2017 HP Championships
(Originally published in Inside HP)
Being part of the USA Volleyball High Performance program is a great way to continue your child’s Path to the Podium. But you probably have questions, so we have answers. Read thoughts from former HP parents on the process.
Question: How are you involved in your son/daughter’s goal to succeed in volleyball?
Parent 1: I am sure we are like most volleyball parents. We are up at the crack of dawn driving our athlete to tournaments and we are of course her biggest fans.
Parent 2: I coached my son in club and high school volleyball. His mother and I have supported him with love and finances. We also told him to make his own decision on which college to attend.
Parent 3: In the beginning, we forced him to go (he would have rather stayed in bed or played video games), drove him to practices and tournaments all over and before dawn, made him play sick ... you know, parents of the year candidates. Thankfully, it took. Now we just have a good excuse to travel and watch him play!
Parent 4: Getting our girls involved with USA Volleyball has been the key to success. We get involved with getting them to the tryout, buying plane tickets, and telling them to work hard and make the best of every situation at any level. Also encouraging them when things don't work out as she had hoped. When our daughter was really hoping to make a continental team and she didn’t, she was so disappointed. We were told, "Go to a beach tryout; it’s a long shot, but you have nothing to lose." Well, she ended up going to Russia!
Parent 5: Support. Support. Support. Make sure their body is well cared for: proper nutrition, hydration, recuperation and relaxation. Eat, drink, ice, sleep.
Advice for Athletes and Parents
Question: What advice would you offer younger volleyball athletes and their parents?
Parent 1: Take advantage of the local high performance programs when your volleyball player is young, and encourage them to try out for the USAV High Performance teams.
Parent 2: To the athlete, do what makes you happy; if it's volleyball, awesome. To the parent, if your child's interests change, support the choice. He/she will find a new passion.
Parent 3: It is a great sport. Takes a lot of time and dedication, but you will meet some very nice people along the way. The USAV pipeline has been a wonderful experience/opportunity for our son. It has really lit his competitive fire. We have seen such a change over the years; from just "being" there to really being invested in the team and program. As a mom, I just love to see him walk onto the court in his uniform, knowing what a great young man and athlete he has become. He is very proud to represent USA Volleyball, and we are grateful for the opportunity it has given him.
Parent 4: Oh gosh, I have tons of advice … but I'll try to keep it short. Parents: I have had an unfair advantage of being married to a teacher and a coach. Smile and nod a lot, especially when the going gets tough, every kid needs a beacon in the storm. Athletes: Team first-be the best teammate ever. You'll have no regrets. Work hard every day and good things will come. You want to be ready when you get your chance to shine.
Parent 5: Development comes to young volleyball players at different ages. Just because a young athlete does not make the A1 camp on the first outing is no reason for discouragement. Those players who are met with success at an early stage need to remember that the spot is not guaranteed. Hard work and continued development is needed to stay at the top. Others are still developing and trying to attain the same goal. Work hard, listen and be teachable.