June 12, 2017

High School Volleyball Comment

I received the below 'comment' for my recent post about High school Volleyball:

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!



  1. AnonymousJune 13, 2017

    Interesting topic. We live in kind of an interesting district. Our high school is usually a state title contender. The program is loaded with talent from the freshman class all the way to the top. Sadly, many of these girls will be cut at the JV level simply because there is not enough room for all of them. Most won't play club ball any further as a result. A number of these girls could have matured into phenomenal volleyball players.

    Many years ago, one player who was considered borderline early on ended up making the team and went on to win a national championship at Nebraska and was All-Big 12.

  2. AnonymousJune 19, 2017

    The original comment about parents being relieved that they don't need to stress about high school volleyball was mine, and I'm afraid I may not have been clear. I didn't take your post to suggest that girls shouldn't play high school volleyball, but simply meant that your post took some pressure off parents (like the original questioner) who were worrying about what level of high school team their daughter makes, whether they start, etc. I know it made me feel better about the fact that my daughter's high school team isn't very strong because college recruiting happens during the club season and she has more control over which club she plays for than she does over how good her school team is. I absolutely value the " Be True to Your School" mantra and enjoy watching her compete close to home. I'm also glad her college recruiting opportunities won't necessarily be limited by whether she's a varsity starter and how well her school team does. Your advice has me looking forward to a more stress-free season cheering from those old wooden high school bleachers!

  3. All of your points about the positives are so true. Parents need to attend high school games or practices to see how things are run. In our area there are many very well coached and run high school programs. To touch on one #3 is so true school rivals are hard fought matches. A build days or weeks in advance. Often on local tv. I have watched tears in victory and defeat from these matches. How often does a club team even know the name of the team they are playing? Learn to play in a gym getting heckled by the opposing team's football players. Play on a team with people older and younger. Having followed your posts for along time. It is unfortunate that some may not read your words completely. As high school volleyball is often an amazing time.


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