We see it all the time as coaches – girls with lots of talent who don’t get selected, and don’t know why.
And believe me, we hear it from their parents too! But talent isn’t the only thing a coach is looking for. Here are five things any girl can start doing today to grab the attention of a volleyball coach.
A coach has to manage an entire team of players, not just one talented player. If you want to make a difference, be a team player. That means doing what’s best for the team, not for your own stats or ego. This is something you see often in professional sports as well – a team will have one or two superstar players, but they can’t beat a team that simply works well together.
When I was in high school, I lived and breathed volleyball. When I wasn’t on the court, I was looking forward to being on the court again. Coaches want to know you want to be there, and you show that by your hustle – your energy level. Even if you’re on the bench, show your enthusiasm for the team. One single player can suck the energy out of a team by giving up when things get tough. Do NOT be that player. Instead, be the player that never quits, that works the hardest and show that you want to be there by your hustle.
Talk to your team mates on and off the court. Talk to your coach. Listen when being talked to, especially by your coach. When a team starts to fall apart during a game, it’s usually because they’ve stopped communicating. Keep the motivational talk going. Call out things you see. Ask your teammates what you can do to help them. Coaches love players who communicate.
4. Know where you are on the court.
A good team flows together. When a setter dives out of bounds to get a ball, the team shifts to compensate. If a libero goes for a dig, everyone else gets in position to touch the ball next. A player wandering around like a spectator on the court tells the coach that player is a liability. And if you don’t know where to be, talk to the coach between sets, or better yet, during practice.
Working hard in practice isn’t just for your personal improvement. It also shows the coach you’re willing to put in the time and effort to be a valuable part of the team. When selecting a final roster for a Jr. National Team or Youth National Team to take overseas for a competition, we’re not able to watch them in games very much, so we base most of our decision on how hard players are working in practice. If you’re not willing to give your all in practice, don’t expect to be put on the court in a game.
There’s much more you can do to get a coach’s attention, but these five have to be covered first. When it comes to recruiting, a coach will be watching film of your play, and not just of the play you made, but how you act before and after. Are you engaged with your teammates? Are you a good sport? Do you show energy on the court?
Part of my recruiting service is working with you to improve your recruit-ability. I will watch your clips, as I have countless times before, as a coach looking for a player to fit into my team. And I’m excited to share my insights with you.