Madsand Beach started in 2017 with less than 10 athletes training with Founder Will Buchanan. At the time, Buchanan was coaching indoor for Madfrog Volleyball Club, one of the top indoor clubs in the region, and recognized the value in offering a beach program to compliment the indoor training, and keep current Madfrog athletes training at their club year-round. Club Director and Owner Stefanie Rotunno-Samuels was supportive of the beach program from the beginning, and saw it as another avenue for their club’s athletes to pursue playing at the collegiate level.
TJ joined Madsand not long after and eventually moved into the Director role in 2022. In those five years, the beach program grew its participation numbers, and became the largest and most successful beach program in the Dallas area, as well as one of the top programs in the country.
Here is how Madsand collaborates with the indoor program to grow its membership:
While many indoor clubs are possessive of their athletes and do not support playing beach and indoor, Madfrog and Madsand strive to compliment the other and work together to give their athletes a great experience. Staples and his wife, KatyBeth, also a Madsand coach, as well as Buchanan, all coach indoor teams for Madfrog at the younger age levels. KatieBeth coaches two younger indoor teams and meets with the Madfrog Director often to discuss the beach and indoor programs. Staples and the staff at Madsand encourage their athletes to continue playing indoor and beach.
About 150 athletes have an annual membership with Madsand. Last year the club field 22 teams at the 18U division. At the 12U division 100% of beach athletes come from indoor. At 14U about 80% are indoor players as well. 16U it is about 60% and less than 10% of the athletes competing in 18U also play indoor.
The tryout process at Madsand is designed to be as fluid as possible. Since Madsand is a year-round beach club, athletes can join the beach program at any time during the year through an evaluation. An athlete or parent completes a questionnaire that then becomes the player’s profile on the website. The questionnaire asks for the athlete’s age, indoor experience and beach experience. It also asks how the athlete heard about Madsand. Through the questionnaire, the Madsand coaches have found that players are mostly hearing about the club from their coaches and other players they know who are already a part of Madsand. Staples will link new players with the current members, put them in same group as their friend, and use that first training as the player’s evaluation. Especially if they play on the same indoor team together. This ensures that there are no conflicts with the player’s indoor training schedule.
Typically an evaluation is about 15 minutes long and takes place Monday through Thursday at 4:30pm or on the weekend with the lead coaches: Staples, KatyBeth or Buchanan. After the questionnaire is submitted, an email is sent to the interested player with an FAQ and available times for an evaluation. If the player has joined a training group, the group lead will figure out in the first 30 minutes of training whether the athlete is a good fit for that level. If the athlete is not quite at the level of that group, they may suggest a couple private lessons to catch them up before they can join the training group. Sometimes a group of girls in the game age group will have a combination evaluation that will last 30 minutes.
Flexible Training Schedule and Membership
When an athlete makes a training group, the Madsand Coaches makes sure that the training times for that level work with the athlete’s schedule. Sometimes there needs to be some pieces moved around in order to make it work with the player’s schedule. This can be tedious, but the members have grown to appreciates the club’s flexibility. The lead coaches are also flexible, rotating during practice so players do not know who they will have.
Each court is capped at 8 athletes. Along with the scheduling flexibility, practice groups rotate and interweave often to give athletes a variety of competition and partner connections. The Advanced Beach training groups work together in a master training style practice, where the younger court may use a separate plan with the same focus (ie. blocking, attacking high line, etc). Lead coaches rotate planning practice from week to week. Each practice is two hours long, progressing from skill development to game-like drills by the end of practice.
An annual membership to Madsand is $100 and then it’s up to the athlete how frequently she practices from week to week. The athletes are in complete control of their schedules. They select whether to purchase a session package or drop-ins.
24 Practices = $840 ($35 per practice)
12 Practices = $540 ($45 per practice)
Drop-in Practice = $50
Packages expire after 6 months
Siblings can split a package (Sibling 1 uses 6 of 12 practices and Sibling 2 uses the other 6 of the 12)
The majority of Madsand athletes fall in love with the sport of beach volleyball and continue to excel as they get older. There are plenty of ways to get in the sand through the club’s hosted beach tournaments, adult and youth leagues, showcases and camps. The top teams compete in the BVCA Club Challenge Series powered by JVA where junior beach volleyball clubs align their ranked teams to compete against one another for the win.
50 Madsand athletes earned a bid and participated in the BVCA National Championships last year and this year the club hopes to send 60 athletes. The club won BVCA Best Beach Club in the Nation back to back years (2021 and 2022), along with 18 National Championships in four years. Over 15 Madsanders have gone on play Division 1 Beach, and there are over 20 D1 Beach commits that currently play for Madsand.
Through its cohesive business plan and flexible options for athletes and families, Madsand has established itself as a first mover and leader in the junior beach volleyball community.
Madsand Volleyball (Dallas, TX) is a member of the Junior Volleyball Association, an organization committed to enhancing the junior volleyball experience for club directors, coaches, players, and fans.