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The Lost Art of Shot-Making

The Lost Art of Shot-Making


Love this volleyball article. 

Your team may not have the best hitters on the court but that doesn’t mean they can’t win.

“Our team recently had the pleasure of being schooled in the art of shot-making when we ran into a shorter team that was struggling in warm-up to bang the ball but obviously had good players and experience. We started strong with a couple of our own bombs but quickly found ourselves in a deficit on the scoreboard with balls flying off our big blockers, rolling into the corners of the court and slithering down the backside of the front line. It was a thing of beauty – for the other team.”

Select Volleyball: Is switching clubs to try to land on a higher team a good idea?

Select Volleyball: Is switching clubs to try to land on a higher team a good idea?

As Select Volleyball tryout season quickly approaches I hear a buzz about players considering trying out with competing clubs. My all means if you feel a different club will prepare your player better go for it. But if you are simply trying to get on a “better” team, or feel your current club doesn’t value your player’s abilities, then you might want to rethink your decision to switch clubs.

This is a nice article that addresses this topic.

Here are some highlights:

“In my daily conversations with college coaches they look for factors that have nothing to do with whether the athlete is on the 1’s team or 2’s team.”

“When you are recruiting a student-athlete, what are your thoughts when they switch clubs to ‘make a higher number team’, in turn does this negatively affect your position in their recruitment?”
Of the 75 coaches I surveyed, 55 (73%) responded that it would negatively affect their view of the athlete if she switched clubs just to make a higher number team. They would believe the athlete to be more concerned with recognition over key factors such as training, competitiveness and being prepared to play at the next level. Ironically, almost all of the 55 coaches shared that if the athlete was making the switch based upon higher level training or the opportunity to play another position that would enhance her potential to be recruited, then it would not be considered a detriment to her recruitment.

Before making your decision, find out exactly what your role will be for your team. Too often players choose the 1’s team and end up playing only a fraction of each match or barely see playing time at all. This makes it difficult for a college coach to evaluate a player at a tournament. Coach Jenny McDowell, Head Women’s Volleyball Coach at Emory University believes it is valuable to gain playing time. “For me, it does not matter if a player plays on the 1’s or 2’s team… it just depends on the level of the player. I would much rather have a player play for the 2’s team than sit on the bench for the 1’s team.”

Greg Reitz, Head Women’s and Men’s Volleyball Coach at Lourdes University states “many times the kids on the 2’s team get to play more consistently, for example a 6 rotation right side or outside hitter. That usually doesn’t happen on a 1’s team because you are chosen to play a position, in addition to your teammates the Defensive Specialists that fill the roster.”

Superior way to lace up your shoes for sports

Superior way to lace up your shoes for sports

I tried this today with my new Tennis Shoes before playing Tennis and it REALLY WORKS!  I’ve hurt my big toe due to my foot sliding to the end of the shoe and jamming my toe but never again.  My toes have never felt more comfortable!


Your kid will not play in the pros

Your kid will not play in the pros

Kristen Pitching 12u
Kristen Pitching 12u

The title of this post is an accurate statement except for a very very small percentage of kids that play in high school and college.

Naturally, as a parent, you want to give your player every opportunity to achieve their goals, just make sure you aren’t projecting your goals on to them.  As I like to say, you can’t want it more than they do!

Click the link below for a very good article on the subject.

Your Kid and My Kid Are Not Playing in the Pros

There are far too many variables working against your child. Injury, burnout, others who are better – these things are just a fraction of the barriers preventing your child from becoming “the one.”

When I inform you as a parent that your child has just ruptured their ACL ligament or Achilles tendon, if the next question out of your mouth is, “How long until he or she will be able to play?” you have a serious problem.

Your Kid is Not Going Pro

Here are the numbers (from 2011)

Football:  1,108,441 High School players.  6.1% go on to play in the NCAA.  Of the 15,086 NCAA football players, 1 in 50 are drafted in the NFL.  Only 8 in 10,000 of high school seniors will actually be drafted and play professional football.

Baseball: 471,025 high school players.  6.4% of high school seniors go on to play in college.  Baseball players actually have the best chance of going pro-a whopping nine in 100 of NCAA seniors (9%) well be drafted by an MLB team.  Approximately 1 in 200 high school senior boys will eventually get drafted by an MLB team

Women’s Basketball: 438,933 High School players.  3.5% go on to play college basketball.  Of the 3,491 NCAA senior student athletes, less than 1 in 100 are drafted by the WNBA meaning 1 in 5000 (.03%) of high school senior girls will eventually go pro.


