Volleyball is a sport that demands responsiveness, athleticism and a well practiced set of skills such as passing, setting and hitting. It takes more than a few hours on the court and a strong physique to master volleyball, and up and coming players at all levels are always looking to improve their game. Studying other sports can help you to gain an understanding of how to become better at volleyball.

Basketball – Basketball requires one major ability that is crucial to the success of a volleyball team: jumping. A volleyball player must contend with a 7-8ft net. Being able to make strong vertical leaps opens up more chances to block opponent’s attacks with defensive plays, and also make high-calibre attacks known as spiking. In fact, the act of spiking is not dissimilar to the ‘slam-dunk’ in basketball. To deal with the height of the net, both basketball and volleyball teams tend to have a lot of tall and lean individuals, but there is nothing that aspiring players of either sport can do about their own height. Instead, aspiring players should aim to perfect their jumping.

Tennis – It’s not difficult to see that tennis and volleyball have their similarity; both involve hitting a ball over the net in the hope that the opponent won’t be able to return it. Much like tennis, volleyball requires short and explosive movements and cat-like reflexes, rather than long runs down a pitch. Certain kind of fitness training can help with that. Yet there is one aspect of tennis that volleyball players can learn a lot from, and that is the serve. A good serve will get you far in both sports, and can end a point in a single blow, or put the opponent on the back foot from the offset. Master your volleyball serve and you will be an asset to any team.

Poker – At first glance, you might not think that volleyball players have much to learn from poker professionals. The two sports are, after all, very different. Yet poker requires a certain skill perhaps more than any other game: focus and concentration. Online players use popular poker sites to play multiple tables at once for long periods of time, requiring a concentration span that doesn’t falter  for many hours. Volleyball players should aim to maintain unbroken focus for the entire game, and during training sessions too. A positive mental attitude and level of emotional control can also contribute to a solid session in either sport.

Football – It’s the most popular sport in the world, and a game with many facets, so it almost goes without saying that volleyball players will have lessons to learn from football’s greats. The main comparison to draw is the teamwork element of both games. It would be impossible for one person to score a goal against a team, or to take a point in a volleyball game. The key in volleyball is to know when to pass and when to attack. If the opponent has served well it is unlikely that you will be in a position to attack back straight away, so a recovery dig followed by a setup pass or two might be required before a setter can take a shot. As teams play together, they tend to develop a clear understanding of body language and communication, and teamwork comes naturally. Knowing that both sports are team games, players should always be focused on the victory of their team, and not on individual glory.