Junior Varsity volleyball coaches typically work at the high school level, though some middle schools and colleges also have JV programs. At any level, JV coaches help teach the fundamentals of the sport and prepare athletes for the next steps in their playing careers. Successful coaches recognize volleyball "diamonds in the rough" -- players who aren't yet at the top of their games, but have certain qualities that can be transformed into stellar performance through good coaching. The best JV coaches are committed to helping teach physical skills, sportsmanship and life lessons.
JV players are still learning game fundamentals and strategies, so it's important that their coaches have extensive knowledge of volleyball and the ability to convey that knowledge to the team. Part of their responsibility is to develop players in preparation for varsity play, building on each player's unique skills. The coach should work to improve players' understanding of the sport and its rules; their techniques for how to properly hit and serve the ball; and their knowledge of game strategy. The coach should also motivate players individually and as a team while promoting good sportsmanship and fair play.
Assists Varsity Coach and AD
The JV coach assists the varsity coach and athletic director in many ways. He helps recruit the JV team, determine the final roster and schedule practices and games. Under the supervision of the varsity coach, the JV volleyball coach sets the tone for the JV team. He communicates rules and policies with parents and players. In preparation for games, he analyzes opponents' play, shares video with the team and devises pre-game strategy. He runs practice using a variety of drills that reinforce different skills. He also designs and runs plays to use during games, and divides the players into teams to practice game play. During games he decides who plays, when to substitute players, how to motivate players, and when to change strategies. In the off-season he assists with volleyball camps and open gyms.
Keeps Records and Budgets
Before tryouts can even begin, players' paperwork must be completed, checked and filed. The JV coach may have an assistant or helpers, but it's ultimately his responsibility to make sure players turn in up-to-date health forms, academic forms proving they are eligible to play, and parental permissions, if necessary. In many cases, players must sign forms showing they have read, understand and agree to the rules of the team. Any costs associated with the program must be noted when paid. All forms must be organized and kept handy at all times, particularly in the event of a player's injury. The JV coach also keeps track of inventory and equipment and helps develop and adhere to budgets.
Qualifications and Salary
In hiring JV volleyball coaches, head coaches or athletic directors often look for people with previous experience playing and coaching the game. For college teams, candidates should have a bachelor's degree and experience recruiting college athletes. Successful coaches are enthusiastic leaders and good role models. They need the ability to communicate well with athletes, parents, teachers and administrators, and to build positive relationships with their players. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median salary for all types of coaches, including volleyball coaches, was $39,750 a year at the college, university and professional school level. Coaches at the elementary and secondary school level earned median pay of $22,670 a year. However, many coaches at the secondary school level might also double as teachers. The BLS reports that all high school teachers earned median pay of $53,230 per year as of 2010.
Barbara Bean-Mellinger is an award-winning writer in the Washington, DC area. She writes nationally for newspapers, magazines and websites on topics including careers, education, women, marketing, advertising and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh.