Underclassmen Playing Varsity Volleyball

By Teia (BGV Blogger and High School/Club Volleyball Player)

TeiaI’ve been playing volleyball for almost seven years – playing rec, school and club. During my freshman year, I made my JV team and before the end of the season they brought me up to the varsity team.

This summer, I thought about tryouts a lot and was excited because I thought I had a good chance of making varsity again. Our tryouts were three days long and on the third day I found out that I made the varsity team again. I was so happy!

We started playing games and as the season progressed I started to have some challenges. I really liked the idea of playing with the “best of the best” at my school, but being an underclassman on varsity isn’t as easy as one might think.

  1. Most of the girls on the team have already played together before. They have already gelled together and an underclassman is coming in new.
  2. Coaches may take it easier on younger players. This might have an effect on the younger players’ development.
  3. A younger player coming in with the same skill level as an upperclassman can be interesting to say the least.
  4. You aren’t always heard and listened to. Not heard because other people can’t understand your challenges…they only think it has to be great playing varsity. Not listened to by fellow players, coaches and managers.
  5. The age difference can take a toll in a lot of ways. Friends your age may be on the freshman and JV teams and you may not be able to talk and hang out with them as much. Also as a sophomore you’re still figuring out how to balance being a student-athlete; most upperclassmen have figured that out.
  6. Because you’re young everyone assumes you don’t know as much or that you don’t understand.

But, there are good points too:

Teia High School

  1. I get a lot of encouragement from players and coaches.
  2. I get a lot of support from my teachers who understand I’m playing this sport at a higher level; teachers get excited and come to see me play.
  3. I’m playing against teams with older, more experienced players and that helps me become a stronger player.
  4. Having come on varsity as a freshman, if I continue to play, I’ll definitely build my leadership skills by the time I’m a senior.

Being an underclassman on varsity is not all that it seems, but if you’re made the offer you should take it. This might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you so DO IT!

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