Knowing how to prepare for volleyball tryouts can be nerve racking and intimidating. We are here to help relieve some of the anxiety that goes along with volleyball tryouts by giving you some tips and things to know before setting foot on the court at a tryout.
In addition to our tips and things you should know, we have added some frequently asked questions at the end of this article that may be very helpful to you.
10 Tips For Volleyball Tryouts
Volleyball can be an extremely competitive sport, so having some tips before the tryouts can be very helpful. Below we have listed our top ten tips that will help you be successful at tryouts.
1. Attend Pre-Tryout Clinics/School Camps
Just about every volleyball club has pre-tryout clinics that start as early as May. This is a great time to meet the coaches in your age group and become familiar with a club. This is also a good time to check out more than one club. By visiting more than one club, you can choose the one where you feel the most comfortable.
Middle school and high school volleyball teams will often have camps and/or clinics during the summer. By attending these, you will be able to get to know your coaches before official tryouts take place.
2. Show Up Early
Be sure to show up at least 15 minutes early to try-outs. Sometimes there can be a check-in or registration line that you will need to go through, and you don’t want to be late to the court. After you get to the court, don’t just stand there, be sure to warm-up by stretching out your muscles. This not only shows coaches that you are mature and know how to get ready, it will also help your body be at its peak performance.
Do everything you can do to hustle on and off the court. Be sure to pursue the ball even if you know it’s going to hit the floor. If you’re in line for a drill, run to the back of the line when done. Not only should you hustle during every drill and after every ball, but also during those times when you’re shagging balls or getting a drink. Be sure to run when shagging the balls and run to get your drink. Coaches like to see a player that hustles 100% of the time.
4. Listen To Coaches
When a coach is talking, be sure to give them your undivided attention. This is not a good time to make new friends and start conversations with other players. Be sure to give them eye contact and nod your head so they know you are listening. If you don’t understand their directions, be sure to raise your hand and ask for clarification. It’s better to ask than look like you weren’t paying attention.
5. Be Coachable
Coaches want players that want to improve their game. How you respond to their coaching will tell them if you are coachable or not. If they are telling you a way to improve in a skill, be sure to respond positively. Don’t tell them that is the way your old coach taught you or that way just works for you. After they suggest on how to improve, immediately start performing the action the way they suggested.
6. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is important in all sports, and volleyball is no exception. Be sure to focus on hydration up to at least a week ahead of tryouts. The benefits of hydration are numerous and can help your body perform at its best, as well as keep you healthy.
Along with hydration, be sure to eat healthy as well. The fuel you put in your body as an athlete will help it to be ready for all the workouts that are needed to get you ready for the volleyball season.
7. Be Vocal On The Court
Encourage other players to do their best and cheer them on when they make a good play. If another player needs help knowing where to go on the court, let them know by being positive toward them. For example, tell them “You are playing left back”. Don’t laugh at them or say, “I can’t believe you don’t know”. This will let the coaches know that you are a team player.
Call The Ball
You have probably heard many coaches say “call the ball” to you or a team. When the ball is coming to you, you can simply say “mine” or “got it” and be sure to get the ball up as best as you can. By calling the ball, you are letting the coaches know you can be counted on to get to the ball and that you have learned a skill from past coaches.
During scrimmage play, be sure to help other players by calling the ball in or out. This shows the coaches you are paying attention to where the ball is going and helping other players.
8. Shake Off Mistakes
More than likely, you are going to make a mistake at tryouts. Nobody is perfect. You must be able to self-talk your way out of mistakes. Remind yourself that you will do better next time and focus on doing your best. If you start getting down on yourself, you’re likely to make more mistakes. Coaches will be watching to see how you handle making mistakes, they will be looking for players that can let mistakes go and turn it back around on the next play.
9. Be Willing To Play Other Positions
Coaches love players that are willing to be versatile. If you are willing to play a different position during a drill or match, you are showing the coach that you are here for the team not just for yourself. Sometimes, the coach can see something in yourself that you haven’t, so they may want to try you at a different position. If playing a different position means making the team, you may want to explore that option.
10. Be A Team Player
Do your best to get along with the other players at the tryouts. Coaches are looking for players that work well with others to build a team. Encourage others to do their best and cheer for them when they make a good play. If a player gets an ace serve, go give them a high five. Always be positive. Coaches know players that show positive attitudes during tryouts are likely to make good team players during the season.
