Arizona Saguaros Volleyball Club: Club FAQs

Festival Champions

 2014/2015 FAQ's for Saguaros Volleyball


What is club volleyball?

Club Volleyball is a way for kids to learn volleyball through organized team play, as well as through individual instruction in a fun and structured environment. Hundreds of thousands of boys and girls play club volleyball through the nation and the sport is gaining more popularity nationwide. Players compete with other teams in other clubs through organized competition which is generally supervised by regional governing bodies. In Arizona, the region is governed by the Arizona Region of USAV which is a non-profit organization affiliated with USA Volleyball which is the national governing body for amateur play.


Who can play in the club?

We offer teams for ALL ages and abilities 8-18s, for girls. Some players start as young as age six through special League programs and developmental camps. Some players don't pick up volleyball until high school. Many adults have also grown to love the sport. We offer teams for all youth ages 18 and under.


Is there a NO PAY NO PLAY policy in effect?     

Yes there is, but we work with any family for all different kinds of situations, club volleyball should never be a financial burden, but it does cost money, for instance when you take into account the time, just to manage a junior club then add on the coaches salaries and gym rentals not to mention the tournament and out of state travel fees.  Things start to add up fast, financial commitments that our parents make to our club is our lifeblood.  It would be impossible to survive without the continued support of our club families. In return you get a great club, great experience and great coaching. When families start to fall behind or do not take care of their financial responsibilities it hurts, not just the player but the team and eventually the club.


When is the club volleyball season? (Regular and Post Season)

We participant in two club seasons, the indoor seasons begins in November and runs till May, indoor post season is in June if teams qualify for JOs or participate in AAU JOs or Festival.  Our beach season begins in April and runs till July.  Both seasons offer professional training and local and travel events that our teams will participate in.


What sets Saguaros Volleyball club apart from other volleyball clubs?

We have been in business for 10 years. We have a clear vision and mission that runs through our club. We have proven systems for training players of all ages and levels. We have experienced and knowledgeable coaches who will train your athlete to be the best they can be, whether they are developmental players who are just learning the fundamentals, or experienced players looking to play on nationally competitive teams. We realize that winning is important, but your daughter's improvement is even more important. We will help all players improve their game and help prepare older girls to play at the collegiate level and most likely obtain athletic scholarships. All of our players can attend other team practices at no additional cost.  


One thing we are often asked from parents is this question? If my daughter wants to get better in her volleyball skills, does she have to attend some type of private coaching? because in other clubs they do, and additional fees apply.   Or does she get that skill building training from her regualar practice time?  Our answer is this, yes your daughter will get her skill set in our regular practices, we make sure of that ultilizing our training system for all players.  Now if your daughter would like additional training (setter, libero) we do have private coaching that can provide that one on one development.  It is ussually not needed and our parents are always satisfied with the ongoing results during the season.  


With Saguaros, you can literally play volleyball in your own backyard. We offer competitive pricing AND we are certain that the value of your experience will be unmatched by any other competitor. Read on to see what we can offer you and your family at the various age levels.


Who will coach my player?

One of the greatest strengths is our coaching staff. Some of our "master coaches" work full time for Saguaros, are involved or have been involved with division I, II and NAIA collegiate programs, teach and coach at top high school programs throughout the nation. All of our coaches have a passion for the game and are committed to training our players using proven training methods. At Saguaros, we will utilize a team coaching concept, which means your players will have access to all of our top coaches at certain points during practice times. All teams will have an assigned coach who will direct their practices, but other "team coaches" will be involved in the training and development of all players. Your daughter will get personalized attention. All coaches are required to pass background checks. We invest in our coaches training to insure that your player's receive the coaching that they deserve. Please see our website for a list of coaches, with bios.


What makes the coaching different?

We follow the Saguaros Way. Our training methodologies are proven and successful. We are very structured and our training is systematic and incorporates playing styles and techniques used by the most successful athletes in the world. Led by 10 times Arizona State Championships, and eleven times Starlings National Championship Coach Rosario Lopez, we provide uniform training methods that will help your athlete be the best they can be. We utilize master training concepts to insure that all players in the gym are taught the same principles. Our coaching staff includes a myriad of coaches with diverse playing and training backgrounds. All of them have been trained in the Saguaros Way.


Where will I practice?

Saguaros have made a committed effort this season to make volleyball more affordable for everyone. Instead of practicing at large health club facilities, we are utilize Atkinson Middle School located at 4315 N Maryvale Parkway Phoenix Arizona 85031.. You can probably find us within a 5 – 15 mile radius! More importantly it allows us to invest in our players and in our coaches. We are certain you will see the results. The number of practices per week varies by team and skill level. In general younger players will practice two times a week for an hour and a half- two hours. Older players will practice 2 -3 times a week for 2 hours. Read on to see more specific information at the various age levels.


