Thunder Volleyball Club
Welcome to Thunder Volleyball Club! We have completed our sixth year as a club and expect each player to experience enthusiasm, support and success. The purpose of the club is to provide an environment where young athletes improve in the game of volleyball and learn the important values of team, spirit, and sportsmanship. To those of you who have shared our vision and offered support, thank you! We will try to continue to earn the trust you bestowed upon us.
Once a player makes the team and signs a contract, presuming he/she adheres to attendance and discipline policies, that player is committed to that team for the entire season with practices beginning in early November of each year and ending in March/April of the following new year. Once a player makes the team they are guaranteed to remain on team roster throughout the season, presuming he/she adheres to attendance and discipline policies. Emphasis is placed on teaching skills, sportsmanship, and preparing the player to succeed on both their club team and their school team. Practice sessions are designed to create an instructional yet competitive environment with each player having the same opportunity to improve their skills. Some of our practice locations are held in community public schools and also a local church gym. In the event any of our practice facilities are closed due to inclement weather, school event, etc., our practice will most likely have to cancel. Safety first will always be a priority for our players, their family and our staff.
Players earn the right to see playing time in the tournaments. Playing time is never guaranteed and players and parents must understand that most players most likely will not play each rotation (play all the way around). Parents are paying club dues for their children to be trained in practice, not for the right to play in tournaments. The club does not guarantee that players will make a school team. The club cannot and will not attempt to influence coaching selections for the schools as it is a separate entity. We do make an effort to prepare the athlete for high school and hopefully collegiate level play. However, the main focus of the club will be on the aspects it takes to build a team including: skill development, team tactics, Volleyball I.Q., team pride, demeanor, sportsmanship, and commitment to one another.
Club Definitions and Responsibilities:
1. Thunder Volleyball Club is a volleyball club for school aged children. It is a competitive volleyball program that provides instruction, training and prepares each player for competition for club, school and possibly college play. Sportsmanship and team play are important goals of the club. The tryouts will commence in the summer and into the fall if needed.
2. Club fees pay for a pre approved gym rental for team strategy practice, entry fees into local tournaments, coaching salaries, equipment, club operating expenses for the year and a uniform jersey top for the player. Jersey tops will be issued to each player only when club fee payments have been paid in full. A payment plan will be provided to the parents in the contract. Total amount of club fees are to be paid in full by November 1st of each club season.
3. Missed practices: The parent MUST notify the coach via telephone, prior to the practice that he or she plans to miss. If it is a planned event (school, church, doctor's appointment), the player must notify a week in advance. If it is an illness, please notify as soon as possible. Do not come to practice sick! The coach plans his/her practices and for the coach to show with a minimum team is not satisfactory.
4. The main goals of the club will be sportsmanship, pride, team, knowledge of HOA volleyball rules, improvement in skill, and representation of self and club. The actions of one reflect on the entire team. If you are late, you take away from the practice; if you are not there you take away from the team. If you show poor sportsmanship you represent all of us. If the team is good, an official’s call will not be important. Taunting under the net, trash talking and temper tantrums will not be tolerated. If the team is good, play on the court will prove it. Repeat violations will be addressed. In most cases a warning, followed with benching and eventually removal from the team. However, if the infraction is deemed to be severe enough, removal from the team may come as a result of the first infraction. Discipline and correction are at the sole discretion of the head coach and/or club director.
5. Drinking alcoholic beverages and/or drugs are not a part of our program, this will not be tolerated. If this activity occurs during a tournament it will end membership in the club.
6. The club will provide entries into local tournaments. Traveling, motel and food expenses are the responsibility of the parents and are not covered by the club.
Each player represents the club anytime at practice, tournament or when a Thunder uniform is worn. This is on and off the court. Think of how you want to be represented. There should be no swearing, poor sportsmanship, or taunting of a player, official, or person. Trash talking is not allowed, it takes away from the game and reflects poorly on the player, team, and club. We want the club to stand for SPORTSMANSHIP, FAIR PLAY, GOOD PLAY and HIGH STANDARDS FOR ALL. The athlete will be instructed on how to act during large tournaments, how to address officials, as well as rules. The purpose of this is to insure a sense of pride that the player was selected to play for the club and the team.