What To Wear For Volleyball Tryouts
When choosing your attire for volleyball tryouts be sure to wear things that are comfortable, light, and breathable. What you wear can make a big difference on your performance. Below we will discuss what you can wear to tryouts that will help you the most.
It is best to wear a t-shirt to volleyball tryouts not a tank top. Make sure the t-shirt is not too big but is long enough to cover your stomach. The t-shirt should not hang down over your thighs and should be somewhat close fitting as this helps avoid touching the net. It is also a good idea to wear a bright colored t-shirt that will help keep the spotlight on you. If you have an old team shirt, that can also help you by letting the coaches know you have played the game before and have some experience.
Girls: Be sure to wear a sports bra as it gives you all the support you need while playing. It will keep you secure and comfortable while jumping, running, and diving.
Spandex shorts are the best shorts to wear to tryouts. They fit snugly to your body and give you the most freedom of movement. Be sure to jog, squat, and lunge in your shorts before tryouts to make sure they don’t easily ride up or slide down. If you do not have spandex, then wearing a pair of close-fitting athletic shorts will work.
Kneepads are essential for the game of volleyball. Be sure to try them on before buying. You don’t want them to be too big so they’re falling off or too small that they are cutting off you circulation. Also, be sure there is enough padding for the knee. You may want to test them out by sitting on your knees while they are on.
View: Best Volleyball Kneepads
When choosing what kind of socks to wear, it comes down to your personal preference. Player’s wear anything from short socks to crew socks to long socks. When you make a team, you may be provided with the socks they would like you to wear.
For tryouts, a good pair of running shoes will work just fine. Be sure they lace up and have good arch support. If you already have a pair of volleyball shoes, then great. Volleyball shoes typically weigh less and provide more support than running shoes. If you make the team, a lot of times the coaches will have specific shoes they want you to wear, so going out and buying a pair for tryouts isn’t necessary.
View: Best Volleyball Shoes
Skills To Practice For Volleyball Tryouts
During the volleyball tryouts, coaches will be specifically looking at your individual abilities. Refining your skills before playing in front of coaches can be very beneficial. Below we have listed the skills coaches will be focused on during the tryout process.
Passing is the top skill coaches look at when selecting players for their team. Every position passes at some point or another, so it’s important to be proficient in this skill. When passing, remember to stay low and be in ready position when the ball is coming over the net.
Your goal is to get the ball to the setter high enough for them to set a hitter. Before going to tryouts, work on accurately getting the ball to a target. The more repetitions you have of this skill the better prepared you will be for the tryout.
Be consistent with your serving. You will want to show the coach that you are able to serve the ball inbound at least 80% of the time. If you know many types of serves, choose the one you are the most consistent with for tryouts.
Being able to put your serve in a specific location on the court is also a plus for coaches. Spot serving is used by many teams to make it difficult for the opposing team to return the ball. The coach will hold up a number usually on their fingers telling you what position to serve to on the other side of the court. Knowing how to do this accurately can give you a good advantage during tryouts.
If you are trying out to be a setter, you will want to have strong hands and fingers that are ready to set the ball. A good set has little to no spin on it, therefore making it easier for the hitter to hit. Setters are responsible for getting to the second ball after it has come over the net, so be sure to hustle for that second ball. If you know you are not going to make it to the ball, your job is to call for help from your other teammates.
It is important for a setter to have quick feet and get under the ball to make that great set for the hitter. When you get under the ball, be sure to use good form to set it. You will need to have your hands above your forehead, fingers firm around the ball, and push the ball up using your hands and legs. Be sure the set is high enough for the hitter to make an approach and strike it hard.
The most important thing coaches want to see from hitters is their approach to the net. There is specific footwork that goes with being a hitter. Be sure to practice this repetitively before tryouts. It is important to also be able to time the ball when it’s coming from the setter. But, if you don’t quite have the timing down, that’s okay, just be sure to show them your footwork.
After you hit the ball, getting back to your defensive position quickly is a must. You may have had a phenomenal hit, but if you just stand there in awe and not hustle back into position, coaches will not be happy. Show them that you are willing to hustle all the time on the court.
