How to Ace Volleyball Tryouts

Updated on July 21, 2017
Mandy M S profile image

Mandy is a mom of 4 and a long time volleyball enthusiast and coach. Mandy's other interests include parenting, teaching, and literature.

How to ace volleyball tryouts and make the team.
How to ace volleyball tryouts and make the team.

As a volleyball coach, I know that many young players wonder how to make a good impression at tryouts and earn spot on the team. Whether you are trying to make the best club team, junior high, freshman, or even varsity team, you may be wondering what the coaches look for in a player. You may be confused as to why one girl was selected over another when they have similar abilities. I'll give you some tips on impressing the coach and getting the best chance to make the team.

Attitude Is Everything!

The most important advice I can give you is to have a good attitude! Even if you are not the best player, a coach may give you a spot over someone with superior skills if their attitude sucks and yours doesn't.

Make a lot of noise, encourage other players, and cheer good plays by anyone. The best teams are made up of girls who make a joyful noise together. I want to see high fives, smiles, encouragement, and cheering. I want to see it in practice, in matches, and off the court. A team is like a family and nobody likes a Debbie Downer. I would cut a Debby Downer with superior skills because she will ruin my team and my practices. I don't ever want to hear "I don't care", "I suck", or "this sucks." Even after tryouts, that kind of attitude will earn you laps and it will stick in the coaches mind when they are considering who to put on the court.

Show Some Respect and Be Coachable

Nothing irritates me more than a disrespectful player. I don't want them on my team. Period.

This is more than just talking back. There are many ways players can be disrespectful to coaches. First, they need to realize that coaches are putting their time and effort in with the goal of making the team and each individual better. If they give you advice or criticism, they aren't just doing it for the heck of it or to make you feel bad. They are doing it to improve your skills. Keep this in mind.

When a coach is talking to you, always look them in the eye. If they ask you a question, answer it. Even if they don't ask you a question, nod your head. Really listen. If you don't understand what they want you to do, ask a question. A person who doesn't take advice or listen to criticism will most likely be cut.

Come Prepared

There are many ways to come to a tryout prepared. For one thing, look like you play volleyball. You don't necessarily need to go out and buy $150 volleyball shoes, but you do need to wear your knee pads. Have your hair up and off your face. If you have volleyball shoes, wear them. Wear your spandex if you have them. If you have an impressive tournament t-shirt or camp t-shirt, wear it. Let your coach know with one look that you know something about volleyball.

And then actually know some things. Do your research! Know the name of each position. I want all my players to know the numbers. If I tell you to go to three, you know to go to front middle. Know what your ready position looks like, what a libero is, who the setter is. Make sure your tryout is not your first time playing the sport. If that is the case, then find an experienced player and have them play with you. You could look up YouTube videos on how to pass and then practice off your garage or with a friend. Look up the footwork for hitting and practice it over and over until you have it before you go to your first practice.

Know what position you would like to be in. Keep in mind that the coach will only put you where you will be best for the team. If they tell you that you look like a middle blocker on day one of tryouts, come to day two knowing everything there is to know about the position. Use the internet to your advantage.

It's Not Social Hour

You want your coach to know you get along with the other players, but make sure all chit chat in the gym is volleyball related. Don't let the coach catch you talking about boyfriend drama, your grades, where you are going after practice, or anything else.

Always Do Your Best

If you are doing partner passing at the beginning of tryouts, don't giggle when you make a mistake and then walk to your shanked ball. Hustle at all times and take everything seriously. When warming up or stretching, do your best to push your stretch farther, concentrate on your muscles, and make sure each pass is accurate. You may not think anyone is paying attention, but these are often the most telling parts of any practice.

But What Skills Do I Need?

This is probably what you really want to know. However, the answer depends on the level of play you are trying out for. If you are trying out for your first club team in 4th grade, the skills needed will be different than what is required to play varsity.

Here are the basics that apply at all levels.

  • Passing - Make sure you can pass to your target. Make sure you are down low in ready position while waiting for your pass.
  • Serving - Be able to serve the ball in most of the time. If you have a fancier serve that you want to show the coach, great. But after that, show them your consistent serve. The one they can count on when the game is on the line.
  • Hitting - Practice your footwork and your arm swing. You don't need anything but some space and YouTube videos to do that. Even if your timing is a little off at tryouts, a good foundation will impress the coach.
  • Hustle - Don't let anyone on the court out hustle you. You are almost a shoo-in if you show the most desire. If you give 150% when everyone else is giving 90%, you will look good. Go to the floor, dive, run way out there for shanked balls. Let the coach know that you will give it your all at all times. As I like to remind my daughters, "There will always be someone faster than you, stronger than you, and more skilled than you are. But there should never be anyone who tries harder or hustles more. That is within your control and will make all the difference."

Good Luck

Good luck on making the team! The key to success in any sport is determination. Even if you don't make the desired team this year, don't give up. Let it drive you to work harder. There are so many opportunities to play that you don't have to give up. There are always lower level club teams, rec teams, or intramural teams to play on. If you really love the game, you will find a way to play and come back the next year better than ever!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      5 days ago

      i have tryouts today for vball and im so nervous

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Ty I have volley ball tryouts tommorow

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      I am currently playing a club volleyball team and this article has been very helpful! thank you so much and i am having trouble overhand serving, what are some things i can do better? thank you again!

    • profile image

      Shae cox 

      2 years ago

      Hi, my name is shae and I tried out for my freshman team last year and didn't make it I have played for 4 years and the girl who made my spot has never played before my school has over 100 experienced girls try out. The coach's reason for cutting was that I'm to short. I'm 5'8. Why do you think I was cut?

    • Mandy M S profile imageAUTHOR

      Mandy M S 

      3 years ago

      Be prepared to partner passing, hitting lines, serving practice. For warmups be prepared to do some dynamic warmups. There will likely be many jumping, running, and agility warm-ups. Many teams will test your block touch (How high you can touch when jumping from a standing position with both hands raised) and your approach touch (How high you can touch with one hand after an approach). They may also see what your broad jump is, how fast you can run. You may be required to do situps, pushups, etc to test your physical fitness and athletic ability.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hi! Im janvi and I am going to be a freshman this year. I want to tryout for the volleyball team and I want to be prepared for what I will need to do. So my question was what activities or warm ups should I prepared for?

    • Mandy M S profile imageAUTHOR

      Mandy M S 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for visiting!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      This is all great and valuable information to help anyone make the volleyball tryouts and team.

      Well done and vote up and more !!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)