What Volleyball Players Wish They Could Say To Their Coaches (And Parents!)

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Recently, I posted a question on the Instagram Story for my account for volleyball coaches, @getthepancake. I asked: 

“Players: What’s something you wish your coaches or parents knew?”

The range of answers highlights just how unique our athletes are, and I think the players provide some great insight. 

Before we dive into their responses, I want to make sure you keep a few things in mind:

  1. Players who are generally happy with how their season is going might not have felt compelled to share their thoughts here. It’s OK to tell your coach or parent you’re having fun. It’s harder to share things when you’re unhappy.

  2. I didn’t make judgements about what should/shouldn’t be on the list and included every answer submitted (provided I could tell it was from a player, not a coach or parent. Don’t worry, you’ll get your article soon!). I made a FEW spelling/grammatical corrections if necessary to read, but left most responses how they were. This includes statements I agree with, disagree with, and some I didn’t fully understand. But maybe you will!

  3. You should probably have a conversation with your players about this list. That is, if you think any of the responses apply to them. Reflect on the responses, think about possible solutions (if any), and start a conversation. But only if you’re willing to listen and possibly change. Having a conversation and not doing anything will only build distrust.

Lastly, I think it’s important to read through their answers with this quote in mind:

“Perception is more important than reality. If someone perceives something to be true, it is more important than if it is in fact true.”

-Ivanka Trump (no, we’re not going to get political here. It’s a great quote and it applies. That’s all :))

For example, it doesn’t matter if you have a favorite or not. It matters if the players THINK you have a favorite…

Some of their answers will make you laugh, others might hit you in that soft spot, and a few will probably make you cringe.

Without further ado, here are their answers:

“Players: What’s something you wish your coaches or parents knew?”

  1. “I’m not perfect and I will make mistakes.”

  2. “We are young and joined vball to have fun & sometimes being yelled at doesn’t help.”


  4. “There is a time to let the players have a little fun but obviously not right before a tournament.”

  5. “I’m doing my best so please give me some space.”

  6. “If we have to condition u have to too 😂😂jk”

  7. “I wish we had played more libero related drills during practice to get better for games.”

  8. “I try my hardest and sometimes it feels like you don’t care about our team.”

  9. “Please please please make sure everyone understands! Many mistakes are made because we don’t understand!”

  10. “Stop trying to tell me what I could do better on Mom! you don’t even play! 😂❤️”

  11. “Tell the players to stop looking up at their parents during games and practices.”

  12. “I know it’s out of love, but parents please stop coaching while the coaches are coaching.”

  13. “Please pay more attention to the girl who is trying to coach everyone else but won’t listen.”

  14. “I always try my best when I’m having a bad day.”

  15. “Liberos don’t get credit. When a setter makes a good set it is usually because they got a good pass.”

  16. “I wish my dad knew I get more frustrated than he does because I’m the one playing.”

  17. “I really don’t like being a MB, I wanna be a OH or OPP.”

  18. “I wish that I could tell/ask my coach if we could do different drills or just have a workout day.”

  19. “I try harder than anyone else and just want them to understand how much I care.”

  20. “How hard I play and work and how bruised I am because I’m going for the ball.”

  21. “That sometimes I just want to be acknowledged for the good plays I make.”

  22. “There is a mean girl on the team and I am having trouble dealing with her (I’m the captain).”

  23. “I wish my coach listened when I tell him as a setter I want to be able to attack too!”

  24. “I’m trying as best as I can.”

  25. “We need better communication.”

  26. “Sometimes coaches don’t realize that we are still young girls and that yelling isn’t the best option to correct us.”

  27. “When anybody yells out your name when serving, please don’t because I get so happy that I would miss it.”

  28. “That sometimes it’s ok to make mistakes on the court. My last coach was so hard on me.”

  29. “That I’m trying as hard as I can whether it seems like I am or not.”

  30. “For parents: If you don’t let me practice at home, how am I going to continue to get better?”

  31. “For coaches: Sometimes we can’t practice something at home because of parents.”

  32. “That I want to get better at blocking but don’t know how.”

  33. “That you have to keep the sport fun. It’s the only way to ignite that extreme passion you can get from a volleyball player.”

  34. “That spandex shorts help a lot.”

  35. “How hard I have been working.”

  36. “I play with my bff and she makes me feel awful like I’m not good enough. She is player-coaching and telling us we suck behind your back!”

  37. “To parents: It’s hard to learn sometimes when you’re trying to coach as well.”

  38. “How to make perfect underhand tip.”

  39. “That some of my teammates are kinda dim.”

  40. “That I want to switch clubs even though I’ve found my family but I’m not playing at the level I want.”

  41. “About the injuries I don’t tell them about because I don’t want to look weak.”

  42. “Who was playing because they like the sport and not because they want attention.”

  43. “About their star players’ attitudes towards them and their teammates outside of practice.”

  44. “That I feel pressured when playing games because they’re counting on me to win it.”

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Coaches are encouraged to join the “Volleyball Coaches Corner” closed Facebook group for Get The Pancake readers to discuss this article amongst other coaches.

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