What do I need to do to tryout?

Check out the website for the address of the facility, directions, day and time. Come ready to play dressed in athletic apparel with shoes. Arrive about 15-20 minutes early to take care of some paperwork. Bring $25 cash to the tryout, and some water, and we will take care of the rest!


What should I wear to a tryout?

Please wear comfortable athletic apparel. Most wear shorts, or spandex "bikers", and a t-shirt. If you have kneepads, wear them. Wear comfortable athletic shoes that you can move around/run in.


Don't worry if you don't have them. If you have ankle braces, then wear them. If you don't, then don't worry about it. We may have those for purchase as well later in the season. Of course, bring water to drink.


Will there be a parent meeting at the tryout?

Yes, we will have a parent meeting for approx. 15 – 30 minutes during the tryout. However, most of the information can be found on our website. Of course, any questions can also be asked of our staff at the tryouts or via e-mail at We also have a contact us button on our web just in case you forget to ask your question or think of a question after the tryout.


I'm hesitant to tryout, because I don't want my daughter to "get cut" and not be able to play. How many players make a team?

We will have spots for all younger and developmental players. All girls 14 and below will not experience any kind of "cut." We realize that children all develop at their own speed and that they all come in with a certain skill level. The purpose of the assessment or tryouts is to assess their ability, so that they can be placed on a team that will motivate them to improve and play and have fun with players of similar skill levels. Older girls can play on developmental teams as well. The only teams that have limited space available are the elite training teams. Team sizes will vary. Younger teams will have fewer members on team to insure that play time is maximized.


My daughter is a little overwhelmed by the tryout process. How can I help her?

We would encourage her to attend OUR CAMPS AND CLINCS. This will allow her to meet the coaches, obtain a comfort level with what to expect, get more personalized attention and instruction. If she's nervous, BRING A FRIEND. Our coaches are all kid-friendly. We find that almost all players that attend a clinic want to come back again and again.


Is My Daughter Tall Enough to Play Volleyball?

Volleyball is a game for all players. Some of our best players are below average height. Volleyball develops hand-eye coordination, and helps players learn about team dynamics. All players contribute to the success of a team. We encourage you to look at pictures of our teams. Our best players come in all


I have an 8/14 year old. What can you offer her?

Almost ALL our 8-14s make their school teams and advance to playoffs or championships.  We will work on beginning to advanced fundamentals with this age group with the primary focus on technical skill development first and play later.  We know that some players have never played the sport SO THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO START!. We offer developmental as well as intermediate and advanced teams at this age bracket. Experienced players will learn some of the more advanced techniques of the game focus on position specific skills, start learning defensive and offensive tactics.  Overhand serve is a must and all players will learn this valuable skill.


I have a 15/16 year old. What can you offer her?

Almost ALL of our players at this age make their JV and Varsity Teams. We will work on advanced fundamentals with those players who have experience playing the game. But we also know that some players have never played the sport. We offer developmental as well as intermediate and advanced teams at this age bracket. Experienced players will learn some of the more advanced techniques of the game focus on position specific skills, start learning defensive and offensive tactics. Advanced jump serving techniques are introduced, as well as swing blocking, with a further emphasis on tactical and strategic aspects of the game. Players will learn about mental toughness and learn to visualize increasing performance. If players have dreams of playing at the college level, introduction to the recruiting process is made.


I have a 17/18 year old – What can you offer her?

At this age level, most of our players are serious athletes. We continue to focus on mental toughness, continue to enhance technical training. Players will learn how to scout opponents, will be exposed to film analysis, and explore recruiting options. Instruction will be more interactive and players will learn to read defense and offense systems and make split second decisions during play. Players will focus on the 5-tool outside hitter, learn the importance of read blocking, be exposed to statistical analysis, learn how to win the game by the numbers and logic, and understand how all the positions interact. Plays will learn how to optimize scoring opportunities for various rotations. Increased emphasis and assistance will be given to players to help them earn scholarships.


Do you offer recruiting assistance for non- Saguaros players?

Yes, we offer this service.


What is a scholarship?

An athletic scholarship is a form of financial assistance (which does NOT have to be paid back) which allows an individual to attend a college or university free of fees or at reduced fees. Scholarships are awarded to an individual based predominantly on his or her ability to play in a sport. The NCAA sponsors many women's volleyball programs. There are 311 Division I Women's volleyball programs. There are approximately 269 Division II Women's volleyball programs. Volleyball scholarships, like any other athletic award, are very competitive. Nearly all NCAA schools have scholarship programs of some sort. The NCAA Sports Listing NCAA Sports Listing allows you to search Division I and II Volleyball programs, those that offer full or partial athletic scholarships. There are also other scholarship opportunities through the NAIA or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, which has nearly 300 member colleges and universities, nearly all of which offer some sort of athletic scholarship.


