Selecting an Age Group for Club

Should a volleyball player play up an age group in club volleyball?

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” –Michael Jordan

Consider this: there is a very good high school junior who normally would be on a 17’s club team, but has been asked to be on an 18’s team. Should this volleyball player play up an age group for her club volleyball season?

The benefits of playing up:

  • Better competition; all in all, a high school senior is better than a high school junior.
  • More prestige.
  • Possibly more exposure to college coaches. If you are playing in a 17/18’s bracket, your 18’s team might rank higher than most 17’s teams and higher-ranked teams generally have college coaches stay longer to watch.

The disadvantages of playing up:

  • If you don’t play much, college coaches can’t see you. Even though you might start on many 17’s teams, if you don’t play, it is hard to get noticed.
  • You miss a year of bonding with players your own age.
  • If your 18’s team isn’t very good, you might not get college coaches watching at all.


What if I don’t make a club team?

Just get out there and play.

Club volleyball is very competitive, time-consuming for parents (and players), and very expensive. If your son or daughter is unable to join a club volleyball team, there are a couple of options:

  • The simplest is to get friends together and go to open gyms.
  • Join a team at your local community center or YMCA.
  • Find a beach volleyball court. This is your best option since it forces you to improve all aspects of you game.
  • Go to a gym and work out to improve your jump, strength and quickness.

Regardless of which option you select, play on a regular basis with a fixed schedule just like you were on a team.

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