Category Archives: Volleyball

Success Story: Volleyball Star on the Rise

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When Champion’s QUEST first opened the doors to youth athletes, the focus was all geared to helping the local Seal Beach Volleyball Club. Now we have been open for over fifteen years and have been able to help athletes in all sports with their athleticism. We have continued to provide the training for many young volleyball athletes in the Los Alamitos-Long Beach area and we are now working with a phenomenal athlete that is on the 14-1’s team for Seal Beach by the name of Grace Abdoo.

Grace started back in 2011 with our Summer Volleyball Camps and continued doing theunspecified-1 camps for the next couple of years. She joined our program as a full-time athlete in the Spring of 2014, which was a little less than a year after her older sister started the program. After doing three years of the Summer Camps along with seeing all the improvements her older sister was able to gain, her mother wanted to give Grace the same advantage her sister was gaining since she competes in a sport where height is an advantage. From her first evaluation back in the Spring of 2014, up to her most recent in the month of August, Grace has been able to increase not only her athletic ability but her confidence on the court.

Her Mother had told meIf you could have seen how she served in a game back when she was 12, and how she serves now, it’s night and day. Also, she doesn’t get nervous in big games, even if she knows a lot of people are watching. For example, when they made the finals at Junior Nationals early this year.

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CVBA Santa Monica Women’s B Tournament Winners

Earlier this month, Grace was able to win the California Beach Volleyball Association Women’s B Doubles Tournament. She started playing in unrated and B women’s tournaments this just year, just to get some experience playing against adults since she has been playing Beach Volleyball for just about three years now. Grace is currently a Freshman in the Pace program at Long Beach Poly High School and is a starter on their girls JV Volleyball team.

 

Grace has gained a lot over these past couple of years and she continues to grow in her athletic ability. She may not have the height most Volleyball coaches look for in their athletes but she makes up with tons of talent and ability on the court. Her game knowledge is a level above her peers and she will continue to grow in her sport from her coaches at LB Poly, Seal Beach VC and her Beach Volleyball Coach Misty May-Treanor.

Being a freshmen in high school comes with different struggles and I am very confident that Grace will have that mental strength to push herself beyond any situation that may be presented to her within the next four years. We at Champion’s QUEST will continue to provide her with a strong direction and guidance in her sport and life!

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Summer 2011

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September 2016

Article By: Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1

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2016 Summer Performance Camps Calendar

The wait is over! The best Summer Camps Offered have been set for 2016!

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Suburban League Player of the Year: Ashley Whittall

Southern California is a hub for girls volleyball because of the amount of talent and the level of play in the area. There have been many of the local high 14-web-So-Cal-8x10-16-Smack-Ram-2015.jpgschool girls recruited into some of the tops volleyball schools all across the country.  This level of play sometimes makes it really hard for most of these girls to be noticed locally and when they do it is something that could be start to great success. Norwalk High junior Ashley Whittall is one of our athletes that has gotten noticed by the HMG Cerritos Community News as the Fall 2015 Suburban League Girls Volleyball Player of the Year. They also recognized her on the Suburban League’s Girls Volleyball First Team Outside Hitter, along with Honorable Mention from the 2015 Press-Telegram’s Dream Team all as a junior.

Ashley has been committed to our program here at Champion’s QUEST since April of last year and is very responsive to the training. She has attended a mix of Speed, Strength, Power and Volleyball ClinicsScreen shot 2016-01-05 at 2.16.09 PM during this past year. With the training, Ashley has been able to increase her blocking vertical by five inches and her approach vertical by four inches, which would take her up to 26″ off the floor. Her upper body pushing strength doubled from 30push-ups to over 60 within a minute. Her speed with court coverage had one of the biggest increases,she decreased her change of direction (Pro-Agility) time from 5.31 down to a 4.63. With the time she has spent dedicated to her training it has shown it on the court which has lead her being recognized by the Suburban League with her two awards.

