Being a volleyball player can be challenging. You need to go through different positions, call the ball, and exercise plenty! Not only that, but you can incur many injuries and get hit in the face with the ball many times. Trust me on that one. This article is coming from a volleyball player, so I know exactly how that feels. But the most important part of playing is having fun and enjoying yourself on the court. Are you interested in trying out for volleyball this year? Volleyball season is coming up, so here’s your go-to-guide on how to make the team!
It is never a good first impression to be late to tryouts. Coaches will be convinced you might not arrive when the time counts. It’s always better to be early than late! Tryouts are usually held after school, a few minutes after the bell rings. Therefore, you need to leave your final block, go to your locker, prepare for your tryout, and head down to the gym. Even that can feel like a workout! But here are a few tips on how to avoid being late:
Politely ask your fourth block teacher if you can leave a few minutes before the bell. Give them the details on how you need to do a lot of preparation for tryouts and the last thing you want to do is be late. Teachers should be mostly cool about this, but if not, do not panic! Say that it’s no problem and sit back down in your seat. Usually all you have to do is change into your gear and have a self pep talk. There shouldn’t be any need to worry although I believe most teachers will let you go a few minutes early.
Instead of stopping by your locker, if acceptable, bring your stuff to the gym and set it on the bleachers. The gym has a locker room so you could always change there.
Don’t dilly dally as much during locker time. Yes, you will see people in the halls, they’ll say ‘hi’, but don’t stop to have a full conversation with them. A little, “Hi,” and “How are you,” should do the trick.
Avoid Any Unnecessary Distractions
Your phone is probably the biggest distraction you could ever have! You can get a good deal of notifications in less than five minutes. In order to avoid this, leave your cell phone in your locker or turn it off/put it on airplane mode and put it on the bleachers. Having it on silent, you may experience the embarrassment of your cell phone vibrating the entire tryout. The better options are putting it on airplane mode or just leaving it in your locker.
You may have had past coaches telling you to “Call the ball!” Well, what exactly does that mean? It’s simple. If the ball is coming towards you and another person at the same time, don’t just let the ball fall thinking the other person is going to get it. Say, “I got it,” and set or bump the ball. It’s better for you to get the ball then letting it fall and making the other team score. Even if it doesn’t go past the net, it’s important to always be trying and moving around. Coaches like players that can move and be open. In order to move quickly and fast you need to do two things: stay fit and practice.
Staying fit doesn’t necessarily mean to go to the gym and workout. It can be simply to stretch once a day to keep your legs heated. It’s especially important to warm up a lot before tryouts. Coaches may decide not to warm up before tryouts begin. Why? Well, that is your responsibility.
Some warm ups you can do before tryouts can be lunges because you have to move a lot with your legs. Also, you should maybe try doing some arm circles. Your arms are the biggest part of being a volleyball player. The entire part of volleyball is to use your upper body to hit the ball! Your legs and arms are the most important part of warming up.
School starts in September, volleyball season starts in April, and that is a seven month difference. Yes, there is summer where you are out a lot and may practice some volleyball. But once school starts, you start getting flooded with homework, extra curricular activities, and a ton of stress. Even though you have a lot on your shoulders, you have to at least try to incorporate practice once a week.
Once volleyball season comes up, you need to be able to move. It doesn’t count how good you were three months ago, it counts how good you are at the moment. Coaches are looking for players that will continue to shine throughout the season and get better under their directions and procedures.
Handle Different Positions
You can start tryouts in the first row, halfway through move to the middle row, and even go to the back row. Do not be disappointed if you get moved around a ton. That only shows that the coaches want to see how you can handle being under pressure.
The back row gets the most pressure because you need to be able to set the ball hard to at least to the front row. If your coach puts you in the back they’re just telling you you have a lot of arm strength so it’s better for you to be in the back. Everyone dreams of being in the back row, but only the best get to experience it.
It’s hard to go through different positions at such a young age but it all comes with practice. Make sure you inform your coach if you don’t like being in one of the rows or prefer one. Your coaches can’t read your mind so you need to let them know what’s up.
Make Some Team Effort
Go for every ball even though it’s not nearly as close to you. Coaches like players that are active and can move a lot. Don’t be standing there like a tree hoping the ball is going to magically appear in front of you. The only way to get the ball is to move your feet. You do have two feet for a reason!
Even if it seems stupid moving for every ball, do it! Coaches love players that are determined. Also, it is completely fine to move out of your spot to get a ball. Volleyball is all about moving different positions and having a lot of arm and leg strength. If you see no one is going for a ball, move out of your spot and get it. It is okay if you slide or get down on the floor. All that matters is having fun and making sure you are trying your best.
The best advice I can give to pass tryouts is to be confident in yourself. Just because you see other players who are more advanced or skilled than you doesn’t mean you should let them bring you down. Who knows? They may be more advanced, but won’t be nearly as confident as you.
Some people fake their confidence so coaches can think they are perfect for the team. But coaches can see right through you and have way more experience than you. They are able to know when you are trying your best, when you’re feeling the most confident, and if you’re the right match for the team. They won’t take someone on the team who’s a different person on the court and away from the court. But, at the same time faking confidence can be a good thing but it teaches us how to be confident and when one is actually being confident.
Smile at the other players trying out and at your coaches. Coaches look for not only good players, but players that have a lot of positivity and can work well with others. Make sure to ask questions if you don’t understand something about the procedures and make sure you listen and nod your head. Make sure you pay close attention to what your coaches are saying and keep your head up nice and high. Making eye contact with the coach is good because the coaches will know that you’re paying attention and are engaged in what they’re saying. This is very respectful to do so in your daily life as well! Remember: Never interrupt your coach! It can be noted as disrespectful and rude.
Once tryouts end make sure to remember what you did wrong and what you did right. Remember what you enjoyed and what hurt. But most importantly, remember that you did an amazing job. Even if you didn’t pass it, you tried your hardest and that’s all that matters! Make sure you know when the team list will be posted!
If you are trying out, good luck, and if you are thinking about it, it is a lot of fun! Even if you don’t think you’re as good for being on the team, get out there and try out for the fun of it! Again, all that matters is how much you enjoy playing and how much you love being on the court. Volleyball changed my life and I bet it will change yours as well!