Not many people can boast with being a pro athlete. It takes dedication and lots of hard work, gruelling training session and a certain level of stress to always perform well. What’s more, as a pro you are often held in high regard by aspiring athletes and some might even call you their role model. For those that love the sport, however, it is all worth it and as is often said, if you can get paid to do what you love you will never work a day in your life.
Volleyball As a Sport
When volleyball was first invented in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895, no-one even imagined it would ever become as profitable as it is for those playing it professionally. It was developed as a less violent alternative to basketball for older men and for a long time it was played as a recreational and leisure activity. The sport has grown considerably over the past two decades and with the standardization of rules and world competitions it has risen to become one of the big five international sports.
Although many people still play volleyball as a social and recreational activity there are the very sporty and talented individuals who make it their profession.
Professional players make their money in a variety of ways and exactly how much they make can also vary. Pro volleyball players can play games in a professional capacity in a national and international level. The level on which you participate will also influence how much money you make. In the USA most pro-players earn their salaries by playing in professional tournaments. The winners of a tournament will get prize-money but just placing can also ensure that you get paid for your participation. Recent compensation data based on experience places the average salary at $43,590 per year. Many pro players from the USA will play in other countries with a high demand for pro-players and the USA also has an international team that take part in international tournaments.
In the AV pro tour players can earn up to $1 million in prize money per season as well as additional money from endorsements and sponsorships. As many as four women have earned this type of money in the recent past.
Players from various countries often sign contracts to play in major European teams.
Volleyball became very popular in Europe and Russia, for example, has a very stable volleyball program. Players from various countries often sign contracts to play in major European teams. These contracts can ensure a monthly salary for the duration of the contract and may include benefits like a car and accommodation. Many contracts also include language tutors for international players. On average players can earn between €20,000-30,000, though many of the top-earners, especially female players, get much more. Players can negotiate with the club they play for until both parties agree on a contract. Contracts may or may not allow players to also earn from endorsements.
Gabrielle Reece is probably the female volleyball player with the biggest net worth ($10 million) even though she is no longer playing. She made a name for herself playing in tournaments and setting record after record but also has a successful modelling and acting career.