Coaching Tips for Volleyball Tryouts

Coaching Tips for Volleyball Tryouts


The start of a new season means one thing: tryouts. While both exciting and nerve-wracking for athletes, coaches also face emotions heading into the new season. Tryouts need to run as efficiently as possible in order to get the season started. Below we uncover our tips for volleyball tryouts:

1) Devise a strategic plan

A plan essentially comes down to what volleyball tryout drills will be run on the day. Ensure you are comprehensively evaluating athletes on their blocking, serving, attacking, and hitting skills.

Without getting overwhelmed choosing which drills to incorporate into your tryouts, choose 3 drills from each category. Once the drills are selected, make a list of the necessary equipment needed to run the drills (i.e., pylons, tape) and the number of evaluators needed at each station.

2) Communicate with evaluators

A simple way to make a volleyball tryout easier before it even starts is to meet with all evaluators in advance. Have discussions about your plan for the day: running through the drills that will be tested and what evaluators should be looking for at each station. For instance, if one drill is shadow wall jumps, communicate with evaluators that they should be looking for athletes to successfully hit the targets on the wall (as if they were blocking a ball) with explosive power and correct form.

Girl spiking volleyball over the net

3) Expect the unexpected

Regardless of the hours of planning that go into running a volleyball tryout, there will always be roadblocks that come up. Plan for the unexpected! Whether that be a walk-up player who didn’t register but wants to try out, an athlete getting injured during the tryout, or an evaluator missing unexpectedly, tryouts always have a chance to throw something at you that you did not prepare for. As a coach, you control the day and the tryout. Stay calm, come up with a plan, and use those around you to help execute.

4) If you want to coach, coach!

Something that coaches tend to forget about during tryouts is that they are a coach! Although your main task for the day is to evaluate athletes, there might be times when you want to offer a quick word of advice. Take these opportunities to develop relationships with athletes and showcase your communication abilities. It shows that you care about them, and their athletic development and that they are more than just a number on the tryout screen.

5) Show compassion

As a coach, one of the most influential things you can do to a developing athlete is to acknowledge them personally. Take the time to give a quick tip during warmups, stop for a chat during a water break, or ask how they are feeling. Coaches have an incredible impact on the athletes they coach, so take the time to make sure your impact is positive from the start. A positive interaction with a new coach during the tryout process can have a lasting impression on the athlete, whether they make the team or not.


These tips for volleyball tryouts will make your day run as smoothly as possible. By educating evaluators on what to look for, having a contingency plan for any roadblocks, and planning drills ahead of time, a successful tryout is guaranteed.

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FAQ — Coaching Tips for Volleyball Tryouts

Structuring a detailed volleyball tryout plan is essential. Knowing the event’s flow in advance reduces stress of volleyball players and ensures a well-organized tryout. Volleyball coaches can easily coordinate evaluators, athletes, and equipment, making necessary adjustments if needed.

Be prepared for the unexpected despite thorough planning. Unexpected scenarios, such as unregistered walk-up players, injuries, or missing coaches, can arise. As the coach, stay calm, devise a plan, and collaborate with those around you to address these challenges effectively.

Personal acknowledgment goes a long way. Take time to offer tips during warm-ups, engage in conversations during breaks, and inquire about how athletes are feeling. Demonstrating genuine interest in their development fosters a positive impression, regardless of whether they make the team.

To run a successful evaluation with ease, simplify setup, eliminate data entry, and minimize guesswork by using athlete evaluation software like SkillShark. It streamlines athlete scoring, team creation, and player feedback, benefiting coaches, athletes, and the overall process.

SkillShark Athlete Evaluation software provides a comprehensive solution for running organized volleyball tryouts. It streamlines the entire process, from player registration to athlete scoring and team creation. Coaches can benefit from simplified organization and reduced administrative tasks, making tryouts more efficient.

Some volleyball tryout drills to implement include:

• Serving Around the World
• Approach and Spike
• Side-To-Side Blocking
• Passing Ladder

Check out the top 15 volleyball drills to maximize player performance


Elanne is SkillShark’s marketing aficionado who is equal parts passionate about sports, marketing and sports marketing. She can usually be found with a golf ball or three in her purse, and her favorite way to spend downtime is out on the course with friends and family.