At Marin Juniors, we are constantly challenging ourselves to evolve - to find new ways to develop our players and teams and provide great experiences for everyone involved. Striving for continuous improvement brings change each season. We are thrilled with the steps we took during the 2016 season and look forward to building on that momentum in 2017.
In approaching the 2016 season, we realized that in many ways, the club volleyball scene was moving in the wrong direction. The pursuit of volleyball excellence has become too narrowly defined and the pursuit is too often out of balance with all of the positive aspects youth sports has to offer.
So we began asking ourselves:
Can we achieve volleyball excellence and address the alarming rise of overuse injuries and emotional burnout from playing indoors 10-11 months out of the year?
Can we avoid burnout of young athletes and create an experience that truly fosters a lifelong love for the sport?
Can we teach commitment, encourage dedication and develop work ethic, and not require every player to give up other sports and activities?
And for the 2016 season we made some great movements in this direction. There was a slight reduction in travel and we stuck with our general philosophy to avoid traveling all over the country to attempt to qualify for Junior Nationals. We found great competition locally, and we believe the time, energy and money spent traveling was better directed at programs like Marin Beach.
In 2017 we will continue to integrate beach volleyball into the program and will build out a far more comprehensive approach to player development than we've seen from any other club. The education and emphasis on fitness and wellness, and the development of mental and emotional toughness will continue to help our players become the best versions of themselves on and off the court.