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A year in the life of a student-athlete volleyball


We leave Italy during the first week of August to do about 2 weeks of preparation. At this time the college is usually “still on vacation” and there are only other fall sports student-athletes on campus and maybe a few cafeterias or dorms open. Athletes arrive a few days before the official start of the season, and if they do not have accommodation outside of colleges, they are usually assigned temporary dorms or taken to the apartments of the athletes.
until their accommodations become available.

Once the medical tests have been done, physical tests are usually also done for which the coaches have already sent the athletes the cards to follow during the holidays. Unlike what happens in Italy, the competitive season lasts only 3 and a half months so the athletes must present themselves in adequate physical shape and ready to jump and dunk as if the season had already begun.


At the end of these two intense weeks in which the athletes train morning, afternoon and evening almost non-stop, the tournaments that count as official competitions of the season begin, but are usually competitions outside the
of belonging. In these tournaments, teams compete against opponents of a higher or lower level, according to the schedule created by the coach himself.

After these first matches, the matches against the opponents of the same conference begin, which will decide the winner of the group and those who will have access to the National Finals. The competitions are usually 2 per week so, at the end of the 3 and a half months of competitions, the athletes play about the same amount of matches as an Italian championship which, however, lasts 8 months.


The competitive season ends in mid-to-late November (except for a few teams that make a long way in the NCAA DI playoffs) and during the first weeks of December there are final exams before you can enter winter vacation mode which usually run from December 20 to January 10-15, although these dates vary a lot based on the college and coach.


After the Christmas break, we return to college at some point in January and begin training with the team, but they are essentially physical and athletic and with a less intense frequency than during the first semester. Ball training is very technical and also physical or in small groups for the first few weeks, after which the groups become larger until they do real team training and some tournaments in mid or late April.

The final exams will be in the first weeks of May, after which the volleyball players return to their countries for the summer until the new pre-season.


In addition to having to follow very detailed physical schedules, athletes during the summer are encouraged to play beach volleyball or continue to play in some way so as to keep fit and maintain a minimum of sensitivity with the ball.

Some colleges are able to offer scholarships even for the Summer term and so the athletes are called to return in July both to take courses and thus be able to have less during the competitive season, and to have all the resources of the team available to train.

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