“Nicknames are the most essential in life, more valuable than names.”

Hi there,

I recently heard local varsity players were scolded by their coach because they were socializing with their opponent before their match. I smiled when I heard this, because these “opponents” are longtime SoCal teammates. Teammates I’ve helped guide from lanky, uncoordinated tweens to confident game-changing young women.

I don’t blame the girls for forgetting school allegiances. Being club volleyball teammates doesn’t create a bond by blood relation ⏤ it’s a bond by blood, sweat, tears, estrogen and braids!

I’ve been SoCal Volleyball Club’s Coaching Director for over a decade now, and the evolving off-court concerns and insecurities I hear from players reinforces the importance of these strong, real-world, social bonds. That’s why I’m honored we’ve developed the nickname on the street as: “Social Volleyball Club”

While other programs are about winning at all costs, we’re about winning with character and building authentic relationships.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what a thoughtful parent wrote after our 14s team won their JOs bid last season…

Teens are at a stage where they’re finding independence, and spending more time with their peers than their families. So while your daughter is using you as home base, she’s exploring her social options and values away from home. Our gym is her home away from home, and the SoCal staff and families are an extension of your parenting.

Regardless of where your daughter plays for the SCVA, she will win and she will lose. That’s how the system is setup. Here at SoCal, she’ll learn how to compete with character. Because in the future, when she’s in the boardroom landing an important deal, in the operating room saving a life, or launching an innovative new business — it doesn’t matter how many volleyball matches she’s won, it’s the values and social skills she’s learned competing that’ll make her succeed.

And you don’t have to burn bridges with your opponents to get there. This week I had a conversation with Patricia, our Office Manager and long-time member, and she summed it up beautifully: “You can be a winner and be kind about it.”

I love it. Stay awesome and kind SoCal crew!