A common question for players/parents who have a VPI score is: Should I get tested again and how soon?
Our general answer is: get with your club coach and work on the areas where your ‘college readiness’ scores are low and come back next year and show you have improved in these areas.
A poster child for this method of dogged improvement is Gillian who came to the San Jose AVCA College Prep Combine for the first time in 2014 as a 5’8” ninth grader, playing right side. You can see from her profile below that she was not college ready; with an avcaVPI™ of 483.3, she was undersize, and her swing mechanics, agility and blocking all needed work. Her standing vertical showed decent power and her acceleration indicated good first-step quickness, but she needed to make herself more valuable to her club team and prospective colleges.
So, what did she do?
1. She improved her mechanics
2. She positioned herself for college by switching into a role where her size was not a liability, and
At this point if you are not saying, “But, can she set?” we are worried about your coaching and recruiting ability. The free video upload was specifically included to answer this question, and Gillian used it to show her ability as a setter
In 2015, Gillian participated in the Combine as a sophomore setter. She had grown a half inch, worked on her arm swing mechanics, and improved her blocking height to almost 9 feet. Her avcaVPI™ increased from 483.3 to 504.5. The improvement and position change moved her to 57% when compared with college setters. But there was more work to be done.
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In 2016, Gillian added another 36 points to her performance index, scoring a 540.2. How? Her standing vertical, a measure of her power, increased by almost two inches to 21.8, and her attack mechanics improved markedly in both swing speed (33 mph to 37 mph) and height of attack (8’7.5” to 9’0.5”). All in all, Gillian has made herself into a more athletic volleyball player over the course of three years! So, can she set? Her avcaVPI™ score does not tell you that. Watch her video and watch her play. What the score does tell you is that she can or can be taught to spank the ball when serving and while likely not an elite blocker, she can hold her own at the net.
Will she come back to the San Jose Combine in 2017? Probably not: 1. Her VPI score of 540.2 and top finish at her position both qualify her for the Phenom Watch List and an invitation to Phenom in December of 2016, if she is still available. As an 85%er athletically, she has lots of up-side, so, if her setting skills are adequate, she will very likely have made a college choice by January of 2016.
Well Done, Gillian!! You have helped us show coaches why we built the avcaVPI™.