How to Dress for Volleyball Practice – Volleyball Expert (2023)

Getting ready for a volleyball match is simple:

Put on your team’s uniform and hit the court.

Practice, however, provides a plethora of choices for players to decide on ahead of each workout.

This can be a cumbersome process for some players who are new to the sport or just have a hard time deciding what to wear.

Thankfully, there are plenty of common ideas on what volleyball attire to wear to practice and how to be prepared.

Aside from uniforms, volleyball is a rather “wear what works” sport.

To help you narrow down what might be best for comfort, performance, and focus, here is a list of tips about how to dress for volleyball practice.

Shirts and Tops

We are going to work off the assumption that players are not limited by uniforms or dress codes of any kind.

Players should always follow the guidelines set forth by their coach or team regulations.

Some schools, programs, and clubs do not allow all types of volleyball attire to be worn during practice or matches.

Always adhere to the local regulations when planning practice attire.


A regular t-shirt is standard volleyball practice attire for both men and women. Some teams even wear t-shirts for less formal league matches.

The important thing to consider when donning a t-shirt for practice is the fit.

A tight shirt can result in limited mobility of the upper extremities. This is obviously problematic for the sport of volleyball. If your shirt is too tight, you will be unable to swing freely or get your arms up to block. You could even rip or tear your shirt!

A loose shirt can cause problems for volleyball players, as well. Arms can get entangled in baggy sleeves and the shirt itself could cause a net violation if it makes impactful contact with the net.

Ideally, a t-shirt will be form-fitted without being extra tight.

(Video) You should ALWAYS have this at Volleyball Practice!

Try on any t-shirts you intend to practice in first. Put your arms into volleyball positions like reaching overhead and forming a passing platform.

Extend your arms out from your sides and move them in a circular motion. You should have the freedom to perform this movement without feeling any restriction.

Tank Tops

Tank tops have become a popular choice for volleyball practice for the obvious reason that they allow full arm swing and an effortless range of motion.

This makes tank tops ideal for practices where hitting might be featured.

Outdoor recreational players and beach volleyball players like tank tops because they are less likely to feel heavy after the sweat from the beaming sun builds up.

Always remember to use sunblock to prevent a regrettable burn and awkward “tan lines.”

Athletic Fits

The best equipment and volleyball attire is always that which is designed for a particular sport.

Volleyball players can enjoy an array of sleeve lengths on shirts designed for participation.

Dry-fit materials like microfibers and polyester are blended to make garments more likely to draw sweat and moisture away from your skin.

The other benefits to these fabrics are that they are lightweight, to begin with, and do not become heavy with sweat as practice goes on.

A lack of weight promotes a better range of motion and confidence in your athleticism.

Another benefit – the lack of chafing that results from rough, heavy fabrics.

The best practices regarding this athletic wear are similar to choosing a t-shirt: it should fit well but not be so snug as to limit your ability to perform volleyball motions like reaching your arms overhead or out in front of you.

How to Dress for Volleyball Practice – Volleyball Expert (1)

Shorts and Bottoms

Bottoms are an important choice for volleyball players because the sport involves significant lower body movement.

The need to quickly move forward, backward, sideways, up and down calls for bottoms that are flexible enough to accommodate these moves.

Let’s run down some choices:


This piece of sports apparel is the most commonly seen on volleyball courts around the globe. Different styles, lengths, and materials make the choices within this category limitless.


Spandex is a popular material for volleyball shorts for women.

The fitted, breathable fabric makes the shorts flexible enough while also avoiding billowing that could get in the way during volleyball practice.

Soccer style shorts are also popular for practice.

Many players will opt to wear a longer spandex pair of shorts underneath to provide protection from the soccer shorts sliding up too high.

Male players tend to wear a gym short style, with many also electing to wear a pair of spandex sliding shorts underneath for extra support during practice and matches.

Many men’s short styles have pockets but avoid the temptation to fill them – things will inevitably fall out and cause problems.

Capri Pants

The advent of yoga pants and similar tights has added an entire genre of athletic attire.

This fashion trend has reached the volleyball courts as many players are opting for a fitted, longer option than traditional volleyball shorts.

The fitted nature of this style allows for a full range of motion and also the wearing of knee pads.

For players, male and female, looking for a little extra leg coverage, fitted Capri pants are a great option with little downside.

