What are the goals of the program? The training program was developed to work hand in hand with high school and club teams. Unlike club volleyball, this training is specifically designed to focus on YOU – the individual – NOT the team. One of the major goals of the program is for the player to discover how good she can become. Does your player have the potential to be a GREAT player? Can they achieve their goals on the court? (Do they even have goals?) The program will focus on the INDIVIDUAL. Training is position specific, and emphasizes the technical aspects of the game, and the mastery of fundamental skill development. The focus of the training will be threefold:
Versatility – how many different positions can your player excel at? Versatility is key when players seek out college scholarships. Although your daughter might be a middle blocker on a club team, a college coach may be interested in a 6-rotation player, and it will be imperative that she possess all of the major skills necessary to play in every position.
Adaptability – Do you have the ability to adapt to any type of program? How many skills can you perform and master? Adaptability is key if you plan to play at the collegiate level. There are so many different types of systems used in universities today. Your daughter needs to become adaptive to ANY SYSTEM of play. This will come from the confidence gained as she performs fundamental skills repetitively. The ability to perform well under pressure comes from performing skills over and over again.
Mastery – What level of performance can your player aspire to? It’s important to master the fundamental skills of serving, passing, setting, hitting, out of system play, and playing under pressure or duress. We will help your daughter aspire to the next level of play – and push her out of her comfort zone to become the best player she can be.
What is the difference between this program and club volleyball? On club teams, the major goal is for the TEAM to win. Most clubs set out to field a winning team. The team’s goal during the season is to win, and to move up through the divisions, and to hopefully qualify for JO’s. The teams’ success is often measured by wins and losses. The focus of the training program is on YOUR DAUGHTER! There is no conflict of interest. There is no vying for playing time. The club team might have a 5’7” player that plays the middle blocker position because the team has no other players that can play the middle. Or if your daughter is shorter, perhaps the club team play in a 6-2 rotation, not allowing your daughter to play the front row or to block– but that doesn’t mean that your daughter will NOT play that position on another high school teams and definitely not on a college team. The typical club team has between four to six hours of practice a week and the focus is on the TEAM. Most coaches typically don’t have the time to work on individual weaknesses. Also keep in mind that most club teams have between 10 – 12 players. This program is ALL ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL. It focuses on individual skill development. There is no shared playing time.
On club and high school teams, the coach’s focus is on the betterment of the team – to develop a tactical and systematic way to win. (For example, is the team going to win running a 6-1 or a 5-2 rotation?) The coach tries to find a winning combination of players who can take the team the farthest in competition. The sole goal of the training program is you make your daughter better. Rarely will you find a coach that can focus on all of these goals at the same time.
Typically a club doesn’t look at its players as a training partner. Our training program is individualized. We will help you develop a long term training program to help you improve, get better, and to work up to your potential. We will guide you and advise you along the way and work on your own personal training goals.
I’m already on a club/high school team. Will I have time to do both? Training will be available 4 – 5 days a week which will allow you to work around your club or high school practice times and choose the times that work best for you.
Why doesn’t my club focus more on individual training? The short answer is time constraints and expertise. The limited amount of hours that a club team has to practice is spent making the TEAM the best it can be. If a coach only has a two hour practice time slot, what should he/she focus on? Team chemistry, systems, or focus on each player’s weakness? Team coaches focus on the strategies for their teams’ success. Often times individual training requires a more technical trainer. Keep in mind that very coaches are great at teaching individual skills and focusing on team play. Think of this training opportunity as your daughter’s volleyball tutor!
I’ve been told I would be better off doing private lessons. Is this true? If money wasn’t an issue for anyone, then you may be better off paying for expensive one-on-one private lessons. In this economy, this just isn’t realistic for most people. In addition, private lessons typically aren’t very efficient. For example, during a private lesson, approximately 40% of the time is spent resting, talking, shagging balls, and just allowing the player to catch her breath. Private lessons can cost upwards on average from $60 – $100 per hour. You could come to 3-4 clinics for the price of 1 private lesson. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that good habits are built over time – and based on the frequency of movement. The more frequently you can practice the movements, the shorter the learning curve will be. We think our training program is a viable, economic way to provide personalized training to anyone that desires it. Also, volleyball is a six on six game. We feel the best way to learn the game is in small groups. However, our goal is to serve your individual needs. So if you do prefer private lessons, we do have coaches that can offer those services to you!
What if my daughter has never set before? Can she attend setting clinics? This training program is the perfect place to try a new position. Chances are if there are three setters on the club team, and your player has never set, she will not have the opportunity to try out at that position. Since playing time is a huge issue on club teams, most players are afraid to ask the coach to play a new position. In our training program, your daughter can learn a new position with no stress. She will be given individualized instruction and get lots of touches on the ball. There is no pressure. There are no playing time issues. This can ONLY help her on her club team, as setting is a fundamental skill that all players should be able to do.
