When I was a professional player in Italy in the late 90’s early 2000s, because I was there for so long I saw the positive benefits of older more experienced players coming into a country to play along side younger Italian players (both male and female).
I was a USA volleyball National team player playing with and against Olympic gold and silver medalists from all over the world which was a big deal for me.
Can you imagine being an Italian high school player good enough to make a Division I team (at the time) and practice daily along side Olympians and World champions for eight months out of a year every year?
I saw the benefits this had for Italy and the players who learned what to do and how to do it and what to say on the court and just how to be better learning a ton from these visiting professional volleyball players from all over the world.
Almost every summer when I was off I’d visit my parents who had moved to Vegas from Southern California once my Dad, a traffic engineer for the City of Las Angeles, retired in late 80’s.
I’d visit them when I wasn't playing and then check out local Las Vegas volleyball practices or tournaments.
By the time I moved here in 2006 I had an idea as to what was going on in the local high school scene.
Once I decided I wanted to coach I already knew several things about Las Vegas Volleyball.
So when I started coaching I did it with a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to make a statement and prove these coaches wrong and send a STRONG message to the parents that basically they were not getting a REAL return on their investment.
That’s why my first classes were $2 classes when I was at the Hollywood Rec Center. We’d get over 60 players from the area and we only had half a court to work with.
By that time my mother found and introduced me to Coach Dermot Thomas who was knocking door to door to promote his physical training services. (See how God works?)
And Coach Rick dropped in to one of my first classes and NEVER stopped coming for 7 years after that.
I told them the only way we’d do this is with a strength and conditioning component in every practice so that Las Vegas volleyball kids would get stronger, faster, jump higher and hit harder which was needed to compete at higher levels.
The other thing I insisted on was coaches would learn how to coach without spending so much time talking so players would average 500 reps in an hour.
The more a player touches a ball the better they get.
At club practices most players weren’t touching enough balls and definitely weren’t sweating or working hard in their club and/or high school volleyball practices..until they came to our Boot Camp class practices.
At Stupak everybody sweats for this reason.
Its become a thing. We dont walk in practices, we run, everywhere and we train at the speed at which a game is played.
To this day one of the biggest compliments I hear and love is “Man we dont sweat in our practices but we sure sweat and work hard at Boot Camp class and in private volleyball training sessions!”
That’s one main thing that motivated me and that’s what continues to motivate me.
Because with this sweat ethic I know more kids will learn faster how to play better volleyball. Which in turn means more kids get recruited ..which has been happening in the past 3-4 years.
hope I helped in challenging Las Vegas volleyball coaches in the Valley to get better..improve their coaching skills and to really teach players how to play the game.
It took 2-3 years but when you charge $5 for classes and
…parents begin to notice and people begin to talk.
One last thing that motivated me also was that rule about freshmen players not making varsity that seems to only exist here with Las Vegas volleyball high school players.
Everyone else around the country has freshmen players who train to make the varsity team and Gatorade even produces a National All Freshman Team.
So I made it a personal challenge to produce better players at a younger age…and in my mind I dared the coaches to say No to players who HAD to make the team because it was so obvious they deserved to.
Those are my thoughts, inspiration and the motivation for doing what I've done for the love of this sport especially when it came to making Las Vegas volleyball players better.
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.
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