There is no greater or more important person than a coach. And while I often state that everyone is an athlete, but our office is just different, everyone is also a coach. When things go bad with people and society as a whole, my belief is that there was not a coach by that person's side to guide them and point out the blind spots in their life. Everyone needs a life-changing coach.
The NCAA’s new Division I recruiting rules are officially in effect. After moving up the start date for DI campus visits last year, the NCAA has adopted additional rules to curb the growth of early recruiting and normalize the college search for student-athletes. The biggest change is that these new rules limit the timing and nature of communication between college coaches and athletes. Here are the three updates you need to know about and how to guide prospective student athletes when important questions come up.
Setters touch the ball more than anyone else in a volleyball match, therefore it's critical that coaches find ways to get their setters as many setting repetitions as possible. Even more important, is the quality of the touches on the ball, so the setter is developing proper habits to be able to deliver a clean, hittable set. Here are drills to train proper setting habits, and eliminate the bad ones.Read More
Entitlement is unfortunately becoming more prevalent in youth sports today, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. Young athletes feel as if they “deserve” certain consideration regardless of preparation or effort. Parents, coaches, mentors, grandparents, leaders of young people are all influencers on youth athletes. Here are five ways to prevent entitlement among your team and individual athletes.Read More
There are many opportunities for young athletes to compete through recreation leagues, school leagues and travel ball, but there are fewer opportunities for young athletes to receive quality training in the physical elements of performance. Jumping, hand-eye coordination and agility footwork are three physical elements that are critical when introducing volleyball to an athlete of any age. Let's take a look at how to develop each element in your club or at home.
A fast-growing beach volleyball tournament format is the “Club vs. Club” or “School vs. School” format, generally referred to as a dual tournament. This is the format that made it practical for the NCAA to adopt beach volleyball. The Club vs. Club format not only encourages a sense of team and club loyalty, it also offers matched competition and more match play experience at the junior level. Here is a breakdown of the formatting options to run your own Club. vs Club beach event.
A volleyball coach is all too familiar with the dread that can affect a player in serve receive during a tight match. Coaches see it on the athlete’s face and the athlete certainly feels it. The face seems to be saying, “Please, don’t serve it to me. I can’t pass it.” Here are a few simple ways for coaches to instill confidence in their athletes so that the athlete approaches the perceived challenge at hand in a positive way.
Serving is a critical part of the game. By using certain techniques, a team can optimize the ability to use the serve to score points. Here are 4 beach serving strategies that will help you score more points from the service line.Read More
Mental toughness will not necessarily win you a championship, but not having mental toughness will lose it for you. Let's dive into the 4 skills in the hierarchy of mental toughness, and why it's important to develop one skill in order to progress to another.
While many student-athletes focus on playing for a big-time Division 1 sports program, there are actually many reasons why junior college might make sense instead. With more than 300 junior college women’s volleyball programs in the US, research shows that many volleyball coaches recruit from junior colleges. So, if you’re interested in how the junior college recruiting process works, here are 6 facts that support why the junior college route might be a great fit.
If you have played or coached sports long enough you know that not every win is notated in the win column, and not every loss is in a column either. If your will to compete is diminished, that’s going to be a loss no matter the level. Here are five ways to continue to develop your team's competitive edge and help ensure the athletes remain in the fight until the last point is scored.Read More
The blocker has a strategic role in beach that can be broken up into a few different segments. As the front defender, the blocker changes the way the attacker makes the ball cross the net either by blocking the ball or by eliminating angles and locations where the attacker can make the ball cross the net. Here are seven key strategies for blocking at the net from 3 time Olympian and Olympic Gold Medalist Phil Dalhausser.Read More
Coaches have many opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of student athletes, and help them to understand the passion of not only volleyball, but the other aspects of life. Here are five ways to help the athletes on your team and in your club find passion.Read More
With new recruiting legislation comes a host of adjustments for both the student-athletes, the clubs and the college coaches; and this isn’t a static thing. The challenge is to figure out how it affects the athletes' recruiting timelines and how coaches can put young athletes in a position to be successful and empowered given the current rules. Here is information on the most recent changes to NCAA Division I recruiting legislation as of August 2018, and the proposed changes that, if approved, could take effect in 2019, and some points of emphasis to communicate with the student-athletes in your club who are pursuing the opportunity to play at the collegiate level.
