With the popularity of youth volleyball in Myrtle Beach growing, the rising of additional club programs is inevitable. We wanted to reach out in response to some questions and comments regarding new, local programs, and what they may or may not have to offer in comparison to Grand Strand Juniors VBC.
Over the past nine years we have seen several well-meaning clubs surface. Not one has lasted, leaving many families and athletes without equipment, uniforms, and in the worst-case scenarios, unable to complete a club season. We hope for the best for any club program and their athletes, and would never wish failure on anyone, but history has shown us it’s imperative to be honest and realistic. Starting a volleyball club is easy, but Building a volleyball program takes huge commitments of time and resources. We feel obligated to put in perspective promises or guarantees made by new clubs. Please keep in mind that once you make a decision to play for a club that decision lasts for a year.
Grand Strand Juniors was built on a foundation geared toward our athletes and remains strong in our values to put our athletes first. That foundation is why we have continually invested in improving GSJ from year to year. The girls are our first priority and we feel strongly that it is our responsibility as a club program to ensure that our families are asking the right questions and getting realistic and thorough answers in order to make the best, most informed decisions possible.
Please consider the following facts and questions when choosing club programs.
Q. Do they have A Successful Track Record?
Is the season plan based on hopes and unsecured ideas or is it based on history and proven results? Is the plan based on what coaches and club directors WANT to see; what they HOPE to see, or are they based on what they have done in the past? Has the club director started and ran a club elsewhere? How much do you know about the local area players and existing programs? Are their promises realistic according to their resources? Where are they getting their funding, support, and staff? Why do you feel their club is a better decision for my child?
Grand Strand Juniors is starting its 9th year with the 2015-16 season and has grown immensely each year. We began in 2007 with just three teams and overcame the challenges and growing pains associated with developing a new club. Even with very knowledgeable business and volleyball people, it has taken several years to get our feet under us enough to enjoy the success we now have. We have intimate knowledge of the local volleyball community and know nearly all of the players by name. Many on our staff are high school coaches with successful programs including multiple region and state titles. GSJ has intimate connections to the southeast region volleyball community and networks closely with other club directors and college coaches. We’ve paid our dues through the financial struggle, searched high and low for qualified coaches, and stuck our foot in closing doors a countless amount of times trying to get our athletes and club program recognized. No successful club program will ever be done growing and developing, but we can confidently say that we’ve ironed out many of the wrinkles, we’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t, and we are well on our way to an even more successful future. Clubs throughout the country now recognize Grand Strand Juniors with our success on the National level. That means you know where your money is going, what your fees are paying for and that you are getting the most out of every dollar spent.
We are excited to announce that for the 2015-16 season we will be introducing master coaches to Grand Strand Juniors. The addition of master coaches brings a level of consistency to our program across all of our teams in the way we build and organize our practice and learning structure.
Grand Strand Juniors is proud to be able to say that we have sent over 35 athletes on to college volleyball careers in just nine years, collecting over $2 million in athletic scholarships. With our very own recruiting coordinator committed to assisting our families through the recruiting process, our athletes get one-on-one help obtaining their dreams of being a student athlete at the next level.
Strength Training and Conditioning:
GSJ has a personal trainer on staff to help our athletes get one-on-one personal strength coaching throughout the year. Whether our athletes want to increase their vertical, foot speed and agility, or prepare for playing at the collegiate level, we can give the training they need.
Over the past nine years, we have sought out and employed the best coaches the Grand Strand has to offer. We have current and former college coaches, current and former high school coaches, current and former collegiate athletes and even some of our very own alumni coaching at GSJ.
Over the past nine years, GSJ has acquired state of the art equipment to call our very own. With three net systems, over three sport court structures, barrier netting, target trainers and vertical challengers, we have enough equipment to provide our athletes with elite training at all times. We also have our own strength training and conditioning tools and equipment to ensure our athletes are staying healthy and in the best shape possible throughout the season.
Q. The Number of Elite, Multi Day Tournaments:
What tournaments are scheduled for each club and what kind of tournaments are they? Are they multi-day tournaments or one-day format tournaments? How many teams will be participating in the tournaments you are scheduled to attend? What is the competition like at these tournaments? Will you compete amongst the same teams multiple times over the course of the year?
