Beach volleyball – Urban Sport of the Week
Every week we try a new sport in our offering to encourage our members to try something new. This week we tried our hand at our very first team sport. Here’s what went down at beach volleyball…
What is beach volleyball?
Beach volleyball is just like volleyball… but you play it on a beach. You can play two-on-two or in teams. The game was invented in Hawaii in 1910 and has become a summer sport staple all over the world.
What can you expect?
Our beach volleyball game was at Tennis Hirschau, right in the middle of Munich’s English Garden. The location couldn’t be more idyllic for playing beach volleyball on a sunny summers evening.
How was the workout?
I was nervous about this one. It’s fine being new to a sport when your mistakes have no impact on anyone else; it’s different when my poor performance effects other people.
But as soon as I met the other players my nerves vanished – everyone was friendly and approachable. I told them it was my first time playing and they said “we all started somewhere.”
Karim is the captain of the USC Beach Volleyball in Munich and explained the rules to me. You can pass the ball three times within your team before you hit it over the net, you hit the ball with the inside of your wrists or with the tips of your fingers and everything else is a free-for-all. He also said because it’s my first time that I can do whatever I want.
There was 8 of us so we divided into teams of 4 to play our first game. The sport is truly mixed-gender and we had an even number of men and women. My team were extremely encouraging – every time I hit the ball they would say something positive, even if I’d made a terrible shot.
I have quite bony wrists which meant that sometimes I’d hit the ball and it would ricochet in the wrong direction. “Unlucky!” Karim would say as the ball flew over to the next court. But after a while I began to get the hang of it and as soon as I stopped feeling self-conscious I began to really enjoy myself.
Beach volleyball is all about communication and working together. You all contribute to scoring points by passing to each other and setting up great shots, so when you score it feels like a real team effort.
As the two hours came to a close it was match-point for my team. Karim passed the ball to me and I tried to pass the ball back but it ricocheted off my wrist and over the net, straight onto the sand. I’d scored the winning point! “I can’t believe this is your first time playing!” Karim said. As I high-fived my teammates I decided not to mention that it was a total accident.
How did I feel after?
I had red marks on my wrists and a very bruised thumb afterwards but that didn’t matter, I’d had so much fun.
I was also very sweaty – all the running, jumping, sliding and high-fiving add up to a great workout.
Benefits of beach volleyball
If you’re new to a city in Germany or France, I highly recommend playing beach volleyball as it’s a great way to meet people. Everybody was super friendly and a few of us went for a beer afterwards (it was Friday after all).
First-timers are very welcome – and if you’re based in Munich Karim will be your captain and he’ll be nice to you even if you’re really, really bad at it.
Don’t forget to bring…
Just beachwear like shorts and a t shirt – no need for shoes as you play in your bare feet. And bring shower stuff because you’re gonna get sandy and sweaty.
Want to get involved? The USC community in Munich is looking for a second captain to lead the growing community. To apply just send an email to [email protected] and we’ll get in touch.