+ What is Club Volleyball?

USA Volleyball (USAV) Junior Olympic and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Volleyball are nationwide organizations, sponsoring programs for “club” or “select” teams. These Organizations are divided into regions or districts and are comprised of individual clubs for the primary purpose of growing and supporting the sport of volleyball.  Each year over 250,000 athletes compete in USAV Sports and over 75,000 in competitive volleyball.

Club volleyball affords participants the opportunity to greatly enhance the quality of their skills and the execution of concepts as compared to players who only participate in high school or middle school.  The focus of an elite club is to present and drill higher level volleyball skills, define and drill position-specific skills, present and teach higher level volleyball concepts, and to improve the player’s understanding and use of complex volleyball strategies.  As it’s quite likely a club player’s teammates are more talented than those the player has on her high school or middle school team, she learns and competes at a more vigorously challenging level, one closer to that found at the collegiate level.  Certainly her participation in club ball significantly increases her visibility to college coaches, enhancing her chances of competing after high school.  Minimal college recruiting is done during the fall high school season as most college coaches experience numerous conflicts with their own competitive fall schedule.

H2 Saint Louis Volleyball Club is a member of the United States Volleyball Association (USAV) and the American Athletic Union (AAU).

+ Why should I play club volleyball?

While it seems the obvious answer would be “to play at a higher skill level,” there are important questions the athlete and their parents need to consider.

1.   Should I play select or recreational volleyball?  Because you are obviously researching select volleyball, we’ll say the answer to question “1” is YES to select volleyball!

2.  Should I play volleyball at the highest-level team with which I can earn significant playing time as opposed to playing for a team that my present group of friends are capable of making?  This can be a tough one!

3.  Maybe you’re a 7th, 8th or 9th grader, maybe you’re on a B-Squad or JV team hoping to ultimately make varsity, or perhaps you’re already playing club volleyball but are participating in a casual or low-key program. Now the question becomes, “Am I ready to take the next step to be the best I can be?  Am I ready to play for a more intense select team, like H2 Saint Louis Volleyball?”

Without hesitation, the resounding answer to all these questions is “Yes!”

+ Who can tryout for H2 Saint Louis Volleyball?

H2 club volleyball represents girls from ages 11 through 18s!  Tryouts for our teams are open to everyone.  Athletes are placed based on athleticism, potential, attitude, skill and desire.

+ Will there be call-backs or a 2nd tryout day?

With the adequate court space, it is expected tryouts will be successfully concluded within the scheduled times. While we feel badly for athletes who find themselves without a team at the conclusion of the tryouts of other clubs, responsibility for assessing various club situations lies with the athletes and parents.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you are seeking additional information.

+ Why should I play for H2 Saint Louis if I don’t make the clubs national team?

Many top-level clubs now have more than one team at each age division. Choosing a team shouldn’t be based on whether it’s the best team in the club. Instead, a smart decision will consider the quality of the team, the coaching, your role, and the program in general. We try our best to attract top athletes at each level because the stronger and more committed the athletes are in a program, the faster everyone grows.  At H2 Saint Louis, the approach to every team is the same. The coaching development emphasis is the same. The level of effort required of each and every athlete is the same. The level of athletic ability sought at each and every level is the same. We expect a high degree of commitment from every player and coach on every team. Last year, athletes from our 2nd & 3rd teams in a particular age group were selected to play for some of the strongest programs in the region.

+ Will H2 Saint Louis teams be divided by friends, location, ability or some other formula?

Many clubs desire to give each athlete the opportunity to play at the highest level of their ability.  That being said, we use a weighted approach with respect to a player’s desire to compete at the national level or local level or for a particular coach, with the first choice going towards the National Team. National Team players will most likely consist of the strongest players determined at tryouts.

+ What difference does it make to our kids development in utilizing the H2 Saint Louis model vs only volunteer coaches?

Our Director and Master Coaches, who are responsible for coaching development, utilize the same methods in developing the H2 athlete as those used by the coaching staff of Washington University in St. Louis, the 2007 and 2009 NCAA Division III National Champions!

National Team players will receive nationwide exposure and have the opportunity to be seen by colleges and universities around the country.
> A season that is 5-7 months long
> A multiplicity of practice and training opportunities

Over time, we will post links to articles that can be helpful to you in understanding this. In the meantime, please feel free to call or email us with your questions, and we will be happy to respond. Other good sources of information are the better players on your high school varsity team and their parents. Chances are select volleyball, besides being one of their most favorite activities ever, will be credited with a huge impact on their development as a player.

