Over Thanksgiving of this year, A5 was fortunate to travel to Japan with a select group of 16 athletes from three different age groups. The trip to Japan marked the club's 9th international outing, and from a volleyball perspective, was in many ways the most impactful trip to date. Club Director Bob Westbrook shares the important takeaways from a coach's and club director's perspective.
Safety of our youth is an extremely important focus in the news, in political discussions, among school meetings, and at the dinner table. The JVA is also prioritizing the safety of the junior volleyball athletes to provide the proper resources and have specific guidelines in place regarding this issue. Here is how the JVA is addressing the safety of the junior athletes participating, training, and competing in volleyball this season.Read More
Maylen Mitrovich loved volleyball, and she wanted better coaches and tougher tournaments than what her small, local club provided. So her mother, Monica, researched and identified a few other options. But Maylen Mitrovich didn’t have the best experience, and Monica, was inclined to switch her then 10-year-old daughter to another club. Except something surprising happened.
Pioneering coaches already understand the advantages of the DISC assessment tool. This article is designed to broaden your scope and frequency with which you utilize DISC. If you don’t yet use DISC, let me explain why DISC is the best first tool and best long term tool, for you to introduce to your teams as you strive to develop, enhance or even overhaul your team culture.
Researchers estimate that in the United States there are between 21 and 28 million youth, ages 8 to 17, that participate in organized sports. According to a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports, around 70 percent of kids in the United States stop playing organized sports by the age of 13. So, how do we keep youth involved and engaged in organized sports? Here are four ways to make a difference.Read More
“It is such a joy to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.” Each season, JVA member clubs are showing their young athletes the joy of giving back in their communities or around the world. There are many different ways to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We've highlighted a few clubs this season that are showing their players the importance of giving back.Read More
Our club runs several seasonal leagues, youth development programs, camps/clinics and club teams so I observe and work with a variety of volleyball athletes. Over the past couple of years I have noticed a growing trend among our youth, which is a lack of ambition. Based on my experience, here are 3 ways to develop and increase ambition in your players.Read More
Club directors have a valuable opportunity to create a culture of learning among your staff. By educating your coaches you are investing in your club's culture and coaching staff, while also increasing your club's value. Offering coaching education to your coaches shows them that you are committed to their success, and in turn can be a great asset for retaining quality coaches. Here are some ideas to get you started in investing in your coaching staff.
Praise is an important learning tool, but it is a difficult tool to use correctly. Many times punishment is masked as reinforcement and coaches accidentally end up reinforcing the mere behavior we are working to extinct, or we are modifying something that ISN'T a behavior! The Paper Plate Award takes the concept of never missing an athlete doing something correctly to a whole new level of power. Here are criteria of the Paper Plate Award and how it can be used to praise effort and hard work rather than ability.
A couple of years ago I began to notice that this generation of players seem to back away from inter-team and player to player competition more than in years past. I felt like we needed to add something into our gym to get the competitive juices flowing a bit more. Also, in a club season, we only compete in tournaments on average every other weekend, so adding some little competitions into our practices, helps keep those juices flowing and creates a really fun atmosphere for players of all ages. Here is what we developed that we now do religiously every week/month.Read More
Lets kick off the shoes, and toss those stinky knee pads. Lets hang up the jerseys and grab a tank top. Oh, and on your way out the door, don't forget your favorite hat, sunglasses and flip flops as we head to the beach! Let's look at 3 reasons beach volleyball is growing in popularity, because let's face it, everyone wants to head to the beach.
Matt Linebarger only needs a moment to answer a question about his club’s culture.
Club Savannah Volleyball in Georgia doesn’t have the luxury to turn any passionate player away, he says.
“Savannah is very small,” says Linebarger, the club’s director. “In some cities, there are so many people, and you could be more cutthroat. But here you can’t can’t burn bridges. Everybody knows everybody.”
Besides, Savannah's nickname is "Hostess City of the South."
I think we can all agree that Social Media Platforms have taken over as the main mode of information dissemination for both business and personal use. We have discovered over the past few years how extremely important our social media platforms have become to our athletes, families, alumni, high school and college programs, associations and our competition. In 2017, Munciana VBC became the most followed club on twitter with over 5,300 followers. Now in the vast expanse of these platforms, that number seems extremely small, but that number can be deceptive. Social Media giant, Brandwatch (the world's leading social intelligence company) tells us that number is not indicative of the actual number of people who see your post, only the number of people who have chosen to follow you. Depending on your social media privacy settings, that number could literally be 10x greater.
