VB TIPS

How to Be a Better Volleyball Player

Be in shape. You have to run fast, hit hard and be ready. You have to constantly be working out and training.
Learn that one important aspect of training is plyometrics (jumping). A high vertical jump gives a hitter/blocker numerous advantages. By training by jumping rope or squats or tuck jumps, your vertical will increase dramatically. The key is to keep up with it.
Practice with a jump rope. This is one of the most amazing tools for general fitness, as it increases endurance, and helps your jumping muscles. Look up some good jump rope routines.
Train with agility workouts. You have to be fast enough to react and pass a ball in volleyball.
Keep a positive mindset. If you hit a ball out or shank a pass, it's okay. Just move on and focus on the next serve. Volleyball is a mental sport and by getting down, you will greatly impact your game in a negative way.
Be alert, even if you are winning with a 10 point lead, the game could easily turn around with a good server.
Know where the ball is and who's going to get it. In server receive, the passer should always call the ball before it crosses the net. The setter should be loud and clear if calling help and if not, then she should call her hitter.
Go for every ball like it's your last hit. Basically, give it your all and the benefits will show.
Try wall sits. If you "sit on a wall" then your muscles in your thighs will get strong. You need strong thighs in volleyball because you need to squat down a little bit to show that you are down and ready.
Encourage your teammates. Say, lets go team, or, way to go! Something like that. You could also say it specifically to that person if they miss a serve or something. Always high five! 

More Tips

Make sure you know all the right hand motions.
Don't forget to communicate with your teammates.
Work as a team, not several individuals. Without a good pass, how will the setter ever make a set, and set up a kill?
Always cheer up your teammates when they also shank a ball, so the whole team doesn't get down.
It takes time to become a good hitter, just keep practicing and it will come.
Try practicing against a wall to improve your bumping, setting, and receiving skills.
Keep your tray (inner arms that you bump with) nice and flat, so the ball goes in the exact direction you want it to.
Make sure that you stretch often to prevent injuries and increase your vertical leap. Stretching your sides will gain you an extra inch or so in height for spiking if you reach your full flexibility!

All you want to know about being recruited

Summary from the NCAA's Guide for the College Bound Athlete, available on their website. 

Sophomore Year

* You may receive general brochures for camps and questionnaires from a university.
* You may make phone calls (emails) to the university's coach or staff.
* The university's coach or staff may not contact you personally.
* No off-campus contact allowed by the university's coach or staff.
* No "official" visits to the college allowed. An official visit is any visit to a college paid for by the college.
* Unlimited number of "unofficial" visits paid for by the parents or player. The university can provide up to three tickets to a sporting event during these visits.

Junior Year

* You are eligible to receive formal recruiting materials after September 1.
* You may make phone calls to the university's coach or staff.
* The university's coach or staff may make one phone call to you during the month of March of your junior year.
* The university's coach or staff may make a maximum of one phone call a week to you after July 1 of your junior year.
* The university's coach or staff may meet with you once at your school during April of your junior year.
* The university's coach or staff may meet with you at any venue starting July 1 of your junior year.
* No official visits are allowed.
* Unlimited number of unofficial visits paid for by the parents or player. The university can provide up to three tickets to a sporting event during these visits.
Register for the NCAA Clearinghouse at
                   
  Senior Year

* You are eligible to receive formal recruiting materials at any time.
* You may make phone calls to the university's coach or staff.
* The university's coach or staff may make one phone call to you per   week.
* The university's coach or staff may meet with you at any place or time.
* Official visits to a college are allowed beginning the date school opens.
* Official visits are limited to five universities total per athlete
* Unlimited number of unofficial visits paid for by the parents or player.   The university can provide up to three tickets to a sporting event during these visits.
* The university may come to your high school competitions and evaluate your play a maximum of seven times your senior year.

* The university may make personal contact with you a maximum of three times during your senior year.

Recruiting Video

What do college coaches want to see? 

