After running international volleyball tours for more than a decade, I’ve learned that there’s no better way to transform your team than to take a foreign tour.
The road can be unpredictable, tiring and even uncomfortable at times. But the road has the power to reshape character, broaden perspective and cultivate gratitude. Traveling on the road together opens doors to different experiences and creates a culture teamwork.
Mick Haley, the head women’s volleyball coach of University of Southern California, had this to say about the Pac-12 All-Star tour in China:
It has been a real eye-opener and allows our students to have a better understanding of other parts of the world. And, one of the interesting things that has come from the experience are the relationships that have developed between the Pac-12 players themselves.
Here’s 5 reasons to take a foreign tour with your team.
1) The recruiting advantage.
Whether you are pioneering a new beach volleyball program at your local club or heading into your 10th season at a ranked university, don’t underestimate the recruiting advantage to foreign tours. Club and college coaches often use foreign tours as a tool to entice players to commit.
2) Fast friends.
Traveling across international borders and playing volleyball abroad has the power to create fast friendships with lasting memories that unite teams. Teammates bond more quickly when they share impactful experiences. Small differences among teammates have a way of dissolving on the road against the backdrop of foreign cultures.
3) Appreciation for resources.
Experiencing the differences in other countries helps players appreciate the resources they have at home. Playing outside ones comfort zone inspires thankfulness for the familiar.
4) Different playing styles.
International experience makes better volleyball players. It’s that simple. Players who get exposed to faster or varied tempo offenses and unique playing atmospheres adjust and improve. Playing after long travel days in a foreign environment also makes players more resilient.
5) The Fun Factor
Ask any coach or player whose been on a foreign volleyball tour to share about their experience abroad and they’re likely to recount treasured memories. From foreign food and beautiful sites to deeply impactful team bonding moments and travel experiences. Teams are transformed when they have the opportunity to play volleyball and travel around the globe together.