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TeeterTot

New club team

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I thought the amazement about club costs was feigned. It's not like Munciana is ignorant about what people at other national-caliber clubs are paying. Perhaps they were just taking a swipe at paying that kind of money for lesser training and level of competition.

Munciana is a very different situation. They own their facility, and the overall COB is much lower there than almost anywhere else in the country.

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I spoke to a couple of parents at Sports Performance and they are not happy With recent developments.  From one parent  “Seems SP is looking out for themselves and not players.  They have placed legitimate “1” players of lower teams so the drop off is not so severe at those other levels.”  They were also not happy with the tournament schedule.....it’s VERY weak.  If SP does not up their competition level, their players will not be seen by recruiters.

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TT, a couple of questions for you.

First, when you say Sports Performance, are you talking about the Mother Ship (IE, Chicago group) or the Mid-Tenn satellite? I'm going to assume the latter...

Second, are you saying that they are taking top-team level kids and assigning them to lower-level teams? That's stunning to me. The Chicago-based organization decidedly does not do this. However, they do reserve the right to move kids back and forth across teams (and even ages) during the season. They consider that a benefit of their training model: after kids spend a few years in the program, they are sort of interchangeable.

And finally, a couple comments... I'm not surprised at the weak schedule. They need to establish a culture of winning. They'll have teams go out and win some of these events, post those results on social media, and at the end of the year, celebrate all their championships and top finishes. If they went head-to-head against top and second level teams from Alliance, Ethos, MidTenn, Choo-Choo, K2, etc., and DIDN'T beat those teams, families might begin to question the model.

As to "exposure", they need to build out their club from the bottom up. Exposure is for older kids, and while they have those, those kids and teams aren't the future of the club. I seriously doubt club leadership is losing sleep about getting their older kids recruited. Those players and families are paying forward, keeping the lights on until the younger generation is ready.

 

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Agree with O, If the 14-15-16 teams are not playing good tournaments it will 100% affect their recruiting for the Div 1 level kid.  (especially 14-15 teams).  It was crazy to see how heavily scouted the 14's courts were last year.  It was def a surprise to me.  I also would be willing to bet that the parents complaining about 1's kids playing down---are deceived by their child's ability.   I could be wrong tho.

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Clifford - All due respect but you are wrong.  One  girl I know was the best player on her one team last year at Alliance  (in a very weak age group) and she’s was placed on a two team this year at Performance (and yes, talking about Franklin). 

 

As for recruiting at 14-15, Shay Eggleston at Alliance (Logan’s little sister) was recruited a lot as a 14 last year and will get a lot of attention this season on the 15’s.  Alliance also has a big hitting lefty on their 14’s.  The reason I bring this up is you are 100% correct about recruiting at that age, it ramps up early for these young ladies.

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That won't go over too well for sure.  Especially once they see the weakness of those tournaments.  There are 3-4 kids off that 14's team that received quite a bit of major recruiting action.  The fact they played A5 at nationals, and also made the final 8 was huge for those kids. 

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I don't think this is as big an issue for the Performance kids. None of them are the level of college prospect Shay Eggleston is, and if they were, the coaches would find those kids regardless of where they were playing. While it's true that colleges are scouting 14's and 15's, let be honest with ourselves... those are the Power Conference schools who are in an escalating arms race with each other to lock down elite kids as soon as possible. Of the thousands of kids playing club volleyball nationally, we are talking the top 50, 100 kids most in each graduating class. There are probably aren't 20 such kids in all of Tennessee right now, across all classes.

Most of the kids playing college volleyball out of Middle Tennessee are not going to power conference schools. Recruiting attention for this level is more of a 16's / 17's window, with offers coming after that (if at all).

I have no idea what schedule the older Performance teams are playing, or even if they are playing Open-level events at all besides AAU. (I do hope / assume they will have teams playing Open at AAU.) I'll just say generically that it would be foolish for a PSA of that age, who is playing club volleyball for exposure to college coaches, to join a new organization without knowing exactly what events they'd be playing in.

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Oh I agree O.   Maybe 2 at the most of those kids will play in a power 5 conference-including Shay.   It is so hard to say with a bunch of 8-9 graders.   Majority will be NAIA/D2 and lower D1--which is still incredible. 

So many of the parents just don't know how important the tournaments that they play in.  I've been around high school and club parents for 20 years or more, and they always surprise me about that. I am certain they will play in AAU nationals. 

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These recent posts are good stuff. Glad to see some activity. A few random responsive thoughts.

Being a legitimate ones player is definitely in the eyes of the parents. It's my understanding that the spreading out of talent in the 13s and 14s at TPV is to give the girls the chance to grow as players as their bodies mature. The knock on Alliance has been that once a ones player in 12-13s; the greater likelihood you will be a ones at 17-18. At least there is movement within age divisions and the chance to make the ones team later at TPV. I think the reason Alliance does so poorly in the older age groups is that the players have never had to overcome adversity and failure when younger. They don't know how to fight and compete.

Before we bash TPV's schedule let's not forget that Alliance is not even two years removed from that disaster that was the SPL. Those four "tournaments" kept the girls from being exposed to a lot of college coaches. Beating up on Choo Choo , Ethos, etc did nothing to help the girls. I believe it's why the current group of college freshmen and high school seniors are so under-committed. They weren't properly exposed and critical times thus forcing a lot of really good players to take D2 offers or D1 walk-on offers at in-state programs. TPV is putting most of their ones teams in open at Bluegrass and is also going to JVA World and AAUs in Orlando. They have the SP network to help promote them. The power league they are in is a lot more competitive and organized than the SPL ever was. I think for year one of a Club it's a better than expected schedule.

