How many practices per week?
For most teams, practices will be two days a week. Some of the higher ranking or more competitive clubs will also offer if not mandate attendance at positional clinics once a week and/or strength and performance training. Additionally, many of the bigger, or more competitive clubs will already have practice schedules set prior to try outs whereas the smaller ones may have more flexibility in setting practice times to accommodate the players’ schedules.
How long are practices?
In short; it depends. Practices usually last anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours. If coaches include conditioning in the workouts, they may last as long as 2.5-3 hours but it varies club to club.
Some clubs add an extra 30 minutes to an hour prior to practice to work on strength training or jump training and in some cases, some clubs require an extra day a week depending on player development and point in the season. Be aware that some clubs do positional training where all of the setters or hitters across the club and age groups meet and practice together.
Are holidays off-days?
This varies from club to club. Most clubs will practice during the Christmas break since club tournaments start the first week of January. However, with clubs now able to form teams so much earlier this year, it is possible that clubs will practice during the week of Thanksgiving.
We have seen practices take place during the holidays (sometimes on New Years Eve or New Years Day), but never on a religious holiday.
When do practices start?
For high school aged teams, practices typically will start right after Thanksgiving (when state playoffs are complete) and younger ones may start as early as November.
Typically, we have seen practices start around the first of December for competitive clubs and not until Christmas break for developmental clubs.
Practices on tournament days
Some of the developmental teams will have Saturday-only games, whereas when competition level increases tournaments will take place over the course of a weekend. We have found that on tournament weekends, if team normally practices on Sundays, practices will be cancelled. However, ASK, because it is subject to the coach’s opinion.
We have seen that on occasion, if the team did not do well and finished early in the day on a Sunday, the coach held practice to work on skills or plays that need improvement. (Or to run suicides and fun things like that!)
What if I have a school practice, game, or conflict with club practice?
In small schools many student athletes play two if not all sports the school has to offer. It is almost impossible to get away from that. Talk with the club prior to signing to hear their perspective on multi-sport athletes. Many of the smaller, developmental clubs or clubs in rural areas may not have a problem with that and work around it. In the more competitive clubs where they have so many players to choose from, they will likely say “pick a sport”, or “no, we do not work around your school schedule.” Regardless of whether the club is ok with missing a practice here or there, the typical consequence of missing a practice is making it up and/or sitting out the first game of the tournament immediately following the absence.