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Volleyball/I was cut from the high school team....How can I get back into the game I LOVE?


QUESTION: Hello Coach! I'm a junior with a PASSION for volleyball. I didn't make it. I didn't this year, nor will I ever.Apparently it's too late for me to ever become as good as I need to be. I respect their decision, but I spent hours on hours practicing. The worst of it all was I actually thought there was a chance I might make it. I won't ever get to play something I love so much. I started playing in 7th grade, but it wasn't as important to me as it is now.

The thing is, I didn't feel a single coach watching me. The seniors were all really impressed with me, commenting how great I was doing. Whenever I'd ask a question, I'd get a vague answer. I actually was asking a question about ball control when they said, "It's too late for you." Apparently, I needed to have been playing on club all this time. (which in my area is VERY elite) Funny because before summer I asked the coach what all I needed to do to prepare. She said "run, lift weights, do some wall work. Done, done, and done. Nothing about club. She saw me at a lot of open gyms. Never said a word about it being too late or club. I'm really bummed because I was getting better and better within that one day, and I could have gotten much better if they'd have let me in.

Also: While I was there, I saw a girl with poor passing form and zero ball control. She also complained loudly durning workouts and couldn't manage 2 minutes of bearcrawls. I found she made it over me.

I decided, why not try club? But because my mom refused to loan me $20 for a tryout fee, I couldn't. She detests the idea of me playing sports, as she thinks they're a waste of time. She won't outright fobid me from it, but my ALL my volleyball spandex has gone "missing" from an otherwise spotlessly clean room. I don't really want to go out for church league as I don't think they'll be as serious about it as me. What do I do? I'll do anything to play!

ANSWER: Hello Chyna!  
It's wonderful to hear from you.
At present I'm at Richmond Va with my team. So I can't answer your question. But I should be able when the tournament is completed.  
I hope you have a great day.
Coach Houser.  

Hello Chyna!  
Thank you for being patient with me.  My team played twenty sets this weekend.  You can see them at  We had a lot of fun!    

OK, I have some ideas, but I want you to answer to a few questions first.    
a) When did you get cut?   
b) How many times did you get cut?  
c) How many years of school vball did you play?  
d) How many years of travel vball did you play?   

When I hear from you again, I'll share my ideas with you!  
Again, I'm sorry I wasn't more prompt in answering.  
Let's work together to try to find some remedies to your situation.   
Coach Houser

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

QUESTION: A) This time, August.
B)twice, botht imes I tried out.
C)None, unless you count jr. high athletics where I practiced but never really played.
D) None yet.

It's fine!!! No hurries! :) Thanks Coach!

ANSWER: Good morning!
I have a few suggestions.
1)  Some girls in your position change schools.  Here in Roanoke, there are one or two girls who change schools every year.  I don't recommend it to most people; however, after Lynsey was cut by her school team in August 2011, she transferred to a private school and since has played 2 years of school vball and 2 years of school basketball.  Yes, some private schools have really strong teams.  But other private school vball teams can barely get the ball over the net. So, if there are some private schools in your area, probably one or two of them have really weak teams.  Now, if you're saying, "We can't afford a private school," most private schools offer scholarships!    
2)  How many clubs are there in your area?  Many cities have 2 or 3 clubs.  One usually has teams where all girls get to play.  Is that the case in your city?  If so, go for it!  
3)  Are the opportunities to play outdoor doubles in the spring/summer/fall?  Here's my story:  When I was 14/15/16, I was too young immature to compete against the boys my age.  But, after I became an adult, I could compete!  So, when I was about 30, I stumbled upon outdoor doubles, and then started playing every weekend.  No, I still wasn't a beast!  But, if I played at a lower level, I could compete.  It was wonderful!  Whether you're as athletic as me (I'd give myself a 6 on a scale of 1-10) or less, most outdoor doubles tournaments will offer a level that you can compete against.  
4) Regardless of whether you play vball next fall, you can still attend some camps this coming summer.  Most people wouldn't, but ..... why not?  You have a passion for the game!  So go for it.  

What do you think about those options?
Please give me some feedback and maybe I'll have some other ideas!

And, would you do me a favor?  Would you visit us at  We give lessons, direct summer camps, coach teams, etc.  Vball is what we do year 'round.  The camps that my staff and I direct are half the cost of university camps, and also less than the camps that a coach will bring into their gym.   Maybe I'll get to meet you at one of our camps this coming summer!  That would be awesome!  

Hope you have a super weekend!
Coach Houser

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

QUESTION: 1) I considered that very seriously, but the downsides would far outweigh the benefits.
2) There are 2 clubs, both of which have already had tryouts. I think that's probably the most realistic option is to wait for next year's clubs, but that would mean playing on an under-18 team, where the rosters are made of girls who've all been comitted to DI schools. At that level, there are usually 3-4 cuts.
3) I haven't looked into that! My city isn't especially huge on volleyball but it's worth a shot. Cost is huge to me, as it's all out of my own pocket.
4)I think that's a great idea! There's always a couple not too far from me.

Thank you for your promptness and help! :)

Wow, that's GREAT info you gave me!
1) GOOD DECISION!!!!  Most kids who get cut don't transfer to other schools just to play sports....for that very same reason!  Too many disadvantages.  I'm proud of you.  
2) So....if you go outside your city, there is no little local program where a girl can play?  For example, from 1991 to 2000, I ran a little club in a town about 60 miles from a big city.  Thus, every year, we would get a girl who was a GOOD player (compared to what we were used to), but not a good enough player in her area.  Find out what USAV region your in, then see if that region has a web page full of clubs.  There may be one 20 miles away from your house that you've never even hear of.  Here is map of the USAV regions:
3) OK, regardless of whether your city is a "volleyball city" or not, you mean there is no local club full of adults who play indoor 6's and outdoor doubles?  If your city is big enough to have 2 clubs for juniors, it's probably big enough to have adults who play.....correctly, and competitively.  Find them.  They're out there.
4) Since it appears that neither school nor club vball is in your future, please don't pay $450 for 3 days.  The camps my staff and I direct are AT MOST $10 an hour!  That's right.  So, our 22 hour, 4-day camp costs $220.  You can see tham all at   We have 7 scheduled now in OK and Va, and hope to add more in the next few days in Cincinnati, Hickory NC, and Norfolk Va.  

If I can ever do anything for you, please contact me anytime.  
Thank you for your time.  I've really enjoyed being in touch with you.  
Coach Houser


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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.)

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