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You may have watched volleyball on television and thought, "Maybe I can try that." Here is a list of things you will need to get started.

It is important to have a pair of shoes that provide proper support because volleyball requires explosive movements. However, volleyball-specific shoes are not a necessity for those who are just starting out. A pair of sturdy cross trainers or basketball shoes will work fine.

If you are unsure of what kind of shoes to choose, here is a checklist to consider:

  • Traction - Gum-rubber soles provide the most traction. The more traction the shoes provide, the better you can move on court.

  • Heel height - Try to find shoes with little to no heels because shoes with higher heels tend to lead to ankle injuries.

  • Cushion - Constant jumping places large amounts of stress in your joints. Good cushioning in your shoes can help reduce that.

  • Construction material - Shoes made of materials like leather or synthetic leather will provide adequate support for lateral movement. Avoid shoes that are mostly mesh.

Banging your knee on the floor while digging or saving the ball is often inevitable. You can save yourself the pain and frustration by getting knee pads. Choosing the type of knee pads is a matter of preference. As long as the knee pads provide the protection you need, they should suffice.

Although this isn’t always necessary, ankle braces can help guard against sprains. The ankle is a joint that is very susceptible to injury, so ankle braces provide gentle and firm compression for protection yet allows flexibility.

As with any sport, dehydration can and will take its toll on any athlete. Make sure you bring a water bottle that can hold ample fluid to keep you hydrated throughout practice or matches.

Now you know what is essential to have, here are some bonus items that are good to have handy as well:

  • Athletic tape - It provides extra support for injury prevention and is a quick-fix for wear-and- tear of your equipment.

  • Pre-wrap - This provides a comfortable barrier to athletic tape, and now comes in an assortment of colours.

  • Rule book - Having a rule book will come in handy for any disagreements on court.

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