I am not an expert at the sport of sitting volleyball. The experts are the dedicated coaches and administrators who run the sport, and the Paralympians who compete in it. However, I have spent more than 20 years growing the disabled game together. I have coached it from Paralympians to kindergarten level; taught it to USOC sponsors and all branches of our amazing military, injured or not, 3 star generals to privates; fundraised for it; and am currently serving on the World ParaVolley Board of Directors as development director.
I think this top 10 list might help other clubs, teams and programs. You are welcome to comment below to make it a top 15…or more. I know anytime I find myself “losing” the gym, for 10 minutes or a whole practice I have simply brought out the ribbon, tied it off to a couple of chairs or other anchor point at about a meter high, and played on whatever surface we found.
Top 10 Reasons To Try Sitting Volleyball Training
- A break from jumping
- Empathy/awareness for disabled/Paralympic sport
- Gets them to be talent scouts for any possible future Paralympians
- Gets you to use your overhead skills well
- A way to keep lower limb injury teammates bonded/playing with the team at times
- Practice arm movement for blocking but no need for a "box"
- Speed up reading of opponent's upper body - net at 1.15m and court half the length of regular makes for FAST ball net crossing/arrival
- A great leveler for tall to short - and parents can play too
USA Volleyball's sitting program is based out of Edmond, Okla., and its where our teams live and train to compete internationally. Elliot Blake heads up our sport development side for the sitting game. This summer he hosted a great summit at the University of Central Oklahoma, where our two USA Sitting National Team Programs live and train to compete internationally.
For many years, I was blessed to be able to give back just a tiny bit to those who have given so much by tournament directing the sitting volleyball portion of the Warrior Games. The wonderful thing about having a great staff and skilled officials is that once the match’s first whistle sounds, I have time to float around and take pictures and just enjoy the competition.
Reach out to Elliot Blake at firstname.lastname@example.org if your club or program is willing to help us in expanding the sitting discipline of our sport. If you have any sitting story examples or thoughts, feel free to share them below in the comments. Thanks for your help in growing the game together.