Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Versatility: The Key to Success in Volleyball

Young volleyball players often wonder what they can do to increase their chances of success on the court. As an experienced player and coach, I have found that versatility is a crucial factor in achieving success. In this article, I will explain why being well-rounded is essential and share some examples of players who have excelled in multiple areas.

My Personal Experience with Versatility

Being versatile was the key to my own success in volleyball. I owe much of my development as a player to my coaches at Wave Volleyball in Del Mar, Calif., Jeanne Reeves and Ed Machado. They emphasized the importance of versatility and encouraged us to excel in all positions.

In our practices, every player had the opportunity to play in every position. This approach made our team deep, knowledgeable, and experienced. Despite not being the most physically imposing team, we achieved great success.

Other Examples of Versatility

While there are accomplished players who specialize in one skill, coaches often value players who can perform well in multiple areas, especially at a young age. Courtney Thompson, a 5-7 setter, defied expectations and became one of the best players in the world at her position. Her passion, leadership, and versatility overshadowed her lack of height.

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Cassidy Lichtman is another example of a versatile player. She transitioned from setter to right side, right side to outside, and outside to libero. Despite not being the tallest, strongest, or fastest player, her ability to contribute in various positions made her invaluable.

Kelsey Robinson, a member of the 2016 Olympic team, is known for her all-around skills. Although not the biggest or strongest player, she excels in every aspect of the game. Her ball control, passing skills, and focus on making her teammates better make her an asset on the court.

Don’t Let Limitations Define You

If someone tells you that you’re too short or too tall to play a certain position, ignore them. Your ability to play the game should not be determined by physical characteristics. If you can score or pass effectively, your height shouldn’t matter. Focus on showcasing your skills and proving your value to coaches.

Focus on the Present and Develop All Skills

It’s common for young players to focus too much on the future, striving to excel in a specific position to catch the attention of college coaches. However, by confining ourselves to one position early on, we miss out on the opportunity to develop skills in every aspect of the game.

While specialization has its merits, it’s important to avoid getting caught up in the recruiting process and instead prioritize becoming the best all-around player you can be. College coaches recognize talent and can assess potential in different positions. By being versatile, athletic, and constantly improving, you will attract attention and opportunities will come your way.

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Q: How can I become a more versatile player?

A: To become more versatile, focus on developing your skills in all areas of the game, including passing, setting, hitting, and defense. Take the time to practice and improve in each position, and don’t be afraid to try new things during training sessions and games.

Q: Can being versatile help me stand out to college coaches?

A: Absolutely! College coaches appreciate players who can contribute in multiple areas. By showcasing your versatility and consistently performing well, you increase your chances of catching their attention and earning a spot on their team.

Q: Are there any disadvantages to being a versatile player?

A: The only potential disadvantage is the risk of spreading yourself too thin and not specializing enough in any one skill. However, as long as you continue to work on your strengths and consistently improve, being a versatile player will greatly benefit your overall game.


Versatility is a vital trait for volleyball players looking to achieve success. By being well-rounded, deep, and versatile, you enhance your value as a player and increase your chances of standing out to coaches. Remember to focus on developing all aspects of your game and never let limitations define your potential. Embrace versatility, and you will be on the path to becoming a successful volleyball player.

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