Early Contracts

Beach Volleyball has begun and the indoor club volleyball season is coming to an end. Most athletes seem to be glad for the change of scenery with Beach Volleyball. However, with the indoor club volleyball season wrapping up for the year, there are a few things you should be aware of going into the Summer months.

In the Ohio Valley Region, clubs affiliated with USA Volleyball are permitted to offer contracts to their current athletes for next years club season. The window of opportunity for clubs to distribute these early contracts is June 1 through July 31. There are some things you should know before signing a contract to any club:

  • Clubs are not allowed to officially offer contracts to members of any other club until tryouts. 
  • Clubs can offer early contracts to current club members anytime between June 1 through July 31. At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we typically wait until a team is completely done with the season. This means 12 year old contracts may go out earlier than a 17 year old’s contract. 12 teams are done in May but 17’s teams are done closer to July. If you do not hear from us by July 4, feel free to reach out to us if you have questions.
  • Clubs can designate their own deadline for when these early contracts must be accepted. Make sure you know when you need to get back to them with a response.
  • Some clubs ask for a deposit at the time of acceptance. This is a great way to get a head start on paying your club fees.
  • It is nearly impossible to nail down coaches for next years club season in June. Do not sign the contract just because of the coach designated to the team. Make sure you would be happy with the team even if that coach decides to not coach anymore.
  • Signing the contract means that you are committed to that club no matter what. The Ohio Valley Region states that these early contracts are binding. This means that you cannot attend another club’s tryout if you sign an early contract. Terminating your contract could lead to a club asking you for your fees in full before releasing you to play for another club. If unforeseen circumstances do arise, do not wait until after tryouts to discuss termination of a contract. Reach out to your club director before tryouts so the club has the best chance of finding a replacement for you.
  • Some clubs will offer contracts back to the club, but you will need to attend tryouts to determine what team you will make. Before signing this type of contract, make sure you can see yourself playing on the lowest level team listed within the club/contract. If you end up being placed on a higher level team at tryouts, consider that a benefit.
  • Only sign your contract if you feel that you are comfortable with the club. At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we will not hold it against any athlete if they choose to not accept their early contract.
  • It is not the end of the world if you do not receive a contract. Volleyball Clubs need to keep spaces open in case there are other athletes that want to change clubs. Plan to attend tryouts and fight for the spot you had last year.

Parents sometimes question why a club would hand out an early contract back to the club versus back to a specific team. For example, Suzy played for a local club on a 12 National team for the last season (a National team is typically the highest level team, and Regional is the lowest level team). Her club sends her an early contract on June 15 stating that she has been offered a spot to one of the three 13’s teams that the club will have for the upcoming season. By signing this contract Suzy, and her parents, are agreeing that she is ok with the possibility that she could move from a National team down to a Regional team. In short, she is agreeing that she understands that in order to keep her spot on the National team she is going to have to be one of the best in her position at tryouts. Clubs use this process to motivate their athletes to ensure they do not become complacent. Athletes should battle to not only earn their spot on the top, but also hold onto their current spot. Consider this contract as motivation to prove to that club that you deserve to be on the highest team.

In this situation, some parents and athletes will choose to not accept this contract. Just be aware that there is a chance that another athlete could come in to tryouts and take your daughter’s guaranteed spot in the club.

These early contracts are intended for the athlete that loves her current club and does not want to go through the stress of trying out for other clubs. At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we have had instances where athletes decided not to accept a contract and lost their spot to someone at tryouts. We understand it can be hard to commit to a program that does not start for another 5 or 6 months. However, declining a contract means you need to prepare to tryout at 3-5 different clubs in the fall.

Clubs in the Ohio Valley Region are going to offer early contracts regardless if they agree with the process or not. Make sure you educate yourself prior to signing anything. It is important that you know the best and worst case scenarios with signing an early contract. Do not think your club does not like you if you do not receive a contract. Reach out to your club and ask what you need to work on to stand out at tryouts. We want all our athletes to have a good experience from start to finish at Elite Volleyball Training Center. We are happy to answer any questions about early contracts even if you do not play for our club.

