April 11, 2010

College Volleyball Coaches Association?

I had to think about you when I read the newest publication "Phenom" put out by the AVCA. I really like it as I coach middle school and youth programs and have 2 daughters that play.

But I almost started laughing out loud when I read the invitation for students to join the AVCA just in case they might go into coaching. I think you should start a group that just works for the college coaching rank. I remember your comments several times about how this organization does not do anything to represent you and I agree.

I try and help my local Div II school with promoting their program and getting kids to sign up for her summer camps but as I see more and more the perks and such that womens basketball receive I get put off that no one is really working just for the college game. AVCA is too much of a generalist and is spreading themselves too thin.

Have a good weekend and hope your spring, whatever it looks like is good. I love your information! Lynn

The AVCA is doing exactly what it puts forth in its opening statement on the front page of the avca.org website:

"The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by IMG Associations. The mission of the AVCA is to develop and grow the sport of volleyball; with a membership of over 5,000 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and developing the sport. Members are comprised of national and international coaches, collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as club directors. Other members include former players, officials, media members and other friends of volleyball. As a group, the AVCA is committed to the development, growth, advancement and publicity of volleyball throughout the world."

When I look at this opening statement, I am struck by three things as a college volleyball coach:

1. The AVCA is managed by IMG Associations, a division of one of the largest professional sport management companies in the world. Why does the AVCA need to associate with a professional sport management company? IMG is a business and they make a lot of money, hence their 'management' of the AVCA comes at a price. This reinforces my impression that the AVCA is trying to make money, first and foremost.

2. We already have a body committed to the growth of volleyball and it is called USA Volleyball. Last time I checked, the rest of the world supports volleyball more than the USA does (with the exception of college volleyball, where the USA is unique on the planet), so why is the AVCA assisting volleyball throughout the world?

3. College volleyball in the United States is the largest competitive league in the USA and the world (combination of teams, players, budgets, staffing, etc), and as such, we arguable make up the largest and highest due paying constituency of the AVCA, yet there is no tangible benefit for our membership.

Getting a generic Coaching Volleyball Magazine and an invitation to spend over $500.00 to attend the AVCA Convention is not quite the professional support I was expecting. There is nothing that the AVCA does for college volleyball coaches which I can say brings value to my employment.

But, once again, the AVCA is doing exactly what it puts forth as its mission statement - Being all things volleyball to all possible volleyball people, everywhere possible.

My challenge to fellow college volleyball coaches, is to demand (once again, for the how ever many'ith time) that specific professional support be provided to college volleyball coaches and if the AVCA still does nothing, then college volleyball coaches stop paying dues and instead form a specific organization whose sole purpose is the professional support of College Volleyball COACHES.

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