April 13, 2015

Playing Position Switch

Hi Coach,

My daughter came to me with a question regarding staying with her current middle blocker position and the likleyhood she would be able to compete in that same position as she gets older and the teams become more competitive. 

She currently is in her 3rd year and plays 13u as a middle blocker on the 2nd team with a very large club here in Texas.  She is 5'8" barefoot and has grown very little over the last 2 years. Assuming that she peaks at 5'10" barefoot as her pediatrician thinks, would it serve her to start transitioning to another position or at least ask to be moved next year?   She was among the tallest when she started club which is why she was selected but now it seems that she may never make the cut for the top team when girls in her club playing 13u are at or approaching 5'11".  She expresses an interest at playing in college but when you look at average heights of those girls playing middle she won't be close.

Her vertical is good, her attack is very good, serving is good, blocking very good, passing is a work in progress.  Are we putting way to much thought into this or will a coach/club catch on and move her to another position when she gets older. 

Thank you for your time,


A negative of the current club volleyball training style (which is a response to the increased substation count allowed by USA Volleyball for Club), is that players are not being taught all round skills and being allowed the opportunity to develop those skills through practice repetitions.  The quick skill set run down you provided, lends me to believe she did not learn any ball control/passing/defensive skills but has been focused on attack and block.

As height relates to college volleyball, the more elite the level (higher ranked divisions/teams), the taller the players are.  A 5'11" middle with a good jump can have a very successful collegiate career at a NCAA D2 and/or NAIA program (remember, that like NCAA DI, there are a wide variety of D2/NAIA programs).  DI would be an unrealistic possibility, unless she played at a very high height (approach and block touch).

If she is going to switch positions, it should be because she want's to switch positions for the enjoyment of playing, not as a motivation to "play in college".  If she really likes being a MB and is successful, then she should stay there, develop her specific MB abilities and adjust her college outreach (when she gets into high school) to fit her talent.  If she is going to switch because she wants to play another position, then that switch needs to happen now because she will need to play 'catch-up' in the ball control skills because she has not had the repetitions earlier in her playing career.

The decision to switch or stay, should be your daughter's decision and do not rely upon the club coach/team to make a change.  Their motivation and your daughter's will not be the same.


1 comment:

  1. I agree that switching should be a decision for the player. This will eliminate allot of second guessing.


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