Melrose Volleyball Club 2017 Player/Parent Handbook

Melrose Volleyball Club 2017 Player/Parent Handbook
 Melrose Volleyball Club
Welcome to an exciting season of Melrose Volleyball Club!
As a club, we strive to put together the best resources for our program to grow and
continue to get better. Also, we want the JO season to be a time for our players to
learn, improve, and grow as athletes.
The JO season is a very important time for our volleyball program; this is where we
work on skills, team building, offensive/defensive systems, and game situations. It is
the hope of the Melrose Volleyball Program that the JO season is a fun experience, but
also an experience where each of our players can continue to gain experience and skills
that will carry over into the regular volleyball season.
This handbook is your guide to the JO Volleyball season. In this handbook, we will lay
out guidelines, expectations, and information about playing time, teams, schedules and
our philosophy. It is important that you read this handbook with your parents to fully
understand what JO Volleyball is all about.
We, as a coaching staff, feel that it is of utmost importance to take every opportunity
afforded to us to improve and to ensure that each opportunity to play volleyball is time
well spent. We are hoping to take Melrose Volleyball to the next level in the coming
years, and we hope that the players share our commitment, enthusiasm, and
If you have any questions about anything that is covered in this handbook, please do
not hesitate to contact me! We are very happy that you have decided to make the
commitment for yourself and the team, and that you have decided to participate in
Melrose JO Volleyball!
Stevan Waddell
Head Volleyball Coach, Melrose Area High School
2 Table of Contents
I. Expectations
pg. 4 – 5
II. Player’s Roles
pg. 6
III. Coaches Roles
pg. 7
IV. Parent’s Roles
pg. 8
IV. Tournaments
pg. 9
V. Practices
pg. 10
VI. Philosophy
pg. 11
VI. Schedule
pg. 12
VII. Contacts/Commit
pg. 13
VIII. Calendar
pgs. 14-16
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and
commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment
to excellence – that will enable you to obtain the success you seek.”
- Mario Andretti
3 Expectations
For our players to get as much out of the JO Volleyball season as possible, there have
been certain expectations that have been set to ensure that this is an experience of
growth, development, and improvement. We expect that all players abide by these
expectations at all times to represent their school, community and team with respect
and class throughout the season.
Practice Expectations
1. Make an effort to attend each practice session. We understand that there are
conflicts, but it is important for each player to be at practice at all times! If you
will not be at practice, it is important to communicate to your coaches as soon as
possible, so they can plan accordingly.
2. Come to practice ready to learn and work. We need to use all of the time that is
afforded to us during this season. We only have about 10 practice sessions, so it
is imperative that we make use of our time!
3. Take the direction of the coaches. We are lucky to have quality coaches in our
program that have a lot of playing and coaching experience. These coaches have
been around the game a lot, and they are a wealth of knowledge! It is extremely
important that our players are coachable and able to take direction!
4. Work hard in every drill. Even it is the first or one-hundredth time doing the
drill, it is important that you give maximum effort in every drill! At times, it is
appropriate to ask questions about a particular drill, but the coach will do their
best to explain the rationale behind each drill before the drill starts. Make sure
that your questions are asked respectfully and at appropriate times!
5. Leave your cell phones and personal lives out of practice! Oftentimes, players
will lose focus because of outside influences. Use practice as a time to clear your
head from other distractions and simply focus on the skills that are being taught
and worked on! Excessive cell phone use will cause you to not pay attention to
what is being taught and will force the coach to re-teach many things that can be
accomplished the first time. Use your time effectively!
6. Have fun! Practice is meant to be challenging but also fun! As coaches, we will
do everything in our power to make each practice a time for our players to learn
and grow, but also a time to enjoy playing volleyball with your teammates!
4 Tournament Expectations
1. Make an effort to attend each tournament or playdate. This is where you, as a
player, and the team as a whole will be able to implement all of the things that we
work on in practice. This is where the maximum growth as a player occurs, and
the time when all of the hard work will pay off!
2. Use your “down time” effectively. There will be times during tournaments when
you will not be scheduled to play or referee. This is a great time to bond with
your teammates or watch other teams play. We, as a coaching staff, are firm
believers in watching volleyball as much as possible. Players will often see things
that they can implement into their own game by watching other players play.
