Selecting a Club Team
Club season is almost here–time to start looking for the best team for your skill level. Although club is time-consuming and expensive, it is worth the effort if you have aspirations to play volleyball in college. However, before selecting a club, consider the following advice. If you are not sure which club you are going to play for, here are a few things you can do to ensure a successful and enjoyable club season.
Selecting a Coach
When it comes to high school volleyball, you most likely do not have much choice when it comes to your coach. For club volleyball, however, you usually will have some degree of choice. Choosing a coach that you are going to spend a good deal of time with in the coming six or so months can be a hard decision. Check out our article on How to Choose a Club Volleyball Coach.
Choosing Between Clubs
If you are fortunate enough to be offered a spot on more than one club team, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Who are the players? Are they girls/guys that you will get along with? Remember, you will be spending a lot of time with your teammates. If you don’t like them, it is going to be a long season for you. Furthermore, teams work together better when all of the members are friends or can at least get along without fighting.
- How many players will be on the team? If you are on a team with more than 10 players, there may be limited playing time for some of those players.
- How many players will be on the team that play your position/s? If you are one libero out of three on the team, you will not get much playing time unless you are by far the best.
- How far will you have to travel to one club vs. the other? If you don’t drive, can your parents drive you to every practice and tournament?
Choosing Between Commitment Levels
Although club volleyball can be a financial commitment, many clubs offer different levels of teams that vary in cost and commitment. Depending on the area you are in, the cost of a club team can vary greatly. The following are descriptions of club team levels from cheapest to most expensive.
- Local Teams: Local teams are often for younger players (12’s-14’s) and the teams typically do not travel very far or very often to compete in tournaments. Tournaments are often held in nearby playing sites against other local teams. Tournaments typically last only one day. Practice schedules are often lighter as well, usually around once or twice a week.
- Regional Teams: Regional teams are common at all age levels. These teams travel to many places in the region you are in to compete in tournaments (usually at least one to two tournaments per month). Practices are often 2-3 times per week, not including weekend tournaments that can last for several days.
- Premier/National Level Teams: These teams usually have the best athletes and require the highest level of commitment. Teams travel all over the country to participate in huge tournaments that last several days (and sometimes up to a week). Practices are often 2-3 times per week with additional workouts either before or after practice.
Before you make the final decision, here are just a few more points to consider.
- Attend the Player & Parent Introduction Meeting. It is the best place to get answers for any questions you may have and to understand the demands of the club. At the meeting, you will learn the expectations. For example, if you play basketball or softball, and some of those practices conflict with your club practices, will this be a problem? Or what if you have homework or group projects at school… will you be allowed to miss practice?
- Make sure you can afford club. How much will it cost? What are the volleyball club fees? What are the monthly payments? Is there a discount if you pay in full? What extra costs (travel, overnight lodging, food, etc.) when you go to away-tournaments?
- If you are religious, does the club have practices or tournaments on your religious days? If so, can you compromise?