Does Volleyball Make You Taller? Understanding the Science

does volleyball make you taller

Height has always fascinated athletes and fans, and it plays a significant role in sports such as volleyball and basketball.

It is obvious that taller players can have some extra advantages compared to shorter players.

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The idea of a connection between playing volleyball and gaining height has captured the attention of many.

Here, the main question arises, “Does volleyball make you taller?”.

Key Takeaway: No, volleyball doesn’t make you taller, especially as an adult. It can, however, improve your posture, making you look taller.

If you are a teenager, the answer depends on several factors like nutritional intake, overall health, genetics, etc.

In this article, I will discuss the truth and myths behind this question, the main reasons why volleyball players are taller, and the drills that can help you grow taller.

How Does Volleyball Make You Taller?

It is worth noticing that no sport can directly increase your height.

It’s a misconception that volleyball itself can make someone taller, as the height depends on a person’s genetics and other factors.

But, as a coach, I have observed that volleyball positively impacts the players’ health, potentially enhancing their growth process.

Let me explain it through some valid points:

  • Maintaining alignment during jumps and spikes enhances performance and improves posture, creating the illusion of greater height.
  • The different movements in volleyball can strengthen your muscles, especially in the legs and their cores. It contributes to the increase in bones’ strength.
  • Playing volleyball regularly improves bone health due to the sport’s weight-bearing nature and dynamic movements like jumping and digging.
  • Most importantly, volleyball helps you increase blood circulation, like any other physical activity, which is better for distributing oxygen and nutrition to the body’s tissues.

Factors Affecting Height

Some factors can help you gain your ideal height if you are a kid or teenager.

I am listing some of the points below:

GeneticsGenetic factors such as family traits contribute a lot towards height growth.
Nutritional IntakeNutrition during childhood and teenage helps in bone strength and muscle growth
Physical ActivityEngaging in some sports, like volleyball, contributes to healthy growth patterns.
Sleep and RestDuring sleep, the body undergoes repair processes, which helps in physical development. So, always focus on good sleep.
Environmental FactorsCertain health conditions and exposure to pollutants can also affect height growth, but their impact is relatively less.

Why are Volleyball Players so Tall?

Volleyball players are taller due to the physical requirements of the sport.

Also, height provides additional advantages, as discussed below.

1) Better at Blocking

Coaches prefer to assemble teams of tall players because of their extra advantage compared to shorter players, particularly in blocking.

They have a better reach and wingspan, allowing them to quickly block the opponent’s attacks.

Tall players are often good setters because they can set the ball from the upper positions.

Their height allows them to deliver accurate and varied sets to the spiker, increasing the team’s offensive strategies.

They have a broader coverage at the net, making it difficult for the opposing team to find open spots to hit the ball.

2) Advantage in Spiking

Taller players have the advantage of a higher point of contact, which allows them to hit the ball with more force and a higher trajectory.

They can generate more momentum, which can result in more powerful attacks that have the potential to score points for their team.

They have a higher vertical leap, which allows them to hit the ball over the blockers.

Also, a taller player has better upper body strength than short players, which enables him to hit the ball with more power.

A classic image of a volleyball player hitting the ball

3) More Athletic

The increased height and longer limbs give the taller players better reach, coordination, and agility.

They cover more ground and quickly react to the ball, which enables them to adapt to different situations.

Their tall height gives them an advantage in achieving a better vertical jump.

It also allows them to execute powerful aces, effective blocking, and superior defensive plays compared to their teammates.

Thus, the combination of height and athleticism gives the taller players a clear advantage in their performance on the court.

Best Volleyball Position for Tall Players

The best volleyball position for tall players is middle blocker due to their height and better reach.

They can threaten the opponent’s attack because of their ability to stretch their arms across the width of the net, cutting down the space for the attack.

The taller middle blocker can reach higher above the net, making it easier for them to redirect or block the incoming attacks of the opposing team. 

a volleyball player jumping to his fullest

Here’s an obscure fact you might not know: Seeing a tall blocker on the net also creates psychological pressure on the competitors, affecting their decision-making.

So, quick movements, better reach, and noticeable height make the middle blocks a winning combination for their team.

Does Volleyball Make Your Legs Bigger?

No, volleyball doesn’t make your legs bigger.

Playing volleyball involves a lot of jumping, running, and quick movements that work out your leg muscles.

While these activities can strengthen and tone your legs, whether or not your legs get “bigger” depends on your personal body type, genetics, and how you train off the court.

If you do a lot of strength training exercises for your legs, they become more muscular and appear bigger.

But playing volleyball alone is more likely to make your legs stronger and toned rather than significantly increase their size.

Does Volleyball Make Your Waist Smaller?

No, playing volleyball doesn’t only contribute to making your waist smaller.

The waist size depends on nutrition, calorie intake, and overall body composition.

If you engage in regular physical sports, like volleyball, and eat a balanced diet, ultimately, you will achieve a smaller waist over time.

Is it Better to be Tall or Short in Volleyball?

Being tall can offer certain advantages in volleyball, particularly if you play positions like Middle Blocker or Opposite Hitter.

Height helps reach higher over the net, making blocking opponents’ shots and spiking the ball more effective.

It can give players an edge in these critical aspects of the game.

However, it’s crucial to remember that volleyball isn’t just about height.

Skills, technique, agility, and teamwork are equally important.

Players of all heights can excel on the court by mastering these aspects.

For instance, shorter players often bring exceptional speed, agility, and precision to the game, qualities that are vital for defensive roles like liberos or setters.

They can move quickly across the court, making sharp passes and digs essential for setting up attacks and defending against spikes.

So, remember, your height doesn’t limit your potential in volleyball.

What truly matters is your dedication to enhancing your skills, deepening your understanding of the game, and strong teamwork.

Does Volleyball Make You Stronger?

Yes, volleyball makes you stronger.

This game requires a lot of quick actions, like jumping to spike the ball, diving to save a point, and moving fast across the court.

All these moves work out different muscles in your body.

Your arms get stronger from hitting and serving the ball, while your legs gain strength from all the jumping and running.

Plus, volleyball is great for your overall fitness because it’s a fun way to exercise different parts of your body without it feeling like a workout.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

To conclude, it’s a misconception that playing volleyball can increase a person’s height.

It doesn’t lead to actual height gain, but it still positively impacts a person’s physical development.

Generally, taller players have more advantages than shorter players, such as being better at blocking, having an advantage in spiking, and being more athletic.

Having realistic expectations and understanding that genetics primarily determine height potential is crucial. 

Volleyball may not magically contribute to your overall height, but it can still be a beneficial activity that supports a healthy lifestyle.

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