Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia have numerous clubs that offer solid volleyball instruction. So why another club?
As full-time College volleyball coach, I have the privilege of researching the best practice in motor learning (the science of how humans learn physical skills), exercise science, and cutting-edge volleyball training. Over the years, I have developed a philosophy and approach to coaching that maximizes player learning while increasing the level of fun that the athlete has in the process. It is my desire to see a volleyball club that will consistently apply the principles that I have learned over the years. What does this mean for C4?
A Programmatic Approach: Consistent training from Master Coaches in a fun training environment
Consistent training: Most clubs simply hire coaches, each with their own way of teaching skills and tactics. Consequently, players go from year to year learning different approaches to volleyball. The strength of C4 is its consistency in coaching. Every year that your daughter plays for C4, she will hear the same key words and run the same systems as she did the year before. Not only will this consistency help your daughter acquire skills more effectively, it also eases the transition to more advanced skills and tactics. To use a metaphor from construction: we will build a foundation in year one. Every new year means building on that foundation. We don’t want to build a new foundation every year.
In a fun training environment: Parents, Coaches, and Players sometimes forget that sports is supposed to fun for kids. Running a three hour practice full of drills and conditioning may seem to be the most effective way of developing a team, in reality, however, this is far from the case. The latest research in motor learning actually shows that th most effective practices are actually fun, competitive, and game-like (See, Win the match, or Win the Warm Up?) This means that your daughter will come away from practice having trained hard, ,but having had a great deal of fun. She will actually want to come to practice!
A Cycled Training Approach: Great training while avoiding overuse injuries and volleyball burnout
Imagine taking your new car out for a spin and driving it at red-line RPM’s for a full tank of gas. How long do you think your new car will last? Not very long. In the same way athletes cannot function at peak efficiency all year long either. Yet, many many clubs encourage athletes to play their sport year-round, without any significant breaks. Athletes need cycles of training and rest if they are to play their best at the key moments in the season.
This is why we at C4 takes a Cycled Training Approach (If you want to do some research on it, the technical term is periodization.). After your daughter’s high school season and club tryout, she needs a physical and mental break from volleyball. She needs rest. We do not practice in November. Instead, we use November for rest, sports psychology, and preparing for recruitment. We begin some physical training/fitness in December. By the time your daughter begins practice in January, she is refreshed and raring to get back on the court.
This information is consistent with with Sports Doctors are telling us (See Open Letter from a Sports Doctor). Too many clubs are unintentionally damaging their athletes’ volleyball careers through overuse injuries and athlete burnout. Don’t be fooled. By starting your daughter’s club season in November, you are actually risking long-term harm to your daughter’s volleyball career. At C4 we believe that physical and psychological rest are crucial in helping your daughter enjoy volleyball well past her college volleyball career.
Coaching Development Program: Helping coaches become master coaches.
At C4, we want to develop the best coaching staff in the country. This means that we expect our coaches to be life-long learners. However, this also means that we are committed to helping our coaches with regular training and mentoring. Coaches who commit to C4 receive a commitment from C4 to help them, not only grow as coaches, but to receive the appropriate certifications for volleyball coaches (For more information, see C4 Coaching Development Program). At C4 we want to attract the best coaches in the area by taking the best care of our staff coaches. If you are a coach interested in coaching for C4, or just want to talk about our coaching development program, feel free to contact Coach Flowers pflowers@C4volleyball.com.