There’s always been a stigma that you have to be a certain height to play volleyball. That a shorter volleyball player cannot make it very far in this sport because of an unspoken height restriction. But what these athletes lack in height, they gain in other aspects of the game. Quickness, dexterity, and better balance can be translated onto the court to make you an incredible volleyball player.

Ways to Set Yourself Apart

Be a Vocal Leader

There is obviously no height restriction on being a good communicator or leader for your team. You can set yourself apart from others by simply being the most vocal on the court. Making sure everyone is positioned right, picking up teammates after a lost point, or hyping up your team after a big win are all huge components of being a great teammate.

Specific Skills

A shorter volleyball player can be set up to excel in certain areas of volleyball with quickness, dexterity, and balance. Everyone knows the phrase “defense wins championships” and this is where a height restriction cannot stop you from shining. Not only can you have an immediate advantage in digging, passing, and overall ball control, but these skills can always keep getting better by just working hard. And quickness on your feet combined with great balance will allow you to return hard-hit balls and tipped balls. A shorter volleyball player can also have better ball control and always be able to deliver a good pass to set up winning points. These skills and many more helped Debbie Green Vargas to be known as the best setter in US history.

Case Study: Debbie Green Vargas

Debbie Green Vargas described herself as “not exactly a coach’s dream setter,” as she was 5’4 and 105 pounds. What she lacked in size, she made up everywhere else on the court though. But she did not become known as the best setter in US history overnight. In fact, she says you would have laughed at her if you saw her play at 13 years old. But to get to where she wanted, she put in thousands of hours of work. She said, “I tried to make up by being able to set almost any pass and by giving to my volleyball team in other ways, like enthusiasm, energy, and talk.” This obviously worked as she was put on two Olympic rosters, and played a crucial part of the 1984 Silver Medal team which in this world 1984 was the highest finish for any Olympic US Women’s National team.

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