I think I just heard parents across America breath a collective sigh of relief as they realized they don't need to stress about high school volleyball. Thanks for the wisdom, Coach!
If you have read the world famous collegevolleyballcoach.com or Inside College Volleyball, you will have seen a number of posts and/or direct references to high school volleyball.
While it may seem by my writings that I don't value high school volleyball, nothing could be further from the truth. My references are limited to college volleyball recruiting, along with comparisons to club volleyball.
Club volleyball has a financial participation cost and because of the calendar of club volleyball, it is the dominant recruiting venue for college volleyball coaches. This participation cost and recruiting vehicle, has created more focus, pressure and selectivity for club over high school volleyball.
But, this does not make club 'better' - Think big picture here, not court #46 where super duper power conference coach just walked by on their way to get an orange mocha frappuccino (anybody get the movie reference?).
High school volleyball has so many fantastic qualities;
1) You are representing something bigger than you; your school and your community.
2) You must learn to maximize the hand that you are dealt; your team mates are from within the district and some classes are loaded with talent while others are not.
3) Games have more weight because there are not 105 matches like in a typical club season.
4) Playoffs have a special meaning, district titles have a special meaning, going to state has a special meaning and maybe, just maybe, getting your State Championship photo and banner hung in the school gym will be remembered.
5) It is so much easier for grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, cousin, 3rd cousin, godparents and your neighbors to come see you play.
6. It is free (well, almost free, but feels free compared to club volleyball).
7. You don't have to drive to practice and you can get home before 10 p.m. after practice.
8. Those pesky college coaches are not walking around drinking orange mocha frappuccinos, so that is one big level of pressure which is not existent.
I understand there are also many challenges (poor coaching, no budget, politics, etc.) but high school volleyball is something special and if you elect to participate, I hope that you savor every minute of this 4 times in a lifetime experience!