BY LEAH HINKEY
When I was 10 years old, my parents took me to middle school volleyball tryouts. I had never touched a volleyball or had any idea what the sport was even about. I threw a fit! I didn’t want to go and told them I hated volleyball. It’s funny listening to my parents tell that story then looking at my life 20 years later. From that day on, volleyball has been the biggest part of my life.
It’s scary to start a brand new sport at any age - you don’t want to be the worse one, you might not have any friends there, and maybe the coach seems super scary. But once we can get over the initial resistance of trying something new, it can open up some pretty amazing opportunities.
Where to start at a young age is one of the biggest questions we get here at VIBE. Some parents are panicked that it is too late for their 12 or 13 year old to start because all of their friends started when they were 9 or 10. Trust me, it is never too late to get into the game, you just need to know what options you have and pick what is best for your athlete.
Where to start:
9-10 yrs old - check out a beginner clinic. Keep this fun, it doesn’t have to be super intense or serious. Let your child learn to love the game and have fun playing while developing the fundamentals. If they don’t love it at first, keep them in clinics and skip out on signing up for a long club season with 2-3 practices a week and travel tourneys. Maybe they love it and want more? Look for a beginner team that practices once a week with a few local tourneys. You want to avoid jumping in too deep when they are young to avoid burn out.
10-12 yrs old - get going with some club clinics. If they want to get serious about trying out for a club but don’t feel ready, invest in some one-on-one or small group technical training. Learning the fundamentals at a young age will help kids avoid developing bad habits that will later on be harder to break.
What to wear:
Court shoes - avoid converse or slip on vans
Beginner Clinics at VIBE:
VIBE BABES - Girls ages 12 and under - Mondays 5:30pm
VIBE GROMS- Boys ages 12 and under - Mondays 6:30pm & Saturdays 1:30pm