.
  • Miss long on your serve rather than short.

For the rest of this amazing list visit Volleyball Magazine, 100 Things Every Volleyball Player Should Know

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