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Tournament Know How - Secrets to have a successful season

Below is a list of tips and tricks to having a successful and fun tournament.

  • At each facility they may have the pools and results posted on the wall someplace to know where your teams stands and how the other teams are doing
  • Most of the time the tournament details are not posted until the Tuesday or Wednesday of that week of the tourney. It can be very frustrating.  But realize that the coaches put the information out as soon as they get it but you can also get good at checking the sites for details as well.
  • Be on team. Don't add extra stress on the chase and player by running late to a tournament.
  • Officiating responsibilities-athletes are not dismissed until all officiating responsibilities are completed. If you lose your last match typically you will ref your court right after playing unless it was the finals.  
  • Do not baby your daughter. As an athlete you must learn how to deal with adversity, playing time, wins and losses, GETTING YOUR OWN WATER with your team and coach.  
  • It is important that everyone arrives on time, AWAKE and ready to play the very first match! The first match can determine your entire tournament route…  
  • Tournament starts with pool play and then teams possibly get re-pooled and play another round before qualifying for the medal brackets. In multiple day tournaments we may not know our start time for the following day until all play has ended on the current day. There are computers usually at the larger tournaments to check results in real time.
  •  In pool play you typically have to finish 1st or 2nd in EVERY round of pool play to advance to the gold bracket. Getting knocked out of the gold the first day by finishing 3rd or 4th means you can never get back to the gold. So showing up ready and performing the first day is critical to team success in a tournament.  
  • Players are not free to go until the coach releases the teams and verifies that we have completed our day of play. Coaches may have a short meeting after the tournament is over before releasing the girls to go home. The reason is if we miss an officiating assignment we forfeit our next match.  
  • NW Juniors Tourney Page has links to some of the common tournaments we attend from there you need to do a little searching but you will find the information you are looking for on these pages.  
  • What you are looking for is start times, court number, location if multiple sites are being utilized and the “pool” or the list of teams that you will play against on your court.
  • HOTEL  

  • For 12’s & 13’s, you are responsible for your athlete if they are running around the hotel and get in trouble by management. Playing time will be affected. For the 14-18’s who travel as a team, they are supervised by Chaperones, but the punishment is the same if they misbehave around the hotel.  
  • Follow all hotel policies. Staying where the team stays builds unity within a team-do all you can to stay with the team. We understand that some of you have hotel points, but there are times you should stay at the team hotel.  
  • We try to stay at hotels that have breakfast included to expedite the AM process to make it to the tourney on time and also to ensure the athletes EAT plenty of food to start the day.
  • Parents please help enforce the curfews the night before competition.  
  • Players are NOT allowed to swim, Jacuzzi or sauna unless the coach says so. Players can dehydrate themselves and fatigue their legs by just playing in the water. However, there is always a time and place for good old fashioned fun just check with the coach on what the playing schedule looks like. It is the same thing as laying out in the sun before competition-it drains you of your energy.
  • FOOD  

  • Bring a cooler which will stay in your car with lots of fluids. Give the girls a couple of drinks to put in the volleyball bags as well.  
  • Bring some type of food for lunch-to save on money arrange for all the families to chip in for a food chest for all the girls. You can go out to our cars to make sandwiches and get things from your cooler but typically coolers are not allowed in most facilities so a tote bag to carry nutrition bars, sandwiches and snacks in baggies will do the trick.
  •  Bring snacks for the player’s bags and additional water to fill their water bottle. Better yet, get yourself the big Rubbermaid water bottles and fill that up with ice at the hotel or before leaving home. Small water bottles create a mess at the facilities and do not provide enough fluids to the athletes  
  • Healthy food ideas-Sandwiches (NO TURKEY) PB&J sandwiches, cheese and lunch meat, cheese and crackers, fruit & veggies, trail mix. Athletes need protein and complex carbs to sustain energy throughout the day.
  • SHAGGING BALLS  

