Welcome to VIA
The Volleyball Institute of America
We've designed this page to tell you not only about VIA-LA program and our philosophies, but also about the USA Volleyball’s Junior Olympic Program. We also cover what it takes to become successful in our program. We certainly hope you’ll become part of the VIA-LA family.
What ages can play VIA? VIA players can start as young as 8 years old, up until 18 years old. Our youngest club teams are 10 & under and gradually go up all the way to 18 & under teams.
What are the different level of teams? We offer VIP, Local, Regional, & National level teams. The team that you are placed on depends on age and level of play.
When are tryouts? This year tryouts will be held on 4 different dates. Depending on what age group you are trying out for, will determine what date & time your tryout will be. Click here for information on Tryouts!
What is the best thing to do to get ready for tryouts? We offer many different clinics throughout the year. To best be prepared for tryouts, we offer a 5 week Fall Training clinic that leads into tryouts. Any Fall Training participant gets their tryout fee waived.
When does the season start? The season typically starts in January, but for some teams they may start in December.
When does the season end? The season typically ends in April, but it depends on what level team you are placed on. Our younger teams end in March and our National teams sometimes compete until June or July.
How often are practices? Practices are typically twice a week for 1 1/2 hours -2 hours.
Where are pracitices held? Practices are held in different local gyms throughout the Northshore area.
Where do the teams compete? Depending on which team you are placed on will determine how far you travel. Our local and VIP teams travel within the state of Louisiana. The Regional & National teams travel throughout the United States.
Who are the teams VIA competes against? The teams we compete against are other club organizations in the USA Junior Olympic Volleyball programs.
WHY PLAY JUNIORS VOLLEYBALL?USA Junior Olympic Volleyball programs have exploded all across the country. Only 23 years ago, the first AAU National Tournament was held and 20 teams made the trip. Today, in contrast, the California Volleyball Festival has become the world's largest women’s sporting event, with over 500 teams and more than 5000 participants. Last season there were more than 40,000 registered junior players in the United States.
Why this incredible growth? There are many factors, but the overall growth of women's sports programs is of major importance. Other important factors are the success of our national volleyball teams and the increase in money available for collegiate women's programs. As women's collegiate programs have prospered, the level of play has increased greatly. The average level of ability of junior players has increased as well. So successful are junior program athletes that most NCAA Division I coaches recruit exclusively from the junior program ranks. The reason for this is simple: coaches can see many solid prospects in a single day at a junior tournament, while it is difficult to see more than one prospect a day during the high school season. This becomes even truer with the new NCAA rules governing the number of times a collegiate coach can contact or observe in person a given player. Efficiency in recruiting is now an action word with NCAA college coaches.
Is Junior Olympic Volleyball only for the college-bound athlete?
Certainly not! Our program begins for the fourth graders. Who can say whether these kids will be headed for college at all, let alone to play volleyball? For most of our members, Junior Olympic Volleyball is simply another challenging experience that leads to a lot more fun on the court as playing skills increase. Playing for college teams is far from the minds of most of our players. Traditionally, most Junior Olympic programs are comprised of players in the 16 & under age division (freshmen and sophomores). In most cases, these players have recently been exposed to high school programs, and a higher level of competition. Many new players are freshmen or reserve players who are trying to move up a level for the next season. Our program is designed to help them. Although we can help, most of an individual's advancement and improvement is up to that person. Athletic talent, size, speed and good work habits are all necessary for top success as an elite player. Players who lack in any of those qualities have to make up for that particular deficiency in an area by working harder to improve another. If the athlete has a sincere desire to improve, then she will probably do well in the Juniors Volleyball Program.
So what about scholarships? Well, they do exist, and some of our players will go on to play in college. Most of these receive partial or full scholarships. Let's put that in true perspective though. Many more players will be involved in the VIA-LA Junior Olympic Volleyball Program as underclassman than as seniors. By the time the senior season is reached, players usually know whether they have the ability and the desire to compete at the college level.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM VIA-LA?
Instruction: Our staff consists of coaches from many different backgrounds and with varied experiences. Many VIA coaches now coach at local high schools around the area and after playing high school and college, they are now giving back to our community with their experience & expertise. Our 2007-2008 season has a very talented staff.
Training Schedule: Top collegiate programs work nearly year-round because the game of volleyball takes a long time to master. Since high school programs are restricted to a few weeks of practice followed by an intensive match schedule, time allowances for technical instruction is limited during the high school season. Our five-month training phase allows ample time for work on techniques so that players may improve their skill levels.
Friendships: Since VIA-LA players come from all over the community, many new friendships are formed with players from different schools. These friendships often cause the rivalry between schools to become even more intense during the next school season as players strive for excellence. The relationships between parents also grow stronger.
Time Management: The time commitment required to be in a Junior Olympic Program demands that study habits improve and player’s budget their time better. It's no secret that many athletes get better grades during their playing season.
College Recruiters: As a member of high school programs, it is likely that the only way a college coach will see an individual is if you or your opponent has an outstanding player. College coaches, however, regularly attend junior competitions since their college season is usually completed by spring. Some even occasionally attend practices.
Fitness: Conditioning does play a large part in our plans for our teams. Physical conditioning outside of the VIA-LA training sessions is vital for any of our more serious athletes and for those who have a desire to play at the collegiate level.
Leadership Skills: The age-group system requires that younger players become leaders on their individual teams. The oldest players in the 16 & under teams, for example, are sophomores in high school. Players returning to high school following their junior volleyball experience often exhibit leadership skills.
Education: We are working on creating smarter players, not just better players. Volleyball is a sport in which new situations happen frequently and outstanding players learn to deal effectively with new situations.
Discipline & Respect: Players are required to be disciplined in relation to time, work ethics, and respect for those in authority, respect for one another, and for all facility equipment.