3. Be respectful of your opponents, referees, opposing coaches and fans. Always
remember that you are representing Melrose Volleyball! Being disrespectful not
only makes you look bad, but it reflects poorly on the program! We want teams
to enjoy playing us because of our abilities as players, but also because of our
attitudes on the court.
4. Be supportive of your teammates! There will be times when you will be sitting on
the bench; make sure that you are using this time to support the members of
your team, taking stats, looking for openings or being a cheerleader. Your
teammates will appreciate your support, and this will help to build the type of
program that we are striving for!
5. Take the opportunities to be a referee, line judge, or scorekeeper. These are skills
that are applicable to life, so it’s important that you take these opportunities as
well! You will learn a lot about the game by being a part of this aspect! Take
these roles seriously – NO CELL PHONES WHILE WORKING AS THE
6. Win with class! We all want to win, but make sure that you are not “rubbing it in
the other team’s face” when we win. If the other team has poor sportsmanship,
take that opportunity to be the bigger person.
7. Lose with dignity. It is very rare that one team will win every game, and it is
important to lose with respect. There will always be a better player or team, so
respect their success; chances are, they have worked very hard for it! It’s
important not to hate your opponent; rather, love the game!
8. Have fun! We, as coaches, cannot stress this enough! Have fun competing,
improving, and growing as an individual and as a team. Leave each tournament
knowing that you took every opportunity to get better for the good of the
program. NO REGRETS!
5 Player’s Roles
Every player in this program will have a specific role. It’s important to understand your
role and fill that particular role to the best of your ability. Each player will get
opportunities to play, but the coaches will do what is best for the team as a whole. It is
impossible to please everybody, but the coaches will do their best to always help the
program grow, individually and as a team.
If you are unhappy with your role, you must work hard to improve! Nothing is ever
handed to anyone; sports take a lot of work, both mentally and physically. If you think
that you will achieve your goals simply because you want to, you are mistaken!
Understand that you need to work hard in each practice and tournament to make the
sort of growth that we are striving for in Melrose Volleyball!
It is very easy to blame other people if you are unhappy with your role as a player,
especially in regards to playing time. The coaches will take a very objective view of
their teams, and they will always do what is best for the overall team. That may mean
that you will play all six rotations, play front row, back row, or fill in when needed.
Keep in mind that this can change, but you have to be willing to commit to the
As players, your job is to play the game and to strive to improve everyday. Players are
not coaches and coaches are not players. There needs to be an understanding that
whatever the coach chooses for their particular team is final. If you have questions
about your role, communicate with your coach! Make sure that you are not simply
asking “why am I not playing?” Ask things like, “what can I do to play in the front
row?” or “what can I work on to improve my serving?” The more specific your
question, the easier it is for a coach to answer!
Finally, never blame other players on the team. It is not the fault of your teammates if
they are playing more than you; it is important to celebrate their success and support
them at all times! Stay positive and supportive of Melrose Volleyball! If you have
questions for your coaches, please approach them individually! Do not have your
parents talk to the coaches about playing time! It is important for you, as a player, to
advocate for yourself!
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as a way to
vent your frustrations! Any player caught “bashing” the club or their coach via social
networking will lose playing time or be asked to leave the team! (Depending on the
6 Coach’s Roles
Coaches have a very difficult job, and oftentimes they are criticized brutally! It is
important to understand that the coaches are there to coach. They are putting in a lot
of time into the program because they love the game, and they love coaching! We are
extremely lucky to have as many quality coaches in our program as we do!
Just as you, as a player, will rarely play a perfect game, coaches will rarely coach a
perfect match. This is also a time for coaches to learn and grow, so it is important for
players to understand that as well. As a club, we will do our best to prepare our players
and coaches for each tournament, but understand that this is a learning experience for
us, as coaches, as well.
The coaches will do their best to communicate as openly and honestly throughout the
season. They will always make decisions with the interest of the team at heart! It is our
goal to have each coach communicate their decisions with the team, but they will not
explain each decision at all times. If you have questions, ask, but make sure that you
are doing so in a respectful way!