**Grand Strand Juniors National level teams will travel to 13 multi-day tournaments in the 2015-16 Season.
***GSJ Power Teams will travel to 8 multi-day tournaments in the 2015-2016 Season.
****GSJ Regional Teams will Travel to 3 multi-day tournaments and 5 single day tournaments in the 2015-2016 Season.
We schedule various tournaments throughout the country to ensure that our teams are seeing the highest-level competition at each skill set. This also ensures that our athletes see different teams, competing against the best of the best from each part of the country.
Q. Team Placement
Can you describe your team programs? Are these program based on the kids who tryout or your assessment of the volleyball community as a whole? Will kids from different ages be on the same team?
Grand Strand Juniors has a history and knowledge of the local and regional volleyball community. We place kids in the best position for them to be successful. We do not put kids on teams because we “want “ to have a National team, etc. If you are offered a spot on a GSJ team, you can be sure it is because our experience shows us this is the best fit for your child based on what the competitive level is in the tournaments they will play. GSJ Teams are selected by putting players of similar skill and age together with the various positions needed for a team. Then it is decided on what level it competes at. We consider that some ages have more skilled players and it is possible to have additional National, Power, or Regional teams in those ages. Regardless of team placement, every child will have access to the techniques and coaching of our top teams.
Q. Do they offer consistent and efficient Gym Time?
Where is your program getting their gym space from and who is paying for it? If the program is renting space it means you are you relying on someone who is not affiliated with the program to structure your practice schedule. Will you be forced to reschedule at the last minute because of scheduling conflicts with other sports or organizations? How many times a week will you be able to practice? Will you have to pay extra for private lessons for court time?
Grand Strand Juniors is proud to say that we host all of our practices and clinics in our very own facility. We have worked hard to be able to create an environment specifically for our athletes. Having our own facility means we are not renting space from sports complexes or gyms which means we are not juggling court time with other sports, teams, or organizations. That means there is plenty of additional time to get extra reps and practice in when our teams aren’t scheduled to play. More importantly, it also means that we are not paying someone else for our space. That translates directly to your wallet, allowing us to keep our clubs dues and fees geared towards competing in more tournaments. There are no other clubs in the state who are able to offer as many tournaments in one season that we are for the price we charge.
Grand Strand Juniors National level teams will practice three times a week for a total of at least 6 hours.
GSJ Power Teams will practice two times a week for at least 4 hours
GSJ Regional Teams will practice two times a week for at least 4 hours
*Sunday Clinics and Positional Training Sessions will also be available throughout the Season allowing more opportunities for development.
In addition, GSJ Coaches and players have the option to use the gym for additional practice times throughout the weekend. Our facility is also available for private lessons, clinics, and strength and conditioning training.
Q. Conflict resolutions
It is a given that every club will have situations that need addressing during the season. What access do you have to address any concerns? Is the Director available during the day or only specific hours?
Grand Strand Juniors has a full time Club Director available every day and most evenings except when coaching. Calls will be returned promptly and issues will be addressed openly and honestly. We value the trust you give us by allowing your child to participate and make every effort to meet or exceed expectations. Our improvements for the 2015/16 season are a direct result of conversations with our families.
GSJ Tournament Hosting:
Hosting our own tournaments allows GSJ athletes’ additional tournaments throughout the season without having to pay for lodging. Once again that’s more bang for your buck with less traveling and more competition.
GSJ has a great relationship with Nike and is proud to be affiliated with the brand. This relationship allows us to get state of the art gear and apparel at affordable pricing. Whether we are traveling across the state or playing in our own backyard, we make sure athletes are representing Grand Strand Juniors VBC in a uniform and elite manner.
We believe an informed decision is the best decision any family can make. If you weigh your options and find that GSJ is not the right fit for your family, we certainly respect that and wish you the best. We welcome any and all questions regarding our program with open arms, minds and hearts. We are excited for what this season has in store for us and are counting down the days until tryouts.
WE ARE GSJ!!