June 9, 2017

Volleyball Team Drama

The below question from a reader, came in response to this article I posted when I was still a DI head volleyball coach (read the original article HERE):

How do you suggest handling it when the coach is the one causing the drama? My daughter's club coach is pretty young (24) and will often do or say things to pit girls against each other. It's created a very stressful environment. The girls actually do get along quite well and sometimes seem more mature than the coach, however it's taking focus away from improving and executing on the court.  Anonymous

Two choices - 1) Find a new club team or club program, 2) Share your concerns with the club director and hope that they can positively influence the coach.

Because of the low cost of entry, establishing a club volleyball program is not too difficult and with the huge growth of club volleyball, it can be a challenge for club owners/directors to secure quality coaches for their club teams.

This is why we see many young head coaches of club teams, and when you are a young coach, you are rarely a mature coach.  At 24 or 25 years old, you may well know the skill sets of coaching as a residual of your collegiate playing days, but the experience of managing players and developing team chemistry is just not there yet.

It could well be that your club coach came through a club or collegiate environment where her coach(s) pitted player against player, so this is now her model for coaching.  This is her learned coaching behavior, and learned behaviors can be difficult to change.  

Because of this, my suggestion is choice #1 - Find another club team because the odds of the coach changing her behavior is slim.  If you are not in a position to change, then take your concerns to the club director.  You are paying to play club volleyball and as such, you are entitled to certain quality of that club volleyball product and like any product you are not satisfied with, it is your responsibility to address this situation.  

The club director may agree or disagree, and then the club director may address it or not.  That part is out of your control, but if you want the situation to improve with your daughter's team, then you need to bring your concerns to the club director and make sure your concerns are clearly expressed with supporting examples.

Good luck!


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