Tag Archives: club tryouts

Roundup: Club Volleyball Tryouts in the Winston-Salem Area

Last year, the WAVE did an article on the club volleyball scene – but that landscape has greatly changed!  So it’s time for an updated roundup of the club volleyball tryouts in the Winston-Salem area.

Tryouts begin in mid-October for the younger age groups.  With so many clubs in our area, there is overlap in tryout dates.  Be sure to check our calendar for complete details.  Not sure where to start with tryouts?   This previous article on trying out for club volleyball may help.

So here’s the roundup for the main clubs fielding teams from players in our area (in no particular order):

Set Point Volleyball Club

winston-salem volleyball

Philosophy towards training:  Set Point’s training philosophy has always been to train players to play with proper fundamental technique. They believe that players trained to play as a team using appropriate skills will be successful, that wins will take care of themselves as individual players learn to function as a team.

Program goals:  Set Point’s goals for all players are for them to learn to enjoy the sport of volleyball, improve their skills and learn the benefits of cooperation and teamwork in an atmosphere of good sportsmanship.

How they are different from other clubs:  They believe that their people make the difference. They benefit from a history rooted in the very beginnings of junior volleyball in this area. They have prided themselves in involving top quality coaches who pass along their knowledge and experience to players, other coaches and parents.

What’s new for the club this season:  Set Point welcomes Heather Holmes and Trevor Hewitt to the club as principal clinicians. Heather is the former coach at Wake Forest and Trevor is a successful high school and High Performance coach. They will bring fresh ideas and training skills to our clinics and assist their coaches with practice execution.

Set Point volleyballPractice schedule:  Teams typically practice either two or three times a week. Most teams will practice on Sunday afternoons and various weeknights. They periodically have individual skill clinics throughout the year. Set Point is a USAV club and play principally in the Carolina Region and on the East Coast.

Practice locations:  Winston-Salem, Clemmons

Teams they expect to field: 12U-18U, with one-two teams per age group.  For older age groups, there will be travel team options.

Clinics/Open gyms:  Lead by Heather Holmes, Robyn Wesselman and Trevor Hewitt, clinics started on September 28 and will continue through October 19.  Details online.  Cost is $10/session.

Tryout dates:  October 23 – November 11.  Check the website for dates for specific age groups.

Contact:  Fred Wendelboe, Director, info@setpointvolleyballclub.org

Website:  http://www.setpointvolleyballclub.org/


 Champion Volleyball Club

Champion

Philosophy towards training:  All of their teams, regardless of the level, will focus on both individual skill development and team play. Each of their practice sessions are broken down into skill development – where all girls are trained in all aspects of the game, and team play – where they teach both defensive and offensive philosophies.

Program goals:  For the younger players, we have two major goals. First, they want to develop a love and a passion for the game of volleyball. Second, they want to teach the girls the correct way to play the game.  For the older players, they want to help refine their skill level and their individual game play. They also want to train and prepare each player to be an integral part of their high school program and prepare them to play at the next level.

How they are different from other clubs:  The club tries to focus on the development of the player in a safe and supportive environment. They have found that encouraging players during instruction, will help the player learn the required skills at a faster pace. They are also offering a true National program, which will help the more advanced player receive college attention.

What’s new for the club this season: The club has merged with the former Davie Dazzle program, so they will be now offering club teams, not only out of the Winston Area, but also out of Davie and Stokes counties. They are adding a National Team program this year, which will allow the advanced players to compete at a higher level. They have also signed NIKE as a sponsor for our club.

Champion volleyball clubPractice schedule: Regional teams usually practice 1-2 times a week, depending on tournament schedule. Practices are a combination of individual and team skill development. Specific skill development clinics are offered in the fall, spring and during the season.

Practice locations:  Winston-Salem, Rural Hall, Davie County (for Davie-based teams only)

Teams they expect to field: 12U-18U, with one-two teams per age group.  For 16-18U, there will be national (travel) team options.

Clinics/Open gyms:  None

Tryout dates:  October 18 – November 6.  Check the website for dates for specific age groups.

