Just 10 years ago, college coaches were watching the top recruits in the country during their sophomore year. The players spent their junior year visiting campuses, attending college camps and looking for the best fit. That calendar, at least for the top and mid-major tier student athletes, has all but disappeared. The shift in the recruiting timeline has had some unfavorable effects on the junior volleyball club directors, coaches, players and even college coaches. Let's examine some of those concerns and suggestions that have been discussed.
There are many different elements strength coaches must consider when designing a volleyball-specific strength program for their athletes. Whether players are just beginning to build strength or are well-developed professionals, the most effective strength and conditioning programs implement progressions.
Jumping in the sand is difficult enough, adding a volleyball to attack over the net makes the feat a very challenging one for beginner beach players. Wisconsin Juniors shares a three part progression to train their Beach VolleyKids how to jump and attack the ball.Read More
One of the biggest changes in club volleyball over the last 20 years has been the development of club volleyball from small volunteer-run groups training in school gyms into businesses that support families, pay mortgages, pay taxes, and add, not only to our sport but, to the growth of our country’s economy. The growth and value of youth sports to the economy has been well documented.
One of the KEY components in the recruiting process is getting a college coaches’ attention. With all of the correspondence college coaches and recruiting coordinators receive on a weekly basis (at all levels) it is mind boggling to figure out how they sort through it all. There is an abundance of talented athletes out there and from a practical standpoint, one must surmise that college coaches need a speedy and effective way to evaluate them. Hence the ‘highlight video’ or the ‘edited match’ video. What better way to find out if the athlete that is reaching out to program has what it takes or has the potential to be an athletic fit?
It’s the calm before the season-ending storm, when clubs have a chance to rest and regroup before AAU and USAV Nationals. After a lot of matches and tournaments, everyone wants to shine in the coming weeks. Two JVA Club Directors share their ideas on ways to give your teams a shot at peaking before the summer break.
The first lesson coaches and athletes should understand is that most volleyball players do not land, they fall, and if the ground was not there they would just continue falling. Simplifying the task to allow for the athlete to learn to land safely and effectively is important, but doing so reduces the challenge and does not reflect the more complex demands of jumping and landing performance in volleyball. This is often a necessary first step, but there are more layers to this issue that must be addressed.
The beach beginner series is designed to teach basic movement and technique for excelling in beach volleyball. The beginner beach series is lead by Rob Long, Director of Ohio Valley Next Level Beach. Many coaches and directors interested in starting beach programs fear they lack the general understanding of the beach game and why certain skills are done differently than the indoor game. That general lack of understanding keeps many coaches and directors on the side lines. The JVA Beach Beginner Series is designed to help your club implement a beach program and for coaches to have the resources to teach the game to your players.Read More
What happens to strength training as clubs get deep into competition season? How do athletes take advantage of the strength and endurance they have built up so far? Even mid-season, explosiveness and acceleration are traits that can be improved with proper training.
I am passionate about helping young women navigate their way through recruiting, and passionate about guiding parents through the very murky waters of releasing their daughters to the world to fend for themselves. But, what I am most passionate about is teaching student-athletes that there is a great need in their life to learn the skills to manage 'stress' and to understand why 'stress' can be the catalyst in propelling them to their greatest victories – especially in the recruiting process.
The BridgeAthletic Building Block Series is a set of 5 exercises that can be performed by volleyball players of all levels with limited equipment needs. This building block is designed as a power circuit to mix in with your regular practice sessions.
When I was a freshman in high school, I (unknowingly) began the recruiting process. I had never really thought far enough ahead to even consider playing volleyball in college, but before we knew it I was getting contacted by schools from all over the country- some I had never even heard of!
Being a 15-year-old girl who's parents never went through the recruiting process, we had no idea where to even begin. That was where my club coach stepped in.