Full-Length Pants

Long pants are popular for volleyball teams warming up before practice or a match.

However, pants are one of the worst options for volleyball players unless playing outdoors in the cold for some reason.

Pants are cumbersome and are often baggy in areas like around the waist or crotch. This can lead to a lack of mobility detrimental to good volleyball performance.

Pants also make wearing knee pads challenging, often bunching under the kneepad and causing discomfort.

The physical nature of volleyball with its diving and sliding can also lead to frequently ripping holes in the knees.

If you are playing in a cold facility, outdoors, or simply prefer pants, they can be acceptable for recreational play. Just keep in mind that diving should be eliminated unless you do not mind ripping the knees.

If you do opt for full-length pants, choose some that allow motions like bending or crouching while not being so baggy as to trip you or limit you in some other way.

How to Dress for Volleyball Practice – Volleyball Expert (2)


Volleyball players’ feet typically endure quite a bit of pressure throughout practice or a match.

Aside from seated volleyball or other special variations, it is vital to choose the appropriate footwear for practice and games.

Many programs will adopt a “team shoe” in an effort to ensure each player has safe, appropriate footwear and matches for aesthetics.

However, lower levels of play and recreational leagues rarely have this requirement.

There are several options for volleyball players to choose from when it comes to shoes.

Obviously, beach volleyball players tend to opt for the shoeless look to avoid being weighed down by shoes full of sand.

The Cross Trainer versus Specialty Shoe Debate

For players that play on indoor volleyball courts, there are two choices to select from:

  • Volleyball Shoes
  • Cross-Trainers

Volleyball shoes are designed specifically for the sport and have several features that make them ideal for players.

Most volleyball shoes have improved sidewall and ankle support, making them better at protecting players making sudden, lateral movements.

These supports also help players feel more athletic and balanced during play.

Volleyball shoes also feature special soles that are designed to grip the often slick volleyball courts.

This grip is invaluable to higher level players who move quickly, jump, and land with force.

For those new to the game, in younger age groups, or involved in recreational volleyball, cross-trainers will suffice.

These sneakers typically still provide some lateral support, grip, and foot security.

(Video) Volleyball first person | Wing Spiker - Highlights | VC Fakel (POV)

Hit the Beach!

Beach volleyball features some different rules, regulations, and of course, different attire!

Players hitting the beach for the first time or newly playing competitively can also use some help with what to wear.

Obviously, you can wear any of the apparel listed as beneficial above, but there are some items that you might prefer that are exclusive to playing on the sand.

Most players will play beach volleyball in swimwear.

(Video) Cobra Style Serve by Yurie Nabeya | Craziest Serve in Volleyball History

This allows the player the flexibility and mobility required for the sport while standing up to the harsh sand.

It is important to choose swimwear that is secure, however, given the frequent jumping, diving, and physicality of beach volleyball.

Specially designed swimsuits are ideal for competitive beach volleyball.

These suits are breathable, durable, and secure enough to make players confident during practice and competition.

Things to Avoid

Sometimes, knowing what volleyball attire you should NOT wear is just as important as having an idea of what to put on for practice.

Here are some things to consider evaluating before heading onto the court.


Any jewellery should be removed prior to a volleyball match.

The physical nature of the sport combined with excessive use of the hands makes virtually all jewellery inappropriate.

Anything that can snag, scrape, or cut should be removed and we strongly advise a no jewelry policy during practice and matches.

Mind Your Hair

Men and women alike enjoy long hairstyles.

While we certainly do not recommend cutting off your hair simply for the sport, it is imperative to be mindful of it during practice or games.

Any long hairstyles should be properly secured during play by pulling it back or wearing a headband.

Final Words

Volleyball is an easy sport to learn and is just as easy to properly dress for.

Be mindful of the physical expectations of the game as you get dressed for practice.

If you have doubts about the appropriateness of any of your volleyball attire, ask a teammate or coach for advice.


What should you wear to volleyball practice? ›

During practice, athletes should wear gym shorts or their uniform shorts. Shorts should provide the athlete with comfort and good appearance. During competition, all players should wear shorts that are similar in appearance; this includes striping, color and logos.

What do girls wear to volleyball practice? ›

Spandex shorts are ideal for volleyball practice. As with your shirt, you want clothing that doesn't hinder your movement, so make sure your shorts aren't going to ride up. Running shorts may be an option, but you should always check with your coach to make sure that you are following the league rules.