The coach’s job is NOT to babysit when at tournaments. It is the player’s job to
behave in a way that is respectful when at tournaments. This is a time for our coaches
to focus on the matches, NOT make sure that the players are behaving themselves.
Again, if you have a question for your coach, ask! We have coaches in the program that
care about the program and the individual players, and understand that they want what
is best for the team!
It is very easy to claim that a coach is “favoring” one player over the other. It is also
very easy for players to blame a coach. Understand that the coaches will see the players
in each of their practices, and they will make judgment calls throughout the season. It
is NEVER the intention of the coaches to make any players feel badly about
themselves. We want each player to improve and grow throughout the season and
more importantly to enjoy her time playing volleyball!
7 Parent’s Roles
We are extremely lucky to have supportive parents in the Melrose Volleyball Program!
We do understand that each of the parents want what is best for their own children,
and we as coaches want what is best for the team! With that in mind, it is NEVER the
intention of the coach or the program to make the players feel badly about their
performance. The coaches will do their best to stay as objective about each decision as
It has become the nature of team sports over the past few years for parents to become
more and more involved. We welcome the parents to be involved in the program as
supporters and advocates for the program! The more support we can get from parents,
the more enjoyable our job becomes!
With that being said, we also want to teach our players to become self-advocates. If
there are issues with things that are happening in the club, the players should feel
confident approaching their coaches in a respectful and appropriate way. Parents
should not approach any coach about playing time. If a player feels that they are not
getting the playing time that they feel they should be getting, the player, to help resolve
the issue, should address questions, to the coach.
If the player does not feel that adequate resolution is being made, then the player
should approach either Coach Waddell or Coach Traeger for a solution. There will be
time to discuss these issues with the Club Directors, if needed, but this should be used
for issues that cannot be worked out with the coach.
If, after meeting with the Club Directors, the player still doesn’t feel that there has
been resolution, then a parent and Club Directors meeting can be established. This
should be a last resort option for parents! Understand that we will not be at every
practice or tournament, so we may not be able to resolve all of the issues.
Suggestions are welcomed if they are made respectfully and to the correct parties.
Please make any suggestions to the Club Directors, rather than the coaches.
8 Tournaments
As a club, we will do our best to enroll our teams into the best quality tournaments
that we can find. It is our goal to have each team play in 5 tournaments throughout the
season for 12s-17s teams and 4 tournaments for 10-s-11s. . The tournaments will be
played in our geographic region, so that the travel time will be as minimal as possible.
Our #1 goal is to play in the best possible tournaments that will help our teams to
grow as much as possible throughout the season. Overall, we want to play as much as
possible without causing any conflicts with families, Spring Sports, or school
sanctioned activities.
As far as playing time at tournaments, the individual coach will have the final say. The
following guidelines will be used for each team:
• Each player will play during pool play. This does not mean that each player will
play all six rotations, but they will have the opportunity to play in a role that the
coach feels is appropriate for the player with the teams’ best interest in mind.
• Tournament play will not be equal playing. We will go into tournament play
with the idea that we will put the line-up on the floor that the coach feels will
give his/her team the best opportunity to be successful.
• Unexcused absences from practices will result in loss of playing time at
tournaments. The more touches on the ball each player gets, the more
improvement they will acquire throughout the season. Excessive absences will
result in loss of playing time.
The goal of each team is to put the best possible line-up together as possible to
become successful. This will help Melrose Volleyball to grow as a program and the
individual players to become comfortable in their positions. We want to use JO
Volleyball as a catalyst for the regular season, so there may be some adjustments to the
line up made throughout the season. This will give the coaches insight into what
certain players can do, and where they may be most beneficial to the program during
the regular season.
9 Practices
Practice is an extremely important aspect of JO Volleyball. In my experience, I have
had players that think that they can simply show up to tournaments to play without
putting the time in at practice. This is not true! First, it is not fair to your teammates or
your coaches, and you, as a player, will not make the improvements that we are looking
for in this program! We are continuing a solid program here, and that starts with
Although attendance at practice is important, it’s equally important that you come to
practice ready and willing to learn and grow as a volleyball player. Having a positive
attitude towards practice, taking direction from your coach and being coachable, and
treating each practice like a game situation are ways that you will improve as a player. It
is important that you take practice seriously and use it as a time to learn!
