Our Philosophy

Our club will have a culture of shared habits and values that lead the way for all the players, coaches and parents. We believe that playing by principles and not feelings will lower the stress and provide consistency and joy in performance. Those core values are: growth, humble hard-work, friendship, and courage.

It is VVA’s belief that excellence comes from the establishment of a sound character which has a direct correlation in improving consistency in performance. We must learn the skills and have the courage that our dreams require - being a club that teaches the skills and teaches the behaviors that allow our student-athletes to become their best. We will teach technical skills, as well as the values that go along with high performing athletes. In addition to teaching it, we want to make sure our athletes are placed in environments where they can be challenged and supported. To have a cycle of: Prepare - Play - Learn, then Repeat.

Following the Aspen Institutes’ Project Play Initiatives we aim to implement their eight plays:
(The Playbook)

  1. Involve the kids in the process - Valley Roots and Camps
  2. Give kids environments to freely play - Valley Roots and Camps
  3. Encourage Sport Sampling - YES!
  4. Play In-Town as much as we can - Valley Juniors and Teams
  5. Start small and go local - Valley Roots, Juniors and Teams
  6. Design Programming for Development - Every program, including watching film on HUDL
  7. Train all Coaches - Dr. Gilbert, college coaches, Art of Coaching, Gold Medal Squared
  8. Emphasize Injury Prevention - Athletic Performance partnership (Strength, Nutrition, P.T.)

To learn more about the strategies we aim to implement go to their website to read up.
The Playbook

As we work to implement this system there will be a focus on consistent technical and tactical instruction from team to team while still allowing autonomy to the coaches and athletes to determine what works for that group at that point in time. Each group and each program is unique. We will have to adapt as coaches in order to facilitate maximum repetitions, opportunities, and creating environments for the athletes to thrive. In all we aim to be principle driven, not authoritarian - recognizing the unique talents and personalities of our athletes and coaches.

One of our maxims is “If it’s important, do it everyday.” We know there are some skills in volleyball that are more important than others. We know that at different ages, different skills need to be learned. In addition, we believe there is always a right way to play the game. That is with great enthusiasm, passion, effort, and discipline. Before joining the teams, we hope the athletes can learn how to play the game, how to be an athlete, and the basic movement patterns of volleyball.

Teach Teach Teach! We are teachers of the game and of life. We won’t use fear, cussing, or screaming to motivate the athletes - we are here to build their confidence and a lifelong love of the sport. We will work to master the movements of elite volleyball athletes and train at game speed so that we can master the required skills.

Additionally, we believe in teaching the whole game. Most players switch positions multiple times in their career - that decision does not need to be made at 14 years old. Adaptability is a great lesson to be learned and the best volleyball athletes, in the long run, make the best volleyball players. According to all current research on sport science and athlete development including FIFA’s Global Report on Talent Development and Aspen Institutes Project Play - athletes should play multiple sports while growing up and developing, then around the age of 12 if they want to be their best in one sport they should start to invest more time into that sport. This is why we strive to increase opportunities for as many boys and girls to play volleyball in our community before the age of 12, then after years of exploring the sport they can join a team to begin the competitive phase with a well-formed understanding and love of the sport.