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Choosing Outdoor vs. Indoor Camps?

By Scott Mebruer, 03/29/18, 11:45AM CDT


Outdoor versus indoor camps?

As the outdoor beach doubles game continues to grow and expand at the junior and collegiate levels, more people are wanting to get involved locally in the sport. While we are one of the few organizations to offer outdoor doubles camps and clinics, there are more indoor camps out there than you can shake a stick at. The great thing about these two different sports is that they very much complement each other. Players will improve in one by playing or training in the other. So, you really cannot go wrong with choosing either. We do know from experience that some players prefer indoor and some prefer outdoor. So, when time and resources are not infinite how do you choose indoor over outdoor camps and clinics? We hope the following questions will help guide choosing the best fit for your athlete.

  • Does your child like the outdoors, or outdoor sports? – Outdoor beach doubles means players are outdoors in the heat of the summer months, and are playing in 18-24 inches of sand. Like other outdoor sports, light to moderate rain will not cancel an event. Windy conditions are also a part of the game. Jumping and moving in the sand is hard, and it is quite a workout when there are only two players on a court. Indoor is obviously a much easier game to play from a conditions standpoint, and you move less as there are more players. Some players love the challenge of outdoor, and some do not.
  • Does your child need to improve in one specific area or in general? – The indoor game is very specialized especially at the higher levels of the sport. This does not mean that all players shouldn’t focus on being well rounded, but ultimately 90% of their contacts are focused on their specialty or positions, setters, middles, liberos, etc. Some indoor players absolutely hate to pass, or do not like to serve. Normally that is because they do not think they are good at these skills, which is a different subject. The indoor game very much allows a player to hide their weaknesses and focus on their strengths. That is not the case with outdoor beach doubles. Only two players are on the court, so if you do not like to pass or are not good at it, guess what, your opponent will be serving you every ball. You cannot hide your weaknesses in the outdoor doubles game. Some players find this very frustrating, again most likely because they aren’t as good at certain skills. If your child wants to focus on improving a specific area of their game, because they are changing positions, or know specifically the areas that they need to improve upon then indoor skill and positional camps are the way to go. If your child is wanting to work on their entire game, improve their conditioning, or improve their mental and physical toughness, then outdoor beach doubles camps and clinics are recommended for players U13s-18s. Due to the physical demands of outdoor beach doubles, players younger than U13 wanting to work on their entire game, should typically be focusing on All-Skill indoor camps.

While indoor volleyball and outdoor volleyball have most of the same skills represented across both disciplines. The training and experience is very different. We know that everyone can benefit from playing both sports, and we hope that you will give each a try every season. Players change as they get older, and something that may not be a fit at U13s can become a fit at U15s. The biggest limiting factors are typically comfort and confidence. As a player develops their skills and gains experience, they become more comfortable and confident in taking risks. That is when the magic happens. Camps and clinics are safe environments for players to test those boundaries, and work on things.

We are excited to be sharing our camp series with you this season. As the leader in both indoor and outdoor camps in the metro area, we are always looking to provide our camp participants with the best coaching to create an environment for your athlete to learn and improve. Our Camp Directors do this as their profession, but it is also their passion. They love training athletes. We hope you will check out our indoor and outdoor camp series, and join us on the hard court or the sand this summer!

For information on our Summer Camp series, please check out our Camp Page,, or contact our Camp Coordinator Tony Stratman at


HPSTL Office Staff