Are private volleyball lessons worth it? (Answered)

A private volleyball trainer can take your game to the next level. At the same time, they are quite expensive. We can ask ourselves the question if they are worth it? Let’s discuss what I have learned from working with a private trainer myself. 

Before you work with a personal trainer.

There are several reasons why you might want to work with a private trainer. You might want to make the finals of a competition, get on the team, and so on. Make sure that your goals are very clear before you start talking to private trainers. This will make it easier to select the right person for the job as you both know what is expected. I often see players that don’t know what they want and then it is really difficult to give them advice on what to do next. 

Let’s take a look at how a great trainer works:

If you know your goals, you can also use these to find the best trainer for your situation. If the trainer has no experience with the goal you want to achieve, you probably shouldn’t work together as there is no proof that he or she can help you with your goal. 

I wanted to improve my blocking skills. Therefore I searched for the trainer that had the most experience in this area by asking other players with whom they worked to improve their blocking skills. Eventually, I found someone that helped me to improve my technique and also helped me with my jumping style. This has improved my volleyball game a lot and helped me to make the team several times. If I never worked with this personal trainer, I would have missed a lot of games and would never have been able to make that many points for my team. It was only because I knew my goal that I was able to find the right person for this.

Advantages of a private volleyball trainer

A private trainer can pay personal attention to your situation. That person can figure out what points you need to work on and provide you with drills that focus on these points. Some drills are hard to perform with a whole group and are better to do with one or two people.  

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

If you have specific questions, you can ask them to your trainer. Maybe he or she doesn’t know the answer at that point in time as some research is needed but you should get an answer eventually. Being able to ask the questions that you are having, from what equipment to buy to some motivational insights is a great advantage of a personal trainer. Coaches of a team often don’t have time to answer these as they have to keep the whole group busy. 

Another advantage of a personal trainer is that you will train more often and therefore you will make more progress in a short period of time. If you want to prepare yourself for a competition or tryouts, it can help you to focus on accomplishing your goals if you work with a trainer.

A personal trainer can track your progress over time. They often have spreadsheets or other documents that allow them to see what aspects of your game have improved already and what things you still have to work on. If you measure and track everything, it is a lot easier to improve. This almost never gets done by a club coach and provides a lot of data that you can analyze. 

If you want to become a pro, it can be a great idea to work with a personal trainer. Let’s take a look at the story of Rachael Adams that is a pro player and is active in Team USA:

Private trainers also know what scouts are looking for. Therefore, they can help you if you want to get selected during the tryouts. They can show you what you have to pay attention to and how you can make sure that you get selected. 

A private trainer can teach you new techniques that have been invented. These drills might be unique and can therefore help you to improve a lot. These trainers often spend a lot of time reading up on what is new and changing and this can give you an edge on the field. 

Disadvantages of a private volleyball trainer

A private trainer can be quite expensive. If you are still learning the basics, a friend can help you out as well. If you don’t have big ambitions to play volleyball on a high level, it is probably not worth spending a lot of time of money on this. If you work with a private trainer, the goal is to work together for at least a year. Just taking one or two sessions is not really going to help you that much as the trainer needs time to see where you can improve and what drills can help you with that. 

Photo by Josh Duke on Unsplash

The private trainer might have another approach than your coach and this can get quite confusing. For example, your private trainer can use a certain technique whereas your team coach mentions another one. These can contradict each other, leading to a difficult situation. 

You will spend a lot of time with your personal trainer, if you don’t get along it can be a hassle to work together. Therefore you might have to work with several of them to see who you enjoy working with. If you don’t trust this person, it will be hard to work together for a long time. 

Sometimes a private trainer is afraid that you won’t work with him or her anymore and that person doesn’t dare to say what you really should be working on. This person often needs the work and therefore is afraid that you will work with someone else. This could lead to stagnation and slow progress. On the other hand, a private trainer can get quite sloppy after working together for a while, they might take you for granted. If you take their training and you notice that they don’t put in a lot of effort, it might be necessary to hire someone else. This can lead to difficult conversations that some players want to avoid. 

Conclusion: is a private volleyball trainer worth it?

You can’t expect magical outcomes from working with a private trainer. You still have to put in the work and perform the drills. There are going to be days that you might not feel like it. Your private trainer will push you to get that workout in any way. If there is someone standing next to you, it is hard to say to that person that you don’t want to do something because you are tired or want a nap. You know that you are paying for it and therefore it motivates you to push harder. 

It might be necessary to work with multiple trainers before you find someone that you really get along with. You shouldn’t be best friends but at least you should be able to work together for a long period of time and have respect for each other. It is a difficult balance for a trainer to find out if they should be hard on you or not. Some players perform better when the trainer is strict, others get overwhelmed and are not working at peak levels. Therefore you need a private trainer that has a lot of experience coaching other players. If they have a track record, they can prove that they know what they are doing. Therefore it is often better to work with someone that has testimonials and can prove that they can help you to achieve your goals.