My daughter doesn’t play the back row on her current team. Would she benefit from defensive training even though she doesn’t play in that rotation? One of the greatest attributes of a great player is her ability to be versatile on the court. Passing and the ability to play defense is a fundamental skill of the game that transcends height and athletic ability. Everyone needs to get better at this skill. And chances are if she spends time developing and refining her defensive or “back row” skills in a comfortable, non-threatening environment, she will excel and probably play in a full rotation the following club season. Remember that if your daughter is a 5’9” middle hitter in high school or club, a college may be recruiting her as an all around player or an outside hitter – will she be able to be the versatile player that college coach is seeking?
My daughter has always played as a middle blocker. Why should she attend setting clinics or defensive clinics? She doesn’t even serve on her team. Can she benefit from serving lessons? Serving is a not only a fundamental skill, it also improves many other aspects of the game. It improves arm swing, and it also improves accuracy and control. It involves fundamental motor skills and is a basic and key component required of all college players. There are several types of basic serves. Our players will learn to serve aggressively and can expect their serving skills and repertoire of serves to grow quickly.
Who are the coaches and what are their credentials? The training program is led by Neil Mason, the 2006 Olympic Developmental Coach of the Year. Coach Mason has over 12 years of experience in developing some of the best junior athletes in the nation. Coach Mason has also been involved in USA Volleyball, which is the training pipeline for the National Team and future Olympians. Other key coaches involved in the training program include Dan Gwitt, a former Division 1 Coach, Michael Hinton, CIF Coach of the year, Evren Tanriverde, a multi-faceted former college coach, as well as several others. Full bios are available at www.tcavolleyball.com. These coaches are responsible for placing almost 300 athletes into collegiate programs – from coast to coast – most with full ride scholarships.
How often should I attend the sessions? Your player should attend as often as you want, based on your schedule and level of commitment to the game.
Why is frequency/repetition so important? Habits are formed by repetition. It is better to spend three 1-hour sessions, than to attend one 3-hour session. Many people are familiar with the 10,000 rule which says that a skill can generally be perfected after it is performed repetitively for 10,000 hours. We have worked to make these programs very affordable. With our platinum package, your athlete can attend as often as they want. The more repetition and practice they get, the quicker they will improve, and the better they will become.
What if the techniques that are taught/used differ from my club/high school team? Tactics are many and varied, but proper techniques are few. We have studied the best players in the world, and have implemented the exact same techniques used by the USA’s best players. If you take a close look at our players you will see the resemblance in technique to these players.
Can you help with college recruiting? We are 100% certain we can help you get better, which will definitely improve your chances of getting recruited in college. We can also provide you with advice during the process. For those desiring a higher level of assistance, we can refer you to one of our recruiting partners.
Do you provide physical testing? Vertex/Vertimax? We will have access to physical testing equipment to help you measure your spike and jumps.
Do you provide a written skill assessment before or after? With certain packages, personal time will be spent with a master coach who will spend time assessing you and providing you with a written evaluation of where you stand now – and a plan of how you can improve. You will be periodically assessed, so that your improvement can be mapped, and your training program can be revised.
How long has the program been around? We have been providing training to athletes around the nation for the past 12 years.
Can we bring friends? ABSOLUTELY! We encourage you to be friends. Players learn faster when they are having fun and in a comfortable environment. If you don’t bring a friend, we are certain you will make friends with other players who share some of your same interests.
Is this program only for TCA players? What if I play for another club? Any player from any club is welcome to attend the training program. We often have players from competing clubs come and train with us. They improve rapidly and have a lot of fun!
What are some of the common mistakes made by parents? How do I avoid these pitfalls?
- Placing all of their eggs in one basket: Some players believe that one club can fulfill all of their expectations. Let’s face it – you have MANY choices for your player’s club volleyball. If your daughter aspires to play at the college level, the club experience may not be enough. There are some GREAT CLUBS in Orange County that have only a few players who have been awarded scholarships. We want to make sure that if your daughter wants to play after high school, that she has every opportunity to do so. We are certain that we can help her improve on the fundamental skills no matter what club she plays for.
