What we Believe
Volleyball Development Camps FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS
Prepared by John Biddiscombe
OVERVIEW and PURPOSE
Over the years we have come to realise that underlying the work we do in running camps there are certain things that we wholeheartedly believe in and will not compromise on. We instinctively “know” when something feels right to us, but as that is a rather abstract concept to explain, we have set about defining what are our “Fundamental Truths”.
This isn’t a “Mission Statement” or “Operating Procedures” ………
We aspire to be considered “Thought Leaders” in Coaching and Coach Education and bring many years experience in coaching, education, business along with the received wisdom of the excellent coaches we have worked with over the years.
- We hire the best coaches and give them the utmost respect by valuing their input at all stages of the camps and paying market leading fees.
- We use the best Facilities to provide an inspiring learning environment
- We use the best equipment often looking beyond the confines of our sport for ideas and inspiration.
- We seek beyond our horizons to enrich and enhance our knowledge of the game.
- We provide a progressive pathway through our camps for athletes from 8 to 23+
- Our camps are broadly split between “Skill Acquisition”, “Skill Application” and “Performance”
- We are advocates of small sided games as we believe that they provide a greater number of ball contacts, interactions and emphasise the linking of skills.
- However of course full court games also play an important part of our camps.
We aim to develop rounded players with competencies in all areas of the game with discussions around positional specialisation only taking place at the higher level camps.
Our camps are designed so that athletes can seamlessly progress from one camp to another and in the past we have even added extra camps to fill gaps between camps along this pathway.
Age in itself does not automatically progress an athlete onto the next camp, or for that matter limit a talented athlete attending higher level camps.
However we do believe that a fairly strict lower age limit is necessary for our Elite Camp due to the physical demands of an intense 5 day camp.
The chart below shows how our camps are linked together and uses the grading system that will be familiar to skiers and snowboarders. This only provides a representation of our volleyball universe as a rough guide for people who are new to our programmes.
Of course we realise athletes at the top level of our Elite Camp will (hopefully) go on to greater things in the sport and enter a whole new development cycle. Indeed we impartially advise athletes on opportunities available on both sides of the atlantic and have successfully helped a number of athletes secure places at American colleges.
We aim to create an environment where players are challenged , but equally (at times) where they are comfortable making mistakes (or taking risks to create opportunities to learn). We provide honest but always supportive feedback even if it means challenging the boundaries of their comfort zones.
Our athletes are taught resilience, self-regulation and encouraged to be self reliant in order to:-
- Deal with the highs and lows encountered in a competitive sports environment.
- Realise that decisions are viewed as active choices and not sacrifices.
- Take responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Many athletes coming to our camps may not have experienced this before and this is what we term “Realistic Discomfort”. We aim to provide and encourage athletes to use support networks providing Emotional, Social as well as Technical and Tactical support.
EXPECTATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS
We expect a lot of our campers and we offer a lot in return:-
- Individual Attention
- Physical preparation and screening
- Video Analysis
We introduce our athletes to a high performance environment highlighting not only what happens on the court but what is expected of athletes wishing to perform at a high level even when away from the court. We demand on court discipline for example: –
- No mobile phones
- No loose balls – quickly returned when instructed.
- Respect for others at all times
- Notifying coaches if it is necessary to leave the court.
We recognise that our contact with the athletes coming to our camps is limited and we aim to set them on the correct path to encourage “step changes” in their thinking and development within their clubs.
While we want every athlete to be the best that they possibly can be, we also recognise that not everyone makes it to the top of the development pyramid, so we encourage these young athletes to find the most appropriate stopping off point in their volleyball careers.