There are basically three types of video that you can send a coach: Skills video, Highlight video, and game footage. The video is very important because it introduces you to coaches who may not otherwise get to see you. Here are some tips on making these types of videos.

Skills Video

A “skills” video does not have to be very long. Ten to fifteen minutes of skills footage is enough, as long as you show quality repetitions.

DO NOT send poor skills video to a coach. Video until you get 5 to 7 good repetitions in a row and use that footage.

If you make a mistake, delete the mistakes or start over.

Here are examples of what to put on your video by position:

Outsides and Right sides

Hitting
10 minutes of hitting on the outside/right side. Place the camera perpendicular to the hitter and behind the hitter.
1-2 minutes of hitting off a toss
2 minutes of hitting off a setter from a tossed ball
2 minutes of hitting off a ball you pass to the setter – have coach/tosser toss ball over the net to you.
2 minutes of hitting off a serve receive ball that you pass, setter sets, and you swing on.
2 minutes hit varied sets
OHs hit 4s, 32s, 2s, and back sets
RS hit X’s (2 balls), back quick sets, and outside sets.

1-2 minutes of blocking
Show stationary blocking so the coach can see how high you jump.
Show your movement side to side so that the coach can see your footwork
Have a coach on a box hit at you while stationary and while having to move to the “hitter”

1-2 minutes serving – if you have a jump serve, add a minute of jump serving. Place the camera behind you if there is room or on the other side of the court. Show where the ball lands.

2-3 minutes of serve-receive passing. Have camera placed behind you so that the coach can see the serve, the pass, and where the pass went.

2-3 minutes of defensive passing (digging). Place camera behind you so that coach can see where the ball is coming from and where the ball is passed.
Have your coach hit down line at you and then cross court at you.

If you have game footage or highlight footage, place 5 to 10 minutes of game footage (uninterrupted) and/or highlight footage at the end of your skills video.

Middles

Hitting
10 minutes of hitting in the middle. Place the camera perpendicular to the hitter and behind the hitter.
1-2 minutes of hitting off a toss
2 minutes of hitting off a setter from a tossed ball
2 minutes of hitting off a ball you pass to the setter – have coach/tosser toss ball over the net to you.
3-5 minutes hit varied sets from a tossed ball to the setter
31’s, slides, back one of one foot, etc

2-3 minutes of blocking
Show stationary blocking so the coach can see how high you jump and your form
Show your movement side to side so that the coach can see your footwork
Have a coach on a box hit at you while stationary and while having to move to the “hitter”

1-2 minutes serving – if you have a jump serve, add a minute of jump serving. Place the camera behind you if there is room or on the other side of the court. Show where the ball lands

2-3 minutes of serve-receive passing. Have camera placed behind you so that the coach can see the serve, the pass, and where the pass went.

2-3 minutes of defensive passing (digging). Place camera behind you so that coach can see where the ball is coming from and where the ball is passed.
Have your coach hit down line at you and then cross court at you.

If you have game footage or highlight footage, place 5 to 10 minutes of game footage (uninterrupted) and/or highlight footage at the end of your skills video.

DS/Liberos

Your objectives are to show the coach that you can control the ball in free-ball and down-ball situations, pass serves to target, dig hard-driven balls to a designated area, and are an aggressive / ball chasing defender who never gives up on a play.

3-5 minutes of down balls passed to target. Have coach hit balls from over the net. You will need someone in the 6 zone at the net to be the target.
Show camera angles from in front, back and the side so that the coach can see your form and where the balls lands.

5 minutes of hard-driven balls from a coach on a box.
Have balls hit down the line at you and from cross court
Do not use live hitters. You want a controlled situation so that the coach can see your technique and skill.

5 minutes of serve – receive passing.
Have server/coach use a variety of serves, e.g., floaters, top spin, short, long, and etc.

2 minutes of serving. As a libero or DS, you want your serve to be a weapon. Be aggressive on the video. Show how you can hit all of the zones and use a variety of serves.

