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About VbDC

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Prices from £350/wk to £2200/wk for the Play/Stay package!

*Limited Discounts Available

Camps

Easter Skillz and GCSE Camps

April 2 @ 10:00 am - April 4 @ 3:00 pm

The Skillz and Skillz Plus camps have been designed as a further bridge between our two day camps and the week long programmes we offer and will offer an insight into the training demands of the performance camps. Athletes will have a stronger physical structure, know and can follow the principals of attack and defense, have begun to acquire a sense for the tactical game, and are already playing competitively for their school or club.

Emerging Elite Camp

June 24 @ 11:00 am - June 28 @ 4:00 pm

THE Emerging Elite Camp is for athletes who have made the commitment to year-round intense training and competition. The athlete may have played competitive volleyball sporadically or on a seasonal basis, but now considers volleyball their pre-eminent recreational activity.

Pre-Season Boot Camp

August 12 @ 1:00 pm - August 16 @ 5:00 pm

An intense 5-day camp for players aged between 15 to 18 years old who who want to "hit the ground running" for the coming season and are serious about their pre-season preparation, whether for a national, regional or county league, or a school varsity-level team.  The camp will ensure that all the fundamental skills are in place while refining techniques prior to the commencement of formal club training.

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Emerging Elite is for committed volleyball players aged 14 to 17. The week-long camp will concentrate on a team-based, game simulation curriculum.

Emerging Elite is led by one of our experienced coaches and  takes place in West Surrey’s best volleyball facility and features a coach-to-player ratio of approximately 1:6; all coaches are either experienced at national team or national league level, or participate in US university volleyball or national league clubs. The camp is international and will include residential players from other countries, many of whom attend to take the English language tuition that is available as an option.

For the elite athlete, the camp concentrates on specific skills for each position, game preparation, and tactical awareness.


It is for players who have several years’ experience in competitive play and who want to refine their skills and tactical awareness in order to play at club or university level.

The week long camp will test the athlete in a high intensity training environment under the watchful eyes of our coaches

Pathways is the VbDC program for 10-to 14-year-olds who have some limited experience of volleyball, either as a recreational game or their first years of competitive play.


 The curriculum is designed for those who have decided they want to make volleyball one of their regular athletic activities and who are prepared to commit to long- term training.

Open Bookings

Enquiry Form

ONLINE EQUIRY FORM

About us

Deb Pickens – VbDC Finance Director

Deb has been a volleyball player all her life, although in her high school years in Lamoni, Iowa and Blue Springs, Missouri, basketball competed for her sports attention, too. When she was offered a place on the Graceland University volleyball team, that became her main sport. After two years there she transferred to the University of Missouri, and played on the pre-Title IX varsity squad – when the team travelled to away games by bus and made their own uniforms.

She graduated with a degree in education, and started her career as a coach in the rural Grain Valley, Missouri schools, taking the high school team to the state playoffs in her second year there. She was soon recruited by an international school in England, and in 1980 she and husband Bob left Missouri to start a new life abroad.

Deb spent her first two decades building up the school’s varsity program, as well as raising two sons who played volleyball at a high level – one of whom managed to pay for most of his university degree with a sports scholarship and has, himself become a leading club and school volleyball coach in St Louis, Missouri. In recent years she has set up a “seamless” volleyball program at her school that enables youngsters to enter the sport at age 8, and work their way through to the varsity level by progressing through a series of linked interscholastic and club activities. The school’s club permits students, faculty, members, parents and alumni to all play in local leagues and tournaments.

Deb’s main responsibilities at VbDC involve sales and logistics, coaching, and managing the VbDC finances. She is also leading the effort to introduce a sports scholarship search service which is currently being piloted, and will be offered to the public in 2014.

Deb Pickens, VbDC-Club

John Biddiscombe – VbDC Technical Director

Like many people in the UK for John the exposure to volleyball in school was limited to only a few PE lessons. Badminton and squash were the main sports that he played, but in 1986 the desire to take part in a team sport saw him sign up for an adult education course in volleyball.

