Our first responsibility is to guide our athletes to become amazing people who can thrive in life, achieving success in school, work, and family. We don’t think this has any connection with how many matches or tournaments they win, but rather the type of person they are learning to be. Let’s face it, the highest levels of our sport are for the very few, so the rest still have to be able to get a something out of their time in our gym.
Our approach is pretty simple. We create a talent development environment where we teach the athletes to become better together. They still have internal competition, but instead of creating a culture around “I want to succeed at the cost of you”, we create a culture around “I want to succeed together with you, so we can keep on pushing each other”
We take a long-term perspective. We know that winning matches & tournaments is fun, especially for the parents, but we refrain from pushing physical and tactical practice down the players’ throats, just to win a 14’s tournament and then see a majority of the athletes burn out in later years.
We teach the athletes psycho-social skills, just as systematically as the technical, tactical and physical skills. How to plan and prioritize their time, how to communicate with their teachers, coaches and parents, how to recharge physically, mentally and socially.
We aim to keep as many as possible in the sport for as long as possible, in the best environment possible. We do this by being flexible within the club, giving each athlete the opportunity to learn according to their current level, physical growth, cognitive and social development, motivation and education.
We create collaborations between our club, parents, schools, businesses, and the community to facilitate the opportunities for our athletes to participate in life as they strive on the volleyball court.
We emphasize an existential and mindful approach to mental development, where we teach our athletes to accept the thoughts and feelings that are a part of elite sport (and life) and to focus on acting, performing and living according to their personal values. So instead of creating a false sense of control and confidence, we teach them to manage anxiety, uncertainty and frustration, without acting on those feelings.