How do you get into club volleyball? You need to know this!

You have to distinguish between club volleyball and open volleyball. The first is for players that want to participate in a competition and the latter is more for fun. Getting into an open club is in general quite straightforward. You just have to contact a club in your area and ask if you can join. Often you just have to pay and fill in some administrative documents and that is about it. Once this is done, you are already a member.

It is possible that some club teams have entrance sessions to see if your level matches that of the other players on the team. If you are new and other players have been playing volleyball for decades, there can be a big gap so you might need to join another cohort of the team. You will have to discuss with the coach of the team to see what is possible. Let’s see what I have learned about getting into club volleyball.

How many players are on a club volleyball team?

This depends but in general there are about 10-15 players on a team in volleyball. During a match, six players are on the field at the same time. If you have four players on the bench, it is possible to allow everyone to play. There are always players that won’t show up anymore after a few months or can’t make it to a match. Therefore 15 players are ideal as about 10 of these will be committed to coming to every training. If all 15 of them keep showing up, some players might feel that they don’t have enough time to play during a match. Having fewer than 10 players on the team can lead to problems as well as you might not have enough substitutes to switch the players during the match. Therefore most clubs try to aim to have between 10 to 15 players as this is the perfect amount as everyone can play during the match but you still have enough substitutes to keep the team going through long matches. 

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Some teams play together for several years and they are a very tight-knit group. Volleyball is a team sport and you (almost) can’t score or defend on your own. Therefore it might be quite challenging to join a team that has been playing together for a long period of time. These players also often don’t leave the team as they have a very strong bond with the other people on the team. 

How do you make a volleyball team with no experience?

Getting in the team and training with them is one thing. Being allowed to play during a match is something else. If you have no experience and there is a big skill gap with the other players, it is possible that you might have to wait several months before you can make the team. In other instances, you might only be allowed to play for a short period of time. It depends on the philosophy of the club. More competitive clubs will probably tell you that you have to train for at least six months before you can make the team. They want to make sure that you know the basics and won’t interrupt the flow of the teams. Clubs that are more focused on having fun, might be more accommodative and allow you to play quite soon.

In some competitions, it is also not possible to just join as there are official lists of names of the players on the team. Therefore you might have to wait until the season ends or until the middle of the season so that these lists can be updated. This is often done to avoid that teams completely changing during the course of the competition and to keep everything fair for all the teams. You will have to check with your coach what they can do for you. Maybe you can play during matches that are not tied to the competition itself such as a tournament.

Playing a match is completely different than training. The intensity is a lot higher and there is more stress. This is the moment to sink or swim and a lot of players find this quite overwhelming at first. It is only after a while that you get used to this.  

You have to be realistic and accept that it might take quite some time before you can add value to the team. You will need to learn all the rules, learn how to deal with the team dynamics, improve your ball handling, get more agile, and so on. All of these things take time so don’t get frustrated when you are not allowed to play during the match. Keep putting in the work week after week and eventually, you will get there. It might take weeks or even months but your skills will have evolved enough. 

How do you make a volleyball team at school?

You will have to train a lot if you want to make the volleyball at school. The coach probably will set up a test at the end of the training to see who he or she will select to make the team. You can ask your coach what you should work on if you don’t make the team several times in a row. That will show your coach that you are serious about being part of the team and it will also make you aware of what drills you have to perform to get better.

More tips can be learned from the video below:

Often the team dynamics also affect who is being selected. If a player is very popular, the coach might be more likely to select that person even if her or his volleyball skills are not on par yet. Volleyball is a team sport and if you are good at communicating or motivating others, you can add a lot of value to the team as well. 

You also might think about changing your playing style. If there are already a lot of great setters on the team, you might want to improve your serve instead so that you can bring something unique to the team. Having a skill that no other player has, is a great way to make the team as you can take the team to the next level. 

To conclude we can state that in general, it is quite easy to join a team except if there is a big gap between the skills that you have and the ones of the team. They might send you to another team if this is the case. Being allowed to play during a match can quite a lot of time as the coach expects that you know the basics and can add value to the team. Be patient and put in the work until you are allowed to do so.