Why our Coaches Set During Beginner programs

Our Staff has experience coaching gameplay from various other programs. We all agree that gameplay development for hitting and passing is hindered if we have athletes who are not ready to set, setting. The setter is compared to the quarterback on a football team. If they cannot set the ball up, then it is challenging to have proper gameplay. Our coaching staff can help control the game to build confidence when they pass and give more back row and front row hitting opportunities. Once we have athletes in the program for longer who show interest, we will have them start setting. We still teach the mechanics during practice, but many younger athletes cannot handle the pressure of setting in a game when they have only played for 2 months. Most of our athletes are new to the game, and that inexperience can make minor errors feel catastrophic. The first year of playing is difficult enough, and the first couple of games can make an athlete fall in love with or hate volleyball.

Volleyball is just as much a mental sport as a physical one. Here are two scenarios for you to consider.

Scenario 1: Pat, Sarah, and Heather have been playing for 2 months. Pat is passing, Sarah is setting, and Heather is hitting. If Pat gives a pass 10 feet away from Sarah, she may not/ cannot set it to Heather. Now Heather cannot practice hitting, and Pat thinks it is their fault because they “Are Not Passing Well.” Pat continues to make some errors and then one day decides that she is a lousy passer and never wants to do it again. Sarah thinks it is her fault and tells future coaches that she is not good at setting. Heather gets little to no hitting practice at a young age and may not have enough time to develop her mechanics when she is a bit older.

Scenario 2: Pat, Sarah, and Heather have been playing for 2 months. Pat is passing, A coach is setting, and Heather and Sarah are hitting. If Pat gives a pass 10 feet away from the setter (Coach), they can still set the ball up with control because they have more playing experience. Now the two hitters have a chance to hit because the set is high enough for them to do their approach and jump. Let us also think about how this change can help them mentally. Pat, passes the ball, and the coach can set most of the balls. Their confidence in passing increases because the play continued after they passed the ball. The hitters build confidence because they can practice hitting more often. Even though the scenario started the same, the athletes in Scenario 2 become confident and want to continue developing.


How our leagues are different

Most affordable or recreational programs only focus on the fundamental drills or throw athletes into gameplay even though they have little to no gameplay experience. The Club teams are expensive, hard to make, and require athletes to practice a couple days a week and attend tournaments for competative gameplay. REC It Volleyball aims to provide a hybrid between Recreational leagues and Club programs. Our leagues offer 10 mintes of serving practice, one level appropriate drill and 45 minutes of gameplay during every league session.  REC It Volleyball believes that incorporating a drill before gameplay will help the players feel more comfortable and learn faster than just getting coached during a game. 

The coaches will focus on implementing the drill into gameplay rather than keeping score. Our staff focuses on the athletes learning and executing the concepts rather than which team can win more games. That being said, our gameplay is not slow because we provide athletes with prior rotations and gameplay training before entering the leagues. We want our athletes to be well rounded , consistent and knowledgable about the game. 

Unlike clubs, we do not have tryouts. Everyone who signs up is accepted to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to learn. We do evaluations during the first session to assign positions and filter athletes into the appropriate programs. Something to keep in mind is that there is level variation in our programs. We have a rotating door of athletes every 6-8 weeks and programs will never be the same level. Our company is constantly evolving to help maintain level consistency. An example is having a Freshman/JV court and a JV/ Varsity court if there is a lot of variation in the level of participants. 

It is also important for parents to understand their child's level and sign them up for the appropriate level. 

