February 12, 2018

Play Your Position....

Dear Coach,

My daughter Sara is a 5'10" Freshman. 
She has never had to try out for a club team - she has always been recruited at open gyms once they see her athleticism and how well she responds to coaching. She was a 6-rotation player for her JV squad this year, and played enough on varsity to Letter as a Freshman, playing OH, MB, and RS. On her club teams she played MB last season (MB and some OH this season) due to her size and athleticism compared to her teammates. She has aspirations of playing in college, but realizes that her size is going to hold her back from playing a front row position in most DI programs and while her defense continues to improve, doesn't feel she'll ever be good enough to be a DS in college. In middle school and her 13's club she played Setter, which she really enjoyed.

My daughter is torn. On one hand, her club coach is the setter for the local college men's club VB team, and he feels she's better suited to hitting than setting. On the other hand, the operations director of her club was a starting setter for the local NCAA Division I women's team and played two years of professional vb in Europe, and she has said that if my daughter wants to set, she could help her become a terrific setter.
Would you recommend that she continue refining her skills as hitter this summer, or do you think it would be worthwhile for her to work on Setting to see if she has what it takes to switch positions next club season? (In High School, she'd be blocked at Setter until her Senior year, as there is a unanimous All-Conference Setter a year ahead of her. Or do you think she should just continue focusing on being the best OH/RS she can be, and resign herself to not playing DI volleyball?



The question which you need to ask is of your daughter; "What position do you enjoy playing the most?".  This is the only question which matters.  

In high school, you are subject to the needs of the team.  With regards to recruiting, High school is not nearly as important as club.  College coaches understand that High School volleyball is a unique situation where players often have to play out of position for the good of the team; I have had my collegiate setters who were middle blockers in high school!

Once your daughter answers the your question, based on nothing other that what she enjoys most (take College Volleyball out of the equation, take the opinions of the club coaches out of the equation...), then move forward with the club program choice accordingly.

She will excel the most, playing the position she enjoys the best and then you match her collegiate potential to this enjoyment.



  1. That is an excellent answer, cannot possible give better advice than that.

  2. But what if her choice is Middle. She’s a little short at 5’10” right?

    1. She would be "short" for DI and a number of DII programs, but depending upon her vertical jump, she could compete at the DII/DIII and NAIA level. It is matter of matching your abilities to the various opportunities and height influences your total volleyball abilities. If her favorite position is MB, then she needs to target programs outside of DI.


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