Every year when a new club volleyball season begins, my daughter and I will discuss goals. What would you like to do this season? What learning opportunities do you see that might be helpful to you? How are you going to learn and grow this season?
I will check in with her after each game and help her to evaluate how she played. Depending on the outcome of the game and how she’s feeling, it can be a quick conversation or no conversation at all. It’s straight to sleep in the car on the way home sometimes after a long day of volleyball.
This past summer we discussed her goals and future playing volleyball. My first question was “Do you still want to play volleyball in college?” The answer is and always has been YES! As a parent I want to make sure that she is making the decision and not me. I’m always checking in with her to keep track of where her thoughts are and how she feels about it.
So when I look back at her very first club season then reflect on her second season, it helps me to understand why she loves the game so much. Her first season was definitely hard. She had no skill, didn’t know the positions and had no understanding of the game. It was very frustrating for all of us as well as confusing at times. I had to get educated from the moms and the internet. It was difficult trying to help my daughter understand the game and what was happening when I didn’t even know what was going on myself!
Sitting at every game and wondering when my daughter might get to play became frustrating throughout the season. My thoughts…. how come she’s standing on the side so much? This was a learning experience for both of us.
At the end of her first season we had to reevaluate volleyball and figure out what my daughter wanted to do. After a family discussion, she decided to continue to play but also get additional training. We also knew that we needed to find the right team for her which would fit her needs as she continued to learn and grow.
I had started to do a little research on my own as well as talk to other parents. Trying to find clinics that would help her better understand the positions as well as increase her skills was interesting. There didn’t seem to be much out there and I was concerned I wouldn’t find what she needed. After much research I discovered Spike and Serve Volleyball Club. They provided clinics that would meet the needs of my daughter and help her to improve the game that she loved.
We had decided that my daughter would choose one club to attend tryouts before the second season started. She was given the job to figure out which tryout she would be going to and needed to let us know the date and time. At the last minute she finally gave us the information and I was curious how she came to this decision? My daughter explained that she had met girls from the Mililani team in Disneyland during the summer and really liked them. So this is how we went into our second club volleyball season….
Volleyball decisions are made as a family and my daughter is always in the loop. We sometimes need to discuss certain things a little more than others but always end up agreeing (at some point).
Finding the right recruiter to help and guide her down the right path to a college that will fit her needs as well as help her to become the student athlete she desires to be is important! Trusting someone with your child’s future is scary but when you connect with that person you know she’ll be in good hands.
We were not educated in this area and so I started to do my own research by talking to friends and checking out what was out there. I interviewed three potential recruiters and saw how each had their own approach to help my daughter. As a family we discussed the options and the outcome we desired. Hmmmmmmm. In the end I believe we made the right choice. In my heart I know the knowledge and experience as well as the attitude and understanding of my daughter’s goals helped us to make the right decision and start this journey to find the right college for her!
Education is the key to learning about your options to play volleyball in college. Follow my journey as a parent living through this day to day adventure and learn as we go!
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By Melaca Cannella, mother of Carlee Cannella