25 Things Only People Who Grew Up Playing Volleyball Understand

Rudy Schuele Photography

1. Basically, the only friends you had were your teammates.

Any dedicated athlete had time for only school and sports, so that’s where you made friends.

2. Weekend tournaments were a way of life.

The hotel rooms. Spending 14 hours a day in a gym that had multiple courts was the ideal Saturday.

3. Working games sucked.

Everyone pulled short straw when it came to deciding who would have to work the game you had off.

4. Pancake was a term that meant so much more than food.

If done properly you could save the game and be a hero.

5. Six Pac wasnโ€™t referring to your abs.

Everyone has either hit someone in the face or has been hit.

6. Bruises became pretty normal.

Some people questioned all the marks up and down your forearms but you were just in season. And eventually, it stopped hurting.

7. You didnโ€™t fuck with the second ball if you werenโ€™t the setter.

The setter was a beast and would tackle you if you got in their way of setting.

8. Being tall for the first time was appreciated.

In school, it might have been looked down upon. But on the team even being tall you still might be one of the shorter ones.

9. Spiker was not a position.

When people told you they played volleyball and were a spiker you just looked at them offended.

10. You probably had the same number throughout your career.

Trying to stress the importance of everyone on your team letting you have your number was like a verbal persuasive essay.

11. The Libero didnโ€™t bring the wrong Jersey to the game.

Youโ€™ve probably been asked by outsiders why the person in the back row is wearing a different color than everyone else.

12. Service errors made you cringe.

And you knew sprints would result in that fuck up.

13. Collecting different print spandex were the cool thing to do.

Young girls were all about the spandex until you got older and realized black was the way to go.

14. Getting new shoes was your favorite time of the year.

When new gear came in there was nothing better than that new show smell.

15. Volleyball was not a girlโ€™s sport.

Have you ever seen how intense a guys game is? Look it up.

16. Or the lazy manโ€™s sport.

Try staying in a squat position for however long your coach was pissed then weโ€™ll talk about sore and what classifies as lazy.

Also…Thereโ€™s a reason volleyball players are some of the best looking and most in-shape athletes.

17. Everyone had the teammate that was aggressively into the sport far more than anyone.

As much as you hated that they made you look bad with their passion and dedication you had to give them a little respect for how much effort they put into it. But you always kind of felt guilty when you messed up. It was like you were personally offending them.

18. The Pit everyone both feared and loved.

You most certainly would get hit in the face and you kind of loved it.

19. Everyone had that one person who knew how to braid.

Because for girls as much as it was important to play well, they wanted to look good when they were.

20. Volleyball parents were the best/ worst.

The best parents were the ones that brought food to the tournaments. The worst were the ones who complained why their kid wasnโ€™t playing more. Or the ones who screamed and cursed at the ref for the ball that was clearly out but the Dad saw it as in. His word goes.

21. Volleyball camp was your favorite time during summer.

All of your friends went to the same camp growing up.

22. Everyone had that one game that will forever be in their memory.

That one career-defining game that made you fall even more in love with the sport made you realize all those practices and extra work paid off.

23. You remember your last game.

You remember giving it your all in those final moments knowing your life was going to change the second that whistle blew. And you walked out of the gym one last time and you just were grateful for a sport that changed your life.

24. And you never forget your teammates.

You’re probably still close with a few of your teammates.

25. And thereโ€™s always going to be that coach you donโ€™t forget.

The one who challenged you and pushed and made you amount to more than you thought you could. In the moment you hated them for it, cursing under your breath but now you realize exactly what they were doing. And for them you are grateful. TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

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