Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

Starting a Boys Volleyball Program

Volleyball is a fantastic sport that unfortunately is often seen as only for girls. However, let’s not forget the success of the USA Men’s Team in the Olympics. We need to change this perception, and we need your help to do it. Title IX has played a significant role in promoting girls’ participation in sports, but it has also made it challenging for schools to add new men’s sports. Despite these challenges, we can grow boys’ volleyball programs, and you can be a part of it.

The Basics to Start a Boys Program

Before we dive in, let’s go over what you’ll need to start a boys program:

  • A job situation that allows you to dedicate time to the program
  • Passion for boys’ volleyball
  • Support from your significant other and family
  • Good relationships with school Athletic Directors or principals
  • Coaching experience or connections with qualified coaches
  • Connections with potential sponsors or supporters
  • Tenacity and the ability to handle setbacks
  • Patience (and lots of it)

Educating Boys about Volleyball

One of the essential steps in growing boys’ volleyball is educating them about the sport. Many boys are not aware that volleyball is an option for them, especially if they don’t live in warm climates where the sport is more popular. We can change that by showcasing the excitement and physicality of the game.

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We recommend bringing in local men’s players, such as those from the USAV RVA AA and A teams, to demonstrate their skills and inspire the boys. Organize exhibitions or short competitions after high school girls’ matches to create awareness among parents and students. Make sure to promote these events through flyers, local media, and school announcements. Encourage boys to sign up for more information, showing their interest.

Spreading the Word

To generate interest and participation, distribute flyers in schools and community centers. Consider offering volleyball clinics at the elementary level to introduce kids to the sport and show them that boys’ volleyball is coming. Design engaging lesson plans focused on hitting and serving, which are always crowd favorites. Remember, the goal is not to train future athletes right away, but rather to give them a taste of the sport and ignite their curiosity.

Additionally, visit local middle schools and set up a table in the lunchroom. Play a promotional video showcasing the best in men’s volleyball and provide information about upcoming boys’ volleyball initiatives. Encourage interested students to sign up and get involved. This approach will help spread the word and build awareness among young boys.

Securing Funding

Launching a boys’ volleyball program requires financial support. Gym time, uniforms, balls, and tournament costs add up quickly. Start by sharing the benefits of boys’ volleyball with potential sponsors, emphasizing how it promotes physical activity and engagement. Highlight how it can redirect boys’ focus from sedentary activities to a lifelong sport. Securing sponsors and seeking grants from local organizations and businesses will significantly contribute to the success of your program.

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Making it Fun

At the initial stages, prioritize making practices and games fun for the boys. Focus on building their interest and enjoyment in the sport. By fostering a positive and exciting environment, word of mouth will spread among the boys, leading to increased participation. Remember, kids learn better when they are having fun and playing with enthusiasm.

Building a High School Program

Creating a high school program may be more challenging in rural areas where football, basketball, and baseball dominate. However, collaboration with other schools in the area can make it possible. In metro areas, starting a high school program is more feasible. Focus on ensuring that intramural volleyball games are organized and enjoyable. The ultimate goal is to establish a statewide varsity program, as several states have already done.

Broadening Opportunities

To give boys even more opportunities to play volleyball, consider the following:

  • Encourage boys to join adult teams or leagues, emphasizing the benefits of playing against more experienced players.
  • Promote doubles or triples play, including parents, to enhance game-like practice and skill development.
  • Create a “Kidz Court” for younger children to learn and play with their peers in a supportive environment.
  • Emphasize the value of coed play, where boys and girls can enjoy volleyball together and challenge each other.
  • Support boys’ participation in skill-based tournaments, even if they compete against older players or girls.
  • Establish recreational leagues or programs through organizations like the YMCA, PAL, Boys & Girls Clubs, Church Recreation, and Parks & Recreation.
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Starting a boys’ volleyball program requires dedication, passion, and a bit of creativity. By educating boys about the sport, spreading the word, securing funding, and creating a fun and inclusive environment, we can help grow boys’ volleyball programs across the country. Remember, the impact you make on these boys’ lives will extend far beyond the volleyball court. Let’s come together and make boys’ volleyball a thriving and accessible sport for all.