How To Improve In Volleyball The Volleycats Elite Volleyball Club Way 

When I became club director of my own Volleycats Elite Club I created a strategic practice and conditioning plan for players on how to improve in volleyball.

When I became club director of my own Volleycats Elite Club I created a strategic practice and conditioning plan for players on how to improve in volleyball.When I became club director of my own Volleycats Elite Club I created a strategic practice and conditioning plan for players on how to improve in volleyball.

Prepvolleyball.com is the premier publication on everything concerning club and high school volleyball in the United States.

From ranking the top clubs in the nation, naming the top PrepVolleyball high school teams in the country and particularly writing about the top players in each age group from 12s to 18s, Prep Volleyball.com is the primary authority on junior volleyball in the US.

I spoke with John Tawa, publisher and writer of PrepVolleyball.com, during the Las Vegas Classic who said “there seems to be a resurgence lately of quality players coming from Nevada”. He also wrote the same thing in his coverage last week of the Las Vegas Classic. 

Its extremely rare for Prepvolleyball to notice, pay attention to or write about Vegas volleyball unless they talk about other teams from around the country who come to compete in OUR city in a big tournament like the Durango Classic, the Las Vegas Classic or the SCVA National Qualifier when it’s hosted here.Its extremely rare for Prepvolleyball to notice, pay attention to or write about Vegas volleyball unless they talk about other teams from around the country who come to compete in OUR city in a big tournament like the Durango Classic, the Las Vegas Classic or the SCVA National Qualifier when it’s hosted here.


Its extremely rare for Prepvolleyball to notice, pay attention to or write about Vegas volleyball unless they talk about other teams from around the country who come to compete in OUR city in a big tournament like the Durango Classic, the Las Vegas Classic or the SCVA National Qualifier when it’s hosted here. 

This is my 11th year in Las Vegas and I’ve seen so many of these tournaments with very few Vegas teams and players competing at high levels here in OUR house. 

That apparently, is about to change. And THAT is what I’ve been preparing for, for the past six years.

This was my long term goal.

To put Vegas volleyball on the map and to produce strong (emotionally, physically and mentally) prep players who can compete on a national level. 

Volleycats Elite Cougars Elite 16s setter Kami Miner and Gatorade Player of the Year outside hitter Sydney Berenyi at the USA High Performance Girls Select A2 Team.Volleycats Elite Cougars Elite 16s setter Kami Miner (now the Stanford starting setter) and Gatorade Player of the Year outside hitter Sydney Berenyi at the USA High Performance Girls Select A2 Team.


This didn’t happen overnight. I wrote MY goals out, the short term and long term ones about how to improve in volleyball,  just like I have you players do at the beginning of every season. 


I knew it would take

the right coaching
a different mindset
lots of discipline
the right preparation
it would take strength and conditioning 
and a very strong base taught and created on the foundation of serving, passing and defense repetitions - which is and has been provided in Boot Camp classes since I started them seven years ago.I knew it would take the right coaching a different mindset lots of discipline the right preparation it would take strength and conditioning and a very strong base taught and created on the foundation of serving, passing and defense repetitions - which is and has been provided in Boot Camp classes since I started them seven years ago.


I knew it would take

  • the right coaching
  • a different mindset
  • lots of discipline
  • the right preparation
  • it would take strength and conditioning 

and a very strong base taught and created on the foundation of serving, passing and defense repetitions - which is and has been provided in Boot Camp classes since I started them seven years ago. 


It would take players who believe in sacrifice, hard work and goal setting along with discipline, time management and prioritizing.

Caring and Having Empathy For What You Do And Who You Do It With 

norasvcebookpage17


But it also takes “caring.” Just like it was mentioned in the last homework assignment everyone completed about Tom Brady. 


How To Improve In Volleyball The Volleycats Way Takes Caring About Being A Better Player Who Cares and Takes Pride When Doing Every Individual Skill

norasvcebookpage20


-It takes individual players “caring’ about

  • being better passers - that means becoming passers who care about getting the ball right to the target spot without making the target move - also known as precision training
  • better defenders - that means becoming diggers who care about getting the best playable ball up and care about making a MAXIMUM effort in going for EVERY ball as a priority
  • better setters - that means setters who care about bettering the pass, making it easy for the setter to deliver a hittable ball to the hitter, so becoming a player who cares about making things easier for the next person who touches the ball
  • better hitters - that means hitters who care about perfecting their hitting technique so they hit harder and become feared at the net when opponents see they are rotating to the front row 


How To Improve In Volleyball The Volleycats Way Takes Caring About Being A Better Person

norasvcebookpage13


Besides players who believe in sacrifice, hard work and goal setting along with discipline, time management and prioritizing, it takes players who care about becoming better people on and off the court. 

It takes players who want to become better people who care about

  • working hard for each other so when one teammate is in the back row they do whatever they can for their teammates in the front row so they KNOW they’ll get the same treatment when its their turn to rotate to the front.