At The Academy Volleyball Club, we have talked a lot about the ideal training versus competition cycle for the younger ages throughout the club season. We find that the most important part of youth training is keeping younger players engaged. A lot of youth development research has led us to explore training our youth in more random or game-like situations. Here are some simple solutions we have integrated into our training that has been effective in keeping younger athletes engaged, which has improved their effort in 6v6 play throughout the season.
Journals are a terrific way to kick off your season, create a foundation for your athletes and return long term benefits. Athletes will be able to establish goals, monitor their progress real time and eventually enjoy looking back on their journey! Here are some ways to implement journal entry with your team.
In beach volleyball, it is critical to train defensive responsibilities and court coverage on defense as there are only two players covering one side of the court. 692 Beach Director Scott Stover shares a drill breakdown and strategy behind training a defensive base where his junior players hold in their base position.Read More
The JVA is pleased to announce a partnership with Beach Nation, a company that provides the tools to run and grow a beach program, and offers elite beach volleyball education through nationwide clinics for players and coaches across a spectrum of levels.Read More
In the club volleyball world it's common to have trends from year to year, and more specifically, from age group to age group. One overarching trend that has very little to do with age, however, is a lack of dynamic and athletic middle blockers. And it is not only a trend at the club level, but at the collegiate level as well. Here are some ways we can respond to this trend at the junior level.Read More
Get your athletes to buy into the practice of journaling in order to see long term benefits of embracing the journey. The club season can be a grind, and it's important that your players enjoy the process of learning and becoming better all-around volleyball athletes. Here's how a journal can help make it happen.
In most areas of the country this is the time of the year when club directors are in a constant state of delirium. You are immersed with tryouts, parent meetings, player meetings, uniforms, tournament entries, event housing, etc. But what actually keeps you awake during the few hours of sleep you can spare is concern over which athletes will walk in the doors for tryouts, which athletes will not and why not; who will accept your offers, who won’t and why not. Naturally, the JVA office receives numerous calls and emails in reference to clubs "stealing players", illegally recruiting and how to handle it. Let's dive in.
Yoga is becoming more common in training regiments for junior athletes. Coaches are finding that their athletes' overall mental, physical, and even inspirational well-being improve as a result of incorporating yoga and mindfulness into practice time. If you are not convinced yet, let's look at 5 reasons to integrate yoga into your club's wellness program this season.
The JVA staff always looks forward to attending the AVCA Convention. Meeting new members, catching up with long time members and attending and hosting educational sessions are among a few of the reasons this event is so special. Witnessing the semi-final and final matches with coaches and directors who are passionate about bettering our sport is icing on the cake. Here is the line-up of JVA hosted sessions in Minneapolis this December so you can make a note to attend!Read More
The first contact in volleyball, the pass, is by far the most critical if a team is striving to play at a high level. Even at the beginner level, it's important for coaches to give their players many repetitions practicing proper technique. There are 3 common bad passing habits that will hinder an athlete's ability to pass consistently to the target. Here are drills that JVA member KIVA (Louisville, KY) uses to teach their athletes to master the skill of passing.Read More
The JVA is pleased to announce a long-term partnership with The Art of Coaching Volleyball, a company that offers high-quality coaching education through clinics and a website that delivers drills, practice plans, courses, video tutorials and coaching certification programs as part of its daily content.
When it comes to running a volleyball club, volleyball is just the half of it. In order to field strong teams wherein players are developing their skills and parents are happy with the product, a club has to run efficiently as both an organization and a business. And these days, in order to run a business that’s firing on all cylinders, it's necessary to dip your feet into digital marketing. Websites, social media, email and other digital technology are all part of a strong sports marketing strategy and help elevate the profile of your club, maximize retention and boost income. Let's take a closer look at how clubs can maximize marketing opportunities through social media and digital technology.
