You’ve figured out what age division you need to play in. You’ve identified up a few clubs in your area. Now for the hard part: picking just ONE club to play for during the upcoming season.
This is a big decision. Club volleyball requires an investment of both time and money. It is a good idea to find out as much as you can about yourdifferent options before making any decisions. Remember to avoid assumptions as you start this process. Don’t assume a big club is better than a small club. Don’t assume a volunteer coach is better than a paid coach. Don’t assume the right fit for your friend is the right fit for you. Talk to several different clubs as you start to gather information.
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE CLUB
- What age groups do you offer?
- How do you select your players?
- How many teams do you have at each age level?
- Who are the coaches at my age level?
- What is their background in coaching?
- What is the club philosophy? (Does everyone play? Is it “play to win” all the time?)
- What are your membership fees?
- Is there a payment schedule?
- What is covered/not covered in that fee?
- Are there any other financial obligations? Travel? Fund raising? Uniforms?
- Where, when and how often do you practice?
- Are practices mandatory? What if my child misses a practice? Misses a tournament?
- How long is your season?
- How far will the team be traveling?
Once you have gathered this information for several clubs, take a minute to think about what you hope to get out of the experience.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF/YOUR CHILD
- What does my child want to get out of the club experience?
- Does my child want to play in high school? At what level in college?
- Does my child just want to enjoy the game and play with friends?
- What is my child’s priority for allocating free time: job, activities with friends, other club sports, etc.?
- Can my child keep up with school work?
- Can we afford the program we choose?
- How important is it that we, as parents, travel with our child? Can we save money if our child travels with the team?
Sit down as a family and figure out which clubs match your player’s goals, commitment level, financial situation, etc.
Once you have picked several top choices, look into the registration requirement for tryouts. You will need to register for the tryout through each individual club as they are a separate organization. Attend tryouts for several of your top choices if possible. One club may decide to offer you a roster spot while a different club may not. Trying out for several clubs gives you options and a “safety net” in case your top club does not offer you a spot.
For related reading on playing junior volleyball and finding the right fit click here.