Coach Matt: Something happened between my volley daughter and I last week that made me go back and reread you article on "Change". I started following your blog a couple of years ago, have followed your book, and have written to you a couple of times when I've had concerns ("How much practice is to much"). You've always given me good advice. My daughter is a 16, sophomore, 6'1" outside for a top traveling club team. She's been playing club since she was 12. She's not top 10 college good, but she's top 100 good. This last semester has been a real grind on her. Volleyball 3 days a week, gone on Fridays to tournaments, up untilmidnightdoing homework and making up assignments and tests. Putting a ton of time into her school work and as such her grades have gone from straight A's to A pluses in all AP classes. But almost no outside life. Last week she came to me and said "Dad I need to talk to you". " I want to make some changes". So I'm thinking that after all the thousands of hours this kid has put into volleyball, she wants to quit. Well, whatever she wants to do, we'll support her. She continues with, "I'm no Bailey Webster (yes we get the Longhorn Network), I'm not 6'3' and don't have an 11 foot vertical. And there is no NFL of volleyball after college". So...wait for it. "Rather than go to college to play volleyball, I want to use volleyball to get into a better academic school". Then she pulls out a folder that on the front has a list of top academic schools and their NCAA volleyball rank. Most of them are down close to the 300's in volleyball rank. She opens the folder and has copies of responses to her e-mails (1 response each per NCAA rules, but all of them saying they are very interested). "Dad, your not going to be mad about this?" Well, lets see. My daughter plays volleyball at bla-bla college vs my daughter goes to Princeton, or Dartmouth, or Yale. Are you kidding me, no brainer, I love it. It's still a long road for her to get where she wants to go, but you got to love a kid with a plan. The point of this e-mail is just what you say in a lot of your blogs. As a player, find your strengths and weaknesses. Work on you weaknesses, but play on your strengths.
And change isn't always a bad thing................S.E. What a great situation - Congrats on having a daughter smart enough to use her brain, in addition to her brawn. She is absolutely correct; pick the best academic situation that your athletic ability allows.
Now, target your recruiting efforts towards the academic realm she wants - I wish you the very best and congratulations on seeing the better picture!