September 14, 2011

Sitting out High School Volleyball - Focusing on Club

I have been receiving more and more inquiries about PSA's sitting out their high school seasons and focusing on club seasons as of late.  This seems to be a newer trend or topic, because when I started this site, the consideration was never raised.  On the surface, one would encourage VolleyFamilies to stay involved with high school athletics because of tradition and the positives of representing your school.  But, with the emergence of club volleyball into the premier developmental vehicle for training and scholarship exposure, along with length of the club season, more and more VolleyFamilies are questioning the logic of playing for a high school program which is not a positive situation.

Like College Volleyball coaches, there are a tremendous number of talented, dedicated and supportive High School Volleyball coaches.  Also like College Volleyball coaches, there are a handful of High School coaches which families do not want their daughter as a part of the team, for a variety of valid reasons.

While I never wish to give the easy way out to any athlete, because part of the joy of success is overcoming challenges and obstacles (in athletics and in life), I do not want to blindly tell a VolleyFamily to just gut it out because bad coaches can rob an athlete of the joy of a sport and thus eliminate them as a future advocate for Volleyball (or any sport).  Luckily, for those families which are in a tough high school position and have tried to work their way through a situation to find a positive comfort zone and can't, there is club volleyball to continue their involvement with our great sport.

To this end, please see a Question I received from a VolleyFamily, and note at the bottom a reference to a fall league for players not playing high school volleyball:

My daughter is a junior in high school and has played club ball since the 8th grade. She has always played DS/Libero. Her desire is to play college volleyball.  This year she tried out for varsity but didn't make it.  According to the coaches there wasn't enough room due to the number of Seniors on the team.  They would like her to be starting Libero on Junior Varsity but she would rather sit out this year and train for club due to the level of talent on the Junior Varsity team.  There is no club experience on the team and my daughter has indicated that she doesn't want to be pulled down.  What are your thoughts?  Thank you!!!!  S.W.

That is a tough call and I can see both sides of the argument.

I hate to advise turning down the volleyball repetitions in high school, but if the JV team is that bad and her club season starts early enough, then doing private lessons now to the start of club ball could be the better choice.

But, will her action of leaving the high school program be held against her next year by the varsity coach when she tries out again?

That being said, based on your information, I would say get private touches, and gear up for the club volleyball season.


Thanks for the quick response!!!!
 Its funny that you said that about the varsity coach.  My daughter met with them yesterday to let them know she decided to sit out this year in order to train for club season and they are literally begging her to play on JV. They are now giving her two days to make a decision when shes already told them shes not playing this year.  The coach told her that if she sits out this year, she wouldn't make varsity next year because they have a "2 year plan"?  I've never seen or heard of the plan.  

She also indicated that it would look bad on them if she sat out and then returned and she should do whats best for the school.  That she could train while playing?  They also mentioned the club she has been working with and stated what if she doesn't make the Elite team, then what?
The entire Varsity team is upset that she didn't make the team and there have been disciplinary actions taken on some of the team members because of their comments in inquiring why. All my daughter wants to do is play v-ball and get better...shes at an entirely different level than this Junior Varsity team...and as much as she loves to play, she simply will not do it.
Its funny how the Varsity coach told her that it would pretty much be my daughter and another young lady running the Varsity team next year.  Sounds like bribery?
I am really at the point of contacting the athletic director and the principal.   I have heard the horror stories of high school sports but never thought we would experience it ourselves. 
Thank you for your feedback!  S.W.
My suggestion is just to smile, be polite and step away from the high school program permanently.  With Club Volleyball running from November to July, she will only be missing a limited amount of touches on the ball and if she is already getting blackballed/bribed to stay with the high school program, then things don't bode well for next year.

I would not take it to the Principle/AD, just because nothing positive will happen.  The Coaches will spin it like they did everything they could to keep a player in the program.  From one perspective, we must see that the coaches are doing what they can to have the best of both worlds which is a great Libero for the JV team this year and a great Libero for the Varsity team next year. 

Stay above the fray, thank them for their feedback and prepare for the club season.  Good does not come from negative.

Thank you:)  Before I received your e-mail, my daughter indicated to me that there was no need to contact the AD or Principal.  She looks forward to the privates and possibly a club league that we found for club players that are not playing high school volleyball.  Looking forward to another exciting season!!! S.W.
Would you send me the parameters of this club league you found?  With all the politics and poor coaches to be found in HS VB, I have recommended passing on high school volleyball on many occasions, so I am curious to see what is developing?

Hi Coach,
So far we've found the Wave Volleyball Club (Encinitas, Calif.) and Temecula Valley Viper Volleyball Club (Temecula Calif.)....if you pull up their websites, both clubs call the program VolleyHigh.  I'm not sure of the competitiveness but I know the Wave produces top notch players!!!  Hope this helps you!  S.W.
Thanks - good info!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    My daughter tried out for club vb and did not make the team. She is fairly new to volleyball and have attended most all of the camps offered through this club. There aren't many clubs in the area. What do you suggest?


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