We’ve talked a lot about volleyball tryouts at My Little Athlete. This post is going to mention a few key elements of tryouts, but it is mostly going to serve as a resource page for all our Volleyball Tryout information. So let’s get started.
Before tryouts begin, you should take the time to do some research on what will be expected of you. Most of the time, the team will post the information you need, and you are expected to have all paperwork done and ready to go by the time tryouts roll around. Make sure all your paperwork is completely ready to go (or already turned in) so that on tryout day, you aren’t stressing about it.
If you’re lucky, the team will post some expectations for you, for instance, if you’ll be expected to complete a pushup or running test. Most of the time though, this isn’t posted.
Get yourself in good shape for tryouts. Even if you aren’t in the best shape of your life, spend time doing pushups, lunges, and a little sprinting at a minimum. You’re trying out for a sport, so it’s a guarantee you’ll have to be active at tryouts. If you’re spending all your time worrying about how tired you are, you won’t be able to perform at your best. Not to mention, on day two, you’re going to be really sore if you sat around all pre-season and did nothing. Show up to tryouts with enough time to find the location and the gym, turn in any paperwork and get your shoes, ankle braces and kneepads on.
Wear comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes. Make sure your hair is pulled out of your face. You do not want to be touching your hair very much during tryouts.
Go to tryouts and work your butt off. You can control how hard you work, so make sure you’re not lazy. Coaches do not like lazy.
Another thing coaches don’t like: when you aren’t paying attention. Depending on your age, you’ll be evaluated in different ways. Do your best with whatever is asked of you.
Don’t be surprised to see the coach (or several coaches) standing with clipboard making notes. Don’t over think that stuff, you don’t know what they’re writing and you don’t even know who it’s about. Just focus on the task at hand: doing your best. If you know you’re being evaluated, for instance, if you are serving 10 balls and the coach is writing down how many you make, don’t stress out if you make an error. I can’t tell you what your coach is thinking, but it is entirely possible they are looking to see how you handle yourself, and trying to determine if you can be taught to make serves. Coaches love coachable kids because they know the kid can improve.
You don’t have to walk in as the best player in the gym, if you can prove you can learn quickly.
If you are asked to do something new, always respond positive. If you’re asked to play setter, respond with, “I’ve never played setter, but I’d be happy to try it”. Do not ever respond with “I don’t set” and walk off.
I know that tryouts can be scary, but remind yourself that there are only 2 outcomes and neither will ruin your life.
Here are some other resources for you if you want to go a little deeper. Please consider reading these before tryouts:
An Open Letter to any athlete who was recently cut.
An open letter to any athlete who has recently made the team.
Should I tryout for volleyball? A podcast episode.
More Volleyball Tryout Tips - A Podcast Episode
What to wear to tryouts? - A podcast episode:
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Listen to the Episode: