Practicing With The Big Boys… or Girls

Most volleyball players may have experienced what I am about to talk about. The topic of the day is the boys practicing with the girls and the girls practicing with the boys. Are there benefits to this technique or is it purely hurtful to the practice and the team.

Positive Aspects

Girls volleyball and boys volleyball are two entirely different games in the match. But in practice, girls can be beneficial for boys and vice versa. In my opinion girl volleyball players have much better ball control than boys. This is because in the girls game there are only a handful of players who can pound the ball straight down so there are a lot more hits into difficult areas. This requires girls to move around more and pass the ball to the target more often than guys have to. The video shown in the post entitled The Longest Rally, is a rare example of great ball control for the boys game. So if girls practice with boys, they will see examples of good ball control and show that pounding the ball straight down doesn’t have to get you a kill every time. A nice tip over the block or roll shot down the line gets you the exact same point.

When boys practice with the girls on a girls net, it can turn into a battle field. since the net is significantly lower than a boys net, the boys are going to want to show off how hard they can hit and how high they can bounce the ball. But when it comes to scrimmaging boys verse the girls, the game will be much faster for the girls and they will learn about momentum and tempo changes in the game which are two huge factors in volleyball. Not only is the boys game quicker and faster, but the hitting, serving, and blocking will be much stronger too. With boys hitting at girls they will develop great digging technique and then when a girl hits at them, the power will not be as strong therefor easier. Also the block that a boy puts up on a girls net is nothing to mess with. It will teach the girls though how to tool and hit around the block.

Negative Aspects

Boys will be boys and girls walking around and diving in spandex could be a bit of a distraction. Especially at the high school level when hormones are going crazy, the fact that there are girls present in the same gym creates an atmosphere of a Jr. high school. When the coach is talking the boys will not be looking and listening to the coach, but trying to check out the girls that have decided to practice with them. Once the boy is back to earth from LA LA Land, he will have then missed the instructions and will not perform the drill to his fullest potential.

For girls at the high school age are so concerned with their body image, having boys come into practice would only make them worry even more about how they look and perform, putting pressure on the girl and creating stress. All these aspects mainly have to do with image. There are also psychological aspects as well.

If the boys scrimmage the girls and beat them in a game, should they feel good that they defeated some girls on a guys net that they can’t hit over that well anyways? Is there pride for the girls when they beat the boys team when they are only allowed to hit back row because of how strong the hits are? these are the types of questions and concerns that come up when the boys practice with the girls and the girls practice with the boys.

Coach J

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