May 14, 2013

A Good Volleyball Player

There are two ways in which a player becomes good at Volleyball.  They are either born with the talent or they make changes to improve their skill sets.

When I say good, I mean good.  That word gets tossed around so much within Volleyball and has become overused - everyone is good because nobody can be called bad or even average without chastisement from the 'everybody is a winner' community.  Good is the player who can play the game at a high level, with the combination of physical and volleyball skill sets.

Some players are just gifted with this high level ability - they pick up the skills easily, it comes naturally to them, and then they have the physical traits to apply these skills in a commanding way.  There are many good players which fall into this category.

The remaining good players are those who take their average skills (physical and volleyball) but make the changes necessary to reach that elite level of play. This is the simple, yet hard part of becoming a good player.  Coaches tell players all the time what they need to change in order to improve, players see other players who they themselves deem as good, with America's strength and conditioning obsessed sports culture, there are a plethora of trainers who will tell you and show you how to get more physical.  The point of separation is those players who make the change.  In the end, a player's ability to become good is solely their responsibility and solely under their control.

I see so many athletes in the high school summer road camps I conduct, that I believe are almost good or could be good.  But.......they won't make the changes necessary to be good.  Since my summer road camps are relatively inexpensive, and it is only a 2 day commitment by the player, I can almost understand the rationale by them to just phone it in.  

What I can't understand are the club players whose family is spending thousands of dollars, and traveling nationally and most often in pursuit of a collegiate playing opportunity, not making the changes necessary to become good.  There are dedicated coaches, dedicated volleyball-only facilities, video analysis, statistical analysis, hundreds of playing opportunities, age group tournaments to allow mimicking of older players, etc.  

I suggest, and excuse how radical this must sound, that parents must be active in the encouragement application of this change to become good.  A coach gets the player for 2 hours and a parent gets the players for 2 hours in traffic on the way home at least!  Players need to hear from Mom/Dad that to achieve the goal of becoming good that they must apply all the opportunities to become good.  There are a lot of good things which come with becoming good.

If you are a player, make the changes necessary to become good.  And if you are a VolleyParent, either by hook or by crook, find a way to 'assist' your PSA in becoming good.


2 comments:

  1. AnonymousMay 14, 2013

    Another great topic! By the way, when will you post your Summer Road Camp schedule?

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  2. Thank you for this piece. Forces me to address the way I evaluate talent and the actions words to reinforce positivity. Since I have come across this website, great job and grateful, its great to see a 'checks and balances' sort of tool. I respect your body of work and appreciate ambassadors of this sport selfless service.

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