Tennis 4.5 40+ Nationals 2014

Tennis 4.5 40+ Nationals 2014

40+ 4.5 Nationals
Click for Full Size

Pictured are Anthony Tatu, Guillermo Martin Del Campo, Clay Johnson, Colin Cohen, Steve Gilmer, Darrell Breeden, Mark Richter, Scott Sevin, Alan Kleymeyer, Ed Brady, Andy Swanson.

My USTA 40 and above 4.5 Tennis team competed in Nationals this weekend in Indian Wells, Ca., representing Texas.  The eventual winner, Middle States was in our pool.  They beat us 2-3 head to head but we ended up tied in pool play. They advanced with a 1 line advantage over us.  They went on to defeat Pacific NW in the semi’s and Hawaii in the Finals.

Here is our pool results:

Team Score Indiv. Score
Team Name Wins Losses Wins Losses Sets Lost Games Lost
Middle States 2 1 9 8 15 138
Texas-Austin 2 1 8 7 16 131

Here is a link to our entire season plus post season results.

Video clips Here


2014 Mens 40 and over 4.5 Texas Sectional Champions

2014 Mens 40 and over 4.5 Texas Sectional Champions

My 40 & over 4.5 men’s tennis team went undefeated to win sectionals in San Antonio this past weekend.

We beat San Antonio, Abilene, Waco, and Dallas to win our flight putting us in a showdown with flight 2 champion Fort Worth.  We won the final 3-2 to get a bid to Nationals in Indian Wells California.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Not pictured who played at sectionals: Antony Tatu, Rick Shirley, Scott Sevin.

Teams that participated & Schedule
National Schedule (We represent the Texas Region)

Should kids specialize in one sport?

Should kids specialize in one sport?

Changing The Game argues against specialization

… [what exists is] an adult driven, hyper competitive race to the top in both academics and athletics that serves the needs of the adults, but rarely the kids. As movies such as “The Race to Nowhere” and recent articles such as this one from the Washington Post point out, while the race has a few winners, the course is littered with the scarred psyches of its participants. We have a generation of children that have been pushed to achieve parental dreams instead of their own, and prodded to do more, more, more and better, better, better. The pressure and anxiety is stealing one thing our kids will never get back; their childhood.

We are so scared that if we do not have our child specialize, if we do not get the extra coaching, or give up our entire family life for youth sports, our child will get left behind. Even though nearly every single parent I speak to tells me that in their gut they have this feeling that running their child ragged is not helpful, they do not see an alternative. Another kid will take his place. He won’t get to play for the best coach. “I know he wants to go on the family camping trip,” they say, “but he will just have to miss it again, or the other kids will get ahead of him.”

And yes, most importantly, it sucks for the kids. Any sports scientist or psychologist will tell you that in order to pursue any achievement activity for the long term, children need ownership, enjoyment and intrinsic motivation. Without these three things, an athlete is very likely to quit.

Parents, start demanding sports clubs and coaches that allow your kids to participate in many sports. You are the customers, you are paying the bills, so you might as well start buying a product worth paying for. You have science on your side, and you have Long Term Athletic Development best practices on your side.

The Bare Essentials: Three Things Every Athlete Needs to Succeed

Elite performance is determined by a number of factors, amongst them innate talent and genetics, hours of deliberate training, coaching, and luck. But performance is also great affected by what is between an athlete’s ears: mindset. An athlete’s state of mind is perhaps the single greatest factor that affects performance. In his great book The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance, author W. Timothy Gallway writes the following equation: Performance = Potential – Interference What Gallway means is that an athlete will perform up to his potential (the combination of innate talent, training hours, playing hours, coaching) minus all the things that interfere with that potential, namely a poor state of mind.

No matter how much talent your athlete has, no matter what level of coaching he or she receives, or how many championships that team has won, without intrinsic motivation, enjoyment, and autonomy, your athletes will never play long enough, train hard enough, and be gritty enough to become an athlete who performs up to his or her potential.


Comment left in Hey Parents: Quit Raising Specialists and Start Raising Ominvores

Terry Liskevich coached the 1996 USA Women to Olympic Silver in volleyball. He told a group of us that of the 16 players who trained for the final Olympic team, 12 were multiple sport athletes IN COLLEGE. The other four didn’t make the team. We asked, were they good because they played multiple sports, or did they play multiple sports because they were good?

It’s not that simple; he said they work together. You play more sports because you’re a good athlete (as a kid) and you get better as an athlete because you play multiple sports all along.


The Perils of Single-sport participation (July 2015)

One Sport  Athletes (January 20, 2015)

 One Sport May Be Too Much (July 16, 2015)