1. Commit Day
Ever heard of it? Most likely not, but it is VERY important. Each area of the country has an assigned region governed by USAV [USA Volleyball]. Each region is overseen by a commissioner and a board who determine the soonest date athletes can commit to a club; either verbally or through signature.
If a guardian or athlete “commit” in either way before this assigned date, it is invalid and the athlete will be free to choose another club if they so desire. Any financial agreement signed is null and void.
The club director are given this information, but sometimes it doesn’t get passed along in hopes of pressuring athletes to commit before they have to.
For the 2017-2018 season in the Southern region, this date is November 8, 2017.
Athletes then have a 10 days to decide where they would like to play. This is important to be aware of so you and your family can take your time deciding where is the best fit for her and what is best for your family.
2. How to Choose a Club
It’s important that you take your time deciding which club your daughter will play for. Each club is different. You can find out which one will be the best fit by:
I. Going to their website and reading their mission statement and coaching philosophy. This will tell you if you would fit in with their culture. For example, if you want to have fun while you grow in your skills, you should be able to gauge that by perusing through their website.
II. Asking your daughter what her interactions were like with the coaching staff. Were they positive or critical? Energetic or lazy? Kind or impatient? Keep in mind, your daughter may have a long season with them and you want to be sure that in the end she will have had a positive experience.
III. Find out what the real costs of the club are. Is travel included? Does she have to pay more for uniforms? What about shoes and travel and food? Finding out the real costs helps prevent frustration throughout the season. There should be no random extra costs that surprise you.
3. Put Director on the Spot
Getting to know the Director and asking them questions will help you gauge how they typically communicate with their parents. There is normally a parent meeting held by the director so make sure you go and observe them as they interact with the group of parents. You will have a season with them that may last for 7 months and if something arises you need addressed, then your Director should be approachable and willing to answer any questions you may have.
Furthermore, some Directors may need some time to think about an answer, so be patient. You are trying to see how they communicate, so if they need some time to get back to you, be patient. If they don’t get back to you, then that’s something to be frustrated with. In the end, it’s important for you to feel comfortable approaching the person in charge of leading your daughter to develop her volleyball skills.