June 30, 2014

Managing Club Volleyball......

Hi Coach,

Always enjoy your site.  Awesome resource for parents to get potential answers to questions that they can not always ask their daughter's volleyball coaches.

Our daughter is 16 and decided that she wanted to switch clubs for her 16s club season.  No real issues with the old club just a friend of hers persuaded her to switch to a new club with her.  As parents, we went along with her wishes.

So owning a copy of your book, I followed your 16s recruiting guide and started our college out reach program.  By the way, our daughter is a 5'10" hitter who is a versatile player.  She can set and play all positions on the court.  She started to gather some interest from respected D2 schools during her 15s club season with the old club.  Ok, so we have received good interest from the lower D1 and respected D2 schools from our out reach efforts.  Many schools have showed up to watch our daughter this year at her tournaments.

Now for the challenge.  My daughter was playing all 6 rotations with the new club early in the season and doing well.  Towards the middle of the season she started playing less and less.  College coaches are coming by to watch her play and she is often not on the court.  Some of the schools have told me they have come by to watch and my daughter was not on the court.  Both my daughter and I have spoken to her club coaches for feedback.  All we get is my daughter is a great player and doing really well and they are happy to have her on the team.  We have come to the conclusion that club politics have come into play and that we made a bad business decision with switching clubs.

The main purpose of me reaching out to you is not to focus on the problem but rather how do we recover and move forward?  There are a dozen or so schools that expressed an interest in my daughter and plan to come watch her play in the season ending national tournaments.  My daughter is very frustrated and fears schools will come by to watch and she will not be on the court.  She has received several invites from schools to attend their camps.  We have never raised her to be a quitter but are starting to wonder if her time and our money might be better spent skipping season ending national tourney and attending some of these college camps?  Please provide any helpful resolutions to our situation.

Very confused Volley Family.

Thank you for the compliments on my site and for purchasing Inside College Volleyball!

You illustrated a good point - This is a business and right now, your family is in the business of trying to put your daughter in the best possible recruiting position.  You must make the best business decision with regards to Nationals.

I would request a meeting with the club director one more time and express your expectations for Nationals.  Clearly explain that a number of collegiate programs (and have these programs listed) are actively recruiting your daughter and there is concern that in recent tournaments, she was not playing.  

In an effort to provide the best evaluation opportunity for your daughter at Nationals, you are requesting that, she play at least one game per match.  Reference the fact that she was playing all the way around earlier in the season, and she has the skill sets to be currently recruited by lower DI and upper DII programs.  You are requesting a minimum of 1 game per match, so you can communicate to collegiate coaches that she will play each match, so they know when they come by the team's court, she will eventually play.  You are not asking her to start, just have the opportunity in one game to demonstrate her skills to collegiate coaches.

If the club cannot accommodate your request, then I do think it would be better to re-allocate that money towards attending the camps of your best interactive schools and/or join a sand league or obtain private lessons to target specific areas of improvement.

Not being on the court at Nationals is not a recruiting elimination situation, but it will make coaches wonder why, especially when they are getting their last look before summer.

If you do attend Nationals, and your daughter ends up on getting the playing time hoped/requested, then she needs to make warm-ups her match.  She needs to go full tilt in warm ups to demonstrate her skill sets to the college coaches at the court.  Any number of college coaches like to watch warm-ups because it allows us to quickly get a look at what that team has; if your daughter is flying and banging balls, then she will grab the attention of these coaches.  College coaches do know that club volleyball can be a political animal, which is one reason we watch warm-ups, so we can see all the players!

Good luck and communicate with the club director, then make your best decision!

Coach Sonnichsen

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 01, 2014

    This could be a good, but not a great argument for players to consider attending showcases. This situation will not happen.


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