What do you wear to high school volleyball tryouts? ›

You should wear a t-shirt or athletic shirt, spandex, knee pads, crew socks and volleyball shoes to volleyball tryouts.

What shirt should I wear to volleyball practice? ›

Find a short-sleeved or sleeveless shirt that fits snugly and is comfortable to move in. Choose something made of breathable, synthetic fibers that will wick sweat away from your body. Select close-fitting shorts. Men don't typically wear spandex shorts as tight or as short as the women do.

What should I wear to sports practice? ›

Athletic leggings or shorts, a supportive sports bra, a tshirt (tech fabrics are best but you can get away with a normal tshirt, it's just gonna get gross), and comfortable training shoes should be your go-to's for most practices.

Can I wear leggings to volleyball practice? ›

Yes, wear whatever you're comfortable in. As long as it doesn't hinder your ability it's fine. I personally have worn leggings to practice many times.

Why do girls wear white in volleyball? ›

The reason they have to wear a different colour to their team-mates is to help the referee identify them clearly and make it easier for them to enforce the rules of the libero position. Liberos have only been allowed to be the team captain since earlier this year, after the rules were changed.

Do volleyball girls have big thighs? ›

Volleyball players do have big thighs, but there are other factors that contribute to their muscle size as well. For example, volleyball players typically have a lot of running and jumping training which can lead to bigger muscles. Additionally, they often eat a high-protein diet which helps build muscle mass.

How do you impress a volleyball coach at tryouts? ›

10 Tips for a Successful Volleyball Tryout
  1. Get there early. Don't get stuck in the registration line. ...
  2. Don't bring your cell phone into the gym. ...
  3. Hustle and go for every ball. ...
  4. Show that you are coachable. ...
  5. Don't talk when the coach is talking. ...
  6. Communicate and always call the ball. ...
  7. Be a hard worker. ...
  8. Shake it off!

What does shirt color mean in volleyball? ›

The libero is made to wear a different colored shirt so that the referees can spot them easily and enforce the rules of that position. Two players out of 12 in a squad can be assigned a libero. The libero in volleyball is generally located on the back row of the court.

Why do girls wear sleeves in volleyball? ›

In a lot of cases, volleyball arm sleeves help to add an extra layer of protection between your arms and the ball. They take some of the sting out of receiving the ball and you may also find that it gives you a little more support in the elbow, which is crucial if you have weaker joints or muscles.

Do you have to tuck in your shirt for volleyball? ›

Bare-midriff tops are not allowed. 2. The uniform top shall hang below or be tucked into the waistband of the uniform bottom when the player is standing upright. 3.

How do you dress a PE? ›

Wear clothes that allow you sit, bend, crouch, run, jump, spin, roll, and even be upside-down and still remain covered and comfortable. (Dresses and skirts are not good to wear to P.E. class.)

How do you look for school athletic? ›

Sneakers, sporty socks, sunglasses, a watch, and a sports duffel will help you create an athletic vibe. Wear athletic socks with your shoes. Whether you like tall to-the-knee socks or short, no-shows, your socks can help create that sporty look.

What do athletic people wear? ›

Typical sport-specific garments include tracksuits, shorts, T-shirts and polo shirts. Specialized garments include swimsuits (for swimming), wet suits (for diving or surfing), ski suits (for skiing) and leotards (for gymnastics). Sports footwear include trainers, football boots, riding boots, and ice skates.

Do girls have to wear spandex in volleyball? ›

When it comes to volleyball, the rules require a like-colored uniform bottom, with a choice of shorts, spandex, skorts or skirts. The rule doesn't require all team members wear the same uniform bottoms.

Can you wear hair clips in volleyball? ›

The rule now allows for bobby pins, flat clips, flat barrettes and other adornments to legally be worn in the hair as long they do not present a safety hazard to the player, teammates or opponents.

What are 5 things you Cannot do in volleyball? ›

An illegal hit is: 1) slapping the ball, 2) bumping the ball with two separated hands (hands must be together), 3) carrying the ball, 4) palming the ball, 5) directing the ball. *NOTE: in order to not be a illegal hit, the ball must leave players hand immediately upon contact of the ball.

