Arizona Saguaros Volleyball Club: About Us

High Performance 2012
Our Players at USAV High Performance in SOCAL 2012

About Us     

The Arizona Saguaros Volleyball Club is a nationally recognized volleyball program offering year-round volleyball training for every age and skill level. Sanctioned and Incorporated as Litchfield Park Juniors area club in 2004, in 2008 we changed our name to the Arizona Saguaros and now serve the entire valley as proud members of USA Volleyball, the Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), our teams compete locally, regionally and nationally. For over 10 years the Saguaros has been dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the sport of volleyball for the volleyball athlete.  With Nine State Championships Three National Titles and over Forty Graduates that have participated at the college level. 

Our Mission:

  • The purpose of Saguaros is to provide the most advanced standardized volleyball training component and competition for all club members. Our goal is to offer a comprehensive, state-of-the-art volleyball learning system through introduction, evaluation, performance testing, training, and instruction. This system will meet the needs of both the individual athlete and each team, while providing unequaled value for the volleyball athlete's time and money invested. All of our athletes benefit from our technical, physical and mental training which we call our TRIAD of Excellence.

Core Values:

  • We believe that process always determines the outcome. It is not the championship that determines success, but the effort invested in the journey that determines success.
  • We believe in the power of relationships. We believe that through collaboration and a commitment to life-long learning that we can overcome any obstacle.
  • We believe that it takes a community to raise a child. We will do our best to embrace a gym culture that is committed to character development, leadership training, and life-skill application.
  • We value the time and financial commitments of parents! We will communicate clearly and routinely. Billing will be itemized and payments will be deducted on-time. We will have posted office hours and make ourselves available to answer any questions or concerns you might have. We will do our best to meet the needs of our customers.
  • We believe that volleyball has evolved and coaching styles and skill training must also evolve based on current times. Our lead coaches have years of successful coaching experience and are committed to identifying the best way to perform specific skills. We believe that through consistent repetition there are many ways to successfully perform certain skills, but through experience we have identified the fastest and most effective techniques to enhance performance.
  • We believe in a scientific approach to performance enhancement that embraces a holistic approach (mind, body, and spirit). Physical development requires motivation, physical training, nutrition, and skill development. Successful volleyball development involves goal setting, the development of self-confidence, volleyball IQ, and a passion for success.
  • We trust in the power of quality repetition and fundamental skill development. Experienced coach instruction is essential for skill development. Scientific research suggests that it takes 3,000 consistent repetitions to make a habit, but only 1 repetition to potentially make a bad habit. Skill training takes a long-term commitment, experienced coach instruction, and a positive motivational climate.
  • We believe in positive reinforcement and the importance of fostering an environment that develops self-confidence.

 "In the rich tradition of making good kids better"  Spirit, Mind & Body..since 2004  

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The Saguaros Difference:

Commited to Technical Skill Development

A recent study was published that indicated that it takes approximately 3,000 consistent movement repetitions to develop a habit. Many programs focus solely on playing games with the hope that skill acquisition will occur. Playing games is an essential component to developing great volleyball players, but does not prepare them to make the leap to the next level. Simply scrimmaging in practices and playing hundreds of games over the course of a season generally results in inefficient habits. It is much more difficult to correct bad habits than develop great habits from the start.

Technical skills are the foundation to improving your daughter's level of play. Technical skills provide players with the tools to execute the physical requirements of the game. When a player has solid technical skills, they can focus on the other elements of the game (ie. how to score a point). These other elements are known as tactical skills. The skills are defined by a player's ability to make good decisions and utilize their volleyball IQ while playing the game. When both technical and tactical skills are executed together, players experience success.

The Saguaros Pipeline process is focused on developing quality fundamental skills at all age levels. The difference between a successful skill executed and an error is generally due to inconsistent technical skill (ie. platform, poor timing, poor first step, hands, etc). Players that develop great technical skills at early ages improve quicker than those that do not!

It is our goal to progress every athlete towards the same techniques that our USA National Team and many of the top level college programs utilize. However, technical skill development is a progression. Our progression starts with training feet and pre-contact movement then advances towards tactical execution and body manipulation. For instance, we start by teaching passing on our midline of the body. We do a variety of exercise to improve movement to the ball. We believe that if a player learns how to move their feet first, it is much easier to teach platform adjustments later. On the same note, we spend hours over the course of a season training releases and approaches without a ball. Our goal is to create a habit so dominant that players don't have to think about how to get to the ball, they can think about what to do with the ball. In the Saguaros gym, everything we do has a purpose!

