What Do Coaches Look For In Volleyball Tryouts

If you’re hoping to join your school volleyball team, you’ll need to attend the try outs. The school coach will be looking for a few key qualities that are important to playing volleyball. On this page, you’ll learn exactly what coaches look for during a volleyball tryout.

What to Expect at Volleyball Tryouts

From start to finish, tryouts can last a few hours. Coaches will test a player’s ability to pay attention, their overall athleticism, and if they have the skill to play volleyball. It helps to come prepared by wearing the right attire, such as a t shirt, volleyball shoes, and knee pads.

During volleyball tryouts, coaches will ask players to warm up and do some drills to test their skill level. They’ll want to see if you can consistently serve or serve receive, which we’ll get into this in just a minute, so keep reading.

What Do Coaches Look For In Volleyball Tryouts

How To Stand Out During A Volleyball Tryout

Standing out at volleyball tryouts comes down to two key components: having the right attitude and knowing what the coach is looking for. Coaches host try outs to build a volleyball team for their school with the goal of playing against other schools.

Most coaches already know what they’re looking for in a volleyball player. The sections below will tell you what it takes to stand out during a volleyball tryout.

Bring a Positive Attitude

Having a good attitude shows the volleyball coach that you’re a team player. For the entire tryouts session, remember your final goal: making the team. Always pay attention when the coach is talking and remember this is a team sport.

Show Up Prepared

You can make a good first impression if you show up prepared. Coaches appreciate it when their recruits come ready to play volleyball. Set yourself apart from the other girls by doing these things:

  • Arrive early – Give yourself enough time to get dressed and warm up. The coach might notice your initiative, but the goal is to be ready. If tryouts start and you’re still getting ready, it won’t look good.
  • Do some warm ups – Get a feel for the volleyball court. Do some push ups and line sprints. Coaches like to see their players ready to play a game. Other players might try to skip out on warming up, and if they see you’re taking it seriously, you’ll stand out.
  • Dress the part – Come wearing a comfortable shirt and running shoes. It helps to have volleyball shoes specifically. Bring knee pads if you have any.
  • Bring your own ball – If you have your own ball, you can start doing drills before anybody else. If any other candidates showed up early, you can practice with them. This also demonstrates your commitment to the team.
  • Start your own drills – Get the errors out of the way. Once tryouts begin, you’ll be happy that you made all your mistakes during warmup and not when the coach is watching. You can do something as simple as passing a ball back and forth with someone.

Always Do Your Best

Staying in a ready position shows that you’re paying attention. During any volleyball tryout, most coaches will observe your natural athleticism over your volleyball skills. Always try your hardest to get to the ball, be in position, and be ready for the next play.

Volleyball Skills Needed to Make The Team

Playing volleyball effectively is about understanding a few key components. Having these skills will set you apart from the other players.

  • Vertical jumping ability – A high vertical jump makes blocking and hitting easier. It’s not always about how tall you are, but how high you can jump.
  • Ball control – Having good ball control skills is one of the biggest things a coach will look for. In fact, you’ll likely do a ball drill or two to check how everyone interacts with the ball.
  • Arm swing – Having a good arm swing is important in volleyball, and it’s a tough skill to teach to a player. It means you’ll be able to hit the ball better, making you a prime candidate for playing in the front row.
  • Consistent serve – A lot of points can be lost due to errors made during serving. Being able to consistently serve a ball is a good sign to let you play volleyball for the school team.
  • Serve receive – Being able to receive serves shows multiple skills at once. You can prove that you understand positioning and ball control. A strong serve receive will help you make the team.

How Do You Prepare For Volleyball Tryouts With No Experience?

You don’t need to be an experienced player to make the school team. Most coaches are interested in your skills as a listener. If you do what the coach tells you to do, you’ll get your chance to show off some basic skills.

You can nail your volleyball tryout by following some of our volleyball training guides or watching YouTube videos.

How Do You Impress a Coach at Volleyball Tryouts?

What Should You Not Do in Volleyball Tryouts?

During tryouts, the coach is looking for many qualities in each player. Some of these qualities make it easier for coaches to disqualify players from making the team. Here is a short list of things you shouldn’t do during tryouts.

  • Taking shortcuts – When doing warm ups or while doing drills, taking shortcuts will guarantee that you won’t make the team. It might not seem like the coach notices, but they do.
  • Being a ball hog – Everybody wants to have a turn with the ball. The coach wants to see how everybody does, not just you. On the next play, pass the ball to your teammate.
  • Acting like the best – Even if your volleyball skills are above everyone else’s, it’s still a team sport. Don’t act like the team captain before even making the team.

How Do You Impress a Coach at Volleyball Tryouts?

Making a good impression with your coach is easy if you know what they’re looking for. Coaches want to see more than just your athletic ability and volleyball skill level. They want to see if their candidates have good attitudes and are eager to make the team.

This means listening when the coach is talking, giving 110% the entire time, and showing up prepared to play volleyball. You will also look good if you understand the rules of volleyball so that you don’t have to be told.

What Are Colleges Looking For in Volleyball Players?

The coach for a college or varsity team is looking for any volleyball player that demonstrates the most skill. They are looking to put together the best volleyball team possible. Coaches will often get applications from volleyball players who have had an active high school season.

A varsity team is also called a club team. Club teams are looking for players that can prove they know how to play the game. Playing on a club volleyball team means you’re representing the school team in a competitive environment, so proving that you have the right skills is a big help.

You can do this in a few ways:

  • Having a reputation – Being a skilled volleyball player will get you the right kinds of attention. If a coach knows about you already, you’re on their radar.
  • Getting a reference – Anybody who knows you’re a good player should write some good things about your abilities. It helps if the reference knows what they’re talking about, such as your coach.
  • Make a recruitment video – It’s one thing to talk about your skill, it’s another to show it. Videos are easy to consume and they can quickly showcase your abilities in a short highlight reel.

We encourage you to look at more ways to get recruited for to play for a college volleyball team as this list is just a short summary.

Are Volleyball Tryouts Hard?

Tryouts are difficult because you are trying to make a team that will compete against other teams. There is an expected level of athleticism, and if you don’t meet that level, it’s unlikely you’ll make the team. However, tryouts aren’t meant to be impossible.

If you do your best and show the coaches what you’re capable of, you’ll have a good chance of making the team so you can start playing volleyball for your school team.