October 12, 2017

Club playing position and future height?


I was so glad to I found your site and look forward to picking your book.

My daughter is 13, so will be playing in the 14's in what will be her 5th season in club this fall.

She is 5"8 and because she can jump and/or is one of the tallest players on her team, the coaches continue to put her as a middle. She and I have some concern over this as we don't anticipate her to reach over 5'10 in height.  I am 5'8 and my husband is 6'2. We of course want to position her for recruiting success and fear her height in this position will be a disadvantage when competing with taller girls for D1 and even D2 colleges.  

What are your thoughts on this and how do we navigate in the world of club in ensuring she is positioned well for recruitment opportunities in play time vs. position?  She is always selected as the starting in her middle position. She spent her summer practicing in the outside hitter position to get stronger.  

However, her coach keeps the same girls together as they move up in age and has made it clear by how she plays the girls, who are the favored OH's.  Besides, there are so many players vying for the outside position.  

Are we worrying too much unnecessarily at this point in her play? 

What do you suggest?

Thank you!


One of the weaknesses of the USA style of play/training, both in club and school, is that players get slotted into defined positions very early.  Some players shoot up early in height, while others are late bloomers.

With school ball, players are responsible to honor the needs of the school - If the coach wants to play a 6'3" player at libero, then that is what you do.

With club, because the family is paying for the opportunity, the family must communicate and be clear when it comes to desired position.  If a player wants to play a specific position, this must be communicated during the tryout process.  The mistake families make is not being direct and clear, and then getting upset during the season when the coach is making the best decisions for that specific moment in time.

How you navigate the club world, is to be very specific and direct in your communication with clubs.  If your daughter wants to play a certain position or if you want her being trained in all positions, this absolutely must be said to the club director.   Of course, there are certain instances where a club needs a player to compete out of position, due to injuries or sicknesses.

If you are the situation where there is only one club program in your area, then you are really stuck playing the position they need.  As you mentioned, you should be using summer camps, private training and clinics to enhance her all around abilities.

At your daughter's age, developing all around skill ability is key - Maybe she shoots up to 6'3"?  Maybe she does not grow another inch?  As we don't know exactly where she will end up height wise, you should develop her complete volleyball abilities so she can excel whatever height your family gene pool determines.

Also at this age, you absolutely positively should not be worrying about college recruiting; just keep the goal on skill development and enjoying the process.  The beast of recruiting will start the dance come her sophomore year, so enjoy the stress free music now.


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