There’s been a lot of questions surrounding club volleyball and while we know we’re the new kids on the block in GEVA, we figured we’d take some time to clear up any misconceptions about some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q: If you only have one court, how does that help you develop players?
A: You only play on one court at a time, so two is not necessary for 1 team.  We are thrilled to give our practicing teams the complete facility, without distractions, without the sound of other teams and coaches in the background, or the balls of other practices rolling on the court.  Each team will have the undivided attention of their coaches and teammates.
Q: How do you practice serving with a foot of serving space?
A: We would agree with you that serving is a very important skill to be practiced. Serving is a closed-motor skill.  A closed-motor skill is a skill that is performed in an unchanging environment. Because serving is a closed-motor skill, the most important thing behind its success is form and technique.  We also have extra serving lines to put down on the court with markings on the wall which would simulate the distance of a court at a tournament.  These will be used for serving specific drills.  However, when we work on serve receive; we will be stronger than most teams because we will be working in an environment which forces us to be quicker since our time is shortened to react to the served ball by about 1 foot.
Q: Isn’t the clearing at the end of the court an issue for safety?
A: No, while we don’t have much room behind our endline, our players are not taught skills that could endanger their well-being. The greatest culprit for injury is not the facility itself, but rather poor coaching. We preach proper mechanics and footwork on all skills.  We place a huge emphasis on the biomechanics of the body and teaching skills in a way which keeps the wear and tear to a minimum. Proper warm-up is critical, and this in combination with a proper skill and workout progression throughout the season will develop the player physically at the safest and appropriate rate. At Radiant Suns, all of our coaches are certified coaches with either a college degree in physical education, or with years of experience playing and coaching the sport at not just the club level, but the varsity, collegiate, and international levels also.
Q: How do you expect your players to be prepared for college with the facility you have?
A: The facility doesn’t prepare you for the game or college, the training does.  Our training methods are probably some of the most intense training methods in the State and our unique drills and teaching methods emphasize intensity and ball control. High level drills and practices, as well as coaches with a track record of success and positive results are the main focus.  Our athletes will leave us feeling they are not only physically prepared for the next level, but also mentally and emotionally. 
Q: How do you hire your staff?
A: We seek and find qualified staff that fit within our values of preparing our athletes to play in college. We hit the pavement and find former or current high school, collegiate, and/or international players and coaches who care more about the athletes than their work hours or paycheck.  All of our coaches are background checked and are sent to training with a minimum of IMPACT certification. New hires are sent to Gold Medal Squared coaching training clinics, which is the same foundations and philosophies of the club directors.  Our efforts are in having the club and all staff being as close to the same page as possible.  Though coaches’ personalities will vary, we look to keep our teachings similar so all coaches are relatively interchangeable and could assist at any practices or tournaments without confusion to players.
Q: What tournaments are you actually doing?
A: It depends on the team and the level. The plan for the 2012-2013 season is as follows…
13U-17U Black teams will be doing two overnights: GEVA regionals, and 5-6 single day tournaments.
Winterfest, January 19-21 Connecticut
Penn State Happy Volley May TBA
13U-U16 Orange teams will be doing a minimum of three-four overnights: GEVA regionals, and 6-7 single day tournaments
Winterfest, January 19-21 Connecticut
Capital Hill, February 16-18 Washington DC
North East Qualifier, March 29-31 13-14U National Harbor MD, 15U Baltimore MD, 16U Philadelphia, PA
Penn State Happy Volley, May TBA
U17/U18 Orange teams will be doing a minimum of three-four overnights: GEVA regionals, and 6-7 single day tournaments
Winterfest, January 19-21 Connecticut
Colorado Crossroads, March 2-4 Colorado
North East Qualifier, March 29-31 Philadelphia, PA
Lone Star Classic, April 19-21 Texas
Q: How convenient are you to get to?
A: Our training facility is located on route 173 right off route 78 in Hunterdon County. We are 40 minutes or less from Essex, Somerset, Union, Morris, Middlesex and Warren counties, and even eastern PA counties too. However we would encourage you not to base your club choice off convenience but rather the training and the instruction you will receive. Those who choose to stay at a club purely for convenience or comfort are at a disadvantage for growing.
Q: How important is coaching?
A: Coaching is the cornerstone to developing into the complete athlete. Not only have we seen athletes hurt by improper coaching, but we have seen elite athletes regress in skill level because they have not been provided appropriate feedback or proper competition. Likewise we have seen teams overachieve and individual players improve drastically due to knowledgeable coaching staff. A team with average players, great fundamentals, and great coaching will always beat a team with great players and average fundamentals. We believe a 1-to-6 ratio of coaches-to-athletes is desirable as it allows our athletes to get the most amount of coaching.
Q: Do you work on strengthening & conditioning during practice?
A: No. While we know some clubs use 20-30 minutes of their practice time to work on speed & agility, we believe that taking precious time away from actual touches on a ball will hinder our athlete’s playing ability. If you calculate the amount of practice time you lose every week from doing speed & agility during your practice, you will find that a team which practices three days a week will lose about 20-30 minutes of time getting touches on a ball. In one week that same team which would have had six hours of practice time would have only had five hours of actually touching a ball. Many drills involving the ball are designed with conditioning built-in.
Q: Do you have a speed & agility and plyometric program in place?
A: Yes, our speed & agility and plyometric training sessions will take place on Sundays and depending on the number of teams we have will determine how many time slots are available. Our speed and agility and plyometric programs are available to all athletes of Radiant Suns.  Our speed, agility, and plyometric program is designed by a CERTIFIED Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) who will be on site and available for questions by parents and players.
Q: You are a small club, how do you compete with the bigger clubs?
A: We are not interested in having more teams than we can handle. When that happens our coaching staff is spread too thin and the quality of our product is not the same. We are small because we choose to be. Quality over quantity is of the utmost importance.  We compete with all clubs because our coaches and training are held to high expectations.  All coaches will come prepared with a practice plan each session and look to maximize touches on the ball with appropriate and constant feedback.  We compete because our coaches are qualified and they care.  We compete because the athletes that choose to be a Radiant Sun know they are held accountable to rules, work ethic, focus and drive.  They are competitors who have short and long term goals, and will work with our coaches to achieve them.