I am the parent of an incoming freshman - lower D1 school.
The coaches did warn us all girls (at one point or another) "Hitting the Wall".
She's been gone for 6 weeks already- extensive training and summer school.
Well, it finally happened. (mentally and physically spent)
Can you explain what "Hitting the Wall" is, and how do coaches help them through?
What you have illustrated is an unwelcome change in the protocol of NCAA Division I Volleyball; having incoming freshman report in summer for team training/school. I never agreed with it because I don't think the majority of freshman are ready for that transition to occur so soon - It is tough enough when it is August and they go into a traditional semester setting, much less the disconnect of summer activity/studies.
Hitting the Wall is exactly what you illustrated - She is fried mentally and physically.....and the season is just beginning. It takes a huge amount of focus and will power to get thru early arrival summer because the workouts are tough, the summer school classes are compressed with massive amounts of information to process in a few weeks, and then the coaches demand the players participate in open gym or pick up play. It can be a challenge for returners; for freshman, they do well for about 4 weeks because of adrenalin....then they start to fade, right when they need to ramp up for double days of the pre-season training!
What do college coaches do to help? The majority of them....not much. DI Volleyball is survival of the fittest at most schools and if an incoming freshman can't handle it, then they will just replace her with another incoming player next year. The coaches are concerned about getting the players into the best physical and volleyball condition as to win matches; when the coaches win, they keep their jobs, get raises or get better jobs. When they lose, they get fired. The emotional well being of a freshman pales in comparison to job security and money.
As harsh as this sounds, she needs to suck it up and power through the challenge. Best suggestion I have is for her to simplify her life. She should be focused on three things; eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, and working hard in the gym. When school starts, then she adds academics to this equation.
Too many freshman athletes don't realize how much 'waste' occurs in their daily or weekly routine and this waste will wear them down. Are they consuming the proper diet - Complex carbs, fruits and smaller servings with plenty of water? Are they sleeping 8+ hours? Are they getting ice or therapy when a body part is sore or tender? Are they staying off their feet in between workouts or at night? Too many kids will stay up late, make a junk food run with their buddies, go to a party, not get soreness treated, text with their boyfriend/sister/friend at all hours, etc.
NCAA Division I volleyball is professional - Simply put, as a full scholarship athlete, you are at that school because of your volleyball ability. It is my belief that too many families think college will be just the next step up from club because they may have played on a good club team, or their club team went to a few Qualifiers. DI Volleyball is a huge jump from club volleyball - Huge time demands, huge physical demands, intense pressure and crazy travel scenarios (and possibly, even crazier coaches!).
As to your baby girl, tell her to keep things simple - eat well, get a good block of sleep at night, take care of any physical issues with the trainer and work hard in they gym. When classes start and the team starts traveling, she will be in a better mental state.