JO Volleyball will be a secondary activity for many players. We want athletes at
Melrose that play more than one sport. If you are involved in a school sport during the
JO season, your commitment to that sport will come first! DO NOT MISS A GAME
OR PRACTICE FOR A JO COMMITMENT! Think about your priorities in this way:
1. Family/Personal
2. School (Academics)
3. School-Sanctioned Activities
4. JO Volleyball
With that being said, there does need to be a level of commitment if you truly want to
get as much out of this volleyball season as possible. There will be members of your
team putting in a lot of time to this club. If you want to improve your playing time,
you should improve your skills, and that means coming to practice.
If a player misses practice for an unexcused absence, then they will sit out for one set
at the following tournament. Two practices missed for an unexcused absence will equal
two sets missed, and so on. Excessive absences will lead to removal from the team. We
need to have committed players in this club!
We will do our best scheduling practices during times that have little conflicts with
other activities, but understand that there is not a lot of open gym time!
10 Club Philosophy
We, as a club, want JO Volleyball to be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved:
players, coaches and parents. For this to work, I think it’s important for everyone to
have an understanding about what this club is intended for, and what our goals are for
the JO Volleyball season. This club will be used as a learning experience for all of our
volleyball players. We would like each of our players to grow throughout the season
and become more skilled in volleyball. This will also be an opportunity for the players
in our club to develop skills that they will need to be successful players for the school
Some players may be asked to play positions that they are not familiar with or
comfortable playing. The JO season is a great time for this! We can use our practice
and tournament time as a way to work with line-ups and try players at different
positions than what they are used to playing.
For the younger teams (10s, 11s, and 12s), the coaches will start to implement skills
that will help prepare them to play Junior High volleyball. For most of our younger
players, JO will be their first experience with volleyball, and we want to make it a
positive one. The coaches will emphasize skills in passing, serving, setting, hitting and
team play. Along with skill development, we also want the JO experience to be a place
where our younger players can gain a love of the game!
For our older teams (13s-17s), the coaches will emphasize skills to bring Melrose
Volleyball to a higher level. We will be introducing different defensive and offensive
systems, work on higher level skills in serving, passing, setting, hitting and defense, and
also look at preparing our teams for the fall season.
It is our goal to keep all of the players playing with their own grade level. Because the
numbers in some of our age groups are a bit smaller than others, there may need to be
a little bit of shuffling. Some players may need to play “up”. We will never ask players
to play in a grade level lower than their own grade. Again, we will do our best to keep
all of the grades together as much as possible. Moving up of players will often be
dependent on position. Please do not read too much into any shuffling of players;
oftentimes players will feel discouraged if they don’t move up. Remember, decisions
are made that will be the best for the TEAM, not the INDIVIDUAL!
11 Schedule
Practice Schedule
Practices will be on Sunday afternoons and one night during the week beginning on
March 5th. Each team will coordinate their practice schedules within this range, and it
may change. We would like to give teams flexibility in their scheduling, so all of the
members of the teams have the opportunity to attend. Practice schedules will be
emailed and updated on the website when they become available. The first day of
practice will be Sunday, March 5th – 4:00-6:00 (13s, 14s, 15s, 16s, 17s).
Tournament Schedule
Once the final schedule has been solidified, each player will receive a copy of the
tournament schedule. Please understand that tournaments fill up quickly, and we will
try to update all players and parents of any changes as soon as possible.
If you should have any questions or comments throughout the season, feel free to
contact the Melrose Volleyball Club board at:
[email protected]
We look forward to a great season, and we hope that you do as well!
Finally, we ask that the parents and players sign the bottom portion of this page and
return it to Coach Waddell. This shows that you have read this handbook and you
understand the policies of Melrose Volleyball Club.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I, ________________________(Player’s Name), along with my parents or guardians,
have read and understand the policies of Melrose Volleyball Club.
(Player’s Signature)
(Parent’s/Guardian’s Signature)
12 13 
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