How to Ace Volleyball Tryouts With These Proven Tips

Updated on March 25, 2019
Mandy M S profile image

Mandy is a mom of four and a longtime 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. | Source

As a volleyball coach, I know that many young players wonder how to make a good impression at tryouts and earn a 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.

What to Do to Make Your Volleyball Team

  • Have basic volleyball skills such as passing and serving.
  • Have a positive attitude. A less skilled player who creates a positive atmosphere is more likely to make the team than a superior player who is always negative.
  • Be respectful to your coach. Show them you are coachable by listening and being able to take criticism.
  • Arrive at tryouts looking like a volleyball player with proper apparel. Be knowledgeable of the sport and know the different positions.
  • Stay focused on volleyball during practice. Don't talk about outside distractions.
  • Always hustle and do your best. Always show drive during practice, even in things like stretching.

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."

Bring a Positive Attitude

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 That You Are Respectful and 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 to Volleyball Tryouts Like You're Ready to Play

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.


What to Wear for Volleyball Tryouts

Here is an in-depth list of the ideal apparel you should have during your tryouts.

  • Form-fitting shirt: Loose or baggy shirts can hinder your movements, so avoid wearing them. Your shirt should be made of either spandex or nylon.
  • Spandex shorts: The rules for shirts apply to shorts as well. You're going to want something that is snug but doesn't restrict movement. Spandex shorts would be best. Be sure to move around in them to make sure they don't hinder you on the court.
  • Shoes: Volleyball shoes would be the best pair to have. They are lighter and offer better traction and arch support. If you don't own a pair of volleyball shoes, you should at least have a decent pair of running shoes. Anything with decent arch support will suffice.
  • Socks: What type of socks you wear is up to your personal preference. You should avoid ankle socks since they could potentially slip down into your shoes. Crew or knee socks are typically the most popular in volleyball. Avoid cotton socks since these can absorb sweat.
  • Knee Pads: These are strongly recommended to protect your knees on dives.


Stay Focused on Volleyball

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. This is not a social hour. 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.

How to Prepare for Volleyball Tryouts Before the Season

Preparation for tryouts should begin far in advance. Here is some advice on what you should do before the season begins.

  • Be in shape: You should be in top condition when you arrive at tryouts. You should join a gym or have a workout regiment during the offseason. A good goal to have is to be able to run a mile in about 7-8 minutes. Running and biking are great exercises to increase stamina. Resistance training can help build strength.
  • Have a nutritious diet: A healthy and balanced diet can help increase your metabolism and keep you energized. Your performance is highly dependent on what you eat.
  • Join a club or rec team: Playing volleyball outside of the season is incredibly beneficial. You'll be able to develop your skills and learn from your teammates. Your coach will be able to tell you are experienced during tryouts with your skill.
  • Prepare the night before: Be well rested on the night before tryouts. You don't want to stay up late and have no energy on the court. You should also eat a good breakfast as well.

Volleyball Conditioning Drills

Here are some drills that can strengthen your conditioning. You should practice these drills so you can arrive at tryouts in top shape.

  • Line sprints: This would ideally be done on a volleyball court, but it could possibly be done anywhere if you can measure distance. Starting from the end line, run to the attack line and then back. Follow this up by going to the center line and back to the end line, far attack line and back to the end line, and finally running from one end line to another. If you are on a court, consider practicing a dive when you reach a line.
  • Lateral movements: You are going to hold your hands together behind your back and keep your feet about shoulder-width apart. You will then jump from right to left on your feet. This will increase your ability to move side-to-side.
  • Blocking exercise: Make a mark on a wall that is equal to the height of the net. Quickly jump up and down with your arms up like you are going for a block. Consider doing full jumps from a squatting position as well.
  • Ball drill: This exercise requires quite a few volleyballs, perhaps 10 to 15. It always requires partners to roll them and retrieve them. The goal is to touch a ball that is rolled to you. As soon as you touch it, your partner should roll another ball in an opposite direction. Your goal is to stay on your toes and touch all the balls. This drill mimics the pressure you will feel in a game.

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! Here are some inspirational volleyball quotes to motivate you.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Mandy M S


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        3 days ago

        This was very helpful to me and I look forward to volleyball tryouts if I want to be on the team. I learned all the skills on this website. I practiced my footwork on hitting and practiced passing to my target and setting to different spots. I am still working on serving ovehand harder. I have been doing more workouts to be even more fit than I already am and I have been doing very well. Thank you!

      • profile image

        The same Maddie from before. 

        2 weeks ago

        You delated my other comments from before! It's your fault that you don't replie and then people get mad it's your fault!

      • profile image


        4 weeks ago

        My volleyball team is really bad and i got moved up to 14's instead of 12's. I did really good and want to tryout for a team that is better. I don't want my friends and older friends to be mad at me for playing on a good team. I haven't told anyone of my friends and i don't know how! What do i do if they are mad at me!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        8 weeks ago

        Hey thank you! I’m trying out for the first time... I’ve never played volleyball on a team before:/ my ex best friend is trying out to and I’m nervous she’ll make the team and I won’t:/

      • profile image


        2 months ago

        I'm trying out for my 8th grade volleyball team, and I'm scared that I'm not going to be as good as the other girls because I didn't make the team last year. What if the same girls make the team this year? Do you have any advice? Iv'e been practicing all summer.

      • profile image

        Lee Trenston 

        2 months ago

        Hey!! Thank u so much for these tips!! I have volleyball tryouts in a few hours and I hope these help!!!

      • profile image


        2 months ago

        thank you

      • profile image

        Tim Frechette 

        4 months ago

        Wonderful tips for young volleyball players to make a good impression in order for them to be physically, mentally and emotionally prepared for tryouts. Great One!

      • profile image

        Dakotah Garcia 

        4 months ago

        I need some critical advise. I’m 5,1 and I know volleyball players are supposed to be tall but my position is a Labero so will it matter?

      • profile image

        Kyara Whitaker 

        5 months ago

        Thanks for the advice, i have tryouts after school for the whole week.

      • profile image


        11 months ago

        Great advice, have tryouts in an hour

      • profile image


        11 months ago

        V-ball tryouts will be fun I know it will! thanks 4 the tips!

      • profile image


        12 months ago

        i have tryouts tonight hoping this helps

      • profile image


        12 months ago

        Very nervous! I’m sorta short, and all the other girls are very tall. I hope that doesnt stunt my chances!

      • profile image


        13 months ago

        Hopefully your advice works cause i have tryouts next wednesday and i am so nervous and scared about not making thw team.

      • profile image


        14 months ago

        I just did my volleyball tryouts and I did everything this article said and I didn't make it

      • profile image


        14 months ago

        i have tryouts today for vball and im so nervous

      • profile image


        17 months ago

        Ty I have volley ball tryouts tommorow

      • profile image


        20 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 

        3 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 

        4 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


        4 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 

        7 years ago

        Thanks for visiting!

      • kashmir56 profile image

        Thomas Silvia 

        7 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)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)