Joe Jackson the New Beach Volleyball Director

We are excited to announce Joe Jackson as our new Beach Volleyball Club Director. Joe has been working with us for 4 years within our Beach Program under the direction of Randy Cline. We are proud to place him in the leadership role of overseeing all Beach Volleyball activities including training, tournaments and lessons.

He will be teaming up with our Recruiting Coordinator, Nikki Van Cleave, to help our athletes whose goal it is to play Beach Volleyball at the collegiate level. Beach Volleyball in one of the fastest growing sports for women. With added opportunities for scholarships at universities from coast to coast, our athletes could extend their careers into college and beyond.

All Beach Volleyball related questions can be sent to Joe via email. You can reach him at joe@integritygym.com.

2020 Summer Activity Guide

Integrity Athletics is home to Elite Volleyball Training Center. Our facility houses activities for all ages throughout the year. We are excited to present our 2020 Elite Volleyball Summer Activity Guide. With activities ranging from day camps, Beach Volleyball, or classes/clinics, you are sure to find something to keep each member of your family busy during the Summer months. Use the links below to learn more about each service.

COVID-19 Reference Page

Class Options Ages Dates Times
Elite-lings Clinics 3rd – 5th Graders Mondays, Wednesdays 5:00 PM
Summer Camps Age Day Time
Gymnastics Camps 3 and up See Website See Website
Elite-lings Camps 3rd – 5th Graders June 29 – July 1
Aug 3 – Aug 5
9:00am – 12:00pm
9:00am – 12:00pm

Volleyball Training Age Day Time
Min-E Volleyball League 2nd-4th graders Sundays 2:00-3:15pm
Max-Rep Sessions: Elite Club Only 10U-18U Mon-Thurs See Website
Beach Volleyball Training – Regional 8-19 Mon/Wed 8:00-10:00am
Beach Tournaments 10U TBA See Website TBA See Website
Elite-lings Clinic 3rd-5th graders Mondays
Wednesdays
5:00 PM
5:00 PM
Group and Private Lessons All ages 6 days a week By appointment only
Volleyball Camps Age Day Time
Elite-lings Camp 3rd-5th graders June 29- July 1 9:00-12:00noon
Elite-lings Camp 3rd-5th graders August 3-5 9:00-12:00noon
Gymnastics Camps 3 and up See Website See Website

Leagues Age Day Time
Min-E Volleyball League 2nd-4th graders Sundays 2:00-3:15pm
5th-6th Grade League 5th-6th Grade Thursdays
Sundays
7:30pm-9:00pm
3:30pm-5:00pm
7th-8th Grade League 7th-8th Grade Friday
Saturday
6-7:30pm or 7:30-9pm
9-10:45am or 11am-1pm
Volleyball Training Age Day Time
Beach Volleyball Training – Regional MS/HS Mon/Wed 12U :8:00am-10:00am
14U: 10:00am-12:00pmEvening Practices:
By Invitation Only
Beach Volleyball Tournaments MS/HS All Summer TBA See Website
Max-Rep Sessions: Elite Club Only 10U-18U Mon-Thurs See Website
Serving Clinic MS/HS Sundays
Tuesdays
Thursdays
12:00 PM
10:00AM, 5:00PM
10:00AM, 5:00PM
Hitting Clinic MS/HS Sundays
Tuesdays
Thursdays
1:00 PM
11:00AM, 6:00PM
11:00AM, 6:00PM
Integrity-Elite All Skills Clinic MS Mondays
Wednesdays
6:00 PM
6:00 PM
Passing & Defense Clinic MS/HS Tuesdays
Thursdays
12:00 PM
7:00 PM
Strength Training in Weight Room MS/HS 6 days a week TBA See Website
Group and Private Lessons All Ages 6 days a week By appointment only
Volleyball Camps Age Day Time
Middle School Elite Volleyball Camp 6th-8th grade July 6-8
July 20-22
9:00-3:00pm
9:00-3:00pm
Middle School Tryout Prep Camp 7th-8th grade July 27-28
July 29-30
9:00-3:00pm
9:00-3:00pm
Advanced Class Options Ages Dates Times
Advanced Serve Receive/Defense Class Staff approval required Fridays 4:00 PM
Advanced Setting Class Staff approval required Fridays 4:00 PM
Advanced Hitter Clinic Staff approval required Fridays 5:00 PM