As the midpoint of the season nears and the weather starts to warm, club directors and coaches can find themselves facing the challenge of keeping athletes engaged. From setting new goals to re-evaluating coaches and players -- or even taking a break from competition and practice -- clubs use a variety of strategies to assist athletes in maintaining or regaining their focus. These actions also help coaches better connect with their players, aid a team in staying committed to its goals and keep everyone from suffering a "slump" when it matters most -- at the height of the club season. Two JVA member clubs share a few ways they keep their athletes engaged until the end of season.
There are many philosophies and opinions out there about what makes practices efficient and effective, but in this instance, let's focus on removing the coaches from running the drill. That might sound crazy to some because the person running the drill, in many ways, controls its efficiency and effectiveness; but by placing the responsibility of controlling the pace, energy level, and the amount of effort on your players, you are accomplishing many things. To better understand, here are examples of player run drills.Read More
How many countless times have you yelled, “TALK!!!!” at your players after an error? Maybe your players aren’t communicating because they don’t know WHAT to say! Have you spent time teaching your players HOW to communicate? Communication is a skill just as much as serving and passing. It’s something that must be taught and practiced every day. Communication needs to be broken down part to whole just like you would do with any other skill of the game. To create great communicators in your program you must make communication a standard in your program.Read More
As the club volleyball season moves into an ever increasingly competitive segment of the season, all involved (athletes, coaches, parents) get a sense of where the season could be headed. From the bleachers, some parents may be wondering why we aren’t winning the close ones, too many are acting as if the next point and ultimate outcome of the match are dependent on the volume of their cheers, and some are simply wanting the best experience possible for their child hoping they get an opportunity to contribute. Players are fighting for roles and hopefully, as one of our players told me recently, “I will play wherever the team needs me to play.” Coaches meanwhile are working to balance individual progress and opportunity with team success. My goal in writing this column is to establish that those two things are not mutually exclusive.Read More
"Some coaches believed they could judge a player’s performance simply by watching it. In this they were deeply mistaken. The naked eye was an inadequate tool for learning what you needed to know to evaluate baseball players and baseball games. Think about it. One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks. The difference between a good hitter and an average hitter is simply not visible—it is a matter of record."
- Michael Lewis
A successful volleyball season requires athletes to dedicate time to mastering the skills in practice that they will employ during competition. But none of that is possible if they can’t make it to the court because of an injury. While it’s impossible to eliminate all risk for injury from a sport, preventative measures before, during and after practices and matches can help keep athletes from experiencing some of the most common ailments throughout a season.
Have you received a few questions and comments about players just not “getting it” when it comes to rotations? It would be nice if there were a magic bullet, but the truth is, it’s something that probably won’t stick until after you spend several scrimmages doing little but putting kids in the right spots. That said, there are some ways to help the process along.Read More
Team bonding and cohesion can be one of the first challenges coaches tackle at the start of a new volleyball season. Often before the first practice, and throughout the season, athletes are brought together to build relationships that lead to better communication during matches and strengthen bonds that can hold teams together through the ups and downs of the club volleyball season.
Tournament time has begun, which means club directors and coaches are beginning to identify the over-involved and over-bearing parents. It's easy to say that our focus needs to be on the kids and ignore the parents, but as we all know, the parents are as much our customers as the players are; in some cases, even more so. Here are some practices your club can apply to establish a healthy relationship between your club, coaches, and parents.
Recently, the AVCA published an article in its blog regarding proposed legislation that could directly affect how PSA’s are recruited. With over 85% of collegiate volleyball athletes being recruited at the club level, the proposed legislation is a call to action for clubs in the area of education. This article is not meant to incite, divide or propose that the legislation is detrimental to the PSA’s future in collegiate sports…but to propose that the systematic ‘education’ of parents, PSA’s, club directors and recruiting coordinators could be a starting point for change.
January is an exciting time of year for volleyball players. The extensive hours spent at practice building your skills, and bonding with your teammates have led you to the first tournament of the year. To make the most out of January and February training, set realistic goals that will help you focus on one piece of the puzzle at a time.