1. Every player will be assigned to an age group according to USA Volleyball guidelines. No player will play-up except on an “as needed” or by staff recommendation. The decision will be with the staff as safety is a main concern for the player. It also helps with college recruiting. The philosophy is that even though the player may be somewhat advanced, that player could sit the bench more and play time is important. It may also take away from the fact the player could be a leader and find more success at the lower age level.
2. Absence - Each player is allowed three (3) excused absence. An excused absence would be a school event that a player participates in, a doctor’s appointment, church activity, etc. Any unexcused absence will result in player not playing in one set chosen by coach in any tournament. Call the coach, or email if you are to be absent. If you have a school event, it is always excused and you will always know in advance. So call or email in advance. The night before an activity is not in advance. Always think team. If you are ill, it is understandable that you will not attend, please don’t attend. But a phone call prior to practice is in order. The coach plans drills and each player has a role, your missing will change the practice. Our attendance ratio should be very high. It is important to keep it that way as we only practice twice a week. All practices should be considered required attendance.
3. All players will try-out in the summer/fall. If you make a team, you will be insured a spot in the club for the season. The team will be selected on positions. We will try to avoid (for example) 6 outsides or 3 setters. The idea is to put forth strong, solid teams.
4. Each fall starts a new season with no carry-over. It also means the player may move up or down on teams within their age group. Selections are based on the athletes that try-out each year. Placement is based on that skill level and position.
5. If the player, parent, or family member is unhappy with the player’s role on the team the following procedure must take place.(THIS ONLY APPLIES TO ISSUES REVOLVING THE PLAYER’S ROLE ON THE TEAM, ANY OTHER COMMUNICATION IS INVITED AND GREATLY APPRECIATED!)
The player only, must schedule a meeting with the coach, outside of practice time. (Before or after), never during practice or at a tournament.
If the player is not satisfied with the response from their coach, the player may schedule a meeting with the coach and parent. If player is still not satisfied then parent may schedule a meeting with the director, coach, parent and player present.If any family member fails to follow this protocol, then the player will be required to sit out one set during a tournament. If there is a 2nd violation the player will be suspended for two weeks. We truly care about the success of both the players and the team. Toward this end the coaches will do everything possible to accomplish both. However, please remember this is a competitive team sport and playing time is earned in practice, not paid for by club dues. Every effort will be made to satisfy or address the concerns of the athlete. The athlete may not like the reply, but each concern will be addressed and an explanation will be shared with the athlete. This brings up another important rule for the club: NEVER TREAT ANYONE ANY DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU WANT TO BE TREATED. Please remember, if you as a player are unhappy, talking to everyone else but the staff will not change your problem. We can only correct those problems we know about.
Be enthusiastic. Please support your son/daughter at all of the tournaments! Please make sure all of their information is current and up to date on forms! This section will help you get the most from the club.
Please remember that while you are being enthusiastic about your child, do not take away from another. The number one thing is that your child is provided with coaching and improving their skills. Every athlete goes through growth periods, learning curves, and should be made to feel their efforts are great! Support means support them where they are. Remark upon their improvements, good plays, and try not to be too critical. If the parent sits back and lets things unfold, the athlete many times does better than with a parent that tries to direct the outcome. All the athletes are trying. No one is going out there to do a bad job. Please keep that in mind. Cheering should be positive. Responsibilities, Leadership and support comes from the parents. The parents play an important role to the athlete as a support system and to the club because of that very same reason. Because of the importance the parent carries we have devoted a section to helping them help the athlete! Your number one job as a parent is to support your child’s team. THESE ARE KIDS. THIS IS A GAME.
The one thing that every staff member of the club has realized, there are many ways to see the game. And there is no right way or wrong way. There are some ways that are more successful. We do provide the athletes with knowledgeable, hard working, effectively trained, thoroughly evaluated and caring coaches. All practices are "closed practice" unless coach tells parents different.
If you are having trouble getting information, please inform your coach. We will use email and/or text as it is faster and the parents get the information. Our website, has most of the information posted. Please be patient as mistakes do occur. Please keep in mind that at all tournaments the player is the responsibility of the parent. Please reinforce manners, hotel behavior, and the code of conduct expected as outlined by HOA. Drugs and/or alcohol will result in immediate expulsion from the club and tournament. Control is mandated by the USA Volleyball organization. Expenses incurred because of this will be covered by the parents of players involved. If you are attending a tournament please note that after hours are just as much your responsibility as the clubs. The more chaperones the better.