Volleyball Training Age Day Time
Beach Volleyball Training – Regional MS/HS Mon/Wed 14U-18U: 10:00am-12:00pm
or 14U-18U: 4:00pm-6:00pm
Beach Volleyball Tournaments MS/HS All Summer TBA See Website
Max-Rep Sessions: Elite Club Only 10U-18U Mon-Thurs See Website
Serving Clinic MS/HS Sundays
Tuesdays
Thursdays
12:00 PM
10:00AM, 5:00PM
10:00AM, 5:00PM
Hitting Clinic MS/HS Sundays
Tuesdays
Thursdays
1:00 PM
11:00AM, 6:00PM
11:00AM, 6:00PM
Passing & Defense Clinic MS/HS Tuesdays
Thursdays
12:00 PM
7:00 PM
Strength Training in Weight Room MS/HS 6 days a week TBA See Website
Group and Private Lessons All Ages 6 days a week By appointment only
Advanced Class Options Ages Dates Times
Advanced Serve Receive/Defense Class Staff approval required Fridays 4:00 PM
Advanced Setting Class Staff approval required Fridays 4:00 PM
Advanced Hitter Clinic Staff approval required Fridays 5:00 PM

Elite Volleyball Training Center is Moving

 

Integrity Athletics is proud to announce that our volleyball program, Elite Volleyball Training Center, will be expanding. We have moved our volleyball courts and olympic weight room to 8163 Business Way, Plain City, OH 43064. This new location is only two buildings over from our current location. There are four volleyball courts in the space. We plan to offer four pickleball courts for use, and will have basketball options in the distant future.

All volleyball services are cancelled for Saturday, February 15 in order for cement to dry. All clinics and practices will resume as scheduled at our new facility starting on Sunday, February 16. We will continue to update you with more information through all our social media outlets, and post information on our website. Emails will go out directly to families if we need to cancel or reschedule an services.

The current space volleyball is occupying will be transformed into more training space for all Integrity Athletics programs currently housed at the 8185 Business Way location. This space will also include our new Integrity Ninja space. This ninja space will allow us to offer exciting ninja based classes, along with adding to the birthday party experience for all boys and girls who choose to celebrate their birthday at Integrity Athletics.

 

Check out the drawing of our new volleyball and weight room space.

Don’t Be the “Thumbs Up Dad”

Every time Suzie touches the volleyball, whether she gets an ace or messes up the play, she looks up at her dad. When she makes an error, Dad gives her a calming hand gesture and mouths the words, “It’s OK.” When she rocks the play, he gives her that iconic thumbs up with the ecstatic facial expression that goes with it. We all know the look because we have all done it at one time or another.

Don’t be the “Thumbs Up Dad (or Mom).” You have been and probably always will be your daughter’s biggest fan. However, you are hurting her if you are giving her your constant feedback. Don’t make her feel like she must impress you to feel good about playing the game of volleyball.

I feel I can say this because I’m a parent also. I know what it feels like to look down at your athlete at practice and see her goofing off or not absorbing every detail of what the coach is trying to teach her. It takes every ounce of energy to not yell across the gym, “KNOCK IT OFF.”

In an article written by Steve Henson, he shares that hundreds of college athletes were asked, “What is the worst memory from playing youth sports?” The majority responded, “The ride home from games with my parents.” Click here to read the entire article

Your athlete spends a minimum of 4 hours per week at practices being told over and over what she needs to do to correct a problem. She doesn’t need to be reminded of it when she gets in the car. She really wants to hear you say, “I loved watching you play today. What do you want to eat?”

It is really hard to coach an athlete that needs to be complimented every time she does something well. As a coach, our job is to give an athlete the tools she needs to not only succeed at the game but to be able to coach herself through a situation. Athletes need to be able to embrace a mistake. The truth is, volleyball is a game of mistakes. The team that makes the least mistakes usually wins. We must trust the process.