We’re all coming up on the first tournament of the year, which means we’re all starting to introduce and train defensive team concepts. There’s a lot of jumping up and down and yelling “Base!” “Go to the net!” “Ready. Ready!!” I think talking players through the play is a necessary part of the process at first, but we can help our players along and save our voices (a little) by giving some keys to help them figure out why they should be going where we want them to go.Read More
Perhaps you have listened to volleyball coaches complain they wish their current players would read the opponent better, or mention disappointment in a player's current form while performing a specific skill. I've heard numerous times a "next level" coach having to "fix" athletes when they get them, lamenting lack of volleyball IQ, lack of transition, or poor form. To this I say:
We didn't ask them "What color is your dragon" soon enough.
Coaching volleyball at the collegiate level can be a very stressful occupation. My mind constantly jumps from training ideas to recruiting to our strength and condition program, etc. It got to the point where my mind wouldn’t shut off at night, which resulted in a lack of sleep. I began practicing mindfulness through guided meditation and my mind was able to turn off when it was time to sleep, putting me in a better frame of mind to coach our athletes. If mindfulness helped my mentality as a coach, I was eager to explore the impact it could have on our student athletes who also juggle a lot of responsibilities.
A critical aspect of coaching and teaching is creating the right environment for learning. How is the learning environment established in your gym? If we truly want to help young people become fearless competitors, we will spend time creating and cultivating a gym in which mistakes are welcome in order to cause growth. Let's explore practical applications for building confident leaders, competitive teams, and celebrated programs.
Whether you're looking for ways to help your athletes improve their performance or reduce injury, a full dynamic warmup before competition and training sessions is a simple way to start. It can be easy to skip this key step at the beginning of every practice because it takes time and sometimes seems less relevant to the rest of the training program. However, warming up can play a key role in priming the body for quicker reactions and giving joints a wider range of motion. Here's a deeper look at why daily warming up and cooling down are critical for sustained high performance.
Athletic injuries, in most cases, can be treated and rehabilitated in a few weeks to a few months. The athlete returns to the team and life goes on. In the case of emotional harm due to harassment or abuse, the injury may not be apparent for weeks, months or years. The athlete may never be the same. This is a tragedy we want to eliminate from our sport. Here are three ways the JVA is committed to the protection of our athletes.
As a recruiting coordinator that works with the youth of today (GEN Z), it is imperative that I understand who they are, how they operate and what motivates and drives them. This generation is highly unique for many reasons, so let's take a look at some interesting facts about GEN Z.
When mid-November hits, junior volleyball club directors and coaches have passed the tryout season and are now amped up for the upcoming indoor and beach season with their designated teams. Line-ups, partner pairings, drills, club management, and practice planning are on the forefront of everyone's minds. As for the JVA, we are receiving numerous calls and emails from club directors planning their tournament schedule, prepping for the first week of practice, marketing their tournaments, and tackling parent communication. The AVCA Annual Convention arrives at just the right time for volleyball coaches and professionals to meet in one place for a week of education, networking, and charging our batteries for the season. Here are 14 reasons why the JVA is excited for this year's Convention in Columbus, Ohio.Read More
As September arrives, so does the important informational club meetings, followed by tryouts and parent meetings. It's a critical time to share your club's brand and identity, as well as emphasize the culture that you've established. Mintonette Sports shares how they structure their parent meetings and the goals they look to accomplish.
Premier Volleyball Associate Club Director Chad Rutkowski explains the multi-colored net tape and how it is used for training the club's many players 18 and under.Read More
Transferring in college volleyball is becoming more of a common practice. While roster changes from injury, change of academic interests, relationships, burn out, etc. are common, we are seeing a noticeable rise in the number of players who are transferring for volleyball reasons.
A junior volleyball club director and coach can have a great impact on a student athlete's recruiting process and ultimate commitment. Here are ways in which junior volleyball clubs can help players truly find the right college fit.
