October 7, 2011

VolleyFolk Feedback on Sitting out High School Volleyball.


My daughter is a junior and past the September 1 deadline. I do have another daughter who is a freshman. But I am only representing the junior in this case.

I think sitting out high school volleyball is more complex than what has been presented on prep volleyball and other sites. I know I have had this conversation with many other parents.

My daughter plays on a team that was ranked in the top five in the country. For many of the girls playing super-competitive volleyball, they give up everything in high school for 6 months of club. In my daughter's case (not unusual from other top teams) she practiced 3 to 4 days a week, plus we typically left at 3 pm on Fridays and did not return until late on Sunday night. So for 6 months this means not doing things with friends, missing the swirl dance, possibly missing prom, and etc. It means little more than volleyball and homework.

Having said all that she loves volleyball, loves the girls on her team (and these become her friends), I am fortunate that I really enjoy the parents. No drama and it has been a great experience.

As soon as she is home from nationals, varsity volleyball starts. She is a leader on the team and feels obligated to go to everything. She will be done with HS volleyball one week and tryouts for club start. There is no downtime.

I as a parent am worried about over-use and burnout. So the option to sit out a senior year after being committed has some appeal. It is the one chance for her to have a high school experience, to do the fall play, to hang-out with friends, etc. I think this is part of the reason girls are at least considering it.

She really likes her HS coach, and my guess is will never let her down. She has played varsity for 3 years and I can’t imagine that she would not play next year. But this represents a view-point that I am hearing.


That is why I believe we are seeing more and more PSA's pass on High School Volleyball.  Club is the dominant device for training and pursuing a scholarship for College Volleyball.  High School Volleyball can be wonderful but it is not the vehicle to the next level.

I will say that once a player gets to college, life is much simpler and the NCAA has rules which limit the amount of time involved with the team, so players can have a life outside of the sport.  Some coaches don't honor this rule, but the vast majority of us do and understand the importance of balance.


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