Daniel Jahn, CSCS, USAW
University of Washington
Strength & Conditioning
1. I have to be the best player on my team to get recruited.
You never have to be the best player on the team to stand out. It only takes one coach to like you to get a scholarship. Talent isn't the only thing that can set you apart from your teammates. Your leadership, work ethic, and aggressiveness are all things that college coaches look for, and try to develop in their team.
2. I'm not big or tall enough to play college volleyball.
Size really doesn't matter. There are plenty of college volleyball players who aren't very tall. If you are one of those players who hasn't been genetically gifted with height, you've got to find ways to make up for those inches. You've got to be more aggressive, stronger, louder, more physical, a better teammate, a better student, and so on. These are all things that you can develop. So, stop worrying about things you can't change and focus on the things you can.
3. I have to play on the best team to be recruited.
High school volleyball players play in a lot of tournaments, most of which have many teams in them. Scouts and college coaches will see you. In fact, its almost impossible to go through a season, and never be seen. Whether you're on a great team or not you must make sure that every time you step on the court, you play like you have 10 coaches watching you. You never know who could be watching.
4. I cannot improve my vertical jump.
This is actually a common misconception. I hear a lot of volleyball players say things like "my coach told them that I need to touch 10 feet," or that "I just don't jump high enough to be an outside hitter," or "I don't know what to do to jump higher." There are plenty of things you can do to develop your vertical jump and explosiveness. Getting strong, in shape, quick, and explosive are some of the best ways. There are also a lot of mechanics involved in jumping, so to improve upon those will help as well. Everybody has a genetic potential, but everyone also has the ability to jump higher.
5. I am not talented enough to play in college.
In college, players continue to develop, just as they do in high school. If you show potential, signs of improvement and if you're willing to work extremely hard, you can play at the next level. The difference between those athletes who make it, and those who don't is not very large. Continue to train hard, and you will increase your talent, therefore increasing your chances to play at the next level.