(“I cared enough to work hard for you in the back row so I know you’ll do the same when I’m in the front.”) 

It takes players caring about

  • giving a better ball to the next player and not being satisfied with just any ol’ ball being passed imprecisely to the next player. 
It takes players who want to become better people who care about

working hard for each other so when one teammate is in the back row they do whatever they can for their teammates in the front row so they KNOW they’ll get the same treatment when its their turn to rotate to the front.It takes players who want to become better people who care about working hard for each other so when one teammate is in the back row they do whatever they can for their teammates in the front row so they KNOW they’ll get the same treatment when its their turn to rotate to the front.


It takes players caring about

  • asking their teammate...

”Hey come go with me to the next boot camp class, didn’t see you at the last one. We NEED YOU to be better in order for OUR team to get better. We are only as good as our weakest link.”


How To Improve In Volleyball The Volleycats Way Takes Caring About Developing Yourself As a Better Player and Better Person


It takes each individual to CARE not just about themselves and playing time, but how am I developing myself as a better player and better person?

Do I want something handed to me or have I really done the “dirty work” of “grinding” and “earning” my place, my spot, my position.


Do I do it on both sides of the net when I’m in practice or just on the “starter” side?.

When I’m on the non-starter side am I caring about

  • “going and giving 100” so I make the starter team even better or am I moping because I’m not on THAT side - which brings everybody down?  

It takes caring about

  • going 110% in practice regardless of who’s watching because I care enough to push myself all the time, so when its game time and I have to operate under stressful situations...I’ve already pushed myself and done that in practice...so it’s easier when I really HAVE to do it on the court in crunchtime. 


How To Improve In Volleyball
The Volleycats Way


We are headed in the right direction, but this is just the very very beginning and relaxing now would be a very big mistake. 

How To Improve In Volleyball The Volleycats Elite Volleyball Club Way

Panthers medal at the Summer Soiree Tournament


To continue to gain respect, PLAYERS you have to outwork your teammates and your opponents. This is what I’ve always done (on the court and off)  and I do expect for players who call themselves Volleycats….to HAVE or learn TO HAVE (quickly) the same mentality. 

#wewilloutworkyou

I am setting the example and the results are showing. I expect to attract and surround myself with players and coaches who do the same.

You are a reflection of the people you choose to associate with and who you surround yourself with. (Think about who came to visit, last week and who’s visited the team in the past.)

2017 Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year and Dixie State freshman guest coach at the Friday night Boot Camp Class in Summerlin during Spring Break.

The Weekly Award-winning Las Vegas Volleyball Boot Camp Class Schedule The Award Winning Las Vegas Boot Camp Volleyball Class Fall/Winter Schedule Voted Best Sports Program in Nevada by the Nevada Parks and Recreation Society our weekly Volleyball Voice Boot Camp

Classes are on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in four City of Las Vegas Locations: Stupak, Mirabelli, Veteran's and Chuck Minker


Boot camp classes are for individual players to work on the reps and muscle memory needed to be and stay confident on the court during game time. This is the opportunity for individuals to work on their personal weaknesses and make themselves into stronger more confident, more “relied on” players. 

As our teams get better, it will become more and more evident which players are investing the time and effort to make themselves better and which aren’t. 

Ladies its time to dig deeper. 

So in game time, when you make a mistake, and the opposing team serves you again or hits to you again...you are confident in the fact that you’ve done your reps (100 a day, 200 a day, 300 a day sets/passes/serves/digs) and you are prepared to handle the pressure and you deliver what’s needed under stressful conditions, calmly, coolly because you’ve already done it…..because you cared.    



If we are going to keep improving and continue to get better THAT’s what’s needed... an increased dedication to learn this craft and to become better at it. The tools are here, players let’s use them. 


Do You Follow Me on Instagram?

Private or semiprivate volleyball indoor/sand lessons are an excellent way for young Las Vegas high school volleyball players to quickly improve their individual skills through a private or semi-private coaching experience.

These lessons are conducted by former pro volleyball player, former USA Volleyball High Performance instructor and Evaluator and Tstreet Vegas 18s head Coach April Chapple on a weekly basis.

Sign up now!Private or semiprivate volleyball indoor/sand lessons are an excellent way for young Las Vegas high school volleyball players to quickly improve their individual skills through a private or semi-private coaching experience. These lessons are conducted by former pro volleyball player, former USA Volleyball High Performance instructor and Evaluator and Tstreet Vegas 18s head Coach April Chapple on a weekly basis. Sign up now!


Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap to improve your game even faster!

I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 



You might like these pages with information for new volleyball coaches 



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance With Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. How To Coach Girls Volleyball in Vegas Coach April's Guide To Coaching
  4.  ›
  5. How To Improve In Volleyball The Volleycats Elite Volleyball Club Way
  6.  ›


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