Contact:  Doug Balser, Director, Championvb1@gmail.com

Website:  http://www.championvolleyballclub.com/


 Piedmont Volleyball Club

winston-salem volleyball

Philosophy towards training:  Piedmont’s training philosophy is to create well-rounded players that while eventually specializing, will understand all court positions and have mastery of basic skills for each position (setting, passing, hitting, serving).  Piedmont believes in getting as many touches on the ball as possible, employing proven drills for building skill sets in a high-rep, fast paced practice.  With coaching coming from many qualified staff members, players will get solid instruction to build their skills individually so that when they come together to train with their teammates, they will be confident and able to work as a unit.

Program goals:  By offering various levels of play, Piedmont hopes to grow a love of the sport and the skill set of every player.  For players desiring to play post-high school, they offer the training to get them to collegiate play.

With the change in landscape with community colleges springing up all over America, many of the 2 year schools have volleyball. The schools have conferences and operate as like the 4 year schools with many having financial aid available. Piedmont VBC will educate the players and families about the opportunities that may present itself through their journey with the club. All players, regardless of what level program they may consider, will have an opportunity to explore collegiate volleyball.

How they are different from other clubs:  The biggest difference between their club and others in the area is that their program, teams all train together. Regional will all train the same time and Zonal and National will train together. They see this as a huge advantage and why their Master Coaching philosophy works. Coaches move around at practices during position training and the players have the advantage their entire coaching staff at work, including coaches who specialize in specific volleyball positions.

Another difference with clubs in the area is that they have their own training facility, so court space for training or private lessons is never an issue.

What’s new for the club this season:  Piedmont, after taking over the former Sportsplex Volleyball Club, is now offering three levels of play:  Regional, Zonal travel and National travel.

piedmont volleyball clubPractice schedule: Regional and zonal travel teams practice twice a week with special skills clinics offered on other days.  National teams practice three times a week.

Practice locations: Greensboro Sportsplex facility

Teams they expect to field:  12U-18U, with two-three teams per age group.  For older age groups, the level of teams will be national travel, zonal travel and regional.  For younger age groups, the level of teams will be zonal travel and regional.

Clinics/Open gyms:  Lead by Piedmont coaching staff, open gyms started on September 14 and continue through October 12.  Details online. Cost is $6 per session.

Tryout dates:  October 18 – November 3.  Check the website for dates for specific age groups.

Contact: Kim Mansfield, Director, Khmgenerations@aol.com

Website:  http://www.piedmontvbc.com/


 Salem Spirits Volleyball Club

salem spirits logo

Philosophy towards training:  The club is committed to every Spirits/Fluid Volleyball Club athlete having a positive experience that fuels their love of volleyball and competition. Their top priority is always striving to improve and giving each athlete the feedback and tools to help them improve as a volleyball athlete and person every day. They believe that long-term success comes from a strong foundation of youth volleyball players. The SPIRITS Developmental Program will create an atmosphere of fun and excitement in a low-stress environment. This program will promote proper technique and teach athletes to learn the game. Additionally, they teach athletes to be a positive and supportive teammate, be a problem solver, push beyond their comfort zone, and compete with confidence and enthusiasm.

Program goals:  Spirits has no aspirations of growing into a sizable club with numerous teams at each age group.  Limiting the number of teams allows them to provide quality club volleyball experience.  Teams are formed with the goal of creating fun, competitive teams that work throughout the season to improve each player’s skill, getting them ready for the next level, be it their High School Varsity team or to prepare for College.

How they are different from other clubs:  Unlike most clubs which require travel across the state, they conduct most of their competitions at home.  Spirits hosts 2 tournaments at month that their teams compete in, inviting different teams from around the area so the competition varies.  They do not play in the Carolina Regional tournaments, and have found that by hosting at home, we can keep the cost down and put less stress on their families. They are insured and participate in AAU Volleyball, which provides them with excellent coverage and is about ¼ the cost of a USAV registration.

Salem SpiritsPractice schedule:  This will vary with different teams, but most teams will practice twice a week. They try to make our schedule the same each month so families can plan accordingly.