If I told you that winning was not our top priority, most of you would probably give me an odd look or call me crazy. How could we not want to win at all costs? What are people going to think about us? It is an obsession that is infecting youth sports, and seems to be the #1 priority in junior volleyball. We may think that this is strengthening our children and players, however, the overwhelming question is... at what cost?Read More
The transition from indoor to beach volleyball is one that can be both exciting and challenging. Living in the Midwest offers its own set of hurdles as players do not have the same opportunities as those living on the coasts to get touches in the sand. There are 3 main focuses that help our players at Wisconsin Juniors Volleyball Club transition from playing indoor to playing beach volleyball.Read More
Spring Break, prom, graduation, ACT's, homework... it's that time of the year where many distractions creep in for athletes and it's easy for coaches to become frustrated. It's difficult to have an efficient practice when many players are missing, and when they are at practice, they're thinking about what dress to wear that weekend. How can we as coaches keep our players focused, especially with Nationals right around the corner?
Competition brings out a full range of emotions and thoughts in a person: fear, confidence, anxiety, joy, pain, and so on. To be dominant and successful in the moment we MUST be "IN THE MOMENT". All sorts of variables during competition are trying to knock us off or out of our MOMENT and it is those individuals that are unshakable that dominate the mental game. They recover quickly, do not panic and are not stirred by the moment. Read how a simple change helped Gandhi overcome his fears and be the leader we know him as today.
The best drill to learn to pass is to do a drill in which you PASS – set – hit; the best drill to learn to set is a drill in which you pass – SET – hit; and the best drill to learn to hit is to pass – set – HIT. What this quote, attributed to former national team coach Marv Dunphy, implies is that skills are best learned within the context of the game and not as isolated entities. How do we incorporate game-like drills into our practices and make them competitive?Read More
I got my start coaching middle school, high school, and club. I still remember the excitement of helping to pick my 14-2 team my second year of coaching. And even when I began coaching the 16-under age group, the time between tryouts at the beginning of December to when we began practicing at the beginning of January seemed like a lifetime. I couldn't wait to get started!! However, I have a gentle request that will hopefully tie all of this together.
An email pops into my inbox, it's the weekly fall/winter coed rec league I've volunteered to sub or play in for roughly 15 years. I've often described coed B as the place "old" setters go to hit, and as such, I eagerly volunteered when first asked by a neighbor to play 15 years ago. As has been custom the last few years, I have to respond that I'll be traveling for work or coaching a club or school team, and will miss the evening. You know it's been a while since you last played when you do show up, notice a brand new divider between the 4 courts, only to be told it was 3 years old now...Read More
Club tryout procedure is a hot topic during this time of year as the club season gets underway. Every club has its own unique way of running a tryout and selecting teams, so we took a closer look. JVA reached out to several club directors and asked what their team selection procedures are and why.
Instead of running away from the reality of how today's society communicates, we want to be able to embrace the technology and give very specific guidelines as to how we want it used within our organization this season. Find out how Wisconsin Juniors stays transparent with electronic communication.Read More
Now more than ever, parents are very involved (some would say "over-involved") with their sons and daughters club careers that you must be ready for just about anything. But in order to maintain a positive club culture a positive relationship needs to exist between your coaches and your players and their parents. Here are steps you can take to build and maintain that healthy relationship this season.
A few JVA members recently traveled to Tokyo, Japan to observe and learn from different volleyball groups. After more than 20 hours of watching elementary to high school players train, there were 5 aspects of the game that differetiated Japanese volleyball and U.S. volleyball. Below are the 5 things Japan volleyball does that we can do better.
Speed is of major importance to beach volleyball, and can determine whether or not you are a great defender. Chasing down a line shot or cut shot requires a quick and explovesive first step followed by either a crossover step or another fast running step. VBN shares a couple ways you can train this first step on your own.Read More
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These memoirs, research books, biographies and how-to guides made it onto On Leadership's bookshelf this year.
I have a straightforward coaching philosophy. I believe and have proven that there are only a few main components to succeed, and more importantly to ensure the children enjoy the experience and learn. Here are a few of the basic principles you need to be a successful coach.
With these Ten Keys and a sound perspective of the level that you are coaching, will allow you to watch your team achieve the delicate balance of having fun playing a game AND putting forth their best effort.
