Have a question for you for my daughter. She has made her middle school team and she is the youngest on the team but one of the better players. Given all of the dynamics of a younger girl coming in and potentially replacing older girls (who played last year also) at her school, I would ask how you would advise her to approach practice, the other players, etc..this could be a life lesson for her. Would appreciate a quick answer if possible.
What I recommend is for her to be the model teammate. She should focus on what she has control over: her smile, her attitude, her work ethic, etc.
What does she have no control over: the coach's decison to give her playing time ahead of the older girls and her teammates' reactions to that. So she mustn't worry about them.
However, she has more chance to win over the others if she tries to limit the reasons that she can be criticized/envied. And this is doing what I listed above. Will it work? We hope so. But some girls (and some adults!) are just critical, bitter, spite-filled people.
If the problem becomes difficult for you daughter to bear, then one of you need to speak to the coach. It's her/his job to protect the team, and that means protecting your daughter against her jealous teammates. If her coach refuses to help, then that's very disappointing.
I hope that this helps, even though it's late.
And I hope that your daughter has a wonderful season!
Director, STAR Volleyball Camps
Author, "I Can't Wait" Drill Collection and Ebooks
Head Coach, 2009 Roanoke Junior 16 Nationals, Old Dominion Region Champion.
Junior National Participant in 2006 and 2009