My name is Karen. I have played volleyball since seventh grade and grew up watching my father, helped train my sister and have an aspiring daughter in the works.I want to become a coach but don't know where to start. How would I go about doing this? Do I need a certification? If you could help me out, I would greatly appreciate your advice.
I would imagine that there are any number of former players or VolleyFolks which have fallen in love with the sport of Volleyball, who want to contribute as a coach. It can be daunting to figure out how to make this objective a reality, if you are not already within the coaching system or pipeline.
When we think of non-collegiate coaching, there are two avenues:
1. Club Volleyball - This would probably be the quickest route into coaching (and you can get paid!!). As you are just breaking in, you would probably start as an assistant with a younger team and work your way up with experience. You can just Google "USA Volleyball region in "your state" to get the regional website for your area or go to usavolleyball.org and link through to the Juniors page.. At this website, you can get a listing of all the Junior Volleyball teams and start contacting clubs. I would actually do this rather quickly because the administration for Club Volleyball teams are getting things going now and selecting coaches for the upcoming season.
When you contact the Club Directors, just briefly let them know your background and ask if they would have any openings with within their program. As you are new and just starting out, I would think your opportunity would be as an assistant or co-coach with one of the younger developmental teams. Many times the opportunities available will depend on the size of the club and the club's access to facilities. With the continued growth of Club Volleyball, this can be a realistic avenue to becoming a Volleyball coach.
2. School Volleyball - A number of private schools will have part time or lay coaches who just coach the teams in the afternoon, including assistant coaches. As we are currently in the High School Volleyball season, you would need to pursue this option at the end of the spring semester and during the summer for next fall. If you want to coach at a public school, then you would most likely need to be a teacher within the school system.
Some Junior High schools, may also allow lay coaches, as Junior High Volleyball can be a bit more relaxed. The only way to find out is to reach out to these schools to see if they would have an opportunity to coach.
As for a certificate, USA Volleyball has something called the Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP Series) where they provide some basic to advanced education which looks good on a resume or entering club coaching. You can find out details on the usavolleyball.org website. This program is traditionally run via Regions, so it many times will be within a locality close to you.