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Volleyball/22 and I want to compete again!


QUESTION: Hey there,

So recently ive been wanting to play volleyball again. A little background on myself is Im currently 22 years old. Ive been playing since i was 12 and played club ball during my high school years. When I was 17 i blew out my knee and kinda just told myself it was over. Right away I began to assist my a 12s club team and have been coaching ever since. Recently ive had this burning desire to compete again. Its all i think about. Ive dropped weight, im in the gym, and my knee is better than ever. the last few years ive been playing at an extremely competitive open gym, mainly with men, (coaches, college players, alum). My knowledge for the game is very solid...i just cant stop thinking about competing again. ive been wanting to play beach but im also looking at junior colleges, what has me hesitant is my teammates would all be under 20 for the most part and i dont know how common it is for someone to start playing again at my age? that sounds ridiculous, because realistically im very young, but volleyball wise i feel very old.

ANSWER: Good morning Casey!   
Thank you for being patient with me.   :)  
Here's what I think .....quick and painless.  GO FOR IT!   
There are women who play at a very high level into their 30's.  How old are Walsh and May?  I don't know, but they aren't 22.   :)   
If you're going to be a full-time student at a college, then contact the coach. If you're going to be part-time, contact the coach anyway, and see if there's a way you can still play.  
A friend of mine was just coaching at a community college her in Virginia and one woman on her team was ex-military with two children....she was 32.  So, yes, you can do it.   
I imagine almost every coach who's been working with D3 women for a while can tell a story of a jr, sr, or graduate who made their team.  She's listed a freshman on the team roster & website, b/c athletically she is.   
Now....another option:  If you are done with college, and can't enroll (or don't want to), many women play USAV ball.  It's like the club vball you may have played in college, except there is usually not a coach, the women practice when the can (if ever), and compete in tournaments just like juniors would:  work, play, play, rest, play, work, play, top 2 team advance, etc.    
I hope that this helps some.  I didn't touch on playing doubles, b/c I imagine you know about that and can discover the local doubles schedule from friends in your area.   
What else can I do for you?   If you have a moment, please visit us at  I think you'll enjoy our selection of lessons, club vball, summer site camps (11 last year!!), free downloads, etc.   
If we can ever do anything for you, please contact us again!  
Coach Houser

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your advice! I do have about two years of schooling left so I think I'll start sending out some emails. I'll definitely check out your website. I'm guessing I should contact coaches ASAP for next season?? I was thinking I'd train a little more because I mostly play on a coed net and haven't played with just women on the correct net, other than coaching. Thanks's refreshing to hear I'm not as old as I tend to feel in the volleyball world.

Good evening!
* Yes, contact coach asap! Which ones?  That's another topic altogether.  :)
* Training: You may even want to get some info from the coaches that you're considering playing for.  You may want to go to the strength coach at your college now, and tell him your situation.   
* I may be time to investigate a USAV women's team!  That will get you playing at a higher level....or find a new team.    
* As soon as you can, starting playing, playing, and playing.  Then this spring & summer:   Play doubles!  Grass, beach, indoor....whatever, wherever you can find.   
* Old?  Old?  I wish I was as old.   :)     

If I can ever do anything for you, please contact me here or at  And promise me that you'll contact me next fall when you're playing.   :)   Promise?  


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Tom Houser


I can answer any type of volleyball question: middle school, high school, college, club, coaching, playing, etc. (I am not, however, a athletic trainer! If you have a knee, ankle, back, etc. question, I'm sorry, but please search for another expert.)

I will almost always answer your question within 24 hours.

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In the past 10 years, vball has taken my to San Francisco, Miami, Alaska, Pennsylvania, both Carolinas, and Salt Lake City. We can't wait to come visit you!

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32 years coaching varsity, JV, club.

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BS degree from Va Tech in Math Education. MS degree from Va Tech in Secondary Administration. In the fall, I'll be starting my 31st year teaching high school math!

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The picture that you see is the 2015 15's team that I'm fortunate to be a part of. We will participate in 10 tournaments: Monument (Richmond) in January, Capitol Hill (Wash DC) in February, Shamrock (Roanoke, Va) in March and both BigSouth (Atlanta) and Northeast Qualifiers (Philadelphia) in April. My teams have qualified for Junior Nationals in '06, '09 and '12. We can't wait for this season to begin!

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