Hello, my name is Tiger Shelton and I am the Director and one of the Co-Founders at Pacific Coast Volleyball. I will be entering my 39th year of coaching. I have coached at many levels and at many age groups, including club, high school and the college level. I have also had the privilege of coaching in many places around the world. Our goal at Pacific Coast Volleyball is to help your player reach their goals...not for them to help us reach ours. That being said, we want to help you understand what club volleyball is and what it is not. We would love every player to play at Pacific Coast, but we understand that is not going to happen....so we would like to make it easier for you as a parent to understand what you are paying for and what you should expect to get for your money.
Club is about winning and losing, right? Yes...but not in the way we typically think. Yes, we like to win. However, a gold medal does not always mean you are winning. Why you play has a lot to do with everything. If you are playing because you want to play in college and you are winning in low-level tournaments, you are not getting the challenge you need to get better and you are not getting the exposure to college coaches that you need. You may have won the battle and lost the war. There are a million reasons that I have heard over the years. I had a player that played for me for two years. Her father came up to me before tryouts, knowing his daughter was not at the same level any longer. I asked him if he really wanted to pay all this money knowing this and his response was ..."yes, it's cheaper than rehab." He just wanted his child to be part of a program that had good morals, good kids and helped her to stay fit. That kid just graduated and is still great friends with most of the kids she played with. There are kids who want to play just to have fun with their friends and there are kids who are gifted and want to play at the next level. Whatever the level is, from middle school ball to D1 college.
There are many more reasons. However, these are a few of the main reasons and all of them are good reasons to play - there is a club that fits each one of them. Playing club at the right club could make your experience very enjoyable. Playing at the wrong club could make you hate the sport altogether.
Players looking for a new sport, wanting to have a little fun, exploring whether or not you like volleyball or to play with your friends...there are developmental clubs that stay in the area and don't travel as much. This helps keep the cost of the club down and being local and not as intense helps kids play and do other things, like play other sports, plays, dances, and other extracurricular activities. There are clubs that are formed just for kids in their own high schools, for their high school. Then there are the competitive programs that are looking to be at the top and there are pros and cons to these types of programs.
There are many more pros and cons, these are just some of the bigger issues.
I have been trying to educate parents regarding club volleyball for many years and for many years, I have not been able to get my point across. I thought maybe if you read it, rather than hear me talk about it, maybe it just might make more sense.
Like I said previously, there are many reasons to play this amazing sport. I believe you need to figure out a few things and then react based on what is best for your child and your family.
Deciding to play club volleyball is a big decision for you, your family and your student-athlete. I have seen so many players not achieve what they wanted to achieve out of their opportunities in club. Get started by having a great time watching your kid grow up. Smile a lot. Be there when they need a soft place to land. Cheer and yell and have fun with the program you are in and the families and friends you will make. Moms and dads tell me all the time "I'm so glad it's over and this is my last one (tournament)" and they they very quickly tell me how much they miss it. You and your child will make lifelong friends or maybe it's a way to keep your child busy and out of the house, exercising. Whatever the case, enjoy this time while you can...it really goes by fast.