With all of this being said, there is still a balance. Our gym culture embraces three key components of success. We believe that success occurs when players demonstrate purpose, hard work, and heart. The most important of all of these is heart. Players have to love what they do if they are going to invest hard work and focus (purpose). Therefore, playing games is also important. Playing the game successfully is the prize for the effort. However, playing the game should always require purpose. At Saguaros, we prepare to play the game successfully through focused and proven training. When we play the game, those three components of success are fundamental. All of our programs challenge players to invest hard work, purpose, and heart.

If you have a daughter that is just beginning volleyball is ages 8 to 13, our Youth Development Program (YDP) will help her build a foundation of fundamental volleyball skills. YDP is a proven training program led by experienced coaches. Sessions are focused on fundamental training and teaching the love of the game. We try to maintain a 6-to-1 coach to player ratio. Instruction is focused and progressive. 

Our National and Regional programs also emphasize player development through technical and tactical skill acquisition. Saguaros has had the most success and consistent coaching staff in the area for the last ten years. With several trips to nationals and winning 9 Arizona Region of USAV Championships, along with 33 players off to college, the most in the west valley.  Our club teams are staffed with experienced adult coaches, who manage each team and player. At Saguaros there is a difference. 

To find out more about what we have done and why you should play for Saguaros visit the accomplishments link

JVA, AAU, or USAV: What’s the Best Path for Our Volleyball Community?

Over the past several weeks, it has come to our attention that a few local clubs have decided to commit to affiliating with AAU and JVA. As the process has unfolded, both misunderstanding and rumors have spread. We felt that it was necessary to share our stance on affiliation and express our excitement for this upcoming club season.

Our position on USAV vs. AAU is simple. We believe both organizations have positive and negative aspects in regards to our affiliation. We’ve actually contemplated this issue for more than five years. In 2009, we actually sent two teams to AAU Jr Nationals. Those teams reported that their overall experience was positive. From our perspective, this experience opened up the door to allow individual teams to choose which event best meets their needs.  We affiliate with any organization that creates opportunity for our players and families.  

In regards to JVA (Junior Volleyball Association), we have examined the travel requirements and competition opportunities and have determined that the commitment is more than simply playing in many of the events that we currently participate in. Participating in USAV events does not hinder teams from participating in JVA or AAU events. In 2013-2014, our teams will compete in several AAU and JVA events and multiple local and National USAV tournaments that do not require driving beyond Arizona. Our teams that choose to participate in a USAV national qualifier will have the opportunity to attend an event within driving distance (Socal, Texas). Some teams may choose additional travel events, but that will be at the discretion of each individual team.

We know that club volleyball is expensive. We know that parent’s money is hard earned. We spend considerable time every year examining our club costs to make Saguaros Club Volleyball more affordable. If you examine what’s included in our price, you’ll quickly see that cost versus your return on investment is far greater with Saguaros Jrs. Our price includes practices twice per week, optional additional positional specific training for all age groups and our practices begin in November for most teams. Our price also includes the tournament entry fee for USAV and several AAU and JVA events. If you want Saguaros Quality training in an atmosphere that stresses attention to detail, a strong work ethic, and sacrifice to be successful, then we are your best choice.

After spending considerable time examining which organization best represents the interest of our volleyball community, it become clear to us that this decision needs to be based on individual team dynamics. Each team has different objectives. Some of our teams have aspirations of winning a true national championship, while other teams are looking for controlled cost and extended training. Therefore, we’ve determined that we will compete in USAV qualifiers and allow our individual teams to decide which route (USAV, JVA or AAU Nationals) their team will pursue.

AAU Nationals are a great opportunity to compete in a National Championship with a fixed cost and early travel commitment. USAV Junior Olympics provide high quality competition through its qualification requirements. USAV is also the same organization that fundraises and provides resources for USA National Team.

It is the position of Saguaros Jrs to maintain a professional stance on issues regarding affiliation. We look forward to great competition this year with all clubs regardless of affiliation. At the end of the day, we are committed to training every player to compete at the highest level and providing an experience that will last a lifetime.

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