April 18, 2011

Volleyball Question Mailbag Madness on a Monday Morning!

I really appreciate your blog….a quick question; we don’t have video yet, but are getting a lot of letters from coaches that have seen my daughter play at qualifiers.  If we send an e-mail back to the colleges my daughter is interested, if they have already watched her play, is it still a good idea to include video? L.Z.

Yes, always include any video you may have.  If you are 'working' on one, just note that in the reply email and then get the link to them when you can.  

For some reason, college coaches are manic about video; practice video, match video, recruit video, etc....can't get enough video.  With the advanced email systems, the coaches will probably log your daughter into the appropriate recruiting class in an email folder and then be able to review her as they rank their recruits.  

While many college coaches will take video, the video provided by recruits is usually better because it is edited and/or shot in a controlled environment.

So I am going to be trying out for a D3 volleyball team next year and I am a libero. In high school I was the starting libero and my team went to state and had a good showing. However there are many girls my same age trying out for the same position do you have any advise to get ahead of them somehow? Anonymous

Ah, the joy of competing for a roster spot.  

Breakdown what your position does, and then focus on increasing your skill sets to the highest level.  As a Libero, your physical skill sets are serve receive, and then defense (and serving but don't allocate too much time to this).  Your mental skill sets are to be comfortable owning your space on the Volleyball court and leading the back row play your team mates.

My suggestions:

1.  It does not sound as if you are playing club - This may not hurt you as much in DIII as you transition, but the possibility is that other players were on club teams.  Assume that your competition was and you need to play catch up by playing as much Volleyball as possible between now and the tryout.

2.  Watch film of your high school matches with a critical eye towards your performance. Did you move your feet, did you dominate your passing zone, did you go after every ball, did you direct/lead your team mates backrow?

3.  Find a couple of elite level camps which are focused on Liberos where you can fine tune your technique and get high level instructions combined with maximum reps.

4.  When you arrive to the tryout, carry yourself like you are the absolute best Libero in the history of that school and then outwork every other player, while staying positive and leading your team mates back row.  Old Saying - Good Luck is the residue of hard work.  

My question is, my daughter is playing in a club volleyball tournament and one of the opposing teams is coached by a ncaa division 1 coach. These are high school aged girls and just wanted to check and see if this is a violation of any sorts?

Thank you, J.

No, crazy as it seems, it is not illegal for NCAA Volleyball coaches to coach Club Volleyball.  Please click here to see an earlier post about the same question.

Can taking stats be accurate when some players only play for a few minutes and others play the entire game? Anonymous

I sincerely doubt it.  Volleyball is a fast paced game and there are many stats to try and capture.  To do so with players, who are (or should be) focused on the game (which is different than focused on the stats) does not lend itself towards accurate stats.  My favorite stats visual is when the coach flies off the bench about something, turns and yells for a player to sub in, who then launches the clipboard and pen towards the Sport Court where it flies up and into the lap of Grandma who just then realizes she is watching the wrong court!

Best way to do accurate stats is via film.

Dear Coach,

I'm starting to really understand the importance of being a "team player". We have 10 studs on our team (best in the state for their age group). We have not lost locally in our age group for a long time.  However, on the national level we face better teams and it's clear we have many things to work on. It's during these times of adversity I see two types of players (I'm sure there are more---just what is in the forefront). 

Type 1 - Blames themselves and is VERY disappointed and visibly upset they didn't do more for the team to pull out the win.   Type 2 - Points the fingers at other players, talking behind team members, making negative statements and/or states if they had more opportunities they could've 'carried the team'.  In the end---the team chemistry is really off and can be felt from the bench!

What/How do you handle these types of players at the next level???  S.

I cut them if they are a Type 2.

What you have related is usually the case when a college coach takes over a program.  Most new arriving coaches are taking over train wrecks of a college team and most often these train wrecks are not caused by talent, they are caused by chemistry.  Even a group of marginally talented college players with great attitudes and chemistry can become a very good NCAA team.

I work very hard in my recruiting process to try and look through the personality x-ray machine to see if a person is a Type 1 or a Type 2.  The 2's kill teams and kill careers - The 1's make the low pay worth it.

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