What are 4 things you can not do in volleyball? ›

Stepping on or across the service line when serving while making contact with the ball. Failure to serve the ball over the net successfully. Ball-handling errors and contacting the ball illegally (double touching, lifting, carrying, throwing, etc.) Touching the net with any part of the body while the ball is in play.

What do volleyball coaches look for in tryouts? ›

Many coaches teach techniques differently and will expect their athletes to learn it their way. What do volleyball coaches look for in team tryouts? From my experience of coaching at the high school, club and collegiate level, there are three important categories at all levels: athleticism, skill and will.

What position in volleyball is the hardest? ›

As a setter, they have to memorize which teammates hit faster so they can give them a faster and not loopy set. Another thing that makes setting one of the hardest positions in volleyball is watching who their currents hitters are.

Why is libero short? ›

A libero (LEE'-beh-ro) in indoor volleyball is a back-row defensive specialist. Since they only play in the back row, those players are often shorter than the front-row blockers and hitters but have impeccable ball-control skills.

What is a oh in volleyball? ›

Outside Hitter (aka OH, outside, pin, left side)

An outside hitter hits and blocks from the left side of the court. Normally, they also carry the responsibilities of passing and playing defense when they get to the back row.

Does volleyball make U skinnier? ›

Volleyball is a great calorie-burning sport. Studies suggest that a person can burn anywhere from 120 to 178 calories by playing half an hour game of competitive volleyball, while a less competitive game may help you burn somewhere between 90 to 133 calories, depending on the person's weight.

How tall are most volleyball girls? ›

  • Average volleyball player height: 5'7”
  • Average height range: 47.6% of athletes are between 5'6” and 5'8”
  • Club experience: National-level experience; open level preferred.

What sport makes your thighs smaller? ›

1. Go to an indoor cycling class. If you're familiar with indoor cycling classes, you know how much this type of workout uses your thighs. That's why indoor cycling is an excellent choice not only for toning the legs, but also for cardiovascular health and weight loss.

How can I impress at tryouts? ›

The Secret to Being a Stand-Out at Tryouts
  1. Be prepared: Lots of times coaches will request you to do something prior to the first tryout. ...
  2. Arrive early: ...
  3. Be in shape: ...
  4. Do your homework: ...
  5. Focus especially on defense: ...
  6. Pay attention/eye contact: ...
  7. Communicate on the court: ...
  8. Ask questions:

What makes a volleyball player stand out? ›

Strong legs/High vertical leap (for blocking and kill shots) Good pivoting skills and excellent quickness. Expertise in their chosen position. Good Team/Communication Skills.

What do coaches look at tryouts? ›

Coaches will want to see what you can do with shooting, ball handling, defense, passing, rebounding and footwork. When it comes to testing your offense, a coach may give you a set amount of time to make layups with both hands. “You can expect some kind of shooting drill,” Liebert said.

How do you not get nervous before volleyball tryouts? ›

Fortunately, there are a number of tricks you can employ to keep your pre-game jitters under control.
  1. Develop a Game Day Routine. ...
  2. Engage in Positive Visualization. ...
  3. Calm Yourself Down with Deep Breathing. ...
  4. Listen to Music. ...
  5. Don't Interpret Nervous Feelings as a Bad Thing. ...
  6. About Rocky Top Sports World.
Apr 30, 2018

How do you get coaches to notice you at tryouts? ›

8 Tryout Tips Guaranteed to Get You Noticed (And What To Avoid So You Don't Get Cut)
  1. Do what you do well. ...
  2. Hustle! ...
  3. Don't be just one of the guys in the crowd - Make a great first impression. ...
  4. Avoid the amazing play mentality. ...
  5. Don't be shy – Talk to the coaches before tryouts.

What foods should volleyball players avoid? ›

Volleyball players should avoid the foods which are difficult to digest. Bear in mind that the foods which are high in fat should be avoided. Don't eat foods like potato chips, hot dogs as well as French fries before volleyball tournaments. It will take you too much time to digest these types of foods.

What are three rules you Cannot do in volleyball? ›

Players are not permitted to scoop, hold, and lift or push the ball. The ball may never be contacted with an open-hand underhanded motion. In addition, during the first hit of the team, except when serving, the ball may contact various parts of the body consecutively, provided the contacts occur during one action.

Do you have to be in shape to play volleyball? ›

Not only do volleyball players need to be skilled, strong, and powerful, they also need to be healthy. Volleyball is a high-impact sport and with all the jumping, landing, cutting, and planting, an athlete's body can take a beating.

