It’s your first season of volleyball! The first day of practice is creeping in and your first volleyball match is going to be here before you even know it. There are some essential products that you need for the upcoming volleyball season.
We sat down with our Volleyball Expert Jessica Becker to find out what’s in her volleyball bag.
First off, you need your very own volleyball bag! I love the Nike Hoops Elite Max Air Team backpack Yes, it’s technically a basketball bag but you can use it for every sport. It has plenty of room for a ball, your shoes, knee pads and everything that you need! It has small side pockets to keep your headphones or even a small sack or whistle too. It’s a great versatile bag and comes in some great colors as well. We also have the Under Armour Storm Hustle Bag, which is a basic bag that comes in different sizes and can hold all your volleyball gear.
I mentioned carrying a volleyball in your bag. How can you play volleyball without a ball? The most popular and nationally-used volleyball in most high school programs is the Tachikara SV-5WS. It’s the official ball, so you might as well use the best.
Next, you need a great pair of volleyball shoes. My favorite pair volleyball shoes is the Mizuno Wave Lightening Z2. It’s a nice, light shoe and features the parallel wave plate, which is Mizuno’s technology that helps the person who is wearing the shoes to be able to move in different directions a lot easier and comfortably. It has great ventilation as well which helps your feet breathe when you’re rolling into that 5th set in a volleyball match.
Don’t forget the socks! My favorite socks to wear are the Nike Dri-fit cushioned socks. They’re very comfortable and wash nicely. We also have the Under Armour Heat Gear socks which will keep your feet cool throughout the match. I always get the 6-pack or 3-pack because I will always throw in another pair or two in my bag just in case I want to change socks if it’s tournament day or if someone else accidentally forgets their socks as well. It’s always great to look out for your teammates.
Next, you need a good pair of knee pads. No, you never want to go down to your knees to pass a volleyball but sometimes an emergency will come and you will have to dive after the ball. Your knees are very important and fragile! So, it is very important to protect your knees. My favorite pair of knee pads are the Mizuno LR6. We also have the Nike Essential Volleyball Knee Pad. I think it’s essential to have two pairs of knee pads, one for practice and one for game day. I have three pairs, so the third pair I have is usually in the wash! They can get smelly, so it’s a little easier to rotate my knee pads when I have three pairs.
It’s essential to have a pair of volleyball spandex. Most teams wear spandex for game day. The most popular pair of spandex is the Mizuno Core Low Rider shorts. This pair is the 2.5” length but we also carry the 4” pair of shorts as well if you want them to be a little longer. They’re very comfortable and easy to move in. I always have an extra pair in my bag as well. It’s smart to have 6 pairs, one pair for each day you have practice throughout the week and then that extra pair you always have in your bag that I just mentioned. Another pair people really like is the Nike Pro Short. They offer this in 3” length, 5” and 7”. These are nice to use in practice but in a game it is not allowed to have the band showing that is around the waist. If you want to stick to Nike, we started carrying a new short! It’s the Nike Performance Short. It’s just as comfortable as the Nike Pro Short, but it has a plain, black band on the top instead.
You need a good sports bra. My favorite is the Nike Pro Bra. We carry both the padded and non-padded bra, I love both. This is my favorite bra because it’s super comfortable and it’s still easy to move around while getting the support I need. It has a nice, tight band on the bottom and that’s essential in a good bra. It also has the Dri-fit material, which is really nice when you are starting to get sweaty during practice or are in a game because it wicks away the sweat. I recommend having 6 pairs. One for every day of the week for practices and that extra one in the bag. Don’t forget, if you have a white jersey for game day, don’t wear a bright colored bra. They’re really cute and awesome to wear during practices! I recommend wearing a grey or black bra under your white jersey, you can’t see through the jersey and makes you look a little more professional!
You need a headband to keep back those baby hairs or to keep your bangs out of your face. It’s no fun to keep having to push your hair away from your face after every play. A lot of people like the Nike Dri-Fit 360 Headband or the Nike Tie 2.0 Headband. If you like Under Amour, the most popular headband is the Under Armour Perfect Headband. A lot of girls use prewrap, not only to wrap ankles but they also use it as a headband as well. You can just wrap it around your head to measure how long you need it to be, tear off a piece and tie the ends together. We have a ton of colors as well. If you want to match your school colors or throw in a little color, you have that option.
Don’t forget a water bottle! The most popular water bottle people use is the Gatorade Squeeze Bottle. You will see a lot of players with this bottle. It’s not only great to drink out of but it can also cool you off too! You can just squeeze the bottle a little and a small mist will come out. A lot of your friends will probably go up to you and squeeze a small mist in your face but jokes on them because it actually felt great. Another great bottle to use is the Camelbak Insulated Bottle. It will keep your water cool throughout the whole volleyball match.
Your match is over and you need some things to change into after. A great pair of sandals and sweats is nice to change into after a game. We have the Under Armour Ignite Sandals and the Nike Comfort Sandals. They both have the memory foam technology, so it’s always a nice break for your feet after a long match. Don’t forget to throw on your sweat pants too. We have the Nike Therma Pant or the Under Armour Tech Pant. They are both very comfortable and easy to slip on after the game. It’s really nice when you have a long ride home from a game and you can just relax. Not essential but extremely awesome to have is some snacks. I personally like the CLIF bar because it fills me up. Also, the GU is great before a match because it gives you a ton of energy to be able to push through your last set. Water is great but it is good to have some Gatorade after a match is over to replenish all the nutrients you sweated out during your game.