Player development focus, not team focus
Club Cruz is a developmental club that is focused on making fierce and excellent volleyball players, balanced athletes, lifelong lovers of the game to the point where some may become coaches as adults. Our teams are composed of athletes that are competing against their own weaknesses, developing any challenges into strengths.
We don’t focus on creating great teams first.
When clubs focus on developing the team first, and then the players, the team might achieve successful results in competition, but this may be at the emotional expense and opportunity loss of the players’ and the financial expense of the parents.
Non Punitive Motivation
When our teams step on the court, we expect them to play to win and to be fierce competitors.
However, our definition of success goes far beyond the scoreboard – improvement, effort, and learning are equally valued. We demand effort and intensity, but our primary goal is to motivate players through support and inspiration and to view their competitor as a version of themselves to overcome, and not to be motivated by their coach through fear and punishment.
We all understand the value of sports and the positive impact that they can have in the development of young women. However, sports alone do not build character; only with the proper leadership and culture are traits such as teamwork, confidence, and perseverance fostered. We believe there is an alarming trend in youth sports away from the core values of respect and sportsmanship, and we too often see fear replace desire as the primary motivation for players.
Coaches and organizations are losing sight of the fact that while money, ego, and power are involved, it should be all about the players. As a result, young players are quitting organized sports at an alarming rate and we hear more and more horror stories in youth sports. One of our objectives is to give as many young women the chance to play volleyball as possible and develop a love for the sport.
We are focused on maintaining a supportive environment that provides young women the chance to gain all of the benefits that organized sports has to offer. We encourage our coaches to always strive for more, but no matter how hard our coaches push their teams, they will never belittle, embarrass, swear at, or give up on our players. They teach respect; for the sport, the coaches, other players, parents, and referees.
When coaches challenge players to achieve more than they think they can achieve, frustration is natural, but you can be sure that at the end of the day, we won’t lose sight of the importance of having fun.
The Balanced Athlete
We know that optimum development of teams comes from understanding three core components of learning:
First, the physiological aspects of motor learning. We understand the breakdown of every fundamental skill in volleyball and know how to apply the proper mechanics. We are students of coaching, and every year refine our methods of teaching and providing feedback.
Second, the psychological component of learning. We know that confidence is the key to player improvement. We encourage players to learn from mistakes, we celebrate accomplishments. But most importantly, we focus on the effort and the process, not just the results.
Finally, the learning environment. We strive to build a culture where effort and intensity are demanded and rewarded, where mistakes are understood to be core elements of learning and improving, and where attention to detail is relentless. Teams will interact with other coaches and other teams, giving players the opportunity to learn from more than one expert. The access to different coaching styles and personalities can be a huge boost to individual player improvement.
Commitment to Improvement
Coaches are determined to see players end the season with significant improvements in all of their volleyball skills. Coaches will also sit down and meet with each individual player at the beginning stages of the season to help set goals. Players will continue to receive evaluations through the course of the season as well as a follow-up, goal-review meeting.