Volleyball coaches dealing with little time to make big decisions

Volleyball(Hunter Smith)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 10:48 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - High school fall sports can begin practice on August 24 with competition starting on September 7. This leaves volleyball with only two weeks between that time frame to hold tryouts and prepare for games.

“Two weeks is not a lot of preparation to get started going full out with the volleyball and more full-on play,” said Tim Sharp, Bowling Green’s volleyball coach. “I think we just have to focus on the fact that it could be worse. They could’ve said you’re not going to have a season at all we could be in the same situation as those spring sports that didn’t get to play.”

Leading up to August 24, teams are following the guidelines for segment three of the KHSAA’s Return to Sports Participation Plan. Teams may conduct workouts in groups of 10. Player and also take part in minimal ball work with a ball being shared by two team members. The limitations for players leading up to tryouts have created a challenge for coaches in trying to assess those players’ skill sets.

“You know when you’re doing a lot of skill work, they look good there but then when it becomes live it changes a little bit,” said Lindsey Sheffield, South Warren’s volleyball coach. “When you’re able to train girls earlier on with the live play, they’re able to get better, faster.”

Coaches like Greenwood’s Allen Whittinghill said he was planning to have a multi-day tryout to make up for the lack of activity his players have been allowed to participate in. However, with the first week of practice limited to 7.5 hours, a two-day tryout is now off the table.

“If you do two tryouts, that takes up your whole practice week,” Whittinghill said. “You kind of have to go with one tryout, have a three hour period, focus on getting these numbers down, and give every kid a chance. It’s just one of those things this year that’s going to be different and it’s not probably fair to all the kids but it is what it is.”

Many teams this year will have to go straight into preparing for games once practice begins. Not having the extra time to work on fundamentals leads most coaches to believe there will be some obvious growing pains seen on the court. The upside is everyone is in the same boat.

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