Who wears the off color in volleyball? ›

Who are they? They're called the libero. A libero is a defensive specialist, introduced by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), which is the organization that governs Olympic volleyball, after the 1996 Games.

Can a libero spike? ›

The Libero may serve, but cannot block or attempt to block. The Libero may not spike a ball from anywhere if at the moment of contact the ball is entirely higher than the top of the net.

What does the black shirt in volleyball mean? ›

The libero is made to wear a different colored shirt so that the referees can spot them easily and enforce the rules of that position. “The Libero's jersey or jacket must clearly contrast in color to the color of the jersey worn by other members of the team,” state USA Volleyball's rules.

Why do girls tape their fingers in volleyball? ›

Volleyball players wear tape mostly to protect their fingertips and pads from cracking, but also as a protective measure for blocking.

Why do volleyball players wear swimsuits? ›

The rules allow women different options, including long and short pants and more conservative attire for those whose religious beliefs require it. But almost all of the athletes go for the two-piece swimsuits because there are fewer places to trap sand that chafes against your skin. Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc.

Do setters wear elbow pads? ›

Whether you're setting, bumping, or diving for a pass, your elbows are the driving force between nearly every movement. Because of this, they need the most protection. Wearing elbow pads will keep your elbows protected from potential injuries like sprains and fractures.

Is 00 allowed in volleyball? ›

Uniforms must be numbered in a permanent manner using Arabic numerals. a. Numbers 1-99 are legal. Numbers 0, 00-09 are not legal and will not be permitted b.

What do volleyball players wear to practice? ›

During practice, athletes should wear gym shorts or their uniform shorts. Shorts should provide the athlete with comfort and good appearance. During competition, all players should wear shorts that are similar in appearance; this includes striping, color and logos.

What are three things a libero Cannot do? ›

The libero may not serve, may not block and may not attempt to block. A teammate may not complete an attack-hit when, at the moment of the attack-hit, the ball is entirely above the top of the net, if the ball is coming from an overhand finger pass by a libero in the front zone.

What do you need to bring to volleyball practice? ›

Bottom Line
  1. Volleyball Shoes.
  2. Volleyball.
  3. Water Bottle (Mineral water, Coconut water or sports drink)
  4. Game Socks.
  5. Uniform.
  6. Headphones.
  7. Warmup shirts.
  8. Change of Clothes.
Mar 8, 2022

What is a good age to play volleyball? ›

The best age to start volleyball for kids is between eight and 10 years old, as it's considered a “late” sport. It's advisable to provide a child with preliminary training before this age, which can be general physical training or any other precursor sport like swimming or soccer.

Is 13 a good age to start volleyball? ›

Club Teams

U12 teams are almost always formed with new volleyball players – 11-12 is the typical starting age for club volleyball. At U13-U16, new players usually play on development teams that are focused on fundamentals while still competing in club volleyball.

How do you look good at volleyball tryouts? ›

17 Tips to Stand Out in Volleyball Tryouts (For Players)
  1. Be There Physically and Mentally. ...
  2. Show Them You're a Well-Rounded Player. ...
  3. Maintain a Positive Attitude. ...
  4. Prove You Can Follow Directions. ...
  5. Be Coachable and Don't Argue. ...
  6. Give 100% Effort. ...
  7. Be Organized and Prepared. ...
  8. Get to Volleyball Tryouts Early.
Sep 5, 2018

How do you pass a volleyball like a pro? ›

Volleyball Pass Tips: Press both wrists together when passing, without breaking them apart no matter how hard or easy the serve. Make ball contact above the wrists and below the elbows. Face your body to the net and angle your platform towards the target before contacting the ball.

How many hours should I practice volleyball? ›

Many coaches subscribe to the idea that volleyball practices should be at least 3 hours.

What do volleyball players do before practice? ›

Volleyball is a dynamic sport so you'll need both dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretches form part of your pre-game or training warm-up. Static stretches can be included at the end of your cool down or at other times to improve your overall flexibility.

Can setters wear arm sleeves? ›

Your setter probably won't be too happy if you are always chucking them a ball that is covered in slippery sweat. Volleyball arm sleeves can help out quite a lot here. If possible, you need to try and find a sleeve that is made out of a material that is somewhat absorbent.


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