Selecting a Club Team
“If you are going to be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price.” — Bud Wilkinson
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 well-worth the effort in the long-run. 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
In selecting a coach, I highly recommend the following:
1. Ask friends who have played for the coach about him/her. Be sure to inquire about the factors that are important to you such as ability to teach, whether they play just the best girls or they play everybody, and most importantly, if your friend would like to be coached again by that person.
2. If you already have an idea of which club coaches that you might consider playing for next year, go to one of their matches and watch the coach on the sideline. Does he/she coach possess the coaching style that you seek in that would benefit you?
3. Search online for how teams in the past have done under that coach. Did they consistently place at the top of the regional volleyball rankings? Or perhaps in the middle, or even at the bottom? Is this even a factor for you?
Additional Questions to Ask a Coach
Some additional questions to ask before selecting a coach:
- Is the coach too demanding, or too laid-back? This is not to say that either of these coaching styles are bad, but you need to know what works for you personally. If you crack when getting yelled at, having a more laid-back coach might be better for you.
- Did the coach play the same position as you (ie. setter, libero)? Often times a coach who played your position will be more knowledgeable about that position and therefore more helpful in improving your game.
- How many years have they coached? Although this is not always an indicator of a good coach, chances are that the longer they have been coaching, the better they are. There is no substitute for experience.
- Does the coach play everyone or do they play to win? What type of team do you want to be on? Think about this carefully before you make your decision.
- Where did the coach play for high school/college? If the coach played at a Division I university versus a low-level high school, it might be a good indicator of how much knowledge this coach has.
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.
- How many players will be on the team? This will affect playing time, especially if the team is of a larger size.
- How many players will be on the team that play your position/s? If you are a defensive specialist and there are two more defensive specialists on the team, you will not get much playing time unless you are by far the best.
1. Attend the players and parents 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?
2. Can you afford a club team? 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?
3. If you are religious, does the club have practices or tournaments on your religious days? If so, can you compromise?