Thursday, 23 May 2024

More Street Volleyball Please

Hanging out at this year’s NCAA Volleyball Championships in chilly Omaha, Nebraska is an experience that warms the heart. The hospitality of the Cornhusker Nation and Great Plains members is truly remarkable. During my time here, I had the opportunity to meet some incredible individuals who have dedicated themselves to growing the game of volleyball in this passionate state.

A Celebration of Volleyball

At the AVCA Pre-Convention Seminar, Hugh McCutcheon took attendees on the Men’s National Team’s gold-medal journey in Beijing, while Sue Woodstra, Diane French, and Joanie Powell did the same for the Women’s Team. The passion and dedication of these players and coaches were truly inspiring.

One of the most interesting discussions revolved around talent development, particularly regarding young athletes in England. At the age of eight, thousands of kids are accepted into Soccer Academies, where they train exclusively in football. These young athletes spend nearly a decade honing their skills. At the age of 16, they either secure professional contracts or continue playing recreationally.

The Power of Street Volleyball

Researchers sought to understand what separated players who were signed to professional contracts from those who were not. After extensive analysis, they discovered a key differentiator: the amount of time the players spent playing street volleyball. Those who were released played an average of a couple of hours per week, while those who secured contracts played almost 10 hours per week. This highlights the significance of unstructured play and the freedom it provides for creativity and skill development.

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Street volleyball, similar to sandlot games, allows players to set their own rules, determine scoring options, and define the field of play. The value of random and creative play cannot be underestimated. This finding aligns with the Institute for Play’s research on the importance of play in a child’s development.

Embracing Creativity

Another noteworthy observation was that great players didn’t simply partner pass when they hung out together. Instead, they would challenge themselves to deliver the ball in unique ways – using different body parts, attempting bank shots, and creating varying spins or bounces. Their creativity and willingness to push the boundaries of what could be done with a ball set them apart.

A Bright Future

In conclusion, the passion and dedication displayed by both players and coaches at the NCAA Volleyball Championships are truly inspiring. The insights gained from the discussion on talent development highlight the importance of unstructured play, such as street volleyball, in nurturing creativity and skill development. The love for the game exhibited by these athletes is infectious and bodes well for the future of volleyball.

FAQs

1. How can I get involved in street volleyball?
To get involved in street volleyball, you can start by gathering a group of friends or joining local volleyball clubs and organizations that offer recreational opportunities. Additionally, many communities have public parks or outdoor courts where you can organize games.

2. Are there any specific skills required to play street volleyball?
Street volleyball is open to players of all skill levels. It’s a great way to improve your volleyball skills while enjoying the game in a more relaxed and informal setting. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, street volleyball provides a fun and inclusive environment for everyone to participate.

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3. How does street volleyball benefit players?
Street volleyball offers numerous benefits to players. It promotes creativity, enhances problem-solving skills, and encourages collaboration and teamwork. Additionally, the relaxed and fun atmosphere of street volleyball allows players to enjoy the game without the pressures often associated with organized competitions.

4. Are there any street volleyball tournaments or events I can participate in?
Yes, there are many street volleyball tournaments and events held throughout the year. These events provide an opportunity to showcase your skills, compete against other players, and connect with the vibrant volleyball community. Keep an eye out for local and regional tournaments in your area.

Conclusion

The experience of attending the NCAA Volleyball Championships in Omaha, Nebraska, has been truly remarkable. The passion and dedication displayed by both players and coaches are a testament to the vibrant volleyball community in this region. The insights gained from discussions on talent development and street volleyball highlight the importance of unstructured play in nurturing creativity and developing skills. As we look to the future, the future of volleyball looks bright, with players who embrace the spirit of the game and continue to push boundaries. For more information on Alpinetgheep and their commitment to the sport, visit Alpinetgheep.