December 5, 2016

Club Volleyball Playing Position Change


My daughter is 6'2 and is 15 turning 16 in January, she has played middle as long as she has played. Here is the question her high school coach has told us that because she is such a good athlete that she should played outside and not middle? If that is the case how do we communicate that to the club team.



Simple - Tell the club team your daughter is an outside hitter.

Not so simple - You have already tried out for the club as a middle blocker; the club selects their players based upon team needs and your club needs your daughter in the middle.

Not so simple - Moving to an outside hitter because you are an athletic middle is not as easy as it sounds.  I have seen many good middle blockers who became average outside hitters.  Passing, defense, timing, armswing, approach, etc. etc. etc. are part of the outside hitter skill sets which are not mimicked by the middle position.  Also, a right side hitter is more similar to a middle than a middle is similar to an outside.

Not so simple - What position does your daughter want to play?  There is a lot more pressure as an outside hitter than there is as a middle.  The middle position has a well defined set of responsibilities and is always active.

It takes time to transition to becoming an outside hitter.  If your daughter really wants to be an outside hitter, then I suggest you use this year as the transition year into becoming an outside hitter.  Remember that your daughter was selected as a middle blocker for the club and that is what they are counting upon.

For the transition, when possible in club practice, your daughter should be going through the same drills as an outside hitter - Passing, defense, transition footwork, etc.  Then, use the summer camps/clinics to focus full time on the outside hitter position training.

In preparation for the 2018 club season, your daughter should be playing outside hitter for her high school program and then tryout for club teams as an outside hitter.

I strongly recommend that she not just jump into being an outside hitter now - walk before you can run.  Slowly learn the position in club practice this year and summer.


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