Lastly, the parents I have talked to at TPV are thrilled with what's been going on. Conversely, there are older Alliance girls jumping ship to other clubs in the past few weeks. Clearly Alliance is concerned based on the pre-tryout letters that were sent to the AVC families, the over-done and never- before- done self promotion of their coaches and athletes, and the letter that was sent this week to the AVC families. If the Alliance product is so good, then TPV will never be anything more than Ethos or Club West. But I think this is going to be more of a MAVA/ KIVA situation. If that happens, then volleyball in Nashville wins with two big clubs fighting to get better each and every year.

Edited by SummaryJudgment

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On 12/2/2017 at 0:45 PM, SummaryJudgment said:

I think the reason Alliance does so poorly in the older age groups is that the players have never had to overcome adversity and failure when younger. They don't know how to fight and compete.

A lot to touch on in your very reasonable response. I'll just give my take on this piece for now.

To my eye, Alliance has historically placed young kids on top teams based primarily on skill. Some years ago, here is how 12 and under tryouts worked: first, line up everyone and tell them to serve. Keep the kids who can serve overhand and evaluate their other skills to determine who is first team, who is second, etc. Kids who couldn't serve got moved to a secondary evaluation court. This is a great way to put together teams that will win as 11's and 12's and 13's: get athletic, coordinated, physically mature kids, and serve and pass other teams off the court. But this is a poor recipe for long-term success at the older ages.

Reason being, many of those kids who will be monsters as 17's and 18's are awkward and uncoordinated 11 year olds. They often can't serve overhand at that age, and maybe can't do much of anything else, either. In many cases, they are years behind their peers in terms of physical maturity. So in the old model, those kids were either cut outright or relegated to a third team, where they experience a lower volume and quality of training and competition.

But what happens to those top team kids when they turn 14? 16? If you haven't been training kids as younger athletes, remedial training is difficult and time consuming later. If you build out your teams to win at the younger age divisions, you probably aren't going to win at the older age levels. To Alliance's credit, I think they are better about this now than they used to be.

The Sports Performance group in Chicago understands this. I believe they don't even play their top younger teams in Open Divisions... maybe they start playing Open at 14's?

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Good stuff.  I agree with TPV being a positive.  I really hope that it pushes Alliance more. Ethos and West really hasn't done that.    I agree with some of your points about Alliance.  However there are many kids that made 1's as 12-13-14 that didn't make 1's with older and vice versa.  I can think have 6-8 with no effort just in a couple of age groups.  The reason Alliance doesn't perform well IMO is because most of the kids in the mid state get serious about volleyball in 7th grade or so.   Thus missing out on ball control from 9 year olds and up.  This might sound weird but the Pat Summit effect in our state hurt volleyball.  Every girl in the state started playing BBall at 5, where volleyball was picked up in HS or MS in the 80's and 90's.  not until the 2000's did it start to really improve here.   Late 90's and early 2000's maybe 1 kid played club on HS teams (out side of the Wilco, Father Ryan etc).   I do disagree with the way our young teams have been coached in the past.  There is no reason for a 11-12 team to pick a libero in the beginning of the year and that kid stay in that position all year.  Or a OH not play back row etc.   I can remember watching a 12 Team years ago that had a libero and neither OH played back row.  That is not good.  I hope Alliance has fixed some of that.

 

 

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Clifford20 makes some excellent points regarding how young volleyball players are being developed in the mid-Tennessee area, but I disagree about the suggested “Pat Summit Effect.” A quick review of KiVA’s commits from 2016 to 2018 (to date) shows that out of 53 committed athletes, KiVa sent 31 to D1 programs. 58.4% of KiVA's commits went to D1 programs.

Over that same time period, Alliance had 51 committed athletes, but only 17 to D1 schools (33.3%). That is despite the metro population of Louisville (approx. 1.2M) being less than Nashville’s metro population (approx. 1.8M). At this point it could be argued that this is due to the “Pat Summit Effect,” i.e. more female athletes in Tennessee are playing other sports at young ages and missing out on early volleyball development.

However, K2’s club undermines this theory. K2’s commits from 2016 to 2018 (to date) show 30 committed athletes. That number is to be expected, since the Knoxville metro population is around 800k. Seems proportional so far. Where it goes sideways is that out of those commitments, 18 are to D1 schools. That’s a 60% rate and one more D1 player than Alliance had over the same time period. Knoxville is also Pat Summit’s back yard.

To recap: K2 sent 60% of their college commits to D1 schools; KiVa sent 58.4%, and Alliance sent 33.3%.

Is this an indication that kids are “getting serious” about volleyball at younger ages in Louisville and Knoxville? Perhaps. Does looking at the number of D1 commits have a correlation to the competitiveness or reputation of the program? Perhaps.

The following are the AAU final standings for the past two years:

2017:
Age KiVA Allnce K2
18u - 7  19  3
17u - 2  33    
16u - 10 29 17
15u - 5  21 21
14u - 2  5  25
13u - 5      12
12u - 10 19 13

2016:
Age KiVA Allnce K2
18u - 10 21 7
17u - 3  29    
16u - 5 32 29
15u - 11 5  9
14u - 3 15 22
13u - 5  13 11
12u - 6 16 13

KiVA and K2 are both having more success at winning at AAUs and at placing players at Division I programs than Alliance while drawing from a smaller population base. 

This information is not anything that hasn’t already been considered by Alliance parents and players. The added competition from other/new clubs in mid-Tennessee may cause changes and improvements at Alliance, however I think that whatever shortcomings exist cannot be laid at the feet of the players.

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