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Expensive out of state tournament, when child has low playing time.

My 16 year old daughter plays club volleyball and is on a team with nine other girls. She is singled out as the worst player on the team as reflected in her playing time. She is the only one who gets low playing time out of all the other girls. She sometimes sits out a full game and then gets "garbage" time in other games. I could obviously talk about other palyers, but i think we all know coaches have their favorites for whatever reason.


My queation is this.........the team is suppose to attend an out of state tournamnet that will cost about 1700.00. I have a hard justifying that kind of money to have my daughter stand on the sidelines or play garbage time. The reason ofr the tournamnet is to place higher in a later tournament and for exposure to college coaches. At this time all I can observe, is the ocahes will see how well she stands on the sidelines.


My daughter has talked to the coach about playing time and so far nothing has really changed. She has made all of the practices and gives 100%. I have not talked to the coach as I believe its my daughter's responsibility. 

Again, I cant justify that kind of money to watch her stand on the sidelines. I don't know if not showing up will make things worse, but I knd of don't care. Yes, there is the commitment to the team, but where is the commitment to my daughter after all the hard work she has put in?

I would obviously notify the coach about not attending the tournament, because I think its the responsible thing to do. I knida get the feeling the coach would be relieved of not having to play her.  


As a side note, my daughter does very well when she plays, scoring points and costing very few. I am not so blind as a parent that I cant see if my daughter has low skills. All I can tell her is to keep working hard as it will pay off, but so far my words are empty. 

Kuddos/ Make the Right decision

First of all Kuddos to you for taking a difficult situation and not embarassing yourself, your daughter and the volleyball team by going postal on the program. This is a very difficult situation and to date, you've handled it well. You may have spoken to the coach earlier, but I understand your reasons.

I don't know what was said at the pre-season meeting before tryouts, or if there was any level or expectation of playing time, typiclally that's what club ball is all about. It's getting all the kids skill level up because the members on the team is basically paying for the gym time/ tournaments and coaches fees. I'd always encourage anyone going into a situation like this to get a feel on how the coach is going to sub. I think this is more critical than the success or failure of the team becasue club ball should be about player development, not winning.

I'd completely agree with not going to the $1,700 tournament. It's a waste of money on your're part. However, if there was a meeting at the start of the season, and the coach said there is no expectation of playing time, and you agreed, then shame on you because you agreed to this.

But all things being equal, I'd see if you could move your daughter to another team in that club that may need a player. Not sure why the coach would keep 9 kids if they were not going to play them. As these club tournaments go, there is ample opportunity to play 8-9 kids in the pool play portion. If a coach wants to "go for it" for the tournament portion, that's fine.

The simple answer is the way

The simple answer is the way to go. Pick up the phone and call the coach and have a frank talk about playing time. Don't get into a discussion about the relative abilities of your daughter vis a vis the other girls. Just focus on the cost of the tournament versus the amount of playing time your daughter is getting in the games. There is no problem in a parent explaining to the coach that unless he/she can promise a specific amount of playing time it does not make sense financially for your daughter to do the tournament.

Now, having said that, keep in mind that for "showcase" tournaments the point is not really to win the tournament. It's nice if the team does well, but the real point is to "showcase" the players, even the ones who are not as "good" as the best players. Why? Because tournaments attract coaches from many different sizes and types of schools. By way of example, if your daughter has great grades and test scores, she might be very interesting to a coach of a smaller academically challenging school who does not get any "academic admits".

What is important is that the coach commit to starting your daughter for one or more specific matchs in the tournament. That way, your daughter can email coaches who are coming to the tournament from schools that are of interest to her and let them know specifically when she will be playing. Coaches are generally happy to check out kids who express a specific interest in going to their school. Being able to tell them exactly when you are playing allows them to adjust their tournament schedule to make time to see your daughter.

I should also add, that even if your daughter's coach commits to a satisfactory amount of playing time and specifies when your daughter will play (e.g. she will start match 2 and play all of the first 2 games), you really should first check out the coaches/schools coming to the tournament. Are any of the schools at all interesting? If not, you have to ask yourself what is the point. That issue, in turn, leads to the big question: What does your daughter want out of her college experience? Does she even want to play volleyball in college? If you have not had those talks with her -- now is the time. As goofy as it sounds, for girls looking to play team sports in college sophomore and junior years are when most recruiting takes place.

It's fine not to want to play in college. Several of my daughter's club soccer teammates could have played for smaller schools, but elected to go the big school route and play soccer just for fun. My kid was all set to commit to a mid-sized Division I school, but after a visit where she ghosted a player for a couple of days she decided that she just could not see herself spending 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, practicing and playing soccer (volleyball would have the same time demands) so she decided on a Div III school with a solid program that will be time intensive during the season, but then much more relaxed in the off-season (but no athletic scholarship money).

