Indiana Volleyball Academy: Developing Area Youth One Player at a Time
As Volleyball Director Emily Hawthorne walks through Incrediplex early Sunday morning, the freshly cleaned courts sparkle with volleyball nets and carts of balls lined up across the gym. At that moment, the air is quiet; however, the courts will be buzzing in a few short hours with players and coaches working hard, developing skills and maybe even having a little fun along the way.
While the Indiana Volleyball Academy (IVA) has run a competitive club volleyball program for years, the organization continues to grow and develop into much more than a standard club. As IVA heads into their 2013-2014 season, they provide a growing number of programs for girls and boys of all ages and experience levels, including Lil’ Spikers clinics for 4-10 year olds and a Fall Youth League open to 1st-8th graders.
Elite and regional level club players start as young as third grade and can play through their senior year of high school, benefiting from many of the club’s services including sports performance training and a college recruiting coordinator. Many of these athletes continue their playing careers collegiately while others use the additional training and experience to become leaders on their middle school and high school teams.
IVA enters its eighth club volleyball season with some new faces and team options joining their veteran coaches and core offerings. Training teams will be offered this season, providing quality practice and playing experience with a reduced time commitment. Teams practice at Incrediplex twice a week, participate in a handful of local tournaments and receive a reduced uniform package, allowing IVA to offer this experience at a competitive price point perfect for the multisport athlete or families with increasingly busy schedules.
IVA welcomes several strong coaches to their staff this season, including college coach Travis Fuller (Purdue University) and Justin Kean (Marian University) who returns for his second year at IVA. Lawrence Central Varsity Coach Kyla Montgomery, who also has college coaching experience, joins fellow varsity coaches Steve Hawthorne, Mark St. Martin, Dee Dee Galligher and Rob Zajdel.
IVA also welcomes two of the area’s top youth coaches, Jeanne Boss and Barb Tease, who have been extensively involved with Hamilton Southeastern Volleyball at the high school and middle school level.
Regardless of which coach is leading the training, the mission and philosophy remain the same. From the beginner to the elite athlete, players are not only developed with first class technical training, but also with a focus on doing things the right way with teamwork, sportsmanship and character building opportunities, all in a positive and healthy environment for the athletes.
Emily Hawthorne enters her second full club season as the Director of the IVA after spending previous years as an elite coach for the club. However, developing youth programs and working in club administration is nothing new for the veteran coach. Hawthorne started running youth programs 15 years ago in West Lafayette before settling in as the Varsity Coach at Zionsville Community High School. The Junior Eagles Volleyball Club, a feeder program Hawthorne started in 2005, continues today, giving youth players a place to play and develop in the Zionsville community.
“Looking back on my first few years of volleyball as a player, I realize how much of an impact coaches and sports teams can make in a person’s life,” said Hawthorne. “It has always been a goal of mine to be involved in a place like IVA. Our coaches truly care about the players and know that they have been given an incredible opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of these young ladies.”
Tryouts for all IVA club and training teams begin in late October with youth clinics and leagues running year-round.
Summer and holiday camps as well as private and small group lessons are also available. Information on all of IVA’s programs and coaches can be found at http://clubiva.com. Club Director Emily Hawthorne can be contacted directly at 317-823-9555 x24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tryouts for 8-14 year olds begin October 27
- Tryouts for 15-18 year olds begin November 10
- Elite Team season: December-early June
- Regional Team season: December-May
- Training Team season: December-March
- Lil’ Spikers: 4-10 year olds
- IVA Insanity: 4th-10th graders
- Sunday Fall Clinics: 5th-8th graders
- Fall Youth League: 1st-8th graders
- Spring Training: April and May
- Summer Camps: June and July
- Holiday Camp: early January
- Private and small group training offered year-round