As the school volleyball seasons wind down, many players look to keep their volleyball experience going by participating in club volleyball. In our area, club volleyball starts around Thanksgiving with most seasons wrapping up by spring break. More competitive levels of play will keep going into the summer.
Club tryouts can be competitive, particularly if your goal is to make a higher level team. So what can your daughter do to prepare for club tryouts?
#1 Get Conditioned
Athletes of many sports think they can focus all of their effort on practicing the sport they play…and that is enough for them to be ready to compete. Not so. Sports conditioning can enhance an individual’s strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, speed and power. These are universal athletic qualities that apply to pretty much any sport – and they also apply to volleyball.
- Sports conditioning is a critical component of getting your body into its best shape to execute the maneuvers required to actively play your sport.
- Athletes that are conditioned properly are less prone to injuries that can occur as they are playing in matches.
- Finally, conditioning can give an athlete a competitive advantage over other athletes competing for positions.
There are many options for conditioning programs in our area. If you’re unsure of how to get started, ask your school coach or talk to one of our coaches.
#2 Get touches on the ball
Maybe your school season ends way before tryouts? Or you aren’t playing for your school? Or you’re not getting much playing time? Regardless, if you haven’t been touching a volleyball regularly, you need to plan to get in some repetitive skill work prior to tryouts. Find a place to have your parent throw balls so you can practice passing, setting and hitting – or partner with another player to do so. Then get in the gym for some for more intense hands-on. Our club offers multiple opportunities to get those important “touches” through clinics, open gyms and private lessons. Take advantage of opportunities here or at other places to practice your skills.
#3 Eat and Drink Properly
Now is not the time to slack off on your water intake…and dig into Big Macs every week! Feed your body well so that it can perform well for you. Remember that dehydration can affect your performance, and water intake is most important the day BEFORE you plan to compete (or in this case, try out). While there are many opinions on the best foods for athletes, here’s some “food for thought” on the subject. Anyone serious about their sport should develop healthy eating habits. If yours aren’t where you want them to be, start developing some new habits in the weeks before tryouts begin.
While many athletes condition, practice their skill and stay on top of nutrition, what’s probably the most underrated thing that can impact their performance is sleep. Tryouts time is no exception – so don’t short change yourself on sleep, especially the night before an important tryout. And sleep will continue to be an important factor in your performance even after you make a club team…so get started on the right track.
#5 Plan your tryout schedule
Many players try out for multiple clubs before they determine where they will play club volleyball. As soon as tryout schedules are posted, make a note of the tryout dates for all the clubs you’re interested in. Read up on the individual club’s policies or FAQs about tryouts and determine how many tryouts you should attend. In the case of conflicting dates, you may have to rank clubs based on importance to you and apply some other criteria to determine which tryouts to attend. It’s an intense time for players – and school and life doesn’t stop in the process! So make sure you are staying on top of #3 and #4 when in the midst of multiple club tryouts.