5 Volleyball Tryout Tips

Presented by Eric Snyder & Rob Machan, Camp Directors
Nike Volleyball Camp at Sacred Heart University

First impressions are everything when it comes to volleyball tryouts. They can be the difference between making the team and being cut. Here are five ways to standout out at tryouts and increase your chances of making the team and what most coaches are looking for during tryouts, according to some of our Nike advanced volleyball camp directors.

1-Experience. This comes from repetition and learning how to get a good touch on the ball. The best experience comes from playing organized volleyball on club teams and at skill development and volleyball position camps. By having a guide, players will pick up skills faster and avoid creating bad habitats. While experience is important, it is only one of many key components that make a great player.

2-Potential. This comes in many forms, but one of the most obvious signs of potential is height. While height does make some skills easier in the front row, don’t be deceived, height is not everything in volleyball. Another sign of potential is overall athleticism. This is seen in speed, strength, agility, and reaction time. If a coach sees that you do not have a lot of experience, but are athletic, that’s okay because overtime they can teach you the skills you need to learn. With your natural athleticism you will pick up the skills pretty quickly.

“Be who you are… don’t be fake… the truth always comes out.”
-Eric Snyder, Men’s Head Volleyball Coach at Warner University

3-Work ethic. When a player is not giving their all, coaches can tell. The best way to stand out at a tryout is by hustling and not making excuses. At the tryout, go for the impossible balls, dive and try to get them. Coaches will notice your extra effort and take note, they want the athletes who are willing to go the extra mile. If you make a mistake, take responsibility and use it as a learning experience and work hard the next round.

4-Coach-able. How well do you follow instructions and listen to a coach? Usually when a coach gives you feedback, they are telling you to help you improve or learn from a mistake. If you are not going to listen as a player, then why play for a volleyball team? The person who is always trying to learn and improve by taking feedback will go further in their volleyball career, then someone who is unwilling to take feedback.

“Look your coaches in the eye. Have great body language. Always hustle and don’t dwell on mistakes. Act like a player the coach would want to go to work with every day.”
-Robert Machan, Women’s Head Volleyball Coach at Sacred Heart University

5-Intensity. Be competitive and show the coaches you don’t like losing. Compete against the their teams and most importantly yourself, always try to be a better player. Be the first to finish sprints and get the ball. Another way to show intensity is by communicating. A good communicator is a good teammate. Whether it is setting, digging, hitting, or passing, call your ball.

Ideally you want all 5 traits as an athlete, but don’t worry if you are lacking in any areas. You can make up for weaker areas by excelling in others. Stay strong, hustle, and work hard on and off the court.