The Top Five Tips for Beach Volleyball Safety

Volleyball is a popular activity for summer-time beach goers, and taking a few simple precautions can ensure that fun in the sun doesn’t result in injury.

The summer months are when beaches all along the American coast open up to the public, providing a respite from the heat. Volleyball is among the most popular activities for all beach goers, from children to professional athletes. According to the National Athletic Trainer’s Association, volleyball is a relatively low-risk sport, with some 82% of reported injuries being classified as minor.

The most common volleyball injuries are sprains and strains, but even these injuries can be prevented, according to the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), which has several tips that volleyball players should keep in wind while in the sand.

1. Get even warmer: While most beach volleyball takes place in the summer heat, experts agree it is still necessary to warm up before a game. Athletes who take the time to stretch and warm up muscles stand a reduced risk of developing a muscle tear or strain.

2. Gear up: The AVP recommends that players wear sunglasses to protect the eyes, and sun socks to prevent sores and blisters. Clothing should be of breathable materials that wick moisture away from the skin to prevent irritation.

3. Be sun ready: Applying sunscreen and lip balm is the best way to prevent sunburn or other sun damage. When participating in physically demanding activities in the heat, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking enough water. The AVP also recommends eating salt, pickles and pickle juice for its sodium content, and bananas for their potassium.

4. Expect the unexpected: The AVP recommends that players be cautious when playing on the beach, because sand can obscure potential hazards like broken glass. Players should also be prepared for weather conditions and avoid games on the beach during inclement weather like extreme wind, rain, or extreme heat.

5. Collisions: One of the top sources of volleyball-related injury comes from players colliding with each other or the net posts. According to the AVP, players should call for the ball to avoid colliding with each other as they scramble for the ball. Players should also jump straight up and down, rather than towards the net when blocking and spiking the ball to avoid colliding with the equipment.

“This is the greatest show on earth if you play it right and play it safe!” Jon Leake, a member of the AVP said in a press release.
-Erin Podolak

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