March 9, 2017

Club Volleyball Playing Position and Transition to High School Volleyball


My daughter is in her second year of playing club.
She is 12 playing on a so-so 13U team.

She played MB last year and was very natural at it.
This year she's OH and just last evening we were told she'd become an all around player
(I think bc the team's DSs aren't consistent -- so playing a majority of the games)

I think this is great practice for her so that when she does play in HS, she can be a usable player.

Question: For now this is great so she gets reps, but I read a comment saying if one truly is an OH
she should work on that??
(I think she's more of a MB, but till have lots of competition in that regard in the HS she will eventually attend)

She's not the "all sports" athletic type (she also dances) but she is a VERY smart player, a great passer, and
knows where everyone of her teammates needs to be on any particular rotation.

She's currently, at 12, 5-6" tall (we think she might top out at 5-10, even though she already wears a size TWELVE! shoe!)

What sorts of exercises should she do to help strengthen her hitting?

(we can't afford lots of private lessons)

She LOVE the game and am happy she finally has a sport!



It is good to hear that your club team has expanded your daughter's skill sets to incorporate all around training.  

A critique of the USA club volleyball system is specializing players way too early into positions.  I have seen it hurt players who were tall early but not late; they start as MB's and don't get passing/defensive repetitions.  Then, they stop growing and must move to the OH position in High School, but don't have the basic ball control skills to succeed.  Conversely, the always short player who never hit or blocked, does not have the intelligence and feel for the game when they get older because they have been limited into one view of the game.

At 12 years old, your daughter is doing exactly what she should be doing; working on all around skill sets! If she ends up as an Outside Hitter when she gets into high school, then she will have the necessary abilities to be successful.  Remember that OH's have to do a majority of the volleyball skills.

For advancing her attacking skills:
  • Get older; as she matures, she will gain better control over her muscles and her muscles will naturally become stronger.
  • Play pepper with anyone and everyone; pepper (2 person, 3 person, 4 person) is a simple yet great training tool to work on attacking.  No pepper partner likes to chase bad hits around the gym, nor do they want to dig lollypop hits.  She can play pepper anywhere and with just about anyone.
  • Throw a small or nerf football with a parent/sibling/buddy/mailman.  The shoulder rotation, weight transfer, thumb high release and follow thru of throwing a football will  assist in players improving their attack swing.
  • Play, play and play but not in club volleyball practice; doubles, triples, quads.  Find a court and friends to play double; before practice/after practice, at her school, on a beach court, on a grass court, on a concrete court if you live in Puerto Rico (some elite high school teams play outdoor matches on concrete courts; now that is tough!!).  
  • A number of college and clubs will offer attack or hitter one day camps; these tend to be at a reasonable cost and will allow for even more attacks over the summer.
Overall, I think your daughter is on a great path into high school and the later years in club!


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