Fortunately within weeks of the course finishing a new club was just starting up in Guildford and he quickly signed up as a member. The club grew quickly and John volunteered as a committee member serving in several roles eventually becoming club chair person.

Starting in 2000 Guildford hosted several events for Volleyball England such as European Championship matches and Cup Finals which John was instrumental in successfully managing. Continuing his work with Volleyball England he served as Marketing Director on their board for 2 years.

John is active in local volleyball with roles on the committee of both the Surrey and South East region associations. He has played for Guildford in the National League, is a qualified referee and coach, having coached Guildford womens team in the National League.

He was active at the London 2012 Olympics as part of the team providing statistics for the indoor tournament at Earls Court, the highlight being to “stat” the Womens final between Brazil and USA.

John’s main duties with VbDC are as a coach, with a special interest in technology having had a series of articles published in 3-Touch magazine and also helping with the logistics of running the camps and managing the VbDC website.

Bob Pickens – VbDC Marketing Director

Bob had only had a passing awareness of volleyball as he grew up in Mississippi, but while attending the University of Missouri a chance meeting in a car park introduced him to a player on the Mizzou varsity women’s team who agreed to a date, showed him the game and eventually became his wife. After graduation Bob and Deb played in local leagues in the Kansas City area, and in 1980 he took a leave of absence from his job as a newspaper reporter and followed his new wife to Britain when she was offered a job as a volleyball coach at an international school. Soon after he was asked to edit a newspaper, and he and Deb have lived in England ever since.

During that time he has helped form a club in Farnham, Surrey, where they live, raised two sons in a volleyball-minded household who went on to play for the England juniors and England national league teams, and became involved in local leagues. One of his first activities was to join the Farnborough Volleyball Club, a small group of players in a work-based club at the Defense Establishment Research Association, and as the club’s chairman created a plan to take the club into the community, tripling its membership and establishing it as the major volleyball club in north Hampshire. He also became qualified to referee national league matches and obtained his coaching certificate.

Bob works with the South East Volleyball Association’s regional youth development programme by coaching beginning boys’ teams, and has chaired the Surrey Volleyball Association for two years, concentrating on efforts to revitalise the SVA’s infrastructure, bring new area clubs into its competitive schedule, and introduce a plan for junior development in the county.

Bob’s main duties at VbDC involve working on external communications and marketing, and providing logistical support for the growing number of camps, and helping as an assistant coach.

Bob Pickens, Your Content Goes Here
VbDC Network logo

A New Way

A new way to learn about Volleyball Development Camps programmes has been introduced.

Called Open Court, it is an invitation to attend a regularly scheduled video conference at which VbDC representatives can answer questions about the camps, seminars and workshops, where people thinking about attending can meet former campers, and where ideas for new programmes or additions to current ones can be shared.

Open Courts will be scheduled for different days of the week and at differing times, so people from time zones around the globe can participate. The dates of forthcoming Open Courts will be announced on the VbDC website. Click HERE for an invitation to an Open Court session;  or you can also email us at vbdc.volley@gmail.com

The first series will run until mid-summer 2024. After that they will take place with lower frequency until the start of the winter 2024-25 when they will again start a fortnightly or weekly schedule.

Request an invite

Summer 2024 Residential Camps

How does a summer volleyball camp sound where you train with other volleyball players from around the world, receive five days of top quality coaching and stay in one of England’s oldest universities.

Oh, and how about staying for a few extra days to be part of our innovative and immersive English Language programme.

Don’t for a moment think that this is a typical Summer Language School with days spent in the class room – oh no !! Students will be out and about putting their language skills into practice in a variety of locations and situations. For example if the group is heading into London to visit a museum, the tutor will expect the students to look up the opening times and plan the train and underground journey as well as navigating their way there.

