March 8, 2012

PSA's Demeanor and Recruiting


First of all thank you for the very informative site.  I don't think I would have a clue if I hadn't been following you over the last year or so.

Secondly, I have a 16 year old OH who plays on the top team of one of the top Clubs.  We are about to start our national traveling for the Qualifiers.  We are confident that our daughter's ability will give her a "looksey" from the D1 and DII representatives.  Our issue is she is hyper critical of her own play and has extremely poor body language when trying to fight through a poor hit, pass, or when blocked.  Sometimes it takes several points or even a game or two to shake it off.  Any advice or technique on how I can teach her to just let it go and move on?  I would hate for her to be passed over as a head case simply due to her own perfectionism. 
 Volleydad in training 

In my book, Inside College Volleyball, there is a section on the demeanor or attitudes of PSA's.  In the newer world of collegiate volleyball, college coaches are less willing to mentor or develop a player's mental character.  It is just easier for college coaches in today's athletic departments to cut and recruit, than develop; and that is if they bring in an athlete with a questionable attitude to start with!

Film her.  Seeing oneself on video is a humbling experience.  When I would see myself on video as a coach, it was an instant reminder/illustration of all things I needed to improve upon with my demeanor, attitude, physical posture, etc.  I thought I was OK, but seeing myself on video was more impactive than any person telling me.

Film just her; focus in upon her so she can really see how she 'looks' while she plays.  When you see those instances on film in which she is hyper self critical, have her watch it a few times.  Then, simply say, this is what college coaches are seeing in you - good physical skills sets, bad body language.  

College coaches will first evaluate talent; we want to make sure any recruit has the volleyball physical skill sets to make our collegiate program better.  Then we move on to attitude/demeanor because the last thing any college coach wants in today's professional environment is drama.  Drama creates problems and problems create job loss.


  1. Thanks for this advice. My daughter has a similar issue -- her body language suggests disinterest, but nothing could be further from the truth. We've talked with her about it, but she doesn't see it. Perhaps this tip will help.

  2. Thank you for this insight. I have copied and printed this for my own daughter. Hers is a little different situation though. Along about 6th grade she started drooping her is such a pet peeve of mine, poor posture. She is has such passion and heart for the game along with decent skills. She is getting some nice looks from DI and is trying to work on her posture. I have repeatedly told her that even though "I" know and "she" knows she has alot of energy etc., her posture says otherwise and that is all they will see. Thanks again.

  3. Just like in the post on site - Film her, Film her close, Film her so she knows she is the subject of the video so she has to see what she looks like. Film never lies and is humbling - So much so, I am always stunned how I look on film; you think you are good, then you see yourself and realize not so much!


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