Screen shot 2016-01-05 at 2.15.37 PMDuring the season Ashley has lead the Norwalk Lady Lancers volleyball team to a 16-11 overall record and 9-3 in league. This season she had 21 kills at Cerritos on October 8th, 20 kills against La Mirada High on October 15th, 16 kills against Mayfair High on October 1st and against John Glenn High on October 20th and 15 kills against Cerritos on November 2nd. All of these games plus her team leadership has made Ashley a standout amongst her peers which earned her the Player of the year for the Suburban League. One of the reasons for a high percentage of kills this is her arm strength and speed in her swing. With her quickness off the floor along with the height in vertical jump both compliment her ability to attack the ball.

Athletes just like Ashley are one of the biggest reasons why I love my career. She always displays a strong work ethic, committed to her training, dedicated on  improving her skills and ability on and off the court. 14-web-So-Cal-8x10-16-Smack-Ram-2015.jpgAshley is not only a strong player on the court but she also is preparing herself academically for college by taking Advanced Placement courses that will help her increase the chances of getting an Academic Scholarship along with her athletic ability that will help her get an Athletic Scholarship. Any coach would love to have Ashley on their team because she is an athlete that will stay focused and always have a positive attitude during each session. I wish her the best of luck during the upcoming Club season on the 16’s Select with the So Cal Juniors Volleyball Club and will continue to develop her athleticism in order to give her a strong base to prepare her for college.

Congratulations Ashley!

 

Article by,

Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1

 

 

Matthew Wade – Volleyball Coach/Intern

Matthew will be working with us at Champion’sImage 6-3-15 at 3.08 PM Quest as a Volleyball/Strength and Conditioning Intern for the summer. Matthew grew up in La Mirada California and played multiple sports from a very young age before finally finding his home in volleyball. In volleyball he played as a middle blocker, outside hitter, and opposite. During his high school years he attended St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, where he played on the varsity volleyball team his last two years. Outside of school he played for  Highline volleyball club in Long Beach, who he now coaches for! During Matthew’s last year playing club volleyball before college, hiImage 6-3-15 at 3.09 PMs team went on to win the gold medal at the Junior National’s Tournament. He was selected to be a part of the All Tournament Team. After high school Matthew went to California State University Long Beach while also playing volleyball for Long Beach City College. In 2012 his team at Long Beach City College won the volleyball State Championship.

Matthew is now a full time student at California State University Long Beach, studying in the Kinesiology department with an emphasis in Fitness. He is excited to start his Fitness studying at Champion’s Quest and is looking forward to passing down his knowledge to the future of sporting programs!

High School Volleyball: The Best Off-Season Training Program

High School Volleyball: The Best Off-Season Training Program 

By: Meggan M. Brunette, B.S., C.S.C.S., USA-W

The two to three months before Fall season is the most important training time in a Imagevolleyball athlete’s season! This is the best time to build up strength and explosive power that can be maintained throughout the Fall season. Pre-Season training should include a combination of olympic lifting, core training, agility training, and overall conditioning.

Olympic Lifting increases your ability to explode out on the court, as you jump higher, and dive faster. Generally power lifting is done with lighter loads to ensure that each repetition is completed with great speed. Many coaches do avoid these lifts because it is risky for overhead athletes. However, I believe with the right supervision from a knowledgable and experienced coach they can be very beneficial. Olympic lifting improves stabilization of the entire body, trains the muscle fibers to explode in unison, and increases bone mineral density (preventing osteoporosis and stress fractures.)

There are very few local high school programs that get sufficient time in the weight room to build strength during the off-season. Therefore, it very important that athletes take the time to find a place to strength train during the Summer. Increasing strength by completing exercises such as squats, dead lifts, pull-ups, bench press, and a series of rotational core strength exercises sets the athlete up for a successful season. Most importantly, having a solid foundation of strength will increase the odds that the athlete will remain injury free. Strength training will be completed with heavier weights and lower repetition frequency with the maximal rest after each set, for best results.

