"Top Team or Bust"

Friday, October 06, 2017 11:22:02 AM

“Top team” or bust:

Across the country, club directors struggle with what is called “the top team syndrome”. This means at some point players (and parents) acquire the mentality that “If I don't make a top team, I will go elsewhere and make their top team.”  While sometimes that is the best choice for a family, we’d like to encourage all our families to remember some basic facts surrounding “the top team syndrome” and how it relates specifically to our Stars volleyball teams. 


1)    Our 1st team is typically replete with players who are the very best player on their school team.

2)    Our 2nd team has traditionally been full with players who are some of the best on their school teams and certainly are key starters/contributors.  Our 2nd team talent is similar to most “top teams” in our area.

3)    We have had 21 athletes who were not on the “top team” who went on to play collegiate volleyball in the last two years.  

4)    Our 2nd teams have historically outperformed some other clubs’ top teams – and certainly have fared really well against their 2nd team counterpart.

5)    Our 2nd and 3rd teams have won over 20 tournaments in the last 2 years including the Palmetto Region Open Championships in multiple age divisions.

6)    Our 2nd teams are coached by great leaders who provide a great sport experience for our players and families.  These coaches would be “top team” coaches anywhere else (and are recruited yearly to change clubs and become a “top team” coach).

7)    Our 2nd teams routinely train/practice with our top teams making for a very competitive gym culture. 

8)    Our 2nd team schedule is more competitive than most top teams and provides the best opportunity to develop as a player/team, to find success on the court through hard work, and be seen by college coaches.  Match our 2nd team schedule up against any top team.

Here are some numbers to remember while trying out and deciding to play with us or another club.

In South Carolina the past 6 years, our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd teams have all well fared against other clubs 1st team:

 · 85% of the time our 1st teams have defeated other Club's 1st teams.

 · 60% of the time our 2nd teams have defeated other Clubs 1st Teams.

 · 60% of the time our 3rd teams have defeated other Clubs 2nd teams AND we have had multiple occasions where our 3rd team has beat a top team.

It does NOT have to be “top team or bust” at Upward Stars.  Our depth of talent, our intentional tournament schedule and our quality coaching staff all make our 2nd team more appealing than anybody else’s top team.