Practice locations: Salem College facility in Winston-Salem

Teams they expect to field:  12U-18U, with one-two teams per age group.  Teams are based on commitment level, talent, etc. and not necessarily on age.  The level of teams will be both regional and travel.

Clinics/Open gyms:  They will have Mitch Sadowsky come in late December for a hitting clinic and possible “Christmas Camp”.  Information will be on their website.  This year they also are working with local trainer Andy Hepler, who will be doing training sessions with teams.

Tryout dates:  October 20 – October 26.  Check the website for dates for specific age groups.

Contact:  Dana Wall, Director, dana.wall@salem.edu

Website:  http://www.eteamz.com/spiritsvolleyballclub/


 Deacon Volleyball Academy

winston-salem volleyballPhilosophy towards training:  They believe the most learning takes place within this age group during training with multiple repetitions. The players will be challenged both physically and mentally during every training session in a competitive environment.

Program goals:  DVA believes players under the age of 14 should be spending the majority of their training time working on proper technique and skill development as opposed to playing in a magnitude of tournaments.

How they are different from other clubs:  DVA has a proven systematic way of teaching proper fundamental volleyball skills. Every training session is under the direct supervision of the current Wake Forest Volleyball coaching staff. Each practice is planed out a head of time and drills are modified according to the players current ability level.

What’s new for the club this season: The club is offering a boy’s program, which is currently the only one available in the area.

Deacon volleyball academyPractice schedule:  Dates TBD but twice a week practices with competition in four tournaments throughout the season.

Practice locations:  Wake Forest University facility in Winston-Salem

Teams they expect to field: 11U-14U for girls, with two teams per age group and at least one team each for boys 12U and 14U.

Clinics/Open gyms:  Lead by Wake Forest Volleyball coaching staff, clinics will be held on October 6 and 13.  Details online.  Cost is FREE.

Tryout dates:  October 20 – October 25.  Check the website for dates for specific age groups.

Contact:  Jen Murczek, Wake Forest Volleyball, murczej@wfu.edu

Website:  http://www.deaconvolleyacademy.com/

Advise from a Coach: Volleyball Beyond Club

volleyball beyond clubAs club volleyball season nears its close, we thought we’d share some insights from a local club director.  Doug Balser is the founder and current director of Champion Volleyball Club in Winston-Salem, NC.  Here, Balser gave us his take on players looking to be a part of the sport beyond high school.  In the fall, we’ll hear from him again on volleyball for younger players (and insights for their parents).

WAVE:  What is your advice for players who’d like to play beyond the club or high school volleyball experience?

Balser:  A lot of young players who are watching the collegiate volleyball matches on television dream of playing for Penn State, Texas or other similar programs, but that is not realistic for the majority of the players.  If a player is interested in playing at the collegiate level, the best advice I could give is to do your research and get your name out there to the programs that match your ability.  A lot of players and parents have the misconception that if their JO team plays at a big tournament, a college coach will walk by, see them play and sign them to a scholarship.  That is just not the case.  College coaches come to see the players play who they have had previous and extended contact with over a period of time.

With a player who would like to play in college, we usually start by examining schools that fit their particular athletic and academic needs.  I always encourage families to look specifically at schools that have the academic major their child wishes to pursue.  The majority of collegiate volleyball players will be doing something other than volleyball to make a living after college, so this is important.  Once we determine a list of schools, then I have the girls begin making contact with the schools and coaches.  Almost all collegiate programs have a website and a questionnaire for the player to fill out.  This shows the coach that you are interested in the program, and all coaches want players who want to be at their school.

volleyball beyond club

Balser’s 12U team at a club tournament in 2014

WAVE:  In your opinion, what is the most necessary attribute of a volleyball player?  How does what’s needed change as a player seeks a more competitive level of play (i.e., college)?

Balser:  For me it has always been a player’s mental toughness that allows them to excel.  Athletes at all levels make mistakes and they have to be able to learn from them and then move past them.  I think the big change that occurs as players move to the next level is their ability to learn from their mistakes on their own.  The competitive players understand why the previous play didn’t work and can make individual adjustments.

