September 7, 2015

The Utility Volleyball Player

Hey Coach,

First off, thanks for all the great advice you’ve been giving to parents, players, and coaches!  Your unique unbiased perspective has been a great resource for those of us traveling down the road of club/school ball. 

I would like to start off by telling you a little bit about our daughters situation. Our daughter will be a sophomore this year and she will be changing positions from what she has been doing in club ball, which is mostly setting.   She has a new school coach that has been giving her a lot of playing time at middle and outside but has also told her she would be a good DS.  I can tell she is frustrated by this because each practice can be different for her and each position brings its own challenges.  As a dad, I just give her the old milk slogan, “the more you know the more you’ll grow” but I don’t think she appreciates it!

So, as a college coach, what would be your advice to a young player who is growing into this, “utility player” role and how do college coaches view/recruit these players?  I will apologize ahead of time if you have answered this question in older posts because I’m sure many families have found themselves in this similar situation.

Thanks Again!

VBall Dad

My advice is for her not to worry about what position she is playing in high school because it is club volleyball which matters the most to college volleyball coaches and the recruiting process.  

There are so many players which have to play various positions in high school because it is what the high school program needs.  I have had collegiate setters which were middle blockers in high school, but set in club.

The more positions that she can play in high school will ultimately help her become a better club volleyball player and collegiate recruit.  From learning another position, to staying fresh in her normal position, to working on skill sets which are not usually practiced, etc. Today's club volleyball is 7 months per year of intense training and a national travel schedule, while club is a couple of months of bus trips and touches on the ball.

College coaches really don't care about what position a recruit plays in high school because they are aware that high school has its own specific needs.  What college coaches want in high school, for their recruits, is touches on the ball and don't get hurt!

Use high school as those free touches, fun with players in the same school, rivalry matches, etc.  But, club volleyball is where she will need to pick the position she would most enjoy/want to play in college.  It is better that she not position bounce in club, because college coaches need to evaluate the player in the position they project them playing at their school.

Enjoy the school year, and get ready for the next club season!


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