I play volleyball for a Division III school. This is actually my first year playing, and I'm very nervous. I'm a walk-on, and a sophomore. Last time I played volleyball competitively was as a Junior in high school. Throughout high school, I also played club volleyball, too. I have a lot of dedication in that I want to play, I really don't want to be on the bench (though I acknowledge that it is a possibility). I was wondering if you had any tips for me?
Yes, work very hard physically, apply whatever the coach tells you, and be positive. If any of my collegiate players would do those three things, then I would have played them and kept them on the team as a valuable player.
As simple as this sounds, this is just what every college coach wants.
Too many times, players will lose sight of these three simple things to be successful. It is when players get focused on other areas, or lose focus on these basic tenets that bad things happen.
Work Hard - Volleyball is a physical game, and to be successful in competition the players have to exert tremendous effort in practice. I don't know if it is today's app based technology life, but players seem to think they can just show up and be good, they can just walk into the gym and win. College coaches, and I am sure all coaches, hate lazy players. A talented player who is lazy, is a supreme waste of volleyball'ness.
Apply What You Are Told - Coaches don't coach players to hear their own voice. They don't set up drills to target individual and team weaknesses because they are bored during the mornings. They are giving you the feedback necessary to improve as a players, and thus improve the team. It always astounds me when players complain about not playing or are unhappy with their role, when they won't apply what the coach is telling them. Coaches want you to get better, they need you to get better, but they can't 'make' you better.
Be Positive - Negativity is selfish and a Karma Killer. Be positive; not only with your team mates, but with yourself. If you have a good attitude, then this attitude can and will influence your team mates to play well. If you have a good attitude, you will improve faster. If you have a good attitude, you will move quicker through mistakes and challenging situations.