To encourage the growth and development of youth volleyball (ages 8-14) in the greater Chicagoland area, the Great Lakes Center Youth Academy, Chicago Elite Youth Academy, Energy VBC and Rolling Thunder VBC partnered together to form the Mizuno Youth Grand Prix Series.Read More
If you look at a pro volleyball player, you'll see some serious muscle. Strong quads, flexible and functional hamstrings, and powerful glutes--male and female players alike, good volleyball players are so strong, it shows. Volleyball is a tough sport,
By: Meg Davis, Youth Academy Director at Southern Performance Volleyball When I was first told I would be officially in charge of the "Youth Academy" at the club then known as Team Sting Volleyball Club, and now Southern Performance Volleyball, I was bothRead More
By Mark Britner, Coach, Team Indiana A major objective of any practice is for players to learn how to become better volleyball players. USA National Team coach Karch Kiraly emphasizes this learning aspect by asking his players "how good a learner are you?"Read More
By Mark McCloskey, Club Director, Pentagon Volleyball Club
Whether you are a long established club or a fledgling first year club, the process of putting together a tournament schedule that meets the needs of all your teams can be a daunting task. Here are
By Jimmy Jarmuth, Club Director, Illini Elite
In the last few years there has been plenty of research and innovation going on in the sport of volleyball in terms of how we train. This can be partially attributed to the increased attention that is being given
By Sharon L. Galonski, Club Director, Next Level Volleyball Club
At a pre-season regional meeting two years ago, a presentation was given on the implementation of a parent council by one of the Mid-Atlantic volleyball clubs. My initial reaction was, "No Way
Coaching. At times it can be like parenting, at other times it is like being best friends, but the key to a successful player and coach relationship is succeeding at the fine line between the two. A coach has to know when to a) push a player and b) when toRead More
By Jeanette Simenson, Former AVP Pro and Beach Club Coach Starting a beach club seemed like an easy idea after playing on the AVP tour, living in Southern California for many years, and being coached by some of the best coaches. I wanted to share my loveRead More
In my early years of playing and coaching, winning matches came easily. Back then I knew that if we worked hard, we were most likely going to win. During my college career we won at least 20 matches each season. In all my years as a Division I volleyballRead More
It's Championship Eve...
Are you Ready?
Tell grandma, tell your neighbor, cousins, everybody - they can watch the Gold Medal matches tomorrow! Register for access to live webstreaming with the Volleyball Network. It's FREE!The schedule and results are
The JVA World Challenge Presented by Rox Volleyball is more than just a volleyball tournament; it's an event for the entire family. Teams travel from near and far, from our neighbors to the north and south, and the goal is for everyone to have a memorableRead More
As the sand game continues to grow, many junior players are transitioning from the indoor game to sand, and there is a big difference in how the two sports are played, as well as coached. Below are 8 tips for coaches who are working with indoor players andRead More
Recruiting education brought to you by NCSA Athletic Recruiting,
official partner of the JVA
The landscape of social media is continuously changing, and it seems as though a new form of social media catches on every few months. The NCAA watches social
When a student and her parents start thinking about college there are lots of questions: how far from home? What size school? What to study? How much will it cost? What GPA and test scores are required? When you put volleyball in the mix the number of
By Matt Sonnichsen, NCSA Director of Volleyball Relations
I was an NCAA Division I Head Volleyball Coach for almost 15 years, and have coached NCAA volleyball for close to 20. In my experience, recruiting is the most important aspect of a college coach's
2013 A5 China Thoughts and RuminationsBy Bob Westbrook, Club Director of A5 Volleyball Club This is a follow up to summary of Part I posted on December 4th. During the Thanksgiving Break, JVA member A5 Volleyball Club (Atlanta, GA) traveled to China on aRead More
By Bob Westbrook, Club Director, A5 Volleyball Club During the Thanksgiving Break, JVA member A5 Volleyball Club (Atlanta, GA) traveled to China on a volleyball tour with a team of high school players and club coaching and administrative staff. Here is aRead More
