November 2, 2011

Hi coach,

I'm a parent of a twin high school juniors and both have had their share of adversity this year.  Last year, as sophomores, they both were starters.  They have been on elite club teams and rarely sat on the bench their entire career.   This summer, my daughter, who is a setter attended the 9 day Sports Performance Setters Academy.  She came out with great hands and was ready to get back and play high school again.  
We visited a few small colleges where we thought she might fit in and play.  The coaches are still communicating with her and asking for video.  However, the high school coach decided to play a 5-1 this year and let the senior setter start.  My daughter is sitting the bench and rarely sees the floor.  This is her junior year and we aren't getting video as she's not playing.  
The three negatives she sees is that, one - coaches will wonder why there is no video, 2 - if they see she's not playing, they will scratch her off immediately, and 3 - with no court time, she won't be ready to compete for a top position at club tryouts.
When she asked the coach what she could do to get more playing time, she just told her to talk on the court more. 
She has picked up her court communication in practice and still no playing time.  She's still asking the coach, but is not getting any answers or help from her.   How can my daughter respond to the college coach's request for video? 

Thank you for your response - M.

I am traveling now, so my reply will be a bit brief.  I know it is frustrating with the high school situation but college coaches are more concerned with Club Volleyball.  I know you maybe feeling pressure for the video requests but these are not as dire as they seem.  This is the time of year which college coaches are trying to finish their own season in a strong fashion and recruiting tends to slow down.
1.  Make a skills video after your PSA's high school practice with your own video equipment and send that off. As she completed the SPRI setting camp, this will show her skills better than a high school game.  Keep the video camera handy at her high school matches, so when/if she goes in to set, you can capture that on video.  If college coaches question what is going on, just let them know that the high school coach is using the senior.   College coaches understand the parental/coach politics of high school volleyball and we don't read too much into anything with high school volleyball.
2.  I would be stunned if a college coach would cut a PSA from their recruiting efforts because of high school craziness; again, we understand this stuff.
3. Get her some private lessons, through her club or a local clubs, to keep her skills sharp and make up for what is going on with high school.  Also, make sure she is going hard in practice and not getting frustrated, which can result in going through the motions.  Whatever setting touches she gets in practice, she needs to make sure she is maximizing these opportunities.  She will be touching a ball in practice; don't waste these touches.  Even though they are not match touches, they are better than not getting any repetitions. 
Just get through this season, work hard to keep her skills sharp, tell college coaches the high school coach is playing the senior and wait for club. Lots of time left in the process and club volleyball is the dominant vehicle for college volleyball recruiting.

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