Conditioning should be done with an emphasis on anaerobic and circuit training while including aerobic exercise. This combination of conditioning does not mean playing hours upon hours on the court. Many of my high school volleyball athletes want to play all day everyday. Although getting a lot of repetitions and playing time will help you initially, it is not good for longevity in the sport. For example, many new volleyball players want to play outside hitter, flying high and hitting hard. Therefore, they practice and practice hitting and jumping and eventually improve. That same player then goes on to college, excited for the opportunity to get a scholarship or even play professionally, and before they know it they are experiencing shoulder injuries and stress fractures. Due to the fact that volleyball is a multi-directional sport, athletes are also at great risk for knee and ankle injuries without the proper training off the court.

That being said, conditioning should be considered separate from the actual time they are playing on the court. Agility and speed training in combination with some longer duration cardiovascular training during the off-season ensures that the athlete returns to play more agile and with greater endurance.  In every position, it is important that the athlete have good body control, fast reaction time, and ability to cover the court quickly for either a pass or hit. These demands of speed and agility are best met by anaerobic conditioning which are short time periods of work followed by intervals of rest.

Remember that before beginning any strength and conditioning program, volleyball players should be evaluated on ten factors of the athlete’s fitness. These include strength, power, speed, agility, mobility, flexibility, coordination, quickness, local muscular endurance, and aerobic capacity.  In summary, an off-season Summer program for Volleyball athletes should include a combination of aerobic and anaerobic training which increases overall fitness levels. Strength training and olympic lifting increases power and explosiveness on the court, while decreasing risk of injury. Speed and agility training improves their movement on the court while speeding up their reaction time to the ball. Flexibility is always important both for speed and injury prevention and should not be overlooked. Most importantly, work hard and have fun with your training!

Why More Indoor Players Need to Be On The Beach

Why More Indoor Players Need to Be on the Beach

Written By: Caitlin Ledoux, B.S. California State University Long Beach                                 Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 6.27.51 PM

Indoor volleyball has become a very specialized sport.  Players frequently play one position and very rarely venture out to try others. This has many pros and cons, which will be further discussed in a future blog. Due to the fact the indoor season has become so skill specific, beach volleyball has become the perfect off-season training tool.

Beach volleyball’s main season is Summer after the Junior Olympics and Nationals. Most importantly, the season falls right before high school season. High school volleyball season is typically killer on teenage bodies.  Athletes may practice five days a week for two to three hours at a time, and usually have some kind of conditioning on top of that.  The conditioning that playing beach volleyball provides makes the transition into such a tough season much easier.

In beach volleyball, there are only two people on the court at a time. This therefore requires players to become adept at all aspects of the game; the taller players must learn to pass and the shorter players must learn to put the ball away. When there are only two people on the court, it is also harder to place blame on others.  Players learn a new sense of responsibility and accountability that is often times missed in the indoor game.  Another aspect of this responsibility is that players can change partners every tournament if desired; they are in charge of picking a partner and making the relationship work.

There are some differences in the rules between indoor and beach volleyball, which adds another layer to the mental aspect.  One of the biggest differences is that there is no coaching allowed during the match.  The players are on their own to work through a match with out relying on a coach to strategize and encourage.  The players are required to communicate as a unit during play time and make their own decisions.  Conflict and game plan changes are to be worked out during time outs or in between plays. Players that are not comfortable honestly and openly communicating with their partner will struggle. This practice of communication builds leaders on indoor teams!

One of the most key reasons why beach volleyball is such a wonderful off-season training tool is that it is played on the sand.  This is not only a wonderful workout, but it is also good for the joints after a long indoor club season.  The sand gives, so there is a minimized impact on the knees. This causes the body to use more muscles to stabilize and prevent injury than is required in indoor.  It also gives shoulders a break. While there are typically more attempts per player on the sand compared to indoor, the swings are not as hard and are less frequent.

Lastly, beach volleyball provides a break to the hectic schedule of indoor.  High school and club seasons take up almost ten month of the calendar year; this is mentally and physically challenging. Beach volleyball provides the players with a fun and exciting way to keep skills and conditioning in check while giving the brain a rest.

For all of the reasons listed above, and many more, beach volleyball is a fun tool that needs to be incorporated in more indoor volleyball players’ game.  So grab a friend and bathing suit and get out there and play!  Who doesn’t love a day at the beach??