Friday, April 30, 2010

Volleyball Camps Experience to Making Your High School or Club Volleyball Team

At my volleyball camps, I often talk to young volleyball players about proper technique. Is that all there is to making a team? No.....Read on.....

5 Secrets for Making Your High School or Club Team

Tryouts can be a fantastic experience. Here is a question for you: Why is it that coaches can watch you play for 5 minutes and make a decision based on what they see? Good question.....

There are three parts to being a superior athlete:

1. Athletic ability

2. The ability to change

3. How you positively affect those around you.

Let's look at these individually.

Athletic ability is easy to assess. I often tell people of the story of when Jeff Stork and I watched 129 junior boys at a tryout for a USA youth national team. We watched the players play king of the court for 20 minutes. We each made a list of the top 30 players. In the end, I looked at his list and he looked at mine. We missed each other's list by one name! It is that simple. In volleyball, athletic ability is measured by how high you jump and how hard you hit. Typically if you jump high, you hit hard. Athletic ability is the first thing coaches look at when selecting a team.

The ability to change and get better each day in practice is the Holy Grail of not only volleyball but life as well. It is the essence of sports. Why don't players change? Ego? They learned a different way? They have done it one way for so long? They are physically the best so they do not have to work hard? Reminding players to get better each day of practice is the easiest thing to say, but the hardest thing for players to do. The first couple of days of a season are coaching bliss. Players are working their tails off to make the team. They are attentive. They hustle. They what happens? They fall into a rhythm. They take practice for granted. They fail to make improvements each time they touch the ball. It is very challenging to learn how to get better each time you touch the ball. But like everything else, it just takes practice.

The ability to motivate and positively affect those around you cannot be overstated. It is a part of your personality and character. Nothing is worse than having a habitually grumpy person on the team. They often affect the ability of others to get better each day--not good. Grumpy players can undermine a coaches effort and head the team in the wrong direction. Positive players can lead the team through tough times. Positive players do extra work in practice. Positive players will hold their teammates accountable for on and off the court behavior. Positive players lead by example. It is their personality.....

Here are the five secrets to making your team:

1. Look the coach in the eye when they are talking! This is my number one rule! I can almost pick the team based on this one secret.

2. Get in shape. Find a friend who wants to get in shape or hire a plyometric coach. Want tips on what to do? Go to and download the Suggested Volleyball Workout in either PDF or MS Word.

3. Shag (pick-up) as many balls as you can when you are not playing and put them back in the cart.

4. Send the coach a very brief e-mail after the first day of practice and tell them how much you enjoy the team and the opportunity to learn. If making the team is between you and one other player-- which it usually is--this may put you over the top. Parents should not send the e-mail.

5. Go to your future coach's summer camp and do exactly what I told you to do in the first four secrets.

Bottom line: I did not make my high school volleyball team until I was a senior. In my junior year, I was the manger on the team--I washed the laundry, I set up the nets etc.....I went on to win a gold medal in the Olympics. If you don't make the team, redouble your efforts. Find a club team to play on. Play against adults.

Extra Bonus Secret

6. Look the coach in the eye when they are talking. It is that important.
Pat Powers