If you have game footage or highlight footage, place 5 to 10 minutes of game footage (uninterrupted) and/or highlight footage at the end of your skills video.

Game Footage
With the ease of You Tube and other like web-based storage services, you can easily upload game video and send that to a coach via email.
If you are playing in a good tournament, then send video of your match(es) to the teams in which you have interest. Do not send bad games.


Highlight Video
If you are able to compile a highlight video, these are great introductory tools to introduce yourself to a team/coach.
They don’t have to be long. Five to ten minutes will suffice.
Use clips that highlight your skills -- not clips that show you miss hitting or miss passing a ball.
Remember, a coach will often only watch the first minute or so of a video. Put your best clips first so that they watch the rest of the video.

What do I do with the video once I have made it?

YouTube and other video databases
These are the easiest ways to save and send coaches links of your game footage. You do not have to spend money on DVD’s. Use Youtube as a server to store your videos.
You can make the videos unlisted so that only a person that has a link can watch it. Or you can make it public so that anyone can search for it.
Send the coach your link or your DVD with a note explaining what number you are wearing, where the tournament took place, and if you rotate out at any point.
Send the links/DVDs to the teams in which you have interest.
When you email the coach, let the coach know what you are sending – game footage, skills footage, or high light footage.
If it is skills footage, let the coach know what is on the video and what number you are wearing or color shirt you are wearing, if applicable.

COLLEGE LEVEL BREAKDOWN

With over 1,000 colleges and universities offering athletic programs it can be very confusing to understand how the NCAA separates different divisions. The NCAA breaks colleges into 5 different divisions which include DivisionI/II/III, NAIA, and Junior Colleges. These divisions are selected by determining the number of sports a college or university has. Inside each of these divisions colleges can be broken down into subdivisions. A brief definition of each NCAA Division is listed below:

NCAA DIVISION I (Volleyball)

Division One programs are compromised of the largest college and universities in the country. This is the premier division in College Volleyball and hosts nearly 118 programs. The season lasts from August to December with the NCAA tournament. Division One programs generally have 12 scholarships with the exception of schools with small athletic departments.
NCAA Division I schools are talked about in three categories:

Major Division One – Comprised of schools located in BCS Football Conferences. These conferences usually receive four or more invitations to the NCAA DI National Tournament each season. The athletic budgets and revenue streams for these colleges are often larger than any other level of play.

Conference Examples: (ACC, Big East, SEC, Big Ten, Big Twelve, Pac 10)
Team Examples: UCLA, USC, Univ. of Washington, Nebraska, Florida, Penn State, Texas
Recruiting Description – Most of these teams typically recruit and sign young ladies from all over the country who rank in at least the Top 300 nationally, Top 50 regionally, or Top 15 statewide in their respective high school graduating class. These are some of the most athletic kids in the country and are usually involved with the USAV Pipeline. The players are already very skilled or show a lot of potential with their athletic ability. The majority of these players will give a verbal commitment in their Junior season and sign with a program during their senior season.

• Middle Blocker: 6’2”– 6'5: Is very athletic and can move well. Approach Jump is 10’ or above and has good lateral movement. Can hit from different locations on the net and has the ability to block from pin to pin.

• Outside Hitter: 5’10 – 6’4: Will vary in style but has all around skills and can play front row and backrow. Player is touching on average 9’9” or above and has the tools to be able to score points.

• Opposite – 6’0 – 6’4: Has good physical presence and or blocking skills which makes them a good fit for the right side. Player should be able to contribute offensively but may not always play backrow. The position is becoming bigger to combat against opposing teams outside hitters.

• Setter: 5’9 – 6’2: Has great hands and has the mobility to sets balls from all over the court. Understands how to run and lead an offense. As the game is getting bigger and faster the position is starting to require taller athlete. Players should be able to hold their own in the front row.

• Libero/DS: 5’0 – 5'8: Incredible passing and diggings skills. Above average floor skills. Must be able to read hitters and having a tough serve helps. Must pass at above a 2.3 rating.

