Monday, 27 May 2024

How to Start a Junior Volleyball Program

Starting a junior volleyball program can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only do you have the opportunity to witness young athletes grow and develop, but you also get to immerse yourself in the excitement of athletic competition and the satisfaction of a job well done. However, it’s important to note that there are challenges that come along with it, most of which can be avoided with careful preseason planning and consistent execution throughout the year. In this article, we’ll explore the key steps and considerations involved in starting a junior volleyball program.

Where Will You Practice?

Determining the practice location is an important first step in setting up your junior volleyball program. The number of courts you’ll need depends on the number of teams operating within your program. Typically, coaches prefer to have at least one court per team. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the number of hours per week you plan to practice. Potential practice sites can include local YMCA/YWCA facilities, schools, churches, and recreational centers. It’s essential to ensure that the chosen site has a properly sized and lined volleyball court with safe equipment.

Who Will Coach?

Selecting the right coach(es) is a critical decision that sets the foundation for your entire program. Ideally, your coach should have coaching or playing experience in volleyball. It’s important to note that all coaches should be willing to continue learning and improving their skills. Look for potential coaches among parents, local colleges, high school coaches, and adult players in your community. Encourage coaches to attend coaching clinics, such as the IMPACT clinic, to enhance their knowledge and coaching abilities. It’s worth mentioning that some regions require coaches participating in junior national championships to hold an IMPACT or CAP Certification.

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How Much Will it Cost?

Running a junior volleyball program requires treating it as a business. It’s crucial to establish a budget and manage expenses accordingly. The cost per player can vary depending on factors such as the length of the season, competition locations, offered amenities, and equipment needs. Some expenses to consider include team uniforms, USAV registration fees, and tournament entry fees. Additionally, other costs may arise, such as paying coaches or covering their travel expenses, gym rental fees, and purchasing equipment. Fundraising activities can help offset these costs, and creative ideas like regular monthly dues, organizing fundraisers, and seeking sponsorships can make a significant difference.

Selecting the Team

When selecting players for your junior volleyball program, you may need to hold tryouts. Tryouts can be an effective way to assess and choose players, especially when drawing from various schools and communities. Advertise tryouts through area schools, coaches, players, recreational centers, and local media. Plan evaluation tests, prepare necessary equipment, and determine the desired player qualities in advance. Having a clear understanding of your program’s schedule and budget will also help address parents’ questions and concerns during tryouts.

Other Considerations

Once your team is selected, there are additional steps to take to ensure a successful program. Getting parents involved through a formal parent organization or board of directors can foster a supportive atmosphere and minimize conflicts. Contact your Regional Volleyball Association to begin the registration process. You’ll also want to consider the types of tournaments available in your region, ranging from power league and play date formats to one-day and multiple-day events. Remember to familiarize yourself with the Coaches’ Code of Ethics and your region’s club responsibilities and policies.

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FAQs

Q: How can I find suitable practice locations for my junior volleyball program?

A: You can start by exploring local YMCA/YWCA facilities, schools, churches, and recreational centers in your community. These venues often have properly sized and lined volleyball courts with safe equipment.

Q: What qualities should I look for when selecting coaches for my junior volleyball program?

A: When selecting coaches, it’s ideal to choose individuals with coaching or playing experience in volleyball. Additionally, all coaches should have a willingness to learn and improve their coaching skills. Consider looking for potential coaches among parents, local colleges, high school coaches, and adult players in your area.

Q: How can I manage the costs of running a junior volleyball program?

A: Treating your junior program as a business is vital for managing costs effectively. Establish a budget and consider factors such as season length, competition locations, amenities offered to players, and necessary equipment. Fundraising activities, such as regular monthly dues, organizing fundraisers, seeking sponsorships, and hosting events like concessions or tournaments, can help offset expenses.

Summary

Starting a junior volleyball program can be an incredibly fulfilling endeavor, offering the opportunity to witness young athletes grow and develop their skills. By carefully planning preseason and addressing key considerations such as practice locations, selecting qualified coaches, managing costs, and selecting the team through tryouts, you can establish a successful program. Involving parents and registering with your Regional Volleyball Association will further contribute to the program’s growth and success. Remember to explore the USA Volleyball website for additional information and support. Get ready to embark on an exciting journey in the world of junior volleyball!

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