November 21, 2013

Senior Setter and Club Volleyball

Hi Coach,

Appreciate your words of wisdom.  I have a senior setter who is verbally committed to a D1 school, and interestingly, the D1 coach has only seen her on film.  She has worked very hard and we are very fortunate.  She played 18 open last year as a 17 year old, and they qualified for Junior Nationals.  She has played for the same club since she was 11 and had either 1 of the 2 owners of the club as a coach (and all 4 years at high school -1 of the club owners is the school coach) for all but 2 of her seasons.

For her last club season, our daughter is interested in pursuing another club to get some "new/different" coaching, as well as potentially play for a club with a little less aggressive tournament schedule.  We are worried our daughter, who believes she "has it made"  (certainly not until the NLI is signed in Nov), is considering a "2nd tier club" so that she can take a break from the arduous club season, but in doing so, might be sending the wrong signals to her new team/coaching staff.

Is this a good idea to avoid burnout prior to the rigorous college program?  We have advised her to ask her new coach his opinion... A good idea?

Thank you in advance for your reply.


All and all, not a bad idea for her to pump the brakes a bit and go with a slightly lower club before jumping into the grind of college volleyball.  If she has developed her skill sets the point of being at a DI level, and can hold those skill sets without having to travel as much as elite clubs tend to travel these days, then she will be fine.  It is unusual that she received a DI scholarship offer without the head coach seeing her in person!

I would not ask the college coach, because he would most likely want her on the most competitive team possible but their goals and hers/yours are different.  DI is all about winning and grinding out the players to achieve that goal.  Your daughters seems to be about enjoying the game, keeping skill sets sharp and keeping balance before entering that DI craziness.

Don't over think the situation but respect what your daughter is conveying; she needs to gear down for a bit and wants to enjoy her senior year.  

The reality is, no matter if your daughter plays on the #1 club team in the country or steps away completely from junior volleyball, the college coaches will judge her based upon her performance once she arrives on campus.  

If this potential club change during the senior year allows her to arrive in a physical/mental state to perform at her maximum level, then great.  If this new direction her senior year results in her not performing at an acceptable DI collegiate level, then she will be cut.

From your information, I would support your VolleySetter's desire to go with a new club and recharge the batteries before college.  As long as she is getting good coaching and playing in a respectable number/quality of tournaments, then she should be OK.


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