Comparing Clubs

From the article out of USA Volleyball Magazine Volume 33, Number 3
by: USAV-CAP Level II Coach, Gary Paul.

Introductionusav2reg

The club selection and tryout process can be a very trying time for all involved- parents, players, as well as club personal. As a player and parent, there are many different club programs, with many different philosophies and goals. That is why it is important to you to do your “homework” prior to attend tryouts with a specific club.

Most USAV regions now have web sites listing the various clubs with links to each club, a great starting point for your investigation.

For both parent and player, it is important to sit down and discuss what factors will have the greatest impact on the choice of club programs. Following are some important questions players and parents should know about the club you are considering.

If possible, talk with players and parents that have had experience with the club.

PLAYER
1. What is my primary reason for trying out?

  • Do I want to play in college?
  • Am I playing because I love the sport and college is not important?
  • Am I looking for scholarship?
  • Am I playing to improve my chances on my school team?
  • Do I want to play with specific players
  • What commitment level am I willing to make?

2. Each Club program has different levels of commitment and policies. What type of club program do I want to play for?

  • The club philosophy should give you some indication of what the program goals are to be. The first question should be, “What is the club philosophy?”
  • How long has the club been in existence?
  • What kind of success has the club achieved? [Most regions have a ranking report of teams- check it out]
  • Does the club provide opportunities for feedback from parents and players throughout the season?
  • How many days a week do they practice?
  • What happens when club events conflict with other school events?
  • What types of equipment/uniforms are supplied in the fees?
  • What day of week are practiced scheduled, for how long and where?
  • How many players will each team have?
  • How many coaches will each team have?
  • Is playing time guaranteed?
  • Can a player move up an age group to play?
  • What type of support is offered by the club in helping players to get recruited (i.e., video taping, letters, contacts, web site bios, etc.)?
  • Where are practices held ?
  • Are players of different ages and skill levels combined and is this what I desire?
  • What is the clubs tryout system, how many coaches evaluate each player?

3.  What type of coach do I want to play for?

  • Is the coach well-trained?
  • What is the coaches experience?
  • Consider overall coaching staff?

4.     What about travel?

  • Do I want to travel out of state?
  • Are individual player or team hotel rooms required or can player stay with parent?
  • How many age groups and teams does the club offer?
  • Does the team travel to national tournaments? (i.e., National Qualifiers, Tournaments hosting in excess of 100 teams, etc.)

5. What kind of financial commitment is required by the club?

  • Are the club fees within the family budget? (Including the travel expenses?)
  • What are the fee’s and are payments allowed, how many?
  • What are the estimated travel expenses? (Most are not included in fees)
  • Are there any planned or offered fundraising opportunities?
  • Do the fees include any post-season tournaments or are they additional?