Ethos VBC, based in Nashville, Tennessee, was founded in 2010 with 7 teams in the first season. Club Director Troy Helton started the club with the mission to keep costs low and train under a master-coaching philosophy. Troy and his staff are committed to developing Ethos players both mentally and physically in order to help them succeed at the highest levels of volleyball. Now in its seventh season, Ethos consists of over 20 indoor teams that span across 3 branches in Middle Tennessee along with a beach volleyball program. To support this growth, Ethos has its own facility in downtown Nashville complete with indoor courts and a workout/weights area.
Ethos aims to provide opportunities to athletes at all ages and commitment levels, which is demonstrated through the Elite, travel, all-star, youth, in-house, beach volleyball and volley-tots programs.
Here is a brief outline of the club’s programs:
The Elite program consists of an 8-month season for athletes committed to both playing at the highest level of volleyball and traveling the country to compete against top competition. At the core of Ethos’ Elite programs is an intense practice environment/schedule, weekly positional training and the development of mental toughness.
Ethos hosts club-wide recruiting seminars to educate all players on the steps required if interested in pursuing college volleyball and gives 3-4 coaching clinics each year to ensure the coaches are educated under one coaching philosophy.
This season, in addition to weekly circuit workouts, Ethos’ Elite teams have begun incorporating yoga into their training schedule.
The Ethos Extra Mile
Ethos has seen huge success motivating girls of all levels and ages through its “”Black Jersey”” program. At the end of every practice, each player votes on who they believe worked the hardest that day. Then, at the end of every month, the player with the most votes is awarded a special practice shirt that they then sport the following month. At the end of the year, votes are tallied to announce overall season winners as well. It is an exciting way to recognize and reward hard work in the practice gym.
The Ethos staff is also committed to providing opportunities for all athletes, regardless of financial circumstances. For this reason, this past December, Ethos launched its LOVE Scholarship to benefit players hailing from low-income families. Players, coaches and family members joined in and fundraised over $7,500 at the club’s LOVE Serve-a-Thon. Prizes included T-shirts and a team pizza party that were awarded to the top earners. All Serve-a-Thon proceeds went to Ethos’ LOVE Scholarship Fund, which will provide qualifying athletes, that otherwise might not be able to afford club dues, the opportunity to play for Ethos next season.
Whether one is completely new to the game or a seasoned player, Ethos’ travel, regional and in-house teams provide athletes access to top-notch instruction at a variety levels. The All-Star program rewards top players from all Ethos branches with the opportunity to come together at the end of their regular seasons, train alongside the best athletes in their age group and then compete in an additional 2-3 travel tournaments together.
In addition to indoor volleyball, Ethos established a Beach program to provide the opportunity for its players to learn the game of outdoor doubles. For Ethos, sand training has proven to be a great way to increase vertical jump, lateral quickness, shot selection and ball control skills that are essential in both the indoor and beach games.
The Ethos staff is really excited about the tournaments co-hosted with nearby JVA member clubs Tennessee Perfomance Volleyball (Backyard Bash) and K2 Volleyball (Peak Challenge) this season.
“This is our 1st year for the Backyard Bash and we are nearly at capacity and our 3rd year for the Peak Challenge and we are overflowing already” shares Helton. “Our aim is to run amazing events that club directors can count on each and every year.“
In addition, Helton is enthused about the return of its in-house power league called the Ethos Power League, that is run for all Ethos teams and coaches. The all-day scrimmage takes place three times throughout the season and allows the Ethos teams to challenge themselves against other Ethos teams, as well as a team of coaches. Like a typical power league teams move up or down based on wins and losses, and it’s fun to see a good 12U team end up playing 14 and 15 year-olds by the end of the season.
“The power league is also great club bonding and it is fun to watch the girls get excited at the opportunity to beat the coaches’ team, which hasn’t happened yet” adds Helton.
Plans for the Future
Our goals for the future are 3 fold:
- Continue improving the caliber of the coaching staff, the players and how the club trains.
“We aren’t trying to be the largest club in the nation, but we want to put out a quality product at all levels” Helton says.
- Grow through a grassroots level so players begin playing at a younger age. In 2017, Ethos launched it’s inaugural Fall Ball program, which provides young girls ages 6-12 with weekly sessions to teach the fundamentals of volleyball along with the importance of teamwork. Helton hopes to grow this program and introduce it at an earlier age.
“Soccer starts at age 3, same goes for gymnastics. We have to start getting kids playing volleyball before middle school if we ever want to become a great club.”
- Expand into markets that don’t currently have club volleyball.
“Our desire is to grow the game in any way possible and I know there are areas that have interest but not an option, and we want to be that option for them.”
Without Ethos’ staff of over 35 dedicated coaches, and the passion of Club Director Troy Helton, none of these achievements would be possible.
Ethos Volleyball Club, based in Nashville, TN, is a member of the Junior Volleyball Association, an organization committed to enhancing the junior volleyball experience for club directors, coaches, players and fans.