Yes, boys volleyball can be a year-round sport. However, in most parts of the country, the participation numbers are not high enough to offer dedicated boys programs and travel teams. According to the NFHS.org the participation rates in boys high school volleyball has risen 12% in the last five years, which is the second highest among any sport. If you want to start or grow your boys program, take a look at this boys programming calendar from JVA clubs who started with small participations numbers and are now offering year round boys volleyball.
Club volleyball can sometimes present a challenging situation for parents and athletes. That’s because the head coach makes nearly all of the on-court decisions for the athletes involved, but unlike a high school or college team, the players (or, more accurately, their parents) pay fees in order to play. So, when a new player is about to join your club program, what should you do to ensure that they and their family have the proper expectations? Here are some suggestions.
Volleyball players time is limited, however there can be a simple way to incorporate fitness, mindfulness and mental training into the weekly routine. The JVA has launched two brand new educational series that share short and easy ways for players and coaches to make fitness and mental training a part of your lifestyle and routine. Download the JVA Dig It App and follow the JVA on Instagram to see how the Take5 Series and Tuesdays with Mora can be an asset to your overall wellness.Read More
5 years ago grassroots junior volleyball did not exist in Nigeria. The only sport kids knew or played was soccer. Through his playing experience Vincent UnogwuI realized the importance of teaching kids volleyball at an early age, and was inspired to start a youth program. Gradually the trend in the community started shifting from soccer to volleyball thanks to three basic factors. Learn how this Nigerian youth volleyball program is changing lives and how your school, club or organization can make a difference.
Every coach has drills to improve passing, serving, and setting. Every coach spends time focused on plays and rotations.
But in my experience, over two decades of coaching and nearly 8 years of working with teams as a team building speaker, that is only 10 percent of what leads to team success.
Serving is typically the skill that a beginner will strive to master so the athlete can proudly say "Look, I can serve over the net!" There are 4 common bad serving habits that will hinder an athlete's ability to serve consistently and in the court. Here's how JVA member KIVA (Louisville, KY) teaches their athletes to master the skill of serving.Read More
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.
Volleyball is a team sport, thus, "team building" is somewhat crucial. However, there are many more intangible rewards that people often overlook. Besides the fact that the activities themselves are fun, it's the on-the-court benefits that really make it worth it. Three JVA member clubs share the impact team building has had on their teams' performance and culture.
Nobody wants to call a time out. It almost always indicates your team is struggling or doing some things you certainly didn't train them to do! In terms of match impact, however, your time outs are your best opportunity to influence your team and players. Here are some ways for coaches to maximize the potential of a timeout by the delivery and content of communication to your team.
Keeping stats in volleyball at any level, indoor or beach, can be very useful in tracking improvement and determining the focus of practices. While win-loss records can be the result of improvements in skill, there are many incremental skill improvements that can only be measured through stats. Tracking just 4 key skills can provide very clear direction to focus your beach training.Read More
Volleyball is still a minority sport in England, despite a respectable record for British athletes having played ball at North American universities and in European professional leagues. Host nation entitlement to enter a team in the 2012 Olympics created a spike of interest in the sport, though not enough for it to break out of its minority status. Nevertheless, recent years have seen a steady increase of interest in the sport by juniors, driven by commercial interests such as JVA member VbDC. Learn how this development training program for junior volleyball athletes is also training coaches, and providing assistance for high level athletes who wish to investigate their potential for playing at a US or Canadian university.
On average, a volleyball player spends only 1% of the time in a match actually playing the volleyball. The rest of the time is spent tracking the ball, moving around the court, and communicating with teammates and coaches. Here are four ways to better your team's volleyball game without a ball.
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
Stein Metzger just led UCLA to its first beach volleyball national title in school history. When he is not busy winning collegiate championships, Stein wears another hat, Club Director of Los Angeles Beach Volleyball Club. The JVA Club Director shares beach setting basics to increase your partner stock level this summer.Read More
Concussions in volleyball are an all too common occurrence. According to a 2015 study in PT in Motion News, volleyball players report a rate of 3.57 concussions per 10,000 exposures. An exposure is equivalent to one practice or one match. This number may seem small, but if your daughter or son plays both high school and club volleyball, your player will have a combined 200+ practices and matches per year; or an approximate 7% likelihood of receiving a concussion for each year played.