WAVE:  Champion Volleyball Club has attracted accomplished, experienced coaches as well as provided the opportunity to mentor new coaches to the sport.  What advice do you have to those for those players looking to transition to coaching?

Balser:  Coaching takes a lot of time and effort to do it right.  I think it is important to have a mentor who can model what it means to be an effective coach.  I encourage them to find someone that they can talk to about problems and situations.  We see a lot of new coaches burn out, because they don’t have someone that they can turn to for help.

I also believe in today’s environment, a coach really has to have a passion for helping the next generation of players.  Our coaches today are open to a lot of criticism and in order to be successful, coaches have to know that they have the potential to make a major impact on a young person’s life.  This is a very serious and important role, and I encourage all new coaches to really understand the impact they can have either positively or negatively on a young person’s life.

volleyball beyond club

Balser and one of his experienced coaches, Kevin Troup

WAVE:  In conclusion what “positives” have you seen come out of players as a result of playing volleyball?

Balser:  I think playing volleyball can have a lot of positive influences on a player.  Volleyball is one of the ultimate team sports, and I think a lot of the girls, sometimes for the first time, learn the importance of team.  I have also seen a real growth of individual players’ self-esteem.  I think both of these positives will go a long way into making these young ladies a success in all aspects of life.

Club Tryout Roundup

As the high school and some middle school seasons come to a close, volleyball players are starting to think about club ball, or Junior Olympic volleyball, which occurs over the winter months.  For anyone wanting to further their skills as a player, playing club ball during the off-season of school ball is a must….not to mention, it can be loads of fun.

In the Winston area, we are fortunate to have many clubs to choose from.  Choosing the right club for the player is not always easy – we wrote an article last season about this, that may be helpful.

Most clubs field teams ranging from 12U to 18U, .  typically players in 5/6th through 12th grades.  Some clubs do not field teams at every age level, while. some field multiple teams at an age level.  Certain clubs have regional and travel teams.  Checking the Carolina Region website may be helpful for more details and explanations.

So here’s an overview of what’s available in our area:

Champion Volleyball Club

  • ChampionPlanning to field teams at all age levels, with multiple teams at some
  • Plays Carolina Region regional tournaments with one travel tournament
  • Tryouts for 12U-15U begin week of October 20; 16U+ week of November 4th.  Check website for specific details.
  • Practice locations:  Winston-Salem, Rural Hall, Walnut Cove

Setpoint Volleyball Club

  • SetpointPlanning to field teams at all age levels, with multiple teams at some
  • Regional teams play Carolina Region regional tournaments; travel teams play some Carolina Region regional tournament with 3-4 travel tournaments
  • Tryouts for 12U-15U begin week of October 20; 16U+ week of November 3rd.  Check website for specific details.
  • Practice locations:  Winston-Salem, Clemmons

Davie DazzleVolleyball Club

  • dazzle logoPlanning to field teams at 12U-15/16U
  • Plays Carolina Region regional tournaments with one travel tournament
  • Tryouts for 12U-14U begin week of October 20.  Combined 15/16U tryout dates TBD. Check website for specific details.
  • Practice locations:  Davie County

Yadkin Valley Volleyball Club

  • Volleyball_Girls_Logo_messagePlanning to field teams at 13U-18U
  • Plays Carolina Region regional tournaments
  • Tryouts for 13U-14U begin October 27.  Check website for specific details.
  • Practice locations:  Yadkinville

Salem Spirits

  • salem spirits logoPlanning to field teams at 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U
  • Development teams play local tournaments plus scrimmages; Regional Travel teams play local tournaments with two travel tournaments (16U and 18U only)
  • Tryouts have already begun.  Next tryout for all ages is October 15.  Check website for specific details.
  • Practice locations:  Winston-Salem

Wake Forest Deacon Volley Academy (DVA)

  • wf volleyballMore focused on development than tournament play
  • Planning to field teams at U11-U14 ages
  • Development teams play three tournaments
  • Tryouts are on October 21.  Check WAVE calendar page for more information.
  • Practice locations:  Winston-Salem

Beyond the Winston “area”, there are clubs that offer various levels of competitive play.  Check out their websites for details on tryouts:

Club Tryouts – What Parents and Players Need to Know

So your child is interested in playing club volleyball?  Great!  It will help improve her skills and provide a great experience playing tournaments throughout the winter months.  However, it can be a tough decision deciding which club is right for you and your player – especially if you live in area like ours with many clubs to choose from.