Mid-Major Division One – Comprised of conferences that receive an average of two to four in the NCAA DI National Tournament each year. The top teams in these conferences could compete in major conferences and advance past the first weekend in the tournament. Their budgets are usually similar if not better than the mid to lower tier teams in the major conferences.
Mid Major DI Conferences: Atlantic 10, Colonial, Conference USA, Mid-American, Sun Belt, Southern Conference
Team Examples: Charlotte, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, Temple
Most of these teams typically recruit and sign young ladies that are ranked between spots 150-600 nationally, 25-100 regionally, or Top 30 statewide in their respective high school graduating class. These schools also tend to sign kids from all over the country.

• Middle Hitter: 6’1 – 6’4: Strong, Good mobility and polished footwork, can terminate in front and behind setter, change opponents hitting abilities.

• Outside Hitter: 5’9 – 6’2: Versatile, can play all around. Must be able to terminate on both pins and from back row. Pass well defensively and in serve receive.

• Opposite Hitter: 5’10 – 6’3: Block well and serve tough. Must be able to put balls away outside as well. 

• Setter: 5’7 –6’1: Floor general, someone who can run and control a team, finds the open hitter and creates scoring opportunities.

• Libero/DS: 5’3 – 5’9: Primary defender who reads well and can direct the defense. Must pass well in serve receive and control half the court.

Low Major Division One – The schools in these conferences traditionally receive one invitation to the NCAA DI National Tournament each season. Depending on resources, these institutions might not be able to utilize all the scholarships allowed.
Low DI Conferences: Big South, Ohio Valley, Atlantic Sun, SWAC, Southland
Team Examples: Austin Peay, Florida A&M, Mercer,
Most of these teams typically recruit and sign young ladies that are ranked between spots 500-1,000 nationally, 75-175 regionally, or Top 50 statewide in their respective high school graduating class. These schools tend to sign most of their kids regionally (within a 300-500 mile radius) unless there is a specific connection (previous job, good high school coaching relationship, junior college transfer, DI transfer, or referral from a previous player) to an area outside of their region.

• Middle Blocker: 6’0 – 6’3: Above average mobility from pin to pin. Can terminate when needed and can alter the hitting of opponents attackers.

• Outside Hitter: 5’9 – 6’1: Terminates well outside and a great overall athlete. Must be able to pass and play defense at an above average level.

• Opposite: 5’10– 6’2: Blocks well and or great athlete. Must have an above average serve.

• Setter: 5’7 – 5’11: Smart, vocal, and can run the offense. Must give hitters one on one opportunity. :

• Libero: 5’3 – 5’8: Above average defender and serve receive.

NCAA Division Two and NAIA

Division Two
Division Two programs are allowed to use a maximum allotment of 8 scholarships per athletic year. Division II schools, like Low Majors, use academic scholarship money that players qualify for to help offset their budget expense for each recruit. The Top 25 programs in Division II are on par with Low Major DI teams. Division II hosts a 64 team National Tournament each year.

NAIA

The top ranked NAIA schools are comparable to NCAA Division II. Every few years NAIA schools grow in size or strength and move up to NCAA II level. They are allowed to give athletic scholarships but vary depending on the athletic programs budget. NAIA schools have relaxed recruiting guidelines but follow the Division II calendar.
DII or NAIA Conferences: GACC, Gulf South, Peach Belt, South Atlantic
Team Examples: West Georgia, Valdosta State, North Alabama, Armstrong Atlantic, Brewton Parker, Lee College
Most of these teams typically recruit young ladies that are ranked in spots 150-300 regionally or Top 125 statewide in their respective high school graduating class. These schools tend to recruit most of their kids within a 200-300 mile radius unless there is a specific connection to an area outside of their region. Players at this level usually lack a major asset such as size, mobility, or grades to play immediately at a Major/Mid-Major Division I school.

