Choosing the program that is right for you is a decision that requires finding one that works best for you. Below are Frequently asked questions and answers to help prospective members.
Good luck in your search and thank you for considering Apex Volleyball!
Q: Why is club volleyball so important?
A: Like anything else, sports are something that the more you practice the better your chances of success when you play. If you compare two piano players at a concert and one practices an extra three months longer than their competitor, you would expect THAT musician to have an advantage over their competition. The same is true in sports, including volleyball. Sports also impact girls socially as well.
Q: Ok, I understand club can make players better for their school team, but won't club volleyball interfere with an athlete's ability to participate in other school sports' seasons not to mention impact her school work?
A: Not if good time management is used. Players on our teams participate in basketball, cheerleading, softball, soccer, etc. and still manage to come to practices and tournaments. It takes a VERY disciplined player to manage their schedule, but if a conflict does occur between club practice and high school practice, the athlete is expected to attend their school event and is not penalized for this absence. Also club players learn valuable scheduling lessons by participating on prioritizing getting assignments and homework done in order to attend tournaments and practices.
Q: What age groups/programs are available?
A: The High school club team season (18 & and under thru 15 & under) begins in late Dec/early Jan and concludes in June. This year we are also offering Winter teams (Dec-March) and Spring teams (March-June) for players looking for a shorter season. The Jr. High program (14 & under thru 11 & under) begins in Mid-March and concludes in June, with an option to extend the season into the National tournament in June as well.
Q: There are so many clubs around how do you choose the right one?
A: The best way to choose is to ask a few people that have participated with a particular club. Ask them what the total costs were and how they felt about scheduling and coaching. Attend informational meetings and ask questions.
Q: My daughter's coach in school only gives information about a certain club or tells us where we need to play. Shouldn't we just go by what they say?
A: The decision on where to play should be completely up to the athlete and her family. While a coach can definitely make a recommendation it isn't necessarily a fit for a family to go just to a particular club that a certain coach may be affiliated with or recommends. Most good coaches will be thrilled that any athlete is interested enough to participate in club volleyball period, not just the club they pick.
Q: Will club volleyball guarantee my daughter will play in college?
A: Club can't guarantee that for anyone. Academic factors like class rank, GPA, and ACT scores will determine if an athlete is a fit for a college more than any physical features or abilities. Since the college season is the same as the high-school season, club players have more exposure to college scouts during their season. In fact many big tournaments are attended by colleges for recruiting purposes.
Q: I've heard that club is expensive and people spend more money on it than college would actually cost! What sense does that make?
A: Most clubs (ours included) have a set fee that covers l membership, uniforms, coaches' salaries, tournaments, etc. Also included in club volleyball is travel to events which is not part of the original fee. An important question to ask at informational meetings is what the travel expectations are and how travel is handled. Teams that travel to tournaments all over the country are most likely going to incur more fees than clubs that do a lot of cross-country travel and cost significantly less. Fundraising opportunities are provided for all interested parties.
Q: What do the club fees cover?
A: As part of their fee each player receives a jersey, practice t-shirt, a backpack, warm-up, and other equipment depending on the type of team. Club fees also pay for a JVA athletic membership, scheduled tournaments, and coaching.
Q: Will my daughter have to fundraise if she participates?
A: Individual fundraising is optional. We provide a variety of fundraisers to assist players cover the costs of their participation. If no assistance is needed, then it isn't necessary to fundraise towards an individual account. Fundraisers for the club are done to help keep our costs down and affordable to players. We ask that all players do what they can to help us provide scholarships, buy equipment, and again keep our pricing affordable by participating in creative and easy fundraising efforts that usually consists of more than selling things.
Q: But aren't programs that cost more just better overall?
A: Not necessarily. A "good" program is going to have a disciplined practice schedule, a competitive tournament schedule, and good coaching. At APEX players are exposed to a competitive tournament schedule and exceptional coaching with up two days of weekday practice time available per week.
Q: APEX is based in Decatur so is it only for local players?
A: No, players from all areas are invited to participate.
Q: What kind of coaching will athletes get at your program?
A: Experienced, certified, and screened through the USA volleyball background check system. Many of the coaches have extensive IHSA and USAV/JVA volleyball coaching experience already before coming to APEX.
Q: I've heard the rules for club ball and school volleyball are very different. Is this true?
A: There are some variations of the game in Jr. Olympic Volleyball compared to IHSA but the game remains primarily the same. There are some differences that are easily adaptable and won't interfere with a player's development.
For the Jr. High players the IESA net height is 7 feet. In Jr. Olympic tournaments the net is 7 feet 4 inches and 1/8 (the same as IHSA height).
Q: How are practices structured?
Team practices are twice a week. Registered players in good-standing may schedule small-group skill sessions outside of practice times.
Regular team practices are structured to prepare the team for competition. The way skills are taught is identical throughout all the age groups so that each player receives consistent club approved training. We adhere strongly to the types of training done by USA Volleyball at each age level recognizing that before players can learn advanced techniques they need to master fundamentals.
Q: How are athletes placed on teams?
A: Athletes attend tryouts where they are evaluated on their volleyball skills and athletic abilities. Physical fitness and agility tests as well as basic volleyball skills are measured and evaluated. Teams are then formed by age group from the girls selected after the tryout.
Q: What does the Jr High/Grade school program consist of?
Apex has previously offered teams for the 14 & under, 13 & under, 12 & under age and 11 & under team. These age groups receive the same number of weekly practices and tournaments as the older teams.
Q: When and where are tournaments?
A: Tournaments are played on weekends only. Some are 2-day tournaments and some are either on Saturday or Sunday only. What we look for in tournaments is good competition coupled with reasonable travel. The high school age program participates in 8-10 tournament dates while the youth program participates in 5-6 dates. Post season plans may include 1-2 warm-up tournaments leading up to a National event in June.
Q: Is playing time equal for all players?
A: It is nearly impossible to calculate "equal playing" time for the sport of volleyball due to its complex nature. What coaches do try to provide is give fair time based on performance at the time (and in practice!), attendance, the game situation, etc.
Q: What kind of policies and procedures does APEX have?
A: All of our policies and procedures are in our club handbook which is given to each member of the club.
Q: How can parents be involved?
A: Parents can help in a variety of ways. Those that are willing to serve on the parent board can help build the club. Also each team has a "Team Parent" who acts assists the coach with travel details and team organization.
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