OPEN LETTER FROM ROB SLAVIN, AVCA HIGH SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVE
SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
AVCA High School Member Coach Community:
In December, 1994 I drove three hours to my first AVCA Convention in Springfield, MA. That singular experience "hooked" me on the sport of volleyball. I have attended every Convention since that one (from Cleveland to Tacoma, from Richmond to Honolulu) and have always returned better for the experience. I wish to thank all of you for being a big part of the over 3,000 high school member coaches of the AVCA. Your membership and continued support sends a powerful message to all coaches that we are interested in the growth and continued development of our great game.
Our high school attendance at recent Conventions in Seattle and Oklahoma City continues to demonstrate that support. According to recent National Federation of High Schools' figures, girls' volleyball is now the #1 team sport among adolescent females (over 432,000 participants and growing) in the United States. It is also the top participation sport in over half of the states in the country. That said, there is still work to do. Signature Affiliate and AVCA Affiliate Partner states continue to pave the way, but we hope to reach even more high school coaches.
Going forward, I would like to stress the following five aspects of the high school game that we can bolster through the AVCA.
(1) Membership is powerful: By joining the AVCA you become a member of a worldwide community of volleyball coaches! You don't have to leave your gym to find information, voice concerns, or interact with others who share your passion for the sport. Check out both the individual membership and the organizational option which allows you, at a discounted rate, to include your staff in the community. Visit www.avca.org or contact AVCA Member Services at 866-544-2822 for more information.
(2) Mentor-Mentee Program: With the attrition rate for high school coaches at over 25%, we need each other. Veteran coaches are paired with novice coaches from across the country. Mentors helped me get started many years ago: now I'm investing in the next generation. This program works!!
(3) Coaches4Coaches Scholarship Fund & the AVCA Minority Coaches Awards Programs: We have expanded both of these programs to include worthy high school coaches. What a wonderful scholarship opportunity for a coach to attend the Convention for the first time. It's a "win-win" for the AVCA and the coach. Omaha is your first opportunity! Scholarship applications are available at www.avcaconvention.org.
(4) The Under Armour High School All American Program: With incredible support from Under Armour, this recognition of the nation's best senior volleyball players has grown from 100 in 2008 to an Under Armour All-America Watch List of almost 1,000. Players from all parts of the country are recognized and the top 24 are flown to the Convention for a televised all-star match. AVCA Hall of Fame coach Carol Russo (Ohio) continues to oversee this growing program, now in its eighth season. Nominations open October 9. Get your senior stars the recognition they deserve!!
(5) Volleyball Performance Index (avcaVPITM): AVCA has developed a tool for assessing the college-readiness of a high school player by comparing their athleticism to those currently playing their position in college. Six College Prep Combines, open to all, are held in the spring at different locations around the country, and the invitation-only Phenom College Prep Program is available to 300 attendees at each year's AVCA convention. If you have a good athlete, whether she plays club or not, who aspires to compete in college, get her to one of these events. 85% of the class of 2015 with college-level avcaVPITM scores are on rosters this fall. Go to avcaPhenom.com for locations, dates, program details and pricing.
These are just some of the exciting initiatives that are specific to the high school coach. Please feel free to contact me at any time (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any issues that you wish to discuss. The AVCA Board of Directors will meet again in Omaha this December and our voice/perspective is always welcome and sought out. Besides that avenue we will get a reply on any issue we bring forward within 24 hours of notifying an AVCA staff member.
Thank you for all you do for our sport and our volleyball community! Ask a friend to join our community today.
Rob A. Slavin
High School Representative/AVCA Board of Directors
High School Coaches can earn a FREE AVCA membership through hosting a successful Dig Pink fundraising event with The Side-Out Foundation! To learn more about how to get started with your Dig Pink campaign please click here.
The AVCA serves boys and girls volleyball at the high school and middle school levels.
On these pages, you can find information on coaching education, volleyball drills, the AVCA Affiliate Partner Program, NFHS Certification and AVCA High School Awards Programs. Navigate the links to the right to find information on offerings the AVCA provides high school coaches.