TAV 14 Black has many rules that it follows each year to compete for Championships. The team is constructed in a manor to play at the highest level with the least amount of distractions. When choosing a team, we take into account several things that we feel are important in a team make up. Early season team meetings, training plan and player evaluations all lay the foundation for the team's goal to compete at the highest level and win a national title.Read More
Having been the President of Eastside Volleyball Club for the last 22 years, having served on a High School Board of Education during the Columbine shooting, and having been affiliated in many community youth organizations for the previous 40 years, I am asked many times for an opinion on the difference in kids from 40 years ago versus today. I answer that kids have not changed as much as adults have. During my 8 years as a member of the Board of Education, disciplinary hearings in the early days were very productive with parents, compared to debating with parents on accountability with their child. In every facet of discipline a Code of Conduct was the primary remedy of grey area problems. Here are the steps our club took to establish and implement a code of conduct for Players, Parents and Coaches this season.
Seng Chiu didn't plan to start his own volleyball club. Though he had a lifelong love for the sport, he was perfectly content spending most of his career career coaching at the high school and college level. But as volleyball exploded in popularity, Chiu recognized two problems: Young players were being systematically weeded out, as most clubs targeted elite-level athletes, and those who endured oftentimes burned out. Hear from three JVA Club Directors who make it a point to create a positive club culture for every skill level.
Success breeds success. It's a common phenomenon known as "The Winner Effect". Over the past few years and even decade the dominance of certain clubs raises the question, what are these top clubs in the country doing in their gyms? And what changes did they make that resulted in their success?
If we understand how we got to where we are today as a sport and business then we can make predictions about where we are going in the future. Since we are a young industry we can learn from how other businesses in other industries evolved to forecast the path we might take.
Volleyball is for everyone. Many believe volleyball to be an especially accepting and inclusive community, and it begins when players are first introduced to the sport at a young age. There are helpful ways that Club Directors and Coaches can ensure a safe environment for all participants and members of your club.
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.
In Nebraska, the sport of volleyball sells itself. After all, it's the home of Cornhusker volleyball, the 2015 Division I National Champions. However, in Lincoln volleyball is only viewed as a women's sport. VCNebraska is looking to change this perception.
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
When I talk to Club Directors and ask them "What keeps you up a night?" The #1 response I hear most often is "Parents". I had the good fortune to meet and talk with an amazing woman, Ruth Nelson, this past December at the AVCA Convention. She has a program that may help you cope with the nightmares. It is her BYOP®, Bring Your Own Parent Program. Learn how this program can serve as a connector between your parents, players and coaches from an early age.
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.
January is just around the corner. Your teams will be headed off to tournaments. Do you want better officiating at your matches? Here are some ways you can make a difference.
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.
To excel in club volleyball, directors and coaches can't just think of X's and O's.
Organizations must have a strong brand and culture to attract athletes, and emphasizing these attributes can be important to giving clubs and the players the best possible opportunity to succeed. It's a game plan many Junior Volleyball Association club directors around the country have followed with great results.
It is the month of August, and the life of a junior volleyball club director has geared up, or for some it never stopped. You are sitting in your office, looking at your to-do-list, and cannot believe club season preparation has already begun... but have you even given yourself a chance to reflect on last season?
The U.S. Women's National Volleyball team boasts five players with Junior Volleyball Association ties, but their presence provides only a snapshot of the junior club association's success in developing talent.
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 culmination of recruiting during the club season reaches its pinnacle beginning June 19th, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. College coaches from around the country descend on the Orlando Convention Center and ESPN Wide World of Sports for the AAU Girls Junior National Volleyball Championships, an event that parallels no other.Read More
In the fall of 2015, I attended my region's mandatory club directors' meeting. I typically try to sit with different club directors each year in an effort to get to know more directors and get a sense of what's happening in other areas of my region. This year I made a change. I sat with two club directors I knew.
During a break, one director next to me asked, "How do I find good volleyball coaches? What criteria do I use when interviewing?"
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.
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.
Memphis Metro Volleyball began their Youth Volleyball Academy one year ago with a mission to promote the sport of youth volleyball in a safe and fun environment. Many of their older players have younger siblings and they wanted to start learning to play asRead More
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
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
We have come a long way . . . Premier Volleyball Academy opened its doors in 1996 as a four team program practicing out of a local high school with nothing more than a bunch of eager players and a few dedicated coaches. We now house about 35 club teams (350Read More