When it comes to being a blocker, coaches are going to want to see how well you can read the hitters from the opposite team. They will want to see how you set up at the net when going for a block. Be sure to have your elbows in front of you and your palms facing the net. When you go up for the block, bend your legs and jump as high as you can while putting your hands on the ball. Keep your hands firm so the ball will fall back to the other side.
While blocking, make sure you keep your body out of the net. If you are called in the net, the ball automatically goes to the other team. There is also special footwork when transitioning across the net to assist another blocker. Be sure to practice these transitions before going to tryouts.
Things To Know About Club Volleyball Tryouts
Knowing what to expect from club volleyball tryouts can put your mind at ease before even walking into the gym. Listed below are some things you should know about club volleyball tryouts.
- Club volleyball tryouts take place around the second week of July. They usually last 2-3 days.
- Coaches will be evaluating you on different skills.
- There will be many players there trying out with you in your age group.
- At the end of each tryout day, coaches may talk with you about your performance.
- Coaches are not allowed to offer a position on a team until official tryout days.
- Scrimmage play between mock teams is common toward the end of the tryout day.
It is important to note that not all clubs are the same. It is a good idea to contact any club you are interested in and find out the details to their specific club. Most clubs have a website, so it is a good idea to start there.
Remember most clubs have pre-tryout clinics that you can attend. It is highly recommended to attend these clinics to get to know the coaches and sharpen your volleyball skills.
Things To Know About Middle School And High School Volleyball Tryouts
Knowing what to expect from middle and high school volleyball tryouts can help you prepare your mind before setting foot on the court. Listed below are some things you should know about middle and high school tryouts.
- Tryouts typically take place the first week or two of school.
- Coaches will be evaluating how well you do at basic volleyball skills.
- Tryouts may last a few days.
- Some coaches make cuts every day or two until it gets down to the final cut.
- If you are cut or make the team, the coaches will let you know either way.
- Scrimmages between mock teams is common.
- Tryouts typically take place at the beginning of August before school starts.
- Coaches will be evaluating how well you perform volleyball skills.
- Coaches may ask you what position you normally play and watch you at that position.
- The tryout process may last a few days.
- There may be players cut throughout the process or on the last day.
- Scrimmages between mock teams is common.
Middle school and high school tryouts are different from school to school. Be sure to keep updated on any important information pertaining to volleyball through school announcements. Because volleyball starts right away in the fall, there may be some summer clinics you can attend. This will help you get to the know the coach and the program as well as practice your skills.
Playing volleyball on a school team is a great way to stay active, be a part of your school, and make friends. If you decide to tryout, remember to stay calm and have fun.
Volleyball Tryouts Frequently Asked Questions
When Are Volleyball Tryouts?
Club tryouts are usually the second week of July. Middle school tryouts typically take place in August at the beginning of the school year. High school tryouts are usually at the beginning of August before school starts.
What Should I Wear To Volleyball Tryouts?
Wear a comfortable t-shirt that is not too tight or loose. For shorts, you can wear spandex or regular athletic shorts. Be sure to bring kneepads as you will be probably digging for the ball. Also, wear a pair of running shoes with good traction or volleyball shoes.
What Do Coaches Look For In A Volleyball Player?
Coaches look for players that are athletic and have a good knowledge of volleyball. They look for players that are always consistent with their skills and hustle on the court. Your ability to be a good team player is also very important to coaches.
Does It Cost Money To Try Out For Volleyball?
Club volleyball will usually have a cost for tryouts. The cost may be as little as $20 or as much as $100. Middle school and high school usually take place at no cost to the players.
Are There Different Levels Of Club Volleyball?
National and regional are the two main levels of club volleyball. Nationals is the highest level where the teams travel to different states throughout their season and play at national tournaments. Regionals is the next level where teams usually stay in their home state to play in tournaments hosted by different regions.
Trying out for volleyball can seem nervous at first. Preparing your mind and body before the process can help ease your nerves. Our hope is that we provided you with some good tips and things to remember before heading to tryouts.
When you get to the tryouts, remember that every player there is in the same boat as you are and make the best of it. Be sure to stay calm and show the coaches that you are ready to play. Also, have fun and Good Luck!
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