Help - Your opinion on what my coach told me

  • Hi
    I had a discussion with my coach recently which kind of depressed me. I would like to share it with you and ask your opinion on this... :sos:

    A bit of background first: I started 2months ago playing in a women's division 4 team (lowest division here in my country). I am playing with women who have played volleyball for at least 10-15y. From my side, I played volleyball for 1.5 year around 6 years ago. I stopped due to injury and finally decided to get back into it.

    Overall I lack technique in everything (mostly because I never had technique coached to me so I had to learn a bit on my own).

    Here is a bit my status:

    • :serve: My serves are not too bad (e.g. they are annoying to get if you're defending) but technique is horrible. They are floaty a bit and quite straight.
    • My spikes are good and probably on par with the spikes from my team (I have a bit of a timing issue which means they could be stronger). Technique is not too bad on this one.
    • :bump: Defense (bump) is horrible. I cannot do a bump . Every time I do this I never know where the ball will go. Technique is horrible / non existent to say the least.

    We just got a new coach (he trained us for 2 practices and went to 2 games so far). Yesterday he told me that I had a huge potential to be one of the top players of the team. But for this, I would need to catch up (especially on my defense) to the rest of the team. So far, this makes total sense (at least the fact that my defense is terrible). He told me that however the gap was so huge (e.g. 10 y of playing basically) that he thought that I would never be able to catch up in my current team because the girls there are not very serious in practice. They come to practice for fun and as such do not train seriously and hard enough like for instance division 2 teams. He said the only way for me to catch up would have been to go play with division 1 or 2 teams.... Of course this is not possible for many reasons (one being that never would the division 1/2 coach allow someone like me to train with them).

    I asked him then what I should do considering that if first option was not feasible. He told me that the only thing left was to give my best 10000% in practice (which I've been doing since I hate being the weakest link) and watch YouTube videos.

    I'm a bit depressed... Not because he told me that I was far behind the other girls. This I knew. I cannot expect to be as good as people who have been playing 10 y. I'm a bit depressed because he basically told me that there is nothing I can really do and that I'm a bit f***d... I used to swim competitively for 11y so I know about high level sports and practices. As such I'm a bit surprised by his words...

    Before him we had 2 coaches that coached us very briefly. The first one coached me for 2 practices and said that if I focused on technique I would catch up in no time. The other one also told me that yes my technique was not good but that my motivation and determination were amazing and that in the few practices I had done I had improved a lot. Each one of those coaches only coached us 3-4 practices.

    Just wanted to know if some fellow volleyball players / coaches could help me figure out how true this is... Regardless of the outcome, I will continue to give it my best as even if I can't catch up, I hope to be able to improve :box: . I just want to know if I can ever catch up to the other girls or if I'm doomed like my current coach says...

    Thanks a lot!! Cheers :heart:

  • Hey !
    First of all, congratulation for putting your feet back to court after so many years not playing, this is definitely not an easy thing to do and I admire your determination :win:
    According to my experience, I can totally understand that it is difficult to train with a team with more experience than you (volleyball is definitly not a sport you can learn in one year !) The best thing to do IMO is keeping your motivation as high as it can be, This way you can keep high concentration and progress, regardless of how big your teammates' motivation is. If they are kind enough you can ask them to give you advices when needeed, this will make you also more confident in your team

    And if they are not so serious and train just to play the ball, maybe your coach does not have so much work to do on them. If he has the time, maybe he should focus on you and do special exercises to improve your weaknesses and strenghten your qualities, especially if he estimates that you have high potential ! And why not doing special sessions with limited players that are eager to improve their game just like you ? This way you can work with your technique having tons and tons of balls, this is the best way to improve fast (and IMO every player should go through that kind of exercises). I encourage you to ask him !
    However, playing as amateur should not make you fell "depressed" as you say. Remember that volleyball is after all an incredible sport that improves physical capacities as well as teambuilding as well ! If the environnement does not suit your goals, maybe you should also think about changing the club/team next year ! But please do not quit the sport :drink:

    Watching videos on youtube can also make you improve faster, I remember myself doing that A LOT when i was younger and I learn shots/technical skills that I wouldn't even imagine if I would just wtih 'playing for fun'.

    I hope you will find solutions to that problem. Please don't ever forget that what you feel is totally OK, and that the path is quite long, but with determination there is not way you won't make up for the gap between the other players (and who knows playing for stronger teams :super: )

    Just by curiosity : how old are you ? And what is your country ?

  • Hi!

    To begin with, I understand your dissapointment in general. There are several problems here:

    1-When you look from your coach's perspective, I know that it is very difficult to train teams with different skill levels. It is hard to design drills and keep an eye on all players. I think that is one of the main reasons that your coach is telling you to be in a team where they can design individual improvement drills for your to improve your receiving/defense technique.

    2-I totally get your frustration. When your ambition is high and your team mates' arent, then there is a strong conflict of interest which will make you dissapointed. This also applies to the ambition of your coach. I had a similar problem where I wanted to improve a lot and wanted to train more, so I decided to quit my team and moved to a new one. It always helps since different teams have different practices, drills, volleyball views etc.

    3-It is unfortunately very difficult to train receiving/defense alone. A suggestion can be, you can join other teams' trainings. Doesnt your club have multiple teams, llike U16, U18 etc. You can ask them if you can join them while they are working on receiving/defense. Especially in young age groups, they do such drills very often.

    Keep up the good work and never give up! :box:

  • Do you have a men's volleyball club in your town?

    It may be uncomfortable but if you have no other place that have a better training for women then maybe you should ask one in the men's club to help you.

    Maybe you should try beach too? I don't know if you have one in your area but if you are uncomfortable with the first idea then maybe you can try that one.

    I hope it helps. I really can't help with the training stuff so you have to work that with somebody else. Just trying to give you some tips that may help you find a place to train yourself. :)

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

    Edited 2 times, last by Rains_of_Castamere ().