Each week, on my Youtube channel, I answer questions from volleyball players and coaches. Here is one of the questions that was asked.
I am on the Freshmen Volleyball Team at school. How can I show my coach that I am good enough to play on JV or Varsity?
This is such a great question to ask.
I have coached Middle School, High School, and USAV Club volleyball and here is what I can tell you coaches are looking for.
They want to see that you are willing to work harder than anyone else in the gym. This doesn’t necessarily mean you sweat more, it means that you are intentional about everything you are doing. When you are passing the ball, know where you are going to pass the ball before it ever gets to you. When you hitting the ball, are you just swinging at the ball hoping it goes in or are you intentionally trying to hit the gaps?
If the coach is giving you feedback, take what they give you and apply it. Show them that you are trying to make adjustments. Don’t just listen to what they are telling you, actually apply it. The worst thing a player can do is get feedback from a coach and then not do anything with it. If you don’t understand, then ask!
Ask your coach what you can work on. I love when my players take initiative and ask me what they can work on. A lot of times, I have players come up to me at the end of practice and ask what they need to be working on a home. Your coach will always have something that you can be working on between practices. Maybe you can pass the ball against the wall or work on your toss for your serve. Every little bit of extra practice makes a difference.
In volleyball, most coaches want to see players who communicate. This means calling for the ball, encouraging your teammates, saying what you see (e.g. When you are on defense, yell which player on the other team is getting set — “OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE!”). You can’t talk enough in volleyball! Here’s a tip: watch a college match online and speak everything that you are seeing out loud — “Pass is tight… Right side hitter… Serve is short”. Things like that. It will get you into a good habit of communicating what you see.