The NCAA Division I Council adopted new recruiting legislation on April 18, 2018. There has been a lot of conjecture out there over the past few days but it's best to adhere to the facts and support our athletes with the goal of educating and guiding them within the confines of the new legislation. Let's begin with the proposals that have been passed, the rationale, some side notes and practical applications of the rules.
Boys volleyball is becoming increasingly popular, as many decide to leave the field and step onto the hard court. With the transition, male athletes are entering an entirely new competitive environment. In every sport male athletes are naturally driven to use their physicality to be the best at what they do. In volleyball, however, their physical strength and build alone will not win them games. It is up to the coaches to train male players to become more mentally and technically sound, to increase their volleyball IQ, and to use more than just their physical strength to dominate. But how? We reached out to a few successful JVA coaches in the boys’ community to give us some advice.
If you don't have access to a gym or performance training coach, there are still ways to improve at home. Take your game to the next level with this equipment-free home workout to improve your vertical jump.
Transitioning from high school to college is no easy feat. Competing in varsity collegiate beach volleyball is a goal that many junior beach athletes work towards. Junior beach coaches have a large impact on whether that goal is attained or not. Here are 3 ways junior beach coaches can prepare their athletes for the transition to the collegiate level.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
As a volleyball club, providing a well-executed recruiting program for athletes and families is within our wheelhouse and should be a key part of the services we offer to our clientele. The program can be adapted to a club at all levels, regardless of size and personnel. Here are the five keys to a successful recruiting program and a look at the first two in detail.
Great coaches do more than give constructive feedback and develop talent; they also run efficient practices. Ball entry is an art form, and when done at the right pace, timing and location it can make the drill one hundred times more effective. Here are five keys to ball entry for coaches at any level.Read More
Rey Castillo tells his students athletes the importance of "switch mode," being able to transform from an offensive to defensive player in a fraction of a second.
But the esteemed Michigan-based volleyball coach practices what he preaches in his own unique way. Castillo juggles two full-time jobs as assistant coach for Calvin College, the defending NCAA Division III national champion, and as founder and director of Impact Dynamic Training, a JVA club volleyball program Grandville, Michigan, with 29 teams and a four-court facility. Here are three observations and trends Castillo has noticed as a lifelong volleyball advocate.
For younger athletes, partner selection is an easy process. Pick a player of similar skill level that you enjoy playing with and can compete together at a high level. But how do you create a high level partnership for high school, college and pro beach athletes?
The following is a brief overview of 4 factors that impact the process of forming not only a great beach partnership, but the best team.
As the sport of volleyball continues to grow across the nation, the bar for excellence is constantly on the rise. There is more to "making it" than the skills learned in practice, watching videos, and completing drills. The addition of weight lifting, specifically Olympic-style weightlifting, is proving to elevate individual performance by increasing strength and speed of movements, boost athleticism, and lessen injuries. Here are three movements that have been proven to increase the speed, power and explosiveness of a volleyball attack.
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
The setter is referred to as the quarterback on the court, the playmaker, or point guard of the team. A setter's responsibility is to run the team's offense and build up offensive scoring opportunities for the team. Setters need to make smart decisions and bear a huge load of responsibility for a team's success. Help prepare your setter for his/her responsibilities with this setter checklist.Read More
Knowing an opponent's tendencies, weaknesses and strengths can help your team overcome some close battles this season. Volleyball is a game of strategy, shifts in momentum and scoring runs. Scouting your opponents before or during a tournament can give your team a competitive advantage. Let's take a look at three keys to scouting your opponents.Read More
We have just returned from the AVCA Annual Convention. Here's a shout out to all of our members who were able to take time out from the busy club season to join us in Kansas City. This is our JVA staff's favorite time of the year. We are able to interact with so many of our members, partners and colleagues. Here is a re-cap of the events and updates from Convention, including the JVA Annual Meeting.Read More
A setter has many responsibilities and expectations are very high for this position. She is the player that runs the court and is ultimately in charge of the offense. Let's take a look at the various responsibilities and expectations of a setter in hopes that during this season coaches can help their setters take on these responsibilities, and players can set goals to meet these expectations.Read More
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."