Why is Saguaros so focused on player improvement?

Saguaros are so focused on player improvement because WE CARE. In the end, we realize our customer is paying us to TEACH your child. We take this seriously. Some of our competitors promote winning, winning, and more winning. We like to win too. But there is more at stake. We know that if we teach your daughter well, and you can both see the dramatic improvement in her skills, (and hopefully in work ethic and goal setting and things outside of volleyball) then you will be a repeat customer. We have MANY, MANY players who return year after year and get better and better. That's important to us.


Do Saguaros teams travel?

All teams will travel at least twice a season. 


Do you offer sibling discounts?

Yes. We are happy to offer your family a discount for multiple players. Please call 623-341-4583 to discuss. Alternatively you can email with your phone number and we will call you.


Do you offer cash discounts?

Yes, please call our office number to discuss. Alternatively you can email with your phone number and we will call you.


Do you offer a discount if I pay for the entire season up front?

Yes, please call our office number to discuss. Alternatively you can email with your phone number and we will call you.


What if I want to do more?

At Saguaros we always encourage our players to do more than required. We provide a number of options for those serious or motivated players that want to get better, faster. All of our players can attend any practice (that is appropriate for their age) at ANY of our practices, with ANY of our coaches. For those that want more individualized instruction, we offer a variety of private lessons, small group lessons, and position specific training.


Do all players "make a team?"

At the younger levels, all players will make a team. They will be assessed at tryouts and placed on a team with girls that have similar ability. With 14's and above, spots will be offered to players based on ability. Some players will make a "number 1" competitive team (that may travel), while others will be placed on a developmental team.

What if I don't make the “number one” team? Because Saguaros uses a proven training system and spends time investing in our coaches, the level of training is very good across the board. Each and every player in the organization has access to coaches from all teams and is encouraged to train with other teams if they miss a practice. They will also have access to camps, clinics and private training for an additional fee. Every athlete in our system will be pushed to play at a higher level relative to their experience and ability. We will work very hard to place them in a situation where they will have the opportunity to improve. In addition, because of our clubs prior success, our club receives more attention from college coaches, and number 2 and 3 teams benefit from increased exposure compared to other clubs.


Will all players have equal playing time?

All players will play all the time at practice. Our younger players will play ALOT. Developmental teams playing time at tournaments will be distributed fairly evenly. At more competitive levels, playing time is "earned." Players are expected to work hard in practice, to do more, to train harder, and to work hard to earn more playing time. ALL PLAYERS WILL PLAY in tournaments. The extent of the court time will

vary depending on the team. Remember, one of the goals of the older teams is to prepare our players for collegiate play, where playing time is NOT equally distributed.


My player is involved in other sports. Will this be a problem?

We realize that many players are still trying to experience other sports as they develop. We encourage this. Cross training with younger athletes is a great experience and helps develop the muscular system in different ways. If your player has to miss a practice then she is welcome to come to another team's practice. We would encourage you to look at the list of tournaments dates posted on the website to insure that your player can attend most of the tournaments. Her team will be counting on her. Elite teams required a high level of dedication. Please talk to a coach about this.


How do I tryout or register?

Open tryouts are held in November but we do allow players to register year-round.  So contact us to find out how to get involved.


What about uniforms?

Our club looks good on the court! There are no hidden fees for uniforms. We give you what you need to play for the season. Our customized uniforms are designed specifically for Saguaros. Our dues include a full uniform package which you pay for at the start of the season, with fitted jerseys, bikers/spandex, warm ups, a team bag, and socks. You will also have the opportunity to purchase additional uniform items if you want them.


Can you help my daughter focus on the mental part of the game?

Absolutely!!! Volleyball is as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. We will give your player reading lists, as well as help her develop visualization techniques to help her body and mind connect and teach her how to respond under pressure situations. We also help players realize that they have to experience failure in order to achieve success, and that failure should be viewed as a stepping stone to that next level. Your player will learn to overcome obstacles, identify weaknesses, focus on them to improve upon them, and focus on the strengths to overcome barriers. We feel confident that this training is useful not only in volleyball, but in life!


I like what Saguaros has to offer, but my daughter wants to play with her friends at another club. What should I do?

Encourage your daughter to bring her friend to a Saguaros clinic. Players love our coaches!!!! After teaching a skill like jump serving, or correct platforms for passing, or 3-step approaches, our players improve and many are eager to make the switch. As the parent, you are the final decision maker. You will be making an investment in your daughter. We encourage you to discuss the potential returns on your investment with your daughter and make the best choice for your family accordingly.

I'm not sure my player is serious about volleyball. Am I over-committing her?

Many players get "hooked" on the sport and really enjoy her team. For our younger players, the social aspect is almost as important as the playing aspect. Younger teams practice a total of 3-4 hours a week. Many of our players remain friends for many years. (In fact, so do their parents.) Tournaments are a great way for families to spend time with other families. It's also an excellent way to insure your player stays physically active.