- Expecting your club to get your daughter a scholarship: Many club teams have connections to college coaches throughout the country, but others do not – or simply don’t take the time or interest to place their players. Frankly, your daughter’s recruitment is not your club coach’s primary concern. You must be proactive in the process. A scholarship won’t fall in your lap. Obtaining a scholarship takes time and commitment FROM THE PLAYER along with her PARENTS as the guide. You must do research. It’s NOT a short process. You must have an idea of the key characteristics that you are looking for in a school. You must research to find if the school will be good fit. You must be certain that your daughter meets their admission requirements, and what type of funding is available. It’s a journey. We can help guide you through the maze and provide advice along the way. At this point, you should start thinking about the type of school that is right for you: For example, do you want to attend a small, medium or large student body; are you looking for a rural, urban or college town; are you interested in private or public institutions, etc. You should visit school websites where you would like to attend college and fill out the recruitment questionnaires. You can make sure you have a good skills & highlight video as well as game footage. First impressions count! You can e-mail the coaching staffs of your college choices directly and let them know you are interested in playing for them. Remember that college coaches look at many young volleyball players all vying for a limited number of spots. If you are looking for a full service recruiting firm, we can also put you in touch with one of our service partners.
- Thinking that being on a winning team is the “end all:” Winning is important to THE TEAM and the CLUB, but it’s not the ultimate measure of success. And if your player isn’t on a “winning” team, not all is lost! College coaches recruit the player; not the team. Coaches are more concerned about your daughter’s individual skill sets and making sure that she will be an asset to them in their quest for conference wins. Of course, everyone likes to win, but if your player hasn’t developed a solid foundation of skill sets, including mental toughness, and the ability to play under duress, those wins won’t really transmit into collegiate play.
- Playing for the same coach: We can almost guarantee that your college coach will be much more demanding than your club coach. Although it’s normal for players to become attached to one coach and want to “follow them” through the club years, that is NOT in your daughter’s best interest. Each coach is different, and each brings his/her own perspective to the game. Each will stress different types of strategy and expect your daughter to adapt to it. In addition, it’s IMPERATIVE that your daughter learn and appreciate the importance of being flexible and adapting to different styles of play – a key component for college players. In our training academies, you will be exposed to different TOP LEVEL coaches from varying backgrounds – some have been division 1 coaches, others have played internationally, and some have been on Olympic teams. They all will help your daughter become a better, more well-rounded, versatile player.
- Playing one position: We have had MANY players who spent the majority of their club years playing one position, but ended up playing a different position in college. Had they not been fundamentally sound and exposed to multiple skill sets, that could have spelled the end of their college volleyball or the loss of a scholarship. Our individualized training will INSURE that your players get a chance to excel and will expose them to multiple positions. ALL PLAYERS will learn to serve – and will learn aggressive serving techniques. ALL PLAYERS will learn to block (and swing block). ALL PLAYERS will become adept at passing. ALL PLAYERS will learn to hit from both sides of the court, as well as the back row. ALL PLAYERS will learn to play out of system. This insures that no matter where your daughter plays, she will be well prepared and well equipped to succeed on the court.
- Just doing the minimum to get by: Some players believe that if they just “show up” for practice, and do the bare minimum of what their coach expects, that they will be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. If your player aspires to play in college, it WILL BE A FULL TIME JOB. At the college level, your daughter will be expected to attend conditioning sessions, weight training sessions, volleyball sessions, and many other activities, in addition to excelling in her academic studies. Many times, these activities take place 5 – 6 days a week. LEARNING TO BALANCE her activities and excelling in all areas will not only help your daughter to play at the collegiate level, but will also help her be successful after college. It’s very difficult to teach her all the skills she will need to acquire in a few hours of a club practice. We will help you assess your daughter’s weaknesses, and then set up a specific plan to help her improve. Serious volleyball players don’t just practice a few hours a week. There is too much learn. College coaches won’t expect your daughter’s “bare minimum” effort – they will expect her to go above and beyond expectations – and so will we!
- Believing that volleyball is a “seasonal sport:” Although the club volleyball season is a “seasonal sport” serious players need the “off time” to condition and to continue to improve. As mentioned, repetition is key to improving and mastering the skills. If you take too much time off, at some point you lengthen the learning curve. It’s a fact that college players don’t get a “season off.” There are still practice sessions, and spring training, and time spent evaluating film, learning tactics, and improving their skills. Our individual sessions will help your player continue to improve and develop her skills while others might be taking “time off” from the sport.
- Underestimating the importance of strength and agility. Playing volleyball in college will be physically demanding. It’s important that your daughter is physically prepared for the demands of the sport. Once again, during short practice sessions, club coaches are purely interested in utilizing the court time to play as much volleyball as they can. Very little time is spent on physical strength training and conditioning. Developing a strong inner core, as well as working to improve jumps and reaches will become very important. If you would like to work on physical condition skills specifically related to volleyball, please let our coaches know and they can put you in touch with a training partner who will help you excel in these areas. If you do not wish to work out with a sports trainer, you need to be working on these physical requirements on your own.