The growth of our sport, along with the consistent success of the JVA would not exist without the dedication and loyalty of the coaches, club directors and administrators of JVA member clubs. This year the JVA is honoring 8 individuals from JVA member clubs with the JVA Junior Club Service Award for their service to junior volleyball for over 20 years.Read More
The JVA Annual Meeting is fast approaching and this year, the JVA is hosting nationally known keynote speaker Dr. Gregory Dale who will present "Strategies to Develop More Confident,Consistent and Coachable Athletes." If you are attending the AVCA Annual Convention in Kansas City, you do not want to miss the Annual Meeting Saturday, December 16th.
In just four short years, the landscape of junior volleyball has significantly evolved. In order to best serve the junior volleyball community, answer to the needs of our members, and to understand where our industry is going the JVA has collected data from junior volleyball clubs all over the country, as well as Canada. Here are four trends happening in junior volleyball.
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
A setter holds both the team's most powerful position and its most frustrating one. Setters control the tempo, create the offense and maintain momentum. But the position depends very much on the quality of passing, as well as the strength of attacking, and if either of those are weak, setters can be left feeling inadequate and inefficient. Although a setter can feel dependent on teammates, it's important to remember that a setter has weapons, too. Here are six weapons that can turn a setter into a more dominant and influential player.Read More
Each year the JVA sponsors educational sessions at the AVCA Annual Convention, and holds it's Annual Meeting, featuring a nationally known key note speaker. This year the JVA will host one hard court session, one beach court session, one beach classroom session and two hard court classroom sessions. The topics are geared toward club management, indoor coaching, and beach coaching. In addition, we will have an excellent session focused on recruiting. The presenters all share a wealth of knowledge, expertise and respect in the junior volleyball and collegiate volleyball realms.
Volleyball is one of the best team sports in the world because of its rules. Furthermore, at the high level it’s as explosive as any other sport and very fast paced with a fast moving ball that must fall in 900 ft² area. If you add the fact that every point matters, it becomes logical why reading and understanding the game are such important factors at all levels of play given how fast decision-making has to happen in order to predict what is coming next.
With the data collection always being the tough part of the job, here are three principles that will guarantee quality data to study over and over.
The Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) and VolleyMetrics have partnered to provide JVA member clubs with revolutionary data and video analysis specific to their team and opponents in order to assist coaches and directors with cutting edge player development tools that will provide a competitive advantage while saving time. This new three-year agreement comes as VolleyMetrics keeps proving itself as the gold standard in volleyball analytics for volleyball coaches, players and teams worldwide.
Your tryout participation numbers are through the roof. The marketing and recruiting efforts by your Director and Coaches have paid off. Now it is essential that you organize the 2-3 hours of your tryout as efficiently as possible to guarantee a fair evaluation of each player. KIVA, located in one of the largest junior volleyball hotbeds in the country shares how the club structures it's tryouts to ensure that each player has the opportunity to adequately display her skills and coaches can efficiently evaluate every player in order to make confident decisions when selecting their teams. View KIVA's tryout plan, a breakdown of the schedule and find out how they make the tough decisions.
Depending on your location, there could be several clubs within a driving distance of 20 to 60 minutes of your club, and for the right product, parents will drive their child even father if it means he or she will have a positive experience. Prior to tryouts, clubs are essentially performing in a tryout of their own as they try to attract players to their club. Is your club targeting the right kind of player for your program? Here's a look at what some clubs are doing to enhance their pool of tryout attendees.
The 2017 JVA Fall Webinar Series features six webinars related to the business of running a junior volleyball club and training your athletes to be the best they can be on and off the court. Webinars are free for JVA members as part of their member benefit. Two of the webinars are also free to AAU members. Learn more and register today.
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.