SARASOTA - With college scholarships now being given for beach volleyball, high school hard-court players spend their summers training, and playing, on the beach. The training is not necessarily more difficult, but it is different -- and hot.
"It's a natural workout, jumping out of sand with resistance. They get a lot more power on their vert, and when they go back to indoor, it’s great to see them transition so well," says Chad Sutton, head volleyball coach at Sarasota High and Boomtown Beach Club.
It is hot on the beach, but Siesta Key is not a bad place to spend your summers working on your game. "No, not at all. It’s a lot more fun out here as you get to know everyone. You just learn," says player Jessica Shiffner.
“Beautiful weather, #1 beach in the country, you get a tan, and have fun out here with the girls…it’s a good time," says Sutton.
Beach volleyball has seen a spike -- no pun intended -- in participation, because now colleges are now offering scholarships for the beach as well as traditional volleyball. "Absolutely; every year more and more colleges are offering scholarships. Youth-wise and grassroots, it’s building up. It’s really...uh, it's the fastest growing sport for girls and guys."
The Boomtown Beach Club team has several camps and training sessions going on this summer. The workouts run the gamut for these aspiring Kerri Walsh's and Misty May-Treanor’s. “It’s a lot harder. You have to read, and you have to cover a lot more court," says Shiffner.
For more information on Boomtown Beach Club, visit boomtownvolleyball.com.