On the way to and from London (just over 40 minutes on the train) the group may pick up a newspaper and with prompts from the tutors discuss one of the stories.

      

Over the weekend our language campers will be joined by our week long residential campers at Royal Holloway university where they will enjoy dinner getting to know each other ahead of a week of hard training. Various evening activities are organised for both groups which could include a cinema trip, an evening bowling or scrimmage matches against local clubs.

Residential options are currently available for the Emerging Elite and Elite Camps

Of course we always welcome day campers who will travel to the venue each day for training.

Volleyball England Junior Grand Prix

One of the unexpected side effects of the Covid pandemic has been a surge in interest for playing volleyball among youngsters, certainly fuelled in part by a certain Japanese cartoon series.

Credit must go to Volleyball England and in particular to their Competitions Commission for first of all recognising the need for a competitive outlet for both the new comers to the sport as well as catering for the existing players and secondly devising a structure that pretty much addressed the needs of both groups.

Over 300 junior teams have signed up  for the Grand Prix series which is split into two tiers and played over 3 rounds in the Under 15, 16 and 18 girls and boys competitions. This structure should see teams playing at least a minimum of 9 matches, with Tier 2 events arranged to keep traveling distances down while also playing against a variety of different teams.

In Tier 1, after the first round of matches teams are split into Gold, Silver and Bronze pools, with movement between these pools also possible after the second round of matches depending on results.

We have been fortunate to have attended (and indeed hosted) several of these events and the feedback has been positive across the board

Photographs of VbDC camp athletes in action

One of the leading volleyball photographers in the country, Steve Smith, attended our week-long summer camps in August to shoot hundreds of photos of the athletes. As usual Steve captured some superb images of the athletes in action and maybe one of them is of your child that you would like to have for the family album.

Steve has posted these photos on his website, and Volleyball Development Camps is making a request: if the sport of volleyball has given something to your child, could you give something back to volleyball?  Even though Steve offers the photos free to download, our request is that if you download one could you please make an on-line donation to the Volleyball England Foundation, the fundraising arm of Volleyball England, our sport’s national governing body.

Funds raised by the Volleyball England Foundation are used to assist new volleyball clubs, established clubs which are launching youth programs, or schools that are beginning to offer volleyball as one of their after-school activities. It is all a part of helping the sport of youth volleyball grow in this country and your donations will play a big part in supporting the effort.

Our suggestion is that a donation of £5 per photo is made to the Volleyball England Foundation.

First, go to Steve’s website:  www.sandsphotos.co.uk

  • In the menu on the left is a link marked Portfolio, and when you hover over that you will come to a dropdown menu which includes a link for Sports.
  • Click on that and you will come to a page with a number of photo collections. Click the one marked Volleyball 2021.
  • That will take you to a page where you will find the VbDC camp your child attended; click that and you will find the photos. If you want to download one, there is a download icon in the lower right corner.

Once you have downloaded your photo files, you then go to this hyperlink   DONATE   and follow the on-screen instructions.

Thank you for helping the Volleyball England Foundation raise funds needed to expand the sport in this country.

Who is eligible to attend VbDC activities?

There has been a lot of confusion about the covid 19 regulations concerning the age limits for attending indoor sports event since the summer, in part because Government guidelines have undergone several revisions since the pandemic began. We have occasionally been asked “to make an exception.” The answer to this request is always “no”. VbDC strictly follows the guidelines set by Government and our sports’ governing body, Volleyball England.

As of 2 December there has been a slight change and very welcome to the age rule regarding Under 18s as follows:

exemption to the rule of six … appl(ies) for U18s, disabled athletes and sport for educational purposes. Supervisors and coaches are allowed into junior sessions, but spectators are not. The definition of U18 includes young people who were 17 at the start of the academic year (1 September, 2020), even if they turn 18 during the remainder of that year.

Please help us to keep our training programmes and competitive events safe, and within the law, for all who take part by following this age guideline.

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