+ How often do teams practice?

All H2 Saint Louis club teams (14s through 18s) will have 2-3 practices per week.  Our 11s, 12s and 13s teams will have 1-2 practices per week.  Our Youth Development Teams ( if we field one this season) will have 1 practice per week, usually on Friday.

Note:  Our 11s-14s teams will begin practices the first week of November.  Our 15s -18s will begin practices the week of November 30.  National Players will receive a minimum of 4 hours of volleyball instruction each week, working with multiple coaches and up to 30 minutes of athletic training.

Our Youth Developmental Teams (YDT) will have one practice each week for 2 hours.  Our Youth Developmental Teams will not have training sessions with Athletic Republic.

A practice schedule will be posted prior to tryouts. Because we are renting space from schools and universities, some flexibility must be expected early in the season.  Usually after basketball season is over a consistent schedule can be adopted.

+ How long is the season?

All teams will begin practice the first week of November for middle school players and the last week of November for high school students .  Some teams may take one week off for the holiday season.  Each team’s competition schedule begins in January.  Team seasons are planned to conclude on the following dates:

> Youth Development Teams  (if teams are formed)  mid March
> 12s – 14s, late April
> 14 s- 18s, AAU Nationals, June or USAV Nationals in July.  This will be in part based on a team’s coaches and parents, unless a team qualifies for open in Nationals.

+ Are the players able to participate in other activities?

Perspective about volleyball’s role in your life:  While playing for H2 Saint Louis requires hard work and dedication, we believe our philosophies and coaching staff provide excellent support to participants taking on multiple commitments.  For instance, many multi-sport athletes can and do participate in our program.  Participants are excused for those family-related and school-related activities that conflict with their team’s practices or tournaments. Participants are encouraged to make up training time lost with their team by practicing with a comparable H2 Saint Louis team.

+ What does select volleyball cost?

A high level select volleyball experience should be considered a good value – you get a great return in training, skill, and experience for the money you spend. But it is still a large amount of money compared to many youth sport experiences. Therefore, it’s important for us to do everything we can to keep our cost reasonable as well as reachable by many of our families.  Some of the main ways that we keep our fees reachable include:

> Participating in fundraising activities
> Getting sponsorships by local businesses
> Participating in team concession activities at H2 hosted tournaments

+ What Do The H2 Fees Include?

Facility Rental: The overall strategy at H2 is to obtain quality space for all H2 teams to practice, and then assign gyms to teams in a most convenient manner.  From time to time, we will practice and scrimmage together in an effort to apply skills and techniques across all teams as well as providing opportunities for other teams to scrimmage each other.  Cost incurred for facility rental will be spread out over the entire club.

Coaching Reimbursements: Our coaching development staff is extremely knowledgeable about volleyball and understands how to teach and train its fundamentals and strategies. More importantly, they will consistently model and teach principles integral to success in life.  In short, they are dedicated to each player’s maximum growth on and off the court.  Each team has 1-2 adult coaches provided and some of our younger teams may have the advantage of also working with a player-mentor.  Each player will receive 2-6 hours of volleyball instruction each week working with multiple coaches.

USAV and AAU Registrations: H2 Saint Louis will register all players and teams with USA Volleyball and AAU for the club season.

Tournament Entry Fees: All tournaments H2 Saint Louis teams participate in charge an entry fee for their event.  These fees range from $100 for a single-day event to $1,000 for a multi-day event.

Travel Expenses: Travel expenses are in excess of standard fees.  Each National team will travel to at least one qualifier. Those expenses include (when applicable) hotel rooms, team vans, coach buses, and airfare for all players and coaches.

Administrative Expenses:  These include everyday operational expenses.  This includes production and distribution of brochures, production of handouts, administrator reimbursements, website hosting, online registration system, etc.

Uniform Package: All H2 Saint Louis athletes will receive a  uniform package based on the teams/coaches decision.  All items are priced separately and will be decided on at tryouts.  Most teams will have a minimum of 2 jerseys, 2 shorts and knee pads.    Prior year players will be able to use their prior year uniforms.

+ What is the payment schedule/method for fee collection?

Uniform fees and a percentage of the team fees are payable on the commitment date.  The balance of fees will be payable in either 3 or 4 monthly installments beginning December 15, 2014.  If this schedule does not work for families, we are open to adjusted rates of payment.  As long as a schedule is set up to collect all fees by the end of the following club season, we can work with the family.  Please inquire if your family is in need of an adjusted fee schedule.