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Small and Mighty

On the volleyball court, I stand an average of three or four inches below my teammates and competitors. Yet, I find myself performing just as well, if not better, than the rest of these height-advantaged players. I have asked myself, what—beyond natural talent—allows me to play at a very high level, without those extra inches?   

 General Physiological Advantages 
Shorter players tend to have faster reaction times, greater ability to accelerate body movements, stronger muscles in proportion to body weight, and a greater ability to rotate the body faster. Shorter players are also less likely to break bones in falling. As a consequence of these physical attributes, shorter athletes tend to excel as gymnasts, divers, skiers, martial artists, rock climbers, figure skaters, rodeo riders, soccer players and long distance runners. Within their weight classes, shorter athletes are also excellent wrestlers, boxers, and weightlifters.  
   Speed is something that smaller athletes can bring to help offset any disadvantage that might result from being shorter. Taller athletes with longer limbs can't generate the same degree of force to get moving like a shorter player can.   

Generally, taller players have an easier time attacking and blocking, but ball control skills usually don't come as easily. The best volleyball players possess many different skills. Being tall and athletic are great physical qualities that help you play volleyball better, but ball control, great defense, and excellent passing skills are HUGE for the success of any team. Someone who has a physical disadvantage in one aspect of the sport may be able to excel in another aspect.  Especially in doubles volleyball, it is hard to get away with just being tall and athletic.  
   Beach volleyball doubles is a game where all players are forced to use multiple skills. For example, if one partner passes the ball, the other must set. How well the player sets can dictate the success of the team. Doubles players also need to have good passing skills. If one partner is not a very good passer, a smart opponent will likely serve the ball to them repeatedly, forcing them to pass.     
So have no fear height-challenged athletes, with knowledge of the strengths and weakness that accompany a shorter frame, victory is within reach.Write your post here.

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