December 10, 2011

"Not Waiting for Bigger and Supposedly Better!"


    I bought your book and loved it.The book really is useful. It's just too bad( too good?) I didn't hardly get to use it! I was just getting all the ducks in a row and my kid decides to commit. After several hundred "Are you sure?"s ,we let it sink in...

    My daughter is a 2013  5'11'' OH. According to one assistant coach from a fairly prominent program said in a contact letter to our JO coach,"...shows good jump strength and ability to hit to all parts of the court". Now when these first contact letters show up of course everyone is giddy at the prospect of a scholarship. In retrospect, especially after reading your book, my advice echoes yours, CALL the coach,assistant coach, don't think that returning the contact profile is enough.These coaches want to hear why you're interested in going to their school and not just for volleyball. When I finally convinced my daughter to start re-establishing contact with these programs, we start hearing about certain schools have already filled the recruiting class for that year. Some of the others appear to be in no hurry...perplexing!

   So,when dealing with the sixteen year old mind and trying to figure out anything that really interests them AND having them relate it back to you... it is a triumph to finally have them make a decision. Her decision and I think it was masterfully played by the local D1(let's call it a low end mid major) to the point at which I think they were actually surprised my kid chose them. They did make the first offer but told my daughter to go and take visits and make sure she really wants to go there. So they played the ole "set her free and if she comes back...she's yours!" I take wry satisfaction in the fact that we had enough contact with them that they heard about nearly every visit we had taken. I'll be sure to remind them when they get overconfident. In our mind this program appears to be turning a corner and we're happy to be a medium fish in a medium pond.   

     Back to the book, we had taken a few game visits in, a ranked D3,several D1(ranked in the top 50) and several low end D1s. I was convinced she would have many more offers would show up once we started JO tournaments. I was preparing for more visits and "wham" she decided to commit. End of planning, timeline gone to hell... free to enjoy the JO season (except I have a 6'1' eighth grader coming up!). I could go on and on.


   Have you any opinion or advice on the intensity of play in committed PSAs?

 Can you suggest any books on coaching,drills and strategy?

Something for when I can't pick the brains of our JO coach. I may actually try to help.


 Volleydad Interrupted

Congratulations on your VolleyPSA's commitment and her finding the best fit for her future.  I hope the book is at least casual reading material from now on for you and other VolleyFamilies!

1.  She still has a bunch of time before needing to focus for the collegiate transition.  Right now, I would just let her continue to develop her skills along their traditional time lines.  As a mid-point Junior, she still has improvements to make in her game which will occur as a by product of getting stronger, physically more mature and applying her past experiences to her current abilities.

2.  When she hits the 18 club year, then you want to start to project her needs for collegiate success. For example, is she going to be expected to be a passing left side hitter, a front to back opposite player, just a hammer front row?  The answers to these questions are to be found with her future college coach, but don't ask them until she starts club her senior year.  One thing I would emphasize is just to keep improving ball control - Too many players get wrapped up in life in front of the three meter line - Ball control is the silent skill which gets kids on the court.

3.  As for coaching - I would try to get to as many collegiate games as you can before the end of the college season, which is already upon us and even more important, go watch collegiate practices; this is better than any tape or book (other than mine) or strategy.  Just go watch collegiate teams train - When I go to the National Championships, the only thing I really want to see is the Final Four teams practice, even though it is a light, one hour workout.

Also, as you alluded too....enjoy this club season.  It is really a stress free year because her decision is made, but you really don't need to start preparing for the upcoming collegiate transition.  Enjoy the ride.

Congratulations once again!

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