Here is some advice from the directors of three area clubs:  Set Point, Champion and Davie Dazzle.

What are the top things a player/parent should look for in determining if a club is right for their child?

Philosophy of the club  All three directors mentioned this.  Parents and players need to know:

  • Does everyone that tries out make a team or are there cuts?
  • Do they stress teaching the game or winning the game?
  • What is their philosophy about playing time?
  • Is this a club that teaches the correct way to play or simply plays for wins?

You and your daughter need to agree with the club and its philosophies, whether your daughter is the best player or the least skilled player.  And everyone plays club volleyball in order to improve their skill level – so this should be happening on whichever team you choose.

Coaching  As with any sport, it’s important to know who are the people running the club and what kind of reputation they have.  Parents should ask:

 

 

  • What is their background in volleyball?
  • Are they someone you can trust?
  • Are the coaches excited to be a part of the program?
  • Do they know the game and how to teach it?

Coaches should be supportive, give constructive criticism and teach skills.  All coaching styles will not be the same, and your player may connect with her coach one year better than the next.  However, you should still feel that the overall coaching provided by a club fits with what your daughter hopes to gain from playing volleyball.

Player/Family fit   Yes – some clubs “fit” better than others.  Questions to ask include:

  • Does your player/family look forward to practice and games?
  • Do the fees, competition and practice schedule meet your family’s commitment level?
  • Does the club add value to your family?

A club should  fit the player’s personality.  This is why attending tryouts for more than one club is great when you are trying to determine the best fit.  The player should like as much about the club as possible – including the other players, level of play, coaches, etc.   No club is perfect, but the season is long and you hope your daughter is still excited to play as the season progresses.

How much should the player’s personal goals for the sport (i.e., wanting to have fun, be competitive, prepare themselves for potentially playing in college) factor in to the club selection?

Clubs and teams within clubs often have different goals.  Some strive to be as competitive as possible, with each player fitting into that plan either as a full-time, on the court player or as a part-time substitute.   Others strive to give each player the same experience and participation.  Still others are a mix of those goals.

Whatever your personal goals are, you should enjoy playing the game – but matching your goals to the team goals is very important to your enjoyment level.  Parents should make sure they understand their child’s goals and adjust their expectations to match.  (Note:  The player’s goals should come first…not the parents.) 

Families should ask themselves:  Why are we doing this?  What do we want to get out of this year?  Since goals change every year, you must continually re-ask these questions.

What really makes one club different from another?

The three club directors we spoke with gave some great advice on comparing clubs and seeing what makes each one different, and potentially a better fit, for your player:

  • The people (see above)
  • Fee structures – this usually is a reflection of what the club believes they can offer in terms of coaching, experience, competitiveness.  Do your homework to find the right match
  • The philosophy (see above)
  • Feeder programs for local schools
  • Parent run versus full-time staff run – both have advantages and disadvantages

Most clubs are a spin off from a different club.  They think they have a better coaching philosophy, fee structure, facility, convience or generally can do it better for their specific target players.  With the number of clubs out there and growth in interest in volleyball, every club is struggling for qualified coaches.  Coaching talent is stretched, so don’t be surprised if you find the best coaches in the area spread over many different clubs.

Bottom line:  you hope that your player falls in love with the game when they are young and wants to continue playing.  Once they start to develop their own goals, you and your player should find a club that aligns with those goals.

Resources available to parents:

Thanks to Fred Wendelboe, Matt Riggs and Doug Balser for their contributions to this article.