I’ve been on a recreational volleyball league team off and on for the last 4 years and I would highly recommend it. Why? Lots of reasons!
Make New Friends
When I first moved to my current city four years ago I knew about two people, my roommates. Even though they were two of my best friends, I knew that wouldn’t be enough. I love being around people and I knew if I were to be really happy here I’d need to make some more good friends.
The first thing I did was join a young professional’s network. This group had activities for 20 & 30-somethings and the first thing that caught my eye was a summer volleyball league. My roomies and I decided to join up together and we were put on a team with three strangers. We got to know each other during games and hanging out afterwards. One of them is still a very good friend today. Through him I’ve met several others. And each new volleyball team I’m on is sure to introduce me to at least one new person, whether they are a regular or just someone brought in to sub for a night.
Everyone gets bogged down with work and other activities from time to time and forgets to relax and fun. It’s good to have a reason to get out and a set date and time to do so. There are times when I’m feeling too busy, stressed, or lazy and I don’t’ feel like going to volleyball. I know my team is counting on me to show up though, and I’m almost always in a better mood when I get done.
Every team I’ve ever been on hangs out after the games on a regular basis. Its part of the fun and it helps you get to know each other better and bond as a team. We usually go to a nearby pub for drinks and/or food. Even if it’s just for a half hour or so, it’s a good time.
Recreational sports may not feel like a tough workout, but in a league you definitely break a sweat! According to the Mayo Clinic’s website a 200 lb person can burn up to 364 calories during an hour of volleyball. That number will vary widely depending on the level of intensity of course. The Lose It! App gives me about 200 calories for an hour of non-competitive volleyball. I consider a recreational league to be semi-competitive, but I prefer to estimate on the low side just in case. Either way, it’s a great way to get your heart rate up and burn some extra calories without feeling like exercise!
Low on Time Commitment…
Most volleyball leagues play one night a week and games last about one hour. Most teams (unless you’re really serious) don’t practice. It’s hard to get everyone together more than once a week when you have 6-10 conflicting schedules! The most one of my teams ever did was get together a couple of times before the season started just to get warmed up. So, even with socializing afterward you are talking about 2 hours a week. That’s pretty low time commitment.
That being said, I need to say this too. Because it’s not much time, you need to be there when your games are scheduled. Things come up for everyone sometimes but I can tell you from experience that if you’re leaving your team short a player every week it’s going to get old. If you can’t make it, let them know a few days in advance so they can line up a sub (or better yet, try to line one up yourself!). I’ll never forget the time that my team had to forfeit from the championship game because our sub decided that afternoon that she’d rather accept an invitation she’d just received from a friend and we no longer had enough players to compete. An emergency is one thing and I’d understand that. Don’t do this to your team. It’s just mean.
High on Fun!
Recreational leagues area blast and I’m sure this goes for all sports, not just volleyball (I’ve always wanted to do a softball league!). If you are playing with good people then its lots of laughs and good times. The key is to not take it too seriously. Be competitive, but don’t be cocky or sour. Sometimes my team’s been the best in the league and sometimes my team has not won a game all season. Winning is more fun than losing, but we always have a good time no matter what.
Skill Not Required
You don’t’ have to be an all-star to sign up for a recreational league. A basic knowledge of the sport and a willingness to try hard is all you need. I consider myself good but I’m no pro! I’ve played with a couple pretty bad players. We may have lost more but it didn’t change how we felt about them or the game. Plus, the more you play, the better you get!
So, in short, get out there and join a recreational league! They have them for softball, volleyball, and tennis I know. I’m sure there are others as well. Heck, even a dart or pool league will have a lot of these same benefits (except maybe the calorie burn!). It’s a great way to be active and meet new people and its fun!
pic by M Aporius.