I’ve heard rumors that Saguaros has already picked teams – even before tryouts. Is this true?

This is absolutely NOT TRUE. We have open spots on ALL of our teams at ALL age levels. Please come to a tryout and see for yourself.  Return players are kept in mind for certain teams based on past performance, and will be placed on teams that can use their experience and leadership.


I didn’t find out about Saguaros until after the first round of tryouts was finished. Is it too late for my daughter to join the club?

No, it’s not too late. We will make sure your daughter is adequately assessed and placed on an appropriate team as space permits. We build this type of situation into our team placements. Please call for details on how we can assess your player if the tryout dates have passed.


My daughter got cut from her middle or high school team. She is a bit hesitant of getting cut again. What should I tell her?

Saguaros are committed to helping ALL PLAYERS make their high school teams. Although not guaranteed, substantially all players who have trained with us DO make their high school teams. Some of our BEST PLAYERS came to Saguaros after being cut by a high school team during their freshman year. After training in our program, they went on to make their high school team, and START on their future college teams. We can put you in touch with other players that were in the same position.


Saguaros seems focused on getting older players college scholarships. What if my daughter has no intention of playing at the college level?

We ARE focused on helping all players that WANT a scholarship receive one. (Of course, we cannot guarantee scholarships, but we certainly have an abundance of resources available.) If your player has no interest in playing collegially, we respect that. We still believe that pushing our girls to be the best they can be is a great goal for all of our players. And even if your player doesn’t want to play collegially, we will introduce her to ways to check out schools and see if they are a good fit for her, even if she has no intention of stepping on the court there. Finally, learning to be competitive and setting and achieving goals has a place in all of our adolescent’s lives, whether they choose to play collegially or not.  


My daughter has been with the same club for several years and just feels comfortable. She is a bit afraid of change. How do I get her to explore other options?
If your daughter is happy with the status quo, then maybe that club is a good fit for her. We will push your player to strive for higher standards. Complacency is not in our vocabulary. We are certain that we can improve her level of play.


I don’t have time to sit around at practices for two hours. Do I have to stay there the whole time?

You are making a big investment of time and money into club volleyball. You are hiring professionals to teach your player. There is no need for you to stick around during the practice session. Enjoy the surrounding areas. In fact, most players do better when they are NOT under the constant watch of their parents. But don’t worry, all of our coaches are experienced and background checked and your daughter will be fine in your absence. (And we are sure you can use the break too!)


Do the Saguaros offer player scholarships or price breaks?

Absolutely not! Every year many players contact us looking for tuition assistance so they can participate in club volleyball.  Our experience with this situation is this, if there is no buy in then there is a lack of commitment from the player and parents. This hurts the teams and the club as a whole.


Does your club expect parents to fundraise?

Absolutely not! Many clubs use this as a “hidden cost” or as a way to make the club dues appear lower than they are. We have no problem if you want to do independent fund raising on your own, but we do not expect any of our players to “sign up” for “mandated fund raising.” Our fees are stated up front and won’t change for any reason.


What kind of parental time commitment is required at your club?

We know that you are making a big investment. We also realize that parents lead very busy lives. Other than supporting your daughter financially and emotionally and getting her to/from practices, we do not expect you to volunteer unless you choose to do so. There is no volunteering required, as is the case with some clubs.


Once a player makes a team, does she stay with that team for the season or do you move players around?

Except in very rare cases, a player stays with the same team for the entire year. This insures synergy and consistency for the team throughout the year.


The coaching of a player seems really important. How do I know my daughter will wind up with a good coach?

One of the most important factors to consider is the kind of coaching you will receive. Coaches at each club have a wide range of coaching experience, from very successful high school and college coaches to those with little experience. Indeed, the relationship your athlete has with the coach is important. Having a chance to interact with the coach of your athlete’s age group is important. We encourage you to attend pre-season skill training sessions, talk to players and parents from that coach’s previous season, and check out the coach’s resume. You will find that we are only a handful of clubs who eagerly share our coaches’ resumes with you. We realize that the coach of your team is a determining factor and we proudly encourage you to compare our coaching staff to any other club in the state, or even nationally. When you do your research, consider that a club’s level of commitment to improving their coaches speaks volumes about the programs commitment and passion for excellence. We invest heavily in training our coaches because they are our greatest asset. We are sure that this investment will pay off in your daughter’s club experience with Saguaros.


I’ve heard that club volleyball is cost prohibitive, but I want my daughter to experience playing in the club. Any suggestions?

We have developmental teams that are relatively inexpensive and payment plans are available. In most cases, we can work with your family to find an arrangement that is mutually beneficial. Contact for further assistance.


I have no idea what age group my daughter shoul

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 Semi-National 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 41 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