3 Myths in Junior Volleyball
Ryan Miller - Ballistic Club Director
There are common pitfalls while navigating the murky waters of juniors volleyball. Heres how to avoid 3 of them:
If possible, keep close ties with your community. You have the right to leave a bad experience, but think twice about leaving a good experience on a whim. There seems to be a perception that there is some incredible opportunity awaiting somewhere else. The problem with this kind of mentality is it literally separates your athlete from their peers, and has a tendency to burn bridges with heir peers. It also deprives your athlete of taking responsibility for their own success. Your athlete has plenty of opportunity to better themselves every day. Your athlete will likely spend the most amount of time and have most of those learning moments playing with their peers, they need to absorb and adapt. They need to learn how to be positive leaders and cope with adversity. You and your athlete should find local coaches they trust and have access to so they can work together on issues. Whether your athlete is in the top percentile or not, they always will have something to contribute and have something to work on. The essence of developing at the fastest possible rate is for the individual to develop a healthy growth mindset -not about stacking the deck and eliminating obstacles.
Your athletes skills and adaptations to tough situations are the biggest things that will drive their success, again-- by developing a growth mindset. Bigger clubs does not always mean more success or opportunity. Higher cost does not always equate to better quality or faster development. What does matter is how much your athlete wants success and are they willing to do their own personal research and personal effort?
Seek answers from someone you trust and who is invested in your athlete, not from hearsay. If you have spent years at a particular club, they are usually deeply invested in your athlete. The question to ask is from the beginning to end of season did you see progress? If it is not as much as you'd have liked, are they training enough? Are you pursuing every avenue your club has available?
Lastly, if college recruitment is important to you, there is no fast, easy road unless you have a top 1% athlete. If your player lies in the top 10% it can still be hard to be noticed. You will be required to directly show colleges that you are interested in their program. You need to initiate contact with them and do your best to provide them with reasons your athlete is good for their program and the school. Being on a national team is usually one of the least of their concerns.
Find a great process and it will eventually lead to confidence. Volleyball is a great equalizer of the truth. If you or your player is overconfident, the truth will quickly come to light. If you or your athlete lack enough confidence, it may be because they are seeking something that does not quite fit reality. Thirdly, if your athlete is in the upper echelon of skill but confidence still seems weak, they need to work on positive self-talk methods. Instead of acting confidently they are using a coping mechanism to prepare for a let-down. Skill and confidence belong together. Neither can be crammed in, faked or replicated! To avoid deviations, seek out and find a great process that you believe in and keep at it! Confident or not, the one thing that you do have control over is your effort today and every day from here forward. Do what you can do and you will find confidence and skill become synonymous.
Myth #1: Elitist Complex
“My athlete needs to play with older players to make them better.” “They need play on a national team.” They need the club to push them harder.
Myth #2: Gimmicks
“They say we have a greater chance of being recruited if___."
Myth #3 Confidence:
“We are worried about making the team unless we do something drastic immediately.” “My athlete is not getting playing time and it’s ruining her confidence!” “My athlete needs to be more confident.”