September 26, 2011

Volleyball Training - Preparing for High School Volleyball and (possibly) College

Good day Coach, I really enjoyed getting your book and although I am ahead of when I actually need it, it is proving to be good reading.

The question I have is that my daughter is 12 years old and is 5’11” and 145 lbs already. I am 6’6” and her mom is 5’10’ it is safe to say, she could still get taller. She loves volleyball and out here in Arizona, as she leaves middle school, team roster size is limited and so those girls who have played at this school for a number of years will get playing time and those who have just moved here, will get limited playing time.

What can I do now to get her the proper training skills training so I can start to work with her as she enters high school and then college? We are planning on sending her to Volleyball camp in Los Angeles and maybe you know of what we should do to prepare her for play in the college days ahead. Any help you can give me would be deeply appreciated. 

Regards, S.G.

Thank you for purchasing a copy of Inside College Volleyball and I am happy to hear you enjoy it!

In your email, you did not mention Club Volleyball but only School Volleyball. Club Volleyball is the best avenue for developing skills and preparing young players for high school and hopefully college. Club Volleyball, while expensive, presents the most opportunity for team and individual practice, tournament competition and an established routine for players to develop over the longer term of the club season.

College Volleyball camps tend to be short term bursts of caffeine, which can help a player get better with a specific skill or give them a burst of energy in their summer training routine by being on a college campus and being with older players (high school and college age). But, as Volleyball is a sport which develops skill over a multitude of repetitions, it is hard for a couple day camp to really establish proper habits - The camp can illustrate these proper skill habits and give a quick imprint, but it is the longer week in and week out of proper skill training which establishes good skills.
As she looks to be tall and possibly getting taller, the best thing you can do is put her in an environment which is positive, teaches proper skills and provides maximum, healthy of repetitions. Since you are in Arizona, you should be in a position to access any number of quality Club Volleyball programs (Arizona has a number of very good club teams which produce a great players).  Visit the USA Volleyball site and click the link for Regions or Junior Volleyball; you are trying to get to home page for the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball.
Lastly, I would not even talk about College Volleyball with her, unless she brings it up and even then, it should only be referenced as something positive which would be a wonderful possibility. Even though the recruiting trend is now reaching down into day care (I read in Volleyball Magazine about a college coach commenting positively about recruiting 8th graders), this just creates way too much pressure and mental baggage for the pre-high school VolleyFamilies.
I commend you for looking ahead and contemplating how to empower your daughter, but I caution you to do no more than provide nourishment to her desires. I see too many parents, because they can see the larger picture, who push too hard, who stress too much, who do too much of what should be discovered by their PSA's!

Hope that helped and good luck!

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