By Julie Dailey, Club Director, Team Sting Volleyball Club(Birmingham, Alabama) As a partner club of Sports Performance Volleyball Club, I was given the unbelievable opportunity of traveling to Nagano and Tokyo, Japan with Rick Butler and the staff of theRead More
By Shaun Catlin - Director 692 South, JVA Beach Committee Member In the previous articles we reviewed hitting, setting, passing but in this edition we are covering blocking in beach volleyball. But we shouldn't cover blocking without out the defensiveRead More
By Virginia Elite as a follow up to The Art of Coaching Volleyball's article "Volleyball Rules, Some Need Changing Some Don't" The 2014 club volleyball season is fast approaching. As is the case with most clubs, we at VA Elite are turning the page on the 2013Read More
Team Sting in Birmingham, Alabama decided to do something about the empty pool that had been sitting in their facility (formerly a YMCA) for over a year. The club joined together with help from parents and players toThe pool is 9 feet deep and was veryRead More
By Mike Wall with Gold Medal Squared Volleyball Camps & Volleyball Clinics Blocking is an interesting skill to talk about. I've often times wondered why blocking, and specifically swing blocking is such a hot topic. There's no question that its popularityRead More
By Shaun Catlin, Club Director, Triple Crown Volleyball Let me give a brief back story to bring relevance to my approach to coaching and teaching sand volleyball. While growing up in the late 80's and early 90's, beach volleyball was a normal way of life forRead More
This past weekend Jenny Hahn, JVA Executive Director, and I traveled down to beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama for the 2013 AVCA Collegiate Sand Championships. Neither of us had ever been to Gulf Shores and it was our first trip to the national championships. ItRead More
No more guessing. No more what-ifs. No more complicated seedings or math. Finally, a comprehensive youth volleyball ranking system that's definitive, easy to use and nationwide reach. Below is a summary of the rankings, however the full article from the April/Read More
The energy was out of this world as the JVA World Challenge held Dig Pink day and the second day of competition in Louisville. The morning started off with a 79 court Harlem Shake among over 300 teams and let's just say we "ROX-ed" it AND made history! ThankRead More
We played, we reffed, we danced, we played some more. And just when you least expected it, you saw a t-shirt launched 50 feet into the air from the JVA staff! Keep your eyes open when you enter the main doors because we will be launching a couple hundred t-Read More
Welcome to the 2013 JVA World Challenge in Louisville! You've weathered the storms and it's time for a long, fun weekend of volleyball. Over the next 3 days, 650 teams from all over the U.S. and Canada will compete for a bid to the AAU National Championships.Read More
JVA member Albuquerque Rebels has been a proud supporter of the Side-Out Foundation and Dig Pink for several years. This club's dedication and unification towards finding a cure for breast cancer has influenced us to share its story in hopes of inspiring otherRead More
The JVA is a proud supporter and partner of the Side-Out Foundation's newest initiative 1,000 Strong. As part of the Dig Pink Tour, the 2nd day of the 2013 JVA World Challenge will once again be Dig Pink Day and participating teams are raising money to supportRead More
By Andor Gyulai, Volleyball1on1 and the JVA
Let's take a look at ways to warm up your team besides jogging, stretching and partner pepper. Every coach is looking for the secret to maximizing player improvement in limited gym time.
By Andor Gyulai, Volleyball1on1.com owner I have been around volleyball, sports and coaching long enough to know that no great coach figured it out alone. Usually they have mentors and people that step into their lives at times that influence and inspireRead More
By Chris BeermanI am a competitive person; always have been, always will be. I am one of those guys that while driving will pull slightly ahead of the guy next to me at the stoplight just to be ahead of him! I'm an awful loser and don't ever believe you acceptRead More
Another important aspect of a new club is who will comprise your coaching staff. The personnel helps determine how big your club can be and what kind of programs you can offer. Quality, caring coaches are the lifeblood of a successful club.