As a parent, please know that your daughter is going to make mistakes. She is going to make a lot of them. The mistake may happen on set point, or on a really easy ball. She can’t look to you for guidance or acceptance on every ball. We as parents need to teach our athletes to accept the mistakes, own up to them, and move forward.

How do we make sure we are not the “Thumbs Up Dad?”

  1. Cheer on the Good Plays – This means all of them. I respect a parent who sits quietly in the stands and cheers respectfully even when the other team makes a great play. I hate it when a parent only gets excited when their daughter makes a great play. I hate it when a parent throws their hands in the air and makes that loud grunting noise of disgust when their athlete misses her serve or hits the ball into the net. Cheer on the good plays and be quiet on the rest.
  2. Bring a Good Book – We see parents all the time that watch their athlete like a hawk at practice. It’s very noticeable from the practice court. This is where we see the “Thumbs Up Dad,” the most. Instead of straining to hear what the coach says to your athlete after a mistake, bring a good book, and sit on the couches that are turned away from the courts. Allow yourself to miss some of the action. Imagine what your reaction will be when you get to watch your athlete at the next tournament and see the amazing improvements she has made because of her hard work at practice.
  3. Let your Athlete Bring Up the Game in the Car – If your daughter wants to talk about the tournament, she will. She may even ask your advice. The best thing you can say is, “I think you did great today. What did your coach say about your performance?” Each coach has a game plan and a process he follows. He can’t teach your daughter everything in one day. The team’s focus may have been on communication for the tournament. If your athlete communicated to the standards the coach was asking, she succeeded. Ask your daughter to share with you what the team’s focus was. She may love teaching you about what she is learning.
  4. When do you step in? – You should step in to give advice when your daughter is not showing respect for the coach or the team. If your daughter gets in the car and says, “My coach has no idea what he’s talking about.” Please remind her that it isn’t her job to know what’s going on in the head of a coach. It is her job to stick to the game plan and win. We need her to respect the club, the coach, and her teammates. We all know the scenario when an athlete gets subbed out of the game. The subs stand together touching hands like an elongated high five for approximately 30 seconds waiting for the scorekeeper to record the substitution. You see the face of the athlete being removed from the game as cold, upset, and disappointed. The face of the athlete that is going into the game is excited and motivated. Imagine if the athlete coming out of the game fixed her face and said to her teammate, “You’ve got this; you’re going to do great out there!” She would empower her teammate/friend to succeed. As coaches, we cannot stand it when an athlete leaves a game pouting. She should go to the end of the bench and be the loudest cheerleader. We need to teach our athletes to be excited for the team in all moments even when it’s hard.

Don’t get me wrong, I want you to cheer on your athlete and her teammates. However, I want to encourage you to spend the next tournament watching someone other than your daughter. If you criticized that athlete the way you criticize your daughter, how would that athlete feel? We appreciate that you have allowed us to teach your daughter the game of volleyball. Now bring a good book and trust the process.

The EliteVBTC Story

Lauren Sampson: College Connections

Lauren Sampson, an Elite Alumni, just finished her Freshman season at Gannon University. She came back home for Christmas Break with some recommendations and insight for our younger players looking to compete at the next level.

Gannon University is a Division II School located in Pennsylvania. Lauren was able to make a significant impact for the team as a Freshman. The team finished with a 31-3 record with a trip to the PSAC Championship game and the NCAA Tournament. She was named Freshman of the Year for the PSAC Conference along with a First Team selection. Sampson earned a spot on the 2018 NCAA Atlantic Region All-Tournament Team and won PSAC Northwest Volleyball Athlete of the Week on three separate occasions. She finished her season with the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) naming her to the 2018 DII All-American Honorable Mention team.

At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we strive to continue to help the next generation of athletes prepare for what lies ahead. We asked our returning Alumni a series of questions regarding their Freshman year experience. Here is what Lauren has to say about her first season at Gannon University:

Were you ever home sick and felt like you were all alone?

