Team Yakima is a developmental junior Olympic volleyball program, which means that we strive to provide an intensive training environment that will permit young women athletes to learn, to improve and to develop their individual and team volleyball skills. The basic ingredients are coaching instruction, practice, physical conditioning and competition. We believe strongly that all four components are necessary for optimum development. Our players range from 4th grade through 12th grade and thereby represent a wide range of age, physical development and volleyball skill. We generally have teams competing at all four age levels (U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18) and have teams of variable skill level within each age range. This structure provides a suitable team for every player to further her development.
While development of athletic prowess is the overt goal, we feel it is even more important for the players to experience the enjoyment of athletic competition and to develop the values inherent in team sports. This includes self-discipline, reliability, team work, commitment to personal and team goals, focus on task, and the consistent striving to perform at the maximum of their ability. We want our players to respect all opponents, yet fear no opponent or situation. We want them to learn to appreciate the satisfaction of winning and/or achieving team and personal goals. We want them to learn the principles of sportsmanship and to display grace and maturity in both victory and in instances of loss. We believe strongly that the lessons of volleyball will return dividends far beyond today's athletic competition.
Within our club different teams have different goals and stress different things to meet the developmental needs of players with varying levels of skill and potential. This can be described in three levels: Elite, Competitive and Developmental.
Gold Elite teams: can practice 6-9 hrs/week. Have tougher competitions, more travel, higher dues. Tri-Regional competition with possible National level competitions during the season. The goal for the Elite teams is to be competitive in the upper quarter of National competition. All players will play but no guarantees of playing time for any player. Intended for the dedicated volleyball athlete.
Competitive teams: can practice 4 hrs/week, Tri-Regional competitions, 1-2 tournaments/month, standard dues. The goal for Competitive teams is to be competitive in the upper half of Division I Regional competition. Participation in National level competitions is optional at the team's discretion. Each player can expect to play a minimum of 30% of the time [averaged out over the season]. This is typically our black level teams.
Developmental teams: can practice 4 hrs/week, local and regional competitions, less travel, standard dues. The primary goal is player and team development and improvement. The secondary goal for Developmental teams is to be competitive in the upper half of Division II Regional competition. Each player can expect to play a minimum of 40% of the time [averaged out over the season]. These teams are intended for those players who need to focus primarily on mastering basic fundamentals. Typically our red & blue level teams fall here.
Within our program, teams at different age and skill levels may well have different immediate goals. But the following goals are common to all of our teams: