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QUESTION: Good evening Coach Houser,

As with many girls right now, my daughter is going through the weeklong assessment to determine which team she'll play on for her club.  She's 14-1/2 years old, and as it turns out (because of the departures of some older girls) she's the clubs tallest girl at 6'4" (in shores) and has the highest touch in club at 121" and was tested at HP Championships with a block jump of 113.5" this past July, which is also the highest block jump in the club.  This will be her 3rd year of club and she has learned a lot in the past 2 years, but from what I've read, clubs focus more on actual skills and abilities to compete at a high level starting with 15's teams as opposed to athleticism and potential with younger teams.  She made the 13-2's her first year and the 14-1's her second year, and we're hopeful she'll make the 15-1's team this year.  Whew!!!

She's already recruited by D1 colleges, i.e., unofficial college visits, regular mailings, regular e-mail, regular player initiated telephone conversations, official recruit designations.

My question is, if the club comes to us and says, "She's an emerging player with huge potential, but if we put her on the 15-1's she'll play less than other players", should we be ok with less playing time on the 15-1's, or should we choose to play on the 15-2's and get more playing time?  What will college coaches think if she on a 2's team vs a 1's team?

The other wrinkle here is the 15-1's coach is a legendary coach here locally, so playing for the 15-2's will mean not having her learn from the best.

ANSWER: Good morning Sam!
I'm with my mother in Danville, Va all day today.
But I think I can get to the heart of the matter right now!  

I have two questions:

a) Will you guys have any input in her assignment?  If not, then our discussion is moot.  

b) If you guys have any input, what is your daughter's priority:  playing time?  or improvement?  Sometimes, an athlete gets both!  I'm talking to parents of some very good 7th graders now who will have this decision to make Aug 1 2016:  play another year of middle school vball where they'll be beasts, but learn very little with a team that's 50% greenie rookies; or, tryout for the JV team where they will probably get less playing, but they will improve MUCH more b/c of higher expectations from coaches, better teammates, better opponents, more serious practices...yes, high schools practice on Friday! (the 7th graders say, "OK.")  and maybe even Saturday! Yep! ("WHAT???" with eyes rolling around in thought)

I hope it's a great Thursday!
Will chat more later!  

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

QUESTION: Coach,

Typically the club doesn't take input from players. Last year she was in the rotation every other set which was ok with her, because with the better coaching, additional practices, and higher level of play/practice her game improved dramatically.  I know she's a 15-1's player; she was a Varsity starter at a AAA school and was All-Conference, and I know she really wants to play for this coach, so she'd take less playing time vs playing on a lower team.

Answer
Good morning again!

I agree with you completely! If your daughter was my daughter or in my program, I would want her to be on the highest level team – – within reason – –as soon as she could!

Now:  What can we do?  It appears that you have no influence in this matter.  

Thank you for visiting me again at www.allexperts.com!  
And please visit us at www.coachhouser.com!  We have already scheduled 6 camps for next summer and have room for about 10 more.  Right now June 6-9 and July 18-21 are open and waiting for a coach to reserve it.  

One day I hope that we can work together.  
Coach Houser

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Tom Houser

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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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32 years coaching varsity, JV, club.

You can see all about me at www.coachhouser.com There are also free downloads for coaches & parents, and lots of smiling faces for you volleyball players!


Education/Credentials
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!

The Picture!
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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You can see this by visiting me at www.coachhouser.com , then touch the "Coach Houser" link in the top right-hand corner.

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