The 2018 AVCA Convention broke a record for registrations, and it’s no secret why: this event is not only packed with educational opportunities for coaches of all ages and levels, it is the only time that so many world famous and passionate volleyball people are in one place at the same time, all in unison to better our sport.

Here are key notes from the JVA staff’s weekend in Minneapolis as we enjoyed every minute of our conversations, meetings, and learning at the 2018 AVCA Convention.

Club Coaches Meeting
The meeting began by reviewing the upcoming changes in NCAA Recruiting Legislation so club coaches can be knowledgeable when guiding their athletes through the process. JVA Director of Member Development, Lisa Wielebnicki, discussed the benefits of being a part of the JVA and allowed for the Club Directors in the room to share why they are members of JVA. Roughly 85% of the room were current members of the JVA when asked for a show of hands. The variety of answers from the Club Directors ranged from 1) having a voice/sounding board on important issues and conflicts, 2) competing in and hosting events, 3) utilizing the education/resources focused 100% on running a club, 4) benefits from the advocacy that JVA provides, and 5) the high level of customer service.

Board Meeting and $125,000 Donation to Motor MVB
Wade Gerard, CEO of MotorMVB Foundation, Inc. attended the Board Meeting and was presented with a check for $125,000 on behalf of the JVA. The funds will be used to advocate for more growth and to support institutions that start and sustain men’s volleyball programs. JVA’s gift to MotorMVB will help make a significant impact as together we grow the game by providing more opportunities for boys to play. MotorMVB displayed the check in their booth all weekend and the JVA is proud to join the committment to growing boys’ and men’s volleyball.

Beach Committee
The JVA Beach Committee along with Beach leaders and coaches from across the country sat down for a great discussion on structuring a Club vs Club Challenge format at the junior level in order to help fill the gap between juniors and the college level. It also gives the players a sense of pride and commitment to compete for their club. The JVA will share education and guidance for clubs looking to start the Club vs Club Challenge in their part of the country. Changes in recruiting legislation was also shared, as well as information on new programs and services from the beach directors and event organizers in attendance. The JVA shared information on it’s event hosting page where all JVA members can post tournaments, camps and clinics as a member benefit. This would serve as a place where all beach events can be listed in one place for clubs and players to see.

Education Committee
Members of the JVA Education Committee along with our partner The Art of Coaching Volleyball continued discussions on the Club Management Accredidation program by defining the critical topics to owning, directing and managing a volleyball club, as well as a volleyball facility. Learning paths and criteria were also discussed, in addition to naming key presenters. We are extremely energized by our discussions as we move forward to the filming phase during this club season.

Train Ugly Keynote Speaker Trevor Ragan
With a full auditorium that set a new JVA Annual Shindig record, attendees were intrigued and motivated by keynote speaker Trevor Ragan’s “Learning Like a Jungle Tiger” presentation. Trevor dove into the concept of growth vs fixed mindset, and supporting the idea that individuals, coaches, directors, can always continue to improve in a skill set. His presentation also supported the concept that an individual cannot be good at every skills or task but it does not mean that effort should not be put towards it. Trevor displayed the importance to embrace the struggle, and feel comfortable being uncomfortable, especially when putting effort towards something that is challenging. 

JVA Above and Beyond Award and Junior Club Service Award
Every year the JVA selects a member who has gone above and beyond in working with the JVA to support our mission and goals. This year’s JVA above and Beyond  recipient is Scott Stover, Club Director of 692 Beach and member of the JVA Beach Committee. Scott started 692 Beach with only 4 players in the first season, and grew to 40 in the second year, and has had consistent growth by delivering an outstanding service to the junior beach community in Dallas, Texas. He been consistently going Above and Beyond for the past 4 years since joining the JVA by contributing to JVA Member Education, sharing videos and feedback with the education committee, collaborating on events, presenting webinars or classroom AND court sessions at the AVCA Convention on behalf of the JVA. He is doing a phenomenal job of growing the beach game in his home state and we are thankful he is a member of the JVA and that we could honor him with this award.

Educational Sessions
Thank you to our presenters: Allan Rayson (PaidUp– Partner) and Steve Sack (Michigan Elite – Member), Patty Dodd (MB Sand – Member), John Shondell and John Rodriguez (The Academy Boiler Juniors – Members), and Emily Hawthorne (The Academy Volleyball Club- Member). 

This year conversation was not centered around “What is JVA?” or “Why JVA?” It was “How?”. How can JVA help your club and your coaches? How can we partner with more groups who have similar goals to improve the junior volleyball experience for the players, the clubs and the coaches? How can JVA help answer your needs and fill a void? We want to continue to be a voice and advocate for junior volleyball, so your input is important. If your club has not joined the JVA, it is time to answer the “How”. Click HERE to learn more.

A special thank you to the AVCA for continuing the raise the bar and create an event that is as much a social and professional networking opportunity as it is an educational opportunity. There are relationships that are built from the AVCA Convention that grow stronger year after year, and then spread across the volleyball community, creating a sense of unity and common goals. We are thankful that there is a place for JVA in this space. We always come back from the convention inspired, motivated and ready to provide the same opportunity for our members and event attendees. We will see you in Pittsburgh in December 2019!