My daughter is a 5'11" freshman who was a starter on JV and has a strong chance of making varsity in the fall.
The question is what position she should try out for. The varsity coach sees her ultimately as an outside hitter (in her upper classman years), but she would likely be a 2nd string player at that position next year. However, there is not a clear 2nd middle blocker on her team. If she were to focus on that position over the summer, she would likely be the best option at that position in the rotation (being the second best middle).
What are your thoughts on what she should do? 1. Stay at outside and either sit the bench on varsity or stay at JV, or 2. Go for middle, and likely have significant playing time on varsity? Even though she is more comfortable and truly a better outside hitter than middle blocker.
Would a season at middle set her back in her development as an outside hitter?
FYI, the reason she wouldn't play middle her junior year is that there is a 6'0" seventh grader making her way up who people are projecting would play middle in two years.
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From reading through the question and your background information, the positional choice is obvious to me…..outside hitter.
Take the ego boost or prestige of "varsity" out of the equation and it is not even a decision….outside hitter.
The coach sees her as an OH, she is a better at the OH position and she is more comfortable as an OH.
Yes, a season in the middle position would hinder her development as an OH. The outside hitter position is the most important playing spot in today's volleyball game. The OH that can pass and attack and terminate, is Golden like KK. Playing the MB position is a completely different set of skills, which do not translate into the OH position well.
With regards to sitting on Varsity or playing on JV….always better to play than sit! A year on JV will allow her to concentrate on improving her skill sets and develop leadership ability without the pressure of "varsity". She can make mistakes, she can try new shots, she can learn when to bang and when to roll, she can play outside of herself and lift up a team mate, etc.
In conclusion….Outside Hitter should be her position moving forward from right now!!!