Unlike many competitive team sports, volleyball doesn't feature any physical contact between opponents. Volleyball players remain on their own respective sides of the court with a tall net serving as a barrier between the two teams. This basic setup makes volleyball a unique game and influences the necessary traits required to be a good volleyball player.
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Volleyball players tend to be long, lean athletes. Greater height allows players to play the ball above the net, executing spikes and performing blocks. Taller athletes also cover more court and have longer arms, allowing them to generate more power when striking the ball. Five feet is the minimum height for volleyball players, and while shorter athletes can excel in setting and passing roles, height is a physical trait common in most dominant volleyball players.
Due to the height of the net, which stands 8-feet high for men and 7 feet 4 inches high for women, good volleyball players need exceptional jumping ability. Strong vertical leaps allow players to get above the net for scoring opportunities and defensive plays. Jumping can also play a role in serving by creating more dynamic hits and power.
Compared to athletes in soccer, football or hockey, volleyball players barely move, spending much of their time standing in the same small area of the court. While the restricted movement eliminates the need for straight-ahead speed, good volleyball players must possess exceptional quickness and agility. Volleyball requires short, explosive movements and sharp reflexes to dig balls off the court and transition between offense and defense.
Good volleyball players must be fit and strong, and the sport itself helps keep athletes in shape. The game's constant jumping and quick movements tax the legs and will test aerobic stamina. Players also need strong shoulders and arms to generate the whipping action necessary to drive the ball with velocity. Superb fitness will even translate to greater flexibility, which helps players get down on the court for desperate digs.
Good volleyball players must be mentally tough. The game presents numerous opportunities for failure, from mishits to errant serves and embarrassing blocks. Good players don't let mistakes rattle them. They learn from failure and move on, always focusing on the next rally. Maintaining a positive mental attitude helps players achieve greater consistency and avoid prolonged struggles with their game.