Coaching Philosophy

Marin Juniors has been developing outstanding volleyball players for over 30 years. Players have grown up to be parents and coaches in our program, and this rich history has given us great perspective on how we shape our program. Our goal is to develop highly skilled, highly competitive teams in a challenging, but supportive environment. 

Our core coaching philosophy is founded on the principles of the Positive Coaching Alliance and our goal is to get every coach, parent and player educated by their classes and seminars.


Marin Juniors respects physical and developmental capabilities in an age appropriate fashion. We recognize and reward effort, attitude and commitment in addition to athletic skill. We have developed our expectations and playing philosophies accordingly, as follows:


Under 11s & 12s

The primary emphasis is on fundamental skill development, with particular attention paid to passing, setting, and serving. Players are taught how to communicate with their teammates, the rules of the game, and the proper body language, mental focus, and self-discipline necessary to improve in any sport.

At this age success is defined with and emphasis on improvement. Reaching specific goals is weighted heavier than the result on the scoreboard, though understanding the pursuit of winning can be an effective motivating factor.

Playing time will be primarily distributed based on commitment and attitude.The primary goal for this age group is to help develop a love for the game, and a commitment to continue to play and develop their skills. Intensity and pace are at moderate levels as a nurturing environment is more effective for learning.

Under 13s & 14s

At this age, we know that players are often exploring different sports, but we plan on them developing a passion for volleyball. Winning or losing is not the only focus, but becoming a competitive player is definitely encouraged. Playing time will start to become influenced by the players' skill level, but will still be primarily determined by the effort, commitment, and desire to improve of the individual players.

This is a critical age to develop solid fundamental skills as after this age group, it becomes increasingly difficult to fix poor habits. As a result, our emphasis is to ingrain proper mechanics and develop competence in passing, serving, setting, and attacking. Blocking and digging will be taught and basic quick attacks will also be introduced. Physical conditioning will begin to have an impact on the execution of volleyball skills.

Teams will be taught offensive and defensive systems and players will begin to find their specific positions. They should demonstrate good communication skills on the court, and understand the emphasis of volleyball as a team sport.

Our goal is for players to compete for spots on their high school team. The intensity and pace will be increased accordingly to prepare players for their transition to playing at the next level.


Under 15s &16s

At this age, we expect players to be fully committed to volleyball excellence. Winning will become more important, as it is a qualitative demonstration that they are acquiring and applying individual skills and learning to play as a team. Playing time, especially on the top teams, will be weighted on a player's ability to contribute. But as long as a player remains committed, keeps a positive attitude, and works hard, playing time will be earned.

Players need to work hard at the skills they have learned at a younger age and build upon them. From a skill development standpoint, the focus is the ability to make individual adjustments on both offense and defense. Physical training becomes a higher priority and will have significant impact on a players' ability to execute skills at a higher level. Mental toughness and strategy become increasingly important, and these concepts are introduced to players in this age group.

By now teams should continuously be communicating on the court. More sophisticated offensive and defensive systems will be introduced, with the expectation that teams are able to make mid-game adjustments.

Our goal is for all players in this age group to be competing for varsity spots on their high school teams, so we strive to run these teams at the same pace and intensity as a top high school program.


Under 17s & 18s

Winning will become even more important and further emphasized, as it demonstrates that players are applying individual skills and teams are playing cohesively. Playing time will be heavily dependent on a player's ability to contribute.

Basic skills should be mastered and should only need minor refinements. The major emphasis is on enhancement of the finer points of the game both offensively and defensively, particularly within a system of team offense and team defense. Physical training remains a top priority for players to compete at the highest levels. Mental toughness, strategy, and the cohesiveness of teams dictate match results more and more often, so development and focus will be given to these facets of the sport.

While we believe only a small fraction of players that begin their volleyball careers in club volleyball end up playing at the collegiate level, we encourage and support players at this age group to consider continuing their playing careers. Regardless of their future plans, we expect all players at this level to be impact players in their high school varsity programs.