Tips for Making the Varsity Volleyball Team

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Okay, so you’ve decided that you want to play on the high school Volleyball team – the next step is tryouts. Unfortunately, not every is going to make the cut. And while every coach and every school is different, there are some general qualities that they look for in a teammate. So what can you do to stand out among the crowd? And what additional qualities do you need to make the varsity volleyball team and earn team jackets and a school letter? Here are some tips to help you in your upcoming vollyball tryouts: What general physical skills do you need to make the high school volleyball team? The exact skillset that you need to make a team depends on which team you are applying for. For example, the skillset that you will need to make the junior team will be much different than what it takes to make the varsity team. With that being said, there are some general skills that every volleyball player will need to master.

These include (but are not limited to):

•  Passing  •  Serving  •  Bumping  •  Volleying  • Hitting  •  Running •  Diving •  and HUSTLING!

The good news is, each of these skills are learnable. So even if you have never played volleyball before, you still have a chance of making the team. Buy a volleyball and practice each of the above at home. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the better your chances of making the team.

What can I do to physically prepare myself for making the team?

Volleyball is a very physical sport, and if you want to succeed, you will need to stay fit and healthy. A little bit of athletic conditioning can go a long way – so start before tryouts begin. Here are some things you can do to build your athleticism for volleyball:

•       Run – Start a running regime as soon as you can to help you build speed and stamina. Volleyball requires quick reactions and short speed bursts, so sprints also come in very handy. When you can, work in stairs and hills to push yourself.

•       Stretching – Regardless of which sport you are playing, it’s always important to stretch beforehand. Stretching will help to prevent injuries, as well as improve your overall motion and coordination.

•       Strength Training – While you should strength train your entire body, the main focus for volleyball should be on your legs. Calf raises, squats, box jumps, and other leg exercises can all help to build you up to be a better player.

What other qualities do coaches look for?

Whether you are looking to join the junior volleyball team or varsity volleyball team, or whether you are hoping to earn your team jackets and school letter, there are some qualities that all coaches look for outside of athleticism. Why? Because sports are about more than being a good athlete.  High school athletes are often seen as role models to other students, so it’s important that they act as so, even during times of loss.  As such, here are some other qualities that coaches look for:

The moral of this story? Yes, you need to practice your skills if you want to make the volleyball team, but what’s even more important is being a well rounded person. Sometimes the person who strives the hardest and who wants it the most will beat out the person who has more skill. What’s the difference between junior varsity volleyball and varsity volleyball? The main difference between junior varsity teams and varsity teams is age and experience. In most cases, the varsity team comprises of grade 11 and 12 students, while freshmen play on the junior team. Having said that, depending on the school, if a freshman is extremely talented in a specific sport, they may be directly accepted onto the varsity team. In other words, the junior varsity team is a starting point. This team is for less experienced players, and is a chance for them to develop and hone their skills. If an athlete can prove themselves on this team, they have a good chance of making the varsity volleyball team, as well as earning a letterman jacket and school letter. On some occasions, junior varsity players may have the opportunity to travel along with the varsity team, and in cases where a player becomes injured or ill, can be used as a replacement.

MORE TIPS FOR MAKING THE TEAM

  • Be respectful and take direction from the coach. Regardless of how good a player you are, there’s always room to grow. Put in the time and effort that the team deserves, respect your coach and your teammates, and use constructive criticism from the coach to help you grow.
  • Come ready to play. When it comes to tryouts, come dressed in spandex, a sporty tee, volleyball shoes, and have your hair up and away from your face. Show the coach that you come ready to play.
  • Do your best. We all make mistakes, and coaches know that. But when you make one, shake it off, get up, and continue to try your best. Positive attitudes go a long way in a coaches book.
  • Get a good night of rest before tryouts. You’ll need all the energy you can get on the court.
  • Show up to tryouts early, introduce yourself to the coach, and thank the coach afterwards
  • Be a team player. Its okay to show off your skills, but don’t hog the show. Give others the chance to showcase their talents as well.

And remember, trying out for the junior varsity volleyball team isn’t all about skill, it’s also about potential. Show that you have the potential to become a great player, and you will make the team. Demonstrate that potential to grow, and eventually you will earn yourself team jackets and a school letter, and one day you might even make the varsity team!

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