• Middle Blocker: 5’10” – 6’2
• Outside Hitter: 5’8” – 5’11
• Opposite: 5’9” – 6’1
• Setter: 5’6” – 5’9
• Libero/DS: 5’2” – 5’8

NCAA DIVISON III

There are no athletic scholarships given in Division III. Scholarships may be provided by member institutions but have to be base on grades, test scores, and made available to the student body as a whole.

Conference Examples: Great South, UAA
Team Examples: Emory, LaGrange, Oglethorpe, Piedmont, Sewanee
Most of these teams typically recruit young ladies that are ranked in spots 250-600 regionally or Top 200 statewide in their respective high school graduating class. Because of their specific academic requirements and the cost of attending these schools, DIII schools can attract players from other regions on a regular basis. On occasion DI prospects may attend a DIII school due to academics.

• Middle Blocker: 5’10” – 6’2
• Outside Hitter: 5’7” – 6’0
• Opposite: 5’9” – 6’0
• Setter: 5’5” – 5’10
• Libero/DS: 5’0” – 5’7

NJCAA (Junior Colleges)

These are two-year junior colleges that allow players to grow academically and/or physically before making the transition to a four-year school. Athletic scholarships are awarded. Recruiting is non-stop for NJCAA members.

Nutrition for Volleyball Players


Volleyball tournaments are fun and exciting events for young volleyball players! Adequate nutrition throughout the day can help keep the energy levels high and the body fueled for the day. Here are a few tips for nutrition for players during tournaments. The same principles can be applied to every day that you play in a sports activity.

Nutrition before competition:
Prior to arriving to the event, make sure you are up early and ready in time to have a proper breakfast that is high in carbohydrates and small amounts of protein and fat.

Healthy tournament breakfast food:
Cereal with milk
Fruit (apples, bananas)
Yogurt
Scrambled or boiled eggs
Toast, bagels (small amounts of peanut butter, nutella)
Juice, milk
Lots of water (try to drink 2-3 glasses of water in the morning before you leave home)

Foods to avoid:
Danishes, donuts, pastries
Sweet breakfast foods (syrups, sugar, honey)
Coffee or caffeinated beverages
Fried foods
Limit high fiber and heavy protein
Starbucks blended, fatty drinks etc.

Nutrition between/during competition:
Since we will be at the venue all day, please bring food for the entire day. It is important to eat frequently and consume healthy foods between matches. Most matches are about 1 hour long and about anywhere from minutes to hours apart. So bring foods that are easy to prepare, quick to eat and digest. Often, there is no refrigeration or microwave at the venues so please bring foods that are easily packed and won’t spoil. While tournaments are a fun, social atmosphere, try to limit the “party” foods. (Everything in moderation!)

Healthy tournament “grazing” food:
Fruit
Cut up veggies (carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc.), salads
Sandwiches made with luncheon meat (turkey, chicken, tuna, )
Yogurts, cheese, crackers
Water, juice
Healthy granola bars
Lots of water

Foods to avoid:
Chips
Chocolate bars
Pop, especially Coke and caffeinated beverages
Candy
Fast foods like hamburgers, french fries
High-fat, sweet “granola” bars
Starbucks or other blended drinks

Nutrition post-event-recovery

After the tournament, you will probably be hungry and tired. Bring some food for the car ride home.
Healthy tournament recovery food:
Fruit (bananas, apples)
Nuts, almonds
Dried fruit
Fruit juice
Sports drinks
more water

Foods to avoid/limit:
Chips, salty foods
Pop, especially Coke and caffeinated beverages

Tips for parents and players:

« Label all water bottles and lunch bags with players name and team
« Designate a “tournament” lunch bag, that has some sort of thermos type padding
« Designate a “tournament” water bottle and have extra water in the car for the ride home
« Freeze juice boxes and add to lunch bag to act as a cold pack
« Have players prepare and pack their own tournament lunch bag
« Give players a budget and have a few of them shop together for healthy tournament food and snacks.
« Of course... snacks and treats are OK..just in moderation and not the primary source of “fuel” for the body.


Here’s to a healthy, energetic day of volleyball!