  • If you have a freshman girl who did not get much playing time on the freshman team, we recommend signing her up for the rotations training. most high schools rush teaching rotations to the freshman teams and they do not know them coming into our programs. 
  • If you have a freshman girl who had play time on the freshman team, sign them up for the Middle School/Freshman League. Our middle school athletes do not join our leagues unless they have gone through minimum 24 weeks of training which includes 2 rotations trainings. If you sign your freshman up for a High school league it slows the product down and the more advanced athletes on JV and Varsity don't come back because they were expecting to play with JV and Varsity players. 
  • If you have a son under 14, there are two types of leagues. 
    • Middle School/ Freshman Co-ed League: the athletes play on a womens height net. Boys who sign up for this program are between 12 and 14. They are normally athletes who cannot hit down on the net and are often shorter than 5ft 6in. since they are playing with both boys and girls, this program is just a stepping stone and once they are hitting aggressively on this net we will move them into our boys program. 
    • Boys League: the athletes play on a men's height net. We generally have a range of levels, but we are still trying to maintain more advanced and competative gameplay. If we have enough for two courts we will sort them based on their experience and have one more advanced court. We accept athletes who are 12-17 years old. If they are younger (12- 13), there are two ways for them to get into this program. If the boys are taller than 5ft 9in and hitting down or with power on the womens height net, we will move them into this program for safety purposes. If the boys are smaller, 5ft 8in and shorter, they must have a strong understanding of the rotations and can handle the faster gameplay with the older boys. 


College Recruitment Video tips
The recruitment process can become overwhelming, and most athletes and parents have no idea where to start. What are the coaches looking for? What should I include in my recruitment video? Am I good enough? Am I wasting my time? Just take a deep breath and take it one step at a time. This post discusses the recruitment video process.

REC It is a bit different than most volleyball programs when it comes to the coaching department. The biggest pet peeve for coaches is when they give a correction and the Athlete responds with, “I know.” We know that you have heard it a thousand times, and that makes you think that you know it, but why do you keep hearing it? If an athlete hears a correction over and over again without applying and understanding it, that means that there is a major disconnect in the coach/athlete's communication. The response of “I know” is the problem. It is what we call a “reflexive response”, which is when you hear something, think you know it, you stop listening and shuts down the communication.  

When we train our coaches, we have the mentality that we cannot stop every athlete from saying I know, and that is okay. We structure our corrections so the athletes cannot respond like that. Instead of telling them what they did wrong, we ask them why something happened. If they actually know the answer, then they will answer it, and that conversation reinforced the existing neuropathway in the brain. If they don’t know the answer, then the athlete wants to hear it because they don’t want to make that same mistake again when the coach asks in the future.

Ultimately, we want to create an environment where the athletes can bond with coaches through conversation. They learn better when they talk with the coach instead of having a coach talk at them. This method helps athletes self-coach themselves when they are older. It also prepares them to become coaches in the future.


High School or Club Tryouts are Finally over and you MADE THE TEAM!!! Congrats! Next week your team has a scrimmage or a game. Do you automatically get playtime since you made the team? What if you don't get any? Watch the video below to hear some valuable advice from Coach Amber. This video discusses What to and not to say to a coach, and how to build a relationship to help you get on the court on game day. Please Subscribe to our Youtube Channel and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

How REC It Transitions Beginners into Gameplay

When an athlete is newer to volleyball, they must learn the fundamentals for Passing, Setting, Hitting, and Serving. Most of our beginner programs run for about 4- 6 weeks to give the players enough time to learn the fundamentals without the pressure of gameplay. After about 6 weeks of fundamental training, most athletes are ready to transition into games SLOWLY. There are different levels of games and different factors that influence the accommodations for athletes.

Some Common Accommodations for Beginners:

  1. Using a lighter ball help, the athletes build muscle to serve and hit the ball over.
  2. Letting the athletes serve in front of the serving line (end line) to serve it over the net.
  3. Giving the athletes 2 serving chances before losing the point and/or having a coach toss it over the net after the second serving attempt so both teams can earn their points from gameplay and not service mistakes
  4. Allowing newer players to underhand serve if they are newer to overhand serving.
  5. Having coaches set while the athletes rotate around them.
  6. No double calls

Watch the video below to hear some valuable advice from Coach Amber and Coach Cliff. This video discusses how parents can emotionally and verbally support their athletes during their developmental period in the sport. Please Subscribe to our Youtube Channel and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Let's Talk About: TRYOUTS

School Tryouts are coming soon and we know that you are very nervous. Watch the video below to hear some valuable advice from Coach Amber. This video discusses what coaches look for at tryouts. Please Subscribe to our Youtube Channel and follow us on Facebook and Instagram