Open gym went great. 18 total. We ended at 8PM and none of the girls wanted to stop playing. So mission accomplished!! I told them to stay as long as they like and work on serves. I had girls show up at all skill levels. A few trying to make the first cut in trying out for their middle school teams, so any free workout in prep for that is always a good confidence boost. As a coach my vision of an open gym for club tryouts is just that – you work them out, you make them laugh, you correct them, you give them confidence for the upcoming tryout. You try your best to make them feel comfortable. You basically teach/clinic a few basic drills then let them play 2v2/3v3/4v4/6v6. And you watch. You emphasize pass set hit. Then you emphasize it some more. It’s the foundation. One more on Thursday night then tryouts on Sunday! I did forget to take a group picture this time. My wife also reminded me to bring a sign in sheet, so I could obtain new girls/parents contact info, which I did, but forgot to even mention it or have it filled out…
First open gym for Gaston Galaxy went fantastic! This crew was super excited to be here. We did some Queen of the Court last 20 minutes and the energy was contagious, I am not going to lie!
Tomorrow night is the first open gym for the volleyball club I am starting out here in Gastonia. Gaston County is a unique situation for club volleyball. The love for the game is here. The athleticism is here. The work effort is most definitely here. The word “Club” is the scary part.
A lot of families see larger clubs across the river as a scary venture, and I understand that. Depending at which age and level your daughter is playing, club volleyball can be a serious commitment for the families involved. The higher the level, the more travel, thus the more money. It’s a unique situation for every family involved. It can become stressful, financially, as a parent, especially if you jump in head first. Toss in younger children, 2 working parents and siblings and it’s pretty complex.
Younger players need a safe, competitive place to play and develop. And honestly, that’s it. Their bodies are in constant growth. Up until high school for the most part. These players need a gym, a good practice net, plenty of balls, and good coaching. Coaches need to drill them on all aspects of the game in order to establish a craft. Every player needs to learn footwork, proper form – how to pass, set, serve and hit. You keep offenses simple. You work a lot on covering open space and receiving balls. I am not a fan of locking younger players into positions. These girls are in way too much development, far as what type of positional player they will transition into.
In a nutshell, that’s the beauty of coaching at this level, you get to see firsthand what type of player they will evolve into it. It’s awesome. As a coach, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a younger player execute. When an entire team executes, it’s beyond amazing – and this in itself is what motivates coaches to plan, work on a system, practice it, and practice it some more. Over, and over and over..
I have been blessed with an amazing facility to practice at thru Bethlehem Church. Amber and I have served there since we moved out to Gaston. It is our second home. The people are amazing. The Church exists to serve it’s local community, to help people in need – regardless of their affiliation. Yes it’s that simple. Which in essence, is the very heart of God.
Starting of the club has also introduced me to some great people. Lisa Revels over at Gaston Christian. Along with Derek Bing over at Gaston Day. Together, we want to offer more options for the junior players in Gastonia, something local and affordable so practice logistics are easy. The less amount of stress I can put on families the more fun competitive volleyball is. The girls and their parents looking to test out club volleyball deserve it.
The club has a legit NFHS net system. We have a ton of good, solid Molten balls. We are going to show up, and we are going to work very hard. Because that is what Gaston County does.
It’s exciting stuff, and I am well beyond honored to coach and mentor the girls coming out, who are excited, and ready to dig in and learn some competitive volleyball!