This year our daughter is slotted for the HS varsity setter position, and last year she swung up and played a handful of matches for the varsity team, running a 5-1. She has played club since age 10, back row and has been setting for 3 years. Also plays Beach during the summer months, so knows the game well. Does track as a second sport also.
Right now she is attending HS Summer Practices,twice a week, and is performing exceptionally well. Coach has even complemented her on her “all around skills”, and that she is impressed and that she has already out performed her prior setter (she had for 3 years), BUT that she lacks in Leadership and Discipline.
My daughter said she talks on the court, and I see her running a good offense and making good choices, but she said she isnot sure how to take on the “boss” role to juniors and seniors. The coach has told her point blank, these two qualities are far more important than overall skill. Coach is a former college setter (didn't play much) is young and intense. I’m sure my daughter will receive excellent coaching, but my concern is her setting personality does not match the coaches. I want her to have a good experience and feel like she is being picked apart. My advice (being a prior club coach and player), is for her to ask her coach specifically what she needs her to do on the court in regards to leadership. She should build a relationship with the coach on and off the court, so she can get to know her personally.
Her main concern is to gain respect of her teammates, but not carry the torch of the previous setter, who was not well received by any of her teammates. I realize HS is much different than club, almost more political- so I want her to start on a good note and get the respect she wants from her teammates. What are your thoughts? I want to share them with her.
By the way love your web-site, I drop in periodically to catch up, and we also got your book last summer too- starting to dive into it now that our daughter is 15, going to be a sophomore.
P.S. Thanks for the advice last year to go ahead with our family vacation to Cabo instead of Nationals! It was definitely the right choice.
Glad Inside College Volleyball has helped and that you went to Cabo, instead of Nationaal!!! I would rather go to Cabo 7 days a week and twice on Sunday!
A few items jumped out at me in reading your email, and my feedback is after the quote:
1. "She has played club since age 10, back row and has been setting for 3 years. Also plays Beach during the summer months, so knows the game well." - She has talent and a breadth of experience; don't discount or forget about this when viewing her current situation.
2. "Does track as a second sport also." - You may need to rethink Track as the second sport; even though there may not be impact injuries like Basketball, you need to protect her from physically wearing down, especially if she is wanting to play college volleyball.
3. "BUT that she lacks in Leadership and Discipline." - This is a nebulous remark/criticism by the coach. That is like a coach saying "you need to do more". Poor coaches give poor feedback.
4. "how to take on the “boss” role to juniors and seniors." - This is the same question every underclassmen has when trying to lead; no different for High school or College kids. The rare, rare underclassmen may have the gift to just step in like a charismatic General Patton, but most players (myself included) had to grow into the role.
5. "The coach has told her point blank, these two qualities are far more important than overall skill." - I disagree to a point. If she does not have skill, then the players won't respect her; without skill there is not going to be respect.
6. "Coach is a former college setter (didn't play much) is young and intense" - This explains quite a bit, and should always be in the back of your mind when considering her coach/situation.
7. "My advice (being a prior club coach and player), is for her to ask her coach specifically what she needs her to do on the court in regards to leadership. " - Good advice; get specific feedback from the coach.
8. "She should build a relationship with the coach on and off the court, so she can get to know her personally." - Bad advice; she needs to keep the interaction 'professional' not personal; the coach is young, and the older players will be jealous (among a hundred other reasons not to get too close with any coach).
9. "Her main concern is to gain respect of her teammates" - I think she should change her focus to being a great setter. If she is running a good offense (making the correct choice and putting the hitters in a position to get a kill), working hard on the court, staying positive and encouraging her team mates (which can be loud or quiet, verbal or pats on the back), then her team mates will give her the respect. Respect is a byproduct of other characteristics - Too many athletes and coaches put the respect cart in front of the characteristic's horse.