  • For the first few days I felt homesick, but I got over it quickly.

What did Elite help you prepare for?

  • I was ready to play at a high level. I was ready to compete for a spot on the court along with compete for the win. Everyone at Elite pushed me to become better, and I was well prepared when I got to school.

What did you take for granted while in the gym at Elite?

  • I took the resources I had available outside of practices for granted. This included lessons, conditioning, and weight room training.

What is your recommendation to our younger players that have dreams of becoming a collegiate volleyball player?

  • Work hard all the time. Get as many extra reps as you can on the court or in the weight room.

 

“Elite has helped me prepare for the intensity and high level of college volleyball”

Lauren Sampson
Elite 2018 Alumni
Gannon University

Nikki Van Cleave and Dan Reilly Join EliteVBTC Full-time

We are excited to announce Nikki Van Cleave as our new Recruiting Coordinator for Elite Volleyball Training Center. In addition to her recruiting responsibilities, Nikki will be teaming up with Jackie Cline to enhance our Setter Training, coaching clinics and lessons, and stepping into the role of Heach Coach for the 17 Blue team.

Prior to joining EliteVBTC, Nikki was the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at The Ohio State University Women’s Volleyball program. The Buckeyes advanced to the NCAA Tournament and Sweet Sixteen in both her years with the program. She coached three All-Americans and four All-Big Ten players. She was named an AVCA Thirty Under Thirty Award Recipient in 2017. While at Ohio State she recruited the #16 and #13 ranked recruiting class according to www.prepvolleyball.com.

Van Cleave also has coaching experience as the assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She assisted the program to the Horizon League regular season championship, tournament championship, and NCAA appearance in 2013.

As a player for Marquette University, Nikki was named two-time All-Big East setter, and honorable mention All-American in 2010 following a 12.10 assists per set average which ranked fourth nationally.

Following her collegiate career, Van Cleave competed overseas in Germany for a season following her senior campaign.

Her addition to Elite Volleyball Training Center will streamline the recruiting process for the athletes and their families. She has extensive knowledge in the field of recruiting, not to mention her long list of contacts in the collegiate volleyball world. All recruiting fees are included in your club tuitions. Please reach out to Nikki at nikki@integritygym.com to set up anything from a meeting about the recruiting process to a mock phone call with a head coach.

 

 

Dan Reilly has been working with Elite Volleyball Training Center for the past few months as a part-time coach. We are excited to announce he will continue with Elite as a key staff member in club training and lesson training. He has been named head coach to the 16 Blue team at EliteVBTC.

Reilly is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He recently finished working with The Ohio State Women’s Volleyball program as a video coordinator. At Ohio State, Reilly helped with scouting of opponents and used video to provide technical and strategic feedback to coaches.

Prior to his time at Ohio State, Dan lived in Charleston, West Virginia, assisting with the Men’s and Women’s Volleyball teams at the University of Charleston, and in Wilmington, North Carolina coaching club volleyball.

At the University of Charleston, Reilly assisted in aspects of the offense and blocking schemes, helping lead the Women’s Volleyball team to a 42-29 overall record and second place in the Mountain East Conference both years. During these seasons, Reilly was an integral part of coaching three First Team All-MEC Players, as well as helping drive the team to two AVCA Team Academic Awards.

Reilly also coached the University of Charleston Men’s Volleyball team in the spring of 2018, Dan helped lead the Men’s team to a 16-10 overall record, with a 5-9 record in the EIVA, both program records. During his time with the men’s team, Dan was tasked with analyzing video and preparing scouting reports, as well as assisting with offensive and defensive schemes for the Golden Eagles.

Reilly attended Penn State Altoona for four years where he played Division III Men’s Volleyball for the Lions.  A switch of majors added a 5th year at Penn State Main Campus in University Park, PA. During his final semester, Dan worked with the Penn State Men’s Volleyball team as an assistant manager, and finished with a degree in Kinesiology.

Reilly’s educational background includes a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Penn State and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from the University of Charleston in 2017. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.