Getting cut from the team is never fun for a player unless their parents were making them tryout and they didn’t want to be there in the first place. Nonetheless, getting cut is a brutal part of any sport, volleyball included.
As a coach, I feel that most schools and clubs don’t always do a good job of letting players know where they fall short. A player gets cut and all they are thinking is “I’m not good enough” which is not always the case, but since they most likely weren’t given any feedback, they usually lack clarity on what they need to do to be “good enough” for next season.
To be fair to the coaches, part of the reason coaches fail at giving feedback to players and letting them know what they need to work on in order to make the team is because tryouts are basically organized chaos and it takes SO MUCH brainpower to process everything that has happened at tryouts.
Coaches do take notes during tryouts and most of the time they have some sort of scale where they are keeping track of how a player performs at each skill: Passing, Serving, Hitting, Setting.
There is some hope! After a tryout (but not right after the tryout), the coach should be able to give some specific feedback to a player as to why they didn’t make the team. It can be a little awkward, but if you really want to be the best you can be, asking for clarification can really go a long way.
I would phrase it like this: “What can I be working on between now and next season so that I can make the team next year?”
Coaches appreciate when players take initiative and also when players ask what they need to do to get better. (See also: How to Be a Better Volleyball Player)
However, I would wait at least 24 hours before approaching the coach — Again, their brain is probably completely fried after tryouts.
But here are 5 Reasons Why a Player May Be Cut From Tryouts
1. They lack the skill to compete at the level for which they are trying out
Most coaches are looking for a certain level of skill and understanding of the game from their athletes. If coaches take on players who lack the skill or understanding, it could slow the process of the entire team.
A player might think, “Well, I can get better if I had the opportunity.” And while this may be true, most coaches are able to see the future potential of a player and it may not always be enough.
2. Not enough spots on the team
Most teams have a certain number of players they are willing to take and there are also a lot more players who are trying out. Not everyone can make the team simply because there are not enough spots.
And as a player, you don’t want to be on a team with too many people. You’re most likely not going to get the best training if there are too many players, not enough coaches, or not enough courts to handle a large team. Also, the more players, the less practice time and playing time.
I once coached a Middle School team with 17 players and that was the last time I did that. Even with 3 coaches, it was difficult to give each player the attention that they needed to be really successful. Also, managing playing time was a nightmare.
3. Team Chemistry
Sometimes players get cut because during the tryout, they aren’t really gelling with the other players they are playing with at the time.
Is this fair? Not always because it can be difficult to have chemistry with people you have never played with.
But there are times when there is a group of players who instantly have a connection while competing and coaches like to see that.
Communicating on the court can help build that chemistry (See also: How to Prepare for Tryouts)
4. Having a Bad Attitude
How you act on the court, how you interact with your teammates, and how you respond to getting feedback from your coach can have a big impact on whether or not you make the team.
Coaches don’t want players who are going to cause problems (See #3).
It is so important to the success of the team for players to come into the season with the right attitude. Memorize this: “I am going to work hard at all times not just for myself but for my team”.
When players adopt this type of attitude, it can make the difference between a winning season and a losing season.
5. Being Lazy (or the appearance of being lazy)
This one is probably an obvious reason, but not every player has the self-awareness to see that they are being lazy or at the very least that look like they are being lazy.
If you are not hustling, if you are not shagging balls, if you look like you are not giving your best, coaches will have the perception that you are lazy.
This is why it is important that you are hustling, that you are shagging balls, and that you give you absolute best so that coaches can have a positive perception of you.
I hope that answers your question! Feel free to check out my Youtube Channel where I give lots of tips for being a better volleyball player.