August 24, 2012

Volleyball Tryout Question

Hi Coach,

I'm 14 and I'm looking to join a club team in my area for the first time (15u). Yes, I know, that is somewhat... late, but I'm not looking to be crazy spectacular. I just want to play for the sake of volleyball. 

At school I played middle, which I thought was ridiculous considering I'm 5'3. I'm an average attacker, a pretty good libero and a decent setter, since I get help every lunch during the school year from older students who are on the 18u provincial team. I'm not sure what to expect from the tryout in September. How should I prepare for tryouts with just a month left and with barely any equipment? 


You have a volleyball?  You have a wall?  Is there a net anywhere that you can use; open gym, beach court, church court?  Then you can improve!  There is no volleyball serving range, or volleyball hitting cage, but that does not mean we cannot create our own environments to improve.

As for club, with your height and age, I would look to play the setter or Libero position.  In a pinch, you could be a passing outside hitter.    Height dictates positions within volleyball and being a shorter stature, you would do better in one of the ball control positions (Setter, Libero, Passing Outside Hitter)

Never too late for club; freshman year is a great year to start club, and if you have been playing school volleyball, then you will be able to hold your own and transition to the club style.

As a setter/libero, it is all about ball control.  In a real sense, you need to master controlling the ball.  

Have someone serve you balls, play pepper endlessly with a parent/friend, attend camps or schedule personal trainings which are focused on ball control, go play doubles on a sand court (it is still August and in my book, the Summer lasts until September 1st), pass and set the ball against a wall, lay in bed and set the ball straight up 100 times without losing control, serve balls at your dog while it is running around the back yard, move all the living room furniture to the walls so you can practice diving and rolling endlessly, go into a gym and hit ball down against the wall to work on your armswing, then step up and do 50 jump sets in a row against that same wall, duct tape your annoying little brother against the outside of your house and throw a ball onto the roof, and when it rolls back down you pass it to your brother since he is the passing target!

It may not be perfect training, you may not have a bunch of players together with a coach, but you do have desire and a volleyball.  Phil Dalhauser has a gold medal in his pocket and basically taught himself to play in Florida!

If your touch is good, then you can handle and succeed at any tryout as a setter or libero.

Coach Matt Sonnichsen

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