Good luck

As of yesterday, now the

As of yesterday, now the coach (also owner of club) has decided to combine the 17's and 18's team and play in the 18's division. She was somehow able to sell this idea to the parents that showed up to the meeting, except for me.
This puts 15 girls on one team, so you have 6 girls on the court and 9 standing on the sidelines. Typical team roster consist of 11-12 girls and playing time is still difficult to manage, now with 15 what are the odds?
My daughter finally started to get some decent playing time and now she has to start over to win her position. I truly believe the coach will now be able to create her dream team out of the 15 and only 6-8 will play with significant tournament time. All the parents sat there with glazed over eyes and agreed to the merger. I guess they all thought their daughter's playing time won't be effected, but some are in for a rude awakening.
The teams have both suffered from players quitting and injuries, but still have enough players to keep the teams separate and have fair playing time. My points which were based on playing time were met with "you don't pay for playing time just coaching and practice time" This comment coming from a parent whose child plays 95% of the time. We only have 2-3 tournaments left in the season and the coach believes by putting girls together that have not played together all season are somehow going to start winning. This was another point I made, which was ignored.
Some of the girls made comments, one in particular (of course a regular player) stated there shouldn't be "hissy fits" about how much money has been spent and playing time. Funny how easy it is to spends someone else's money, or how a 17 yr old girl thinks 5000.00 is nothing.
Of course I am alone here,although some other parents said they were on my side before the meeting and then said nothing and voted yes to the merger. I have composed a long email to the coach, but I really don't think it will change anything. This is the worst experience my daughter and myself have had in volleyball. Needless to say we won't be returning to this fledgling club next year and throwing "hissy fits."
I doubt there is any legal action I can take over a contract or policy violation, but it would be nice to get the coaches attention. We did sign up and commit to the team know there would be 11-12 players not 15. I know most parents want to watch their daughter play and dow ell and feel like part of the team, so I really can't understand why any of them voted yes to the merger which would cut way down on playing time. At this age it is about getting tournament experience and playing time, not necessarily winning.

This is probably the worse

This is probably the worse case senario for the kids, parents and the club. The money's already been spent, so there is no "refunds". Playing time among 15 kids will not happen and there will be problems. In school sports, if there is not enough for a team, the game is cancelled, the officials game contracts are honored and that's about it. Yes, there is a $100-$200 loss to the schools athletic department, but that's about it. With club and travel teams, it's a major financial loss.
I still feel 10-12 person roster is way too many for the costs of travel sports. It's a tough situation for all.

Obviously attrition -- kids

Obviously attrition -- kids quitting or being unable to play due to injury or other conflicts -- has taken its toll on the teams.

My guess: the 18s are/were done. The kids who already know what they are doing for college (essentially all of them by now) are likely done spending money on travel. And, if they do not know by now these last few tournaments will do nothing for them. I would suggest that the seniors are likely just playing for fun and good for them, but that does not really help your daughter or your decision.

I am not a volleyball parent (my kids play soccer), but I would be very worried about the "showcase" aspect of playing u18 at this point. If it were soccer, college coaches have very little interest in looking at u18 games because the coaches are done recruiting the 2013 class. To me, that would mean that if you wanted to use these tournaments as a recruiting showcase you would need an advance committment to which matches your daughter is going to play so that she can contact coaches and be specific about when she will play and then they can plan their schedules to make sure to see her (if they want).

I would also seriously consider the travel cost versus putting that money into camps where coaches can see her play for a lengthy period of time.

Ideas for Next Season

I'm sorry to read that your experience and your daughter's experience was so bad. I hope your daughter is still excited to play volleyball next year.

I think it's important that a parent continue to be an advocate for their child. As a part of this, can I suggest some ideas to consider for next season? Consider the "best" team for your child, by including some thoughts as to what you define as "best"? Is "best the idea of the highest performing team at a National level? or possibly the team that your daughter's "best" friend plays for; or the team where your daughter gets the "best" playing time.

As a Coach I evaluate players in all areas of a team. It's just as important to me to have well rounded players who are good people as it is to consider the playing ability and position of players to make my team the "best". I measure my success by the amount I can help a child grow in life, knowing I can only spend a short time with them. I don't measure it by the scoreboard or my season record. Over my 20 years, I have the most fond memories of teams that had those kids I remember, not the records at the end of a season.

I have a blog called "How can Parents help their child Pick the Best team?" that I hope you can find helpful. (http://goo.gl/cgVXx). Many Parents I've spoken with have expressed appreciation for a coaches thought on their very important decision.

I wish you and your daughter an enjoyable season next year. 

Playing Time

How wonderful it would be to have many, many more coaches who hold your philosophy Ling!

My daughter lucked out in that respect, she will surely be a wonderful adult with great ability to overcome adversity.

A Guide for Sport Parents

My parents have always been there for me, ready to talk, give suggestions, but most importantly just love me no matter what. Lately people have been saying,“You must be so
proud of your daughter.” They reply,“Of course we are and we would be proud no matter
what she chooses to do.” Great blog Ling http://goo.gl/cgVXx Thanks