September 29, 2016

Club Volleyball Team Selection

First, I LOVE your book. I have it in Kindle format so it's easy to carry around (phone, tablet, web).  I also bought a paper copy so that when I brag on your book, it is easier to show other parents the book!  I got tired of having to hand over my electronic devices at matches.  I love the way you divide the book into school year.  We have been following the book as a step by step process since Freshman year.  

My daughter is now a Junior.  We are currently in the phase of doing unofficial college visits and the visits have gone very well.  I have a question about the upcoming club year.

As a college coach, which would you find preferable?  The reason I ask is because she has been offered these two situations.  

My daughter as a DS with the chance to *maybe* earn the Libero (though more than likely staying a DS) spot on a top 5 team in the region basically guaranteed to make Nationals in Open.

Or, my daughter as the fulltime only Libero on a top 20 team in the region that will be fighting to make Nationals in USA.

I am confident coaches from the schools we have visited will come watch my daughter play at Qualifiers this year.  And we will be inviting additional schools to come watch as well.  


Thank you for the compliments on Inside College Volleyball and for obtaining both the hard copy and digital format!  You should start charging a viewing fee to other parents, so you can recoup your investment!

With regards to which club to select, three details are important; quality of practice training, anticipated playing time and number of large tournaments the team will attend.

Volleyball is a sport where you get better in practice, not in games.  Because of rally score, success in games is a function of limiting mistakes.  As a younger athlete, you have to try and fail to improve.  You have to have quantity repetitions to achieve quality results.  A good training practice allows players to make these early mistakes and to improve with repetitions. In a match, you rarely will try something new, because of the penalty of a mistake.

The more a player is on the court, the more opportunity there is for a college coach to notice/locate/evaluate them.  Many families get starstruck by being on club super dupers elite team, even if it means not playing much.  If the coaching instruction is the same, and the competition level somewhat comparable, it is better to play full time than play part time.

Tournaments - More important than USA Volleyball Nationals or AAU Championships, are the early large tournaments.  These big events on the MLK and President's Day weekends, along with the National Qualifiers are prime events for college volleyball recruiting.  By the time the championship events in June occur, college coaches have seen who they need to see and are mostly re-evaluating or providing face time to committed/offered players.  Rarely will a new opportunity/evaluation occur at a championship event, unless there is a unique club situation (team coming from Hawaii/Puerto Rico, team is small and did not play in any large events, player returning from injury).

As to your specific questions, review each of the three categories and make your choice based upon each club's particulars!


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