  • I know you want to help so if you do here are a few guidelines when shagging balls. Do not roll a ball back under the net EVER make sure the person you are rolling the ball to makes eye contact before you release it from your hands.  
  • Technically only USAV registered players, coaches and people can be on the court per PSR and USA rules. So if you are asked to not shag that is the reason why.
  • CREATURE COMFORTS  

  • During breaks, use the down-time to explore. Bring your running shoes and go for a run, find a nice coffee shop, check out the downtown area or a nearby park. There's no reason you should be "stuck in a gym all day". Your child doesn't need you to be there every single minute. Let her grow and bond with her team during tournaments.
  •  Bring a comfortable chair to sit in but be aware not all facilities allow outside seating if they have provided some. Outdoor chairs are sufficient but some sort of cushion is a good idea.
  • Bring a blanket or jacket even in the summer-the facilities can be VERY cold when just sitting all day.  
  • Comfortable shoes are a must-you will be on concrete most of the day.  
  • Bring some reading material. It may get boring sometimes when the girls are officiating and a NW Juniors team is not playing.  
  • When bleachers are provided, bring a 'bleacher chair'....not sure of the official name. But they are the padded seats with the backs on them that you can sit on in the bleachers to avoid bleacher butt and also provide back support.
  • SUPPORT  

  • After tournaments, win or lose, your only comments to your child should be "I LOVE watching you play' and "Where do you want to eat (or get ice cream)". They will feel bad enough if they lost and don't need to hear about it on the way home and if they won, what better way to celebrate.  
  • Even if the coach has not said it is a 'team only' lunch...if the rest of the team is going to lunch somewhere, make sure your child goes too. One player always doing her own thing separates her from the team.  
  • In the younger ages especially, please don't coach your child. Yes, she may be making mistakes and the coach may not be addressing it every single time but NW Juniors coaches are professionals who have been coaching for a long time and really do know how to get the most out of every athlete. Leave the coaching to the coaches.  
  • Avoid being the parent who likes to be the sideline "play-by-play" analyst. Let everyone watch the game and enjoy the team's efforts. Ditto for the parent who likes to critique every move the coach makes (or doesn't make).  
  • Be flexible and supportive of the team's goals. If the coach wants a "team only" lunch, there's probably a very good reason. Same for a "team only" outing, meeting, dinner, etc. Don't be a "helicopter parent". No hovering!  
  • Bringing small children to a volleyball tournament can be stressful and difficult. During warm-ups and in games, balls are flying in many different directions and often, spectators can be struck by an errant ball. There is usually no or very limited places for small children to play. So please make sure they are not on the court so they do not get injured.  
  • Parents are NOT allowed on the bench or on the floor (USA Rules)-please ensure your athlete has everything they need in their bags including additional water prior to match play-you may think it looks like a good idea to run a water bottle over to the bench but a college coach watching HATES it and so do most coaches in general. Teach them to be prepared, not dependent.
  • CONDUCT  

  • Please don’t shout advice to your player during the game. Shout encouragement! A steady stream of technique suggestions though has no value. Your insightful tips may conflict with the coach’s instruction.
  •  Please don’t harass the refs.  
  • Please don’t talk bad about the coach in front of your child.
  •  Please don’t yell at or harass the other team’s players.  
  • The other team’s players are off limits. Parents should never disrupt, distract, or upset players from the opposing teams.  
  • As a parent, be involved in a positive way. Attend your child’s games as often as you can. Cheer for all of the kids on the team. Help and Assist with logistics. If you’re not sure how to help, ask the coach.  
  • There is probably a hundred ways to be a good team member and a good parent at the same time. When the larger definition of team is working well, the experience can be wonderful for everyone in involved. People who see our program in action will want to be a part of it. Parents looking ahead to when their child will be old enough to participate will want to fit in and help. This kind of teamwork perpetuates itself. Once it gets momentum, it can be quite a force.

Download this PDF and share with your team.

HAVE A GREAT SEASON!