How to practice for volleyball tryouts: get selected for the team

Volleyball tryouts can be very intense as the stakes are often high. It can mean the difference between being able to join a team or not. Having a plan and being prepared is essential. In this post, we will provide some tips that can help you to get selected. 

Plan what needs to happen

You can calculate how many weeks you have left before the tryouts start. This can allow you to set a daily schedule. This makes it easier to execute the drills as you already know in advance what you will have to do. It also eliminates any excuse that might come up as you are just following your schedule. You can work with your trainer to set this up. Be realistic but push yourself to work hard every day. This schedule has to be specific (for example discuss how many miles you will run or how many repetitions of each drill). You can discuss this with your coach and he or she can suggest some drills that can improve your skills. We discussed the best drills for volleyball players here as well. 

You can print out this plan and hang it in your room. After every day you can then cross out the drills that you have done. This can give a lot of satisfaction at the end of a hard workout. This visual reminder can also push you to work harder, even when you don’t want to. Professional players have to work out even on days when they don’t feel like it. This is part of having a goal in life. If you really want something, you will have to work for it. A plan is a great way to see if you are moving in the right direction or not. Your coach can only motivate you so much, you have to do it yourself. No one can perform the drills for you. Find out why you want to get selected for the tryouts and use this as fuel to get started on days that you don’t want to. Everyone has excuses, great players overcome these and perform anyway.  

Weak points vs strong points

There is always a lot of discussion about working on your strong or weak points. I would try to focus on what the coaches are looking for. They want to make sure that you master the 5 basic skills in volleyball (serving, setting, digging, spiking,  blocking) as every player has to do this during a match. Other than this they might look for players in a specific role. Once you master the basics, it is often better to focus on the skills that are needed for this role. Coaches know that players have specialties and you can’t be good at everything. They don’t expect that a middle blocker will be great at digging (as the libero will often do this). Therefore it is great to focus on your weak points to some extent. Once you get the basics of this and feel that you do a decent job, it is better to focus on your strong points and improve even further on these. 

Repetition is essential

You will often have to repeat the same drills for several hours. This sounds boring and mundane. You have to find a way to keep it exciting. Invite some friends to join you and have fun together. If you repeat the same drills over and over something magic happens. You will be able to use the skills without thinking as your body is so used to performing them. 

If you want to improve your serve, you shouldn’t practice once or twice. You should do it hundreds of times so that you are fully confident in your abilities to get it done. This will make sure that you feel that you are competent and therefore you won’t be nervous during the tryouts as you have done the same movement a lot of times already. The problem is that a lot of players practice once or twice and think that this is enough. It isn’t. Professional players often spend days perfecting a small nuance in their serve. You should do the same if you want to get great at it. 

Try to find out what the coach is looking for

We discussed what coaches are looking for before here. You can also check with the coach that will be present at the tryouts to see what they expect from a player. In some instances, yçou might hear that they are looking for a player for a specific position. If you can play on that position as well, you can consider mentioning this so that they can take you into account as well. Coaches will notice that you are engaged. Don’t bug them the whole time, just show that you are willing to do your best. Motivation is often something that players get rated on and showing that you are willing to go the extra mile can provide a great first impression

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

Preparation is everything

Make sure that you bring all the required gear. It can be annoying if you forget something during the tryouts. Also, bring a spare of everything you need as things do break. My shoes broke during one other tryout. Luckily I had another pair with me so I could continue. If I hadn’t, my trouts would be over. You can also check the sports arena in advance so that you know where the tryouts will take place and where you can store your gear. This can reduce your stress during the tryouts themselves as you don’t have to think about these practical issues.  

To conclude, we can state that preparing for tryouts involves a lot of planning and working out. You have to find out what skills you want to improve and select drills that will help you with this. Just randomly hitting the ball will not get you to your goal. You should stick to the plan, even on days when you don’t feel like it. If you have given it your all, you can’t be mad at yourself if you don’t get selected.