SOME OF THE REASONS WE LOVE SAND VOLLEYBALL:

  • Never have to worry about playing time-you play every point, every minute of every game, every game of every tournament!
  • Touch the ball on every play
  • You get to do everything every game-serve, pass, set, hit, block, dig, think!
  • You choose your partner, someone you like to play with! We help find partners.
  • No coaching allowed during tournament play
  • Beautiful place to play
  • Swim, surf, fish or relax in the sun or shade after you play
  • FUN!

How serious is this?
Serious. And super fun. We play a lot. We emphasize fundamentals. We teach mostly through play, not drills. We make everything enjoyable, with a score and a reward for winning. We encourage. We hold accountable for effort. This isn’t the place to goof around. It’s fun but we’re serious about training. We teach the most modern methods based on sports science. Our athletes have won many state & national championships and college scholarships. Our coaches have won many championships, including 2015 high school beach volleyball teams which finished #1 in Orange County and #2 in Southern California. Our system produces results. It’s super fun, but it’s the fun that comes from solid effort. Come intending to give your best.

College Scholarships: Our club is 5 years old and we already have athletes playing professionally, an All-American, and NCAA for Pepperdine, USC, UCLA, TCU and other schools. BUT, do not put your kid here because you want them to get a scholarship. Put them here because you want them to have the joy of playing beach volleyball, and the opportunity to grow and learn and improve and make friends. If your main goal is a scholarship, hire a tutor. There’s a lot more money in academic scholarships. Having said that, we’re in regular contact with NCAA sand volleyball coaches about our athletes. We have the highest level training available based on modern sports science. We’re constantly learning more, from the best coaches & athletes in the game. Our philosophy is to give each athlete the best information, in an environment of fun guided play  where they have a great time and are held accountable for strong effort. When they love it, they'll take it as far as they want to go!

I've played a lot of indoor volleyball, but I'm nervous about playing on the beach.

COME!  You'll get over it in the first 15 minutes because our beach volleyball sessions are just plain FUN!  You'll be glad you came!  If you’re going to play indoor, beach REALLY helps your indoor game.  Indoor players are often forced to specialize in a certain position at a young age. On the beach, every player plays every position and uses every skill, all game long, all tournament long!  On the beach, every player plays every game, all game long, all tournament long!  You never have to sit out a game, no one subs you out, you play!  Most tournaments are pool play initially, where you usually get at least 3 games you play every minute of every game!  Many athletes play both beach and indoor volleyball.  Now that sand volleyball is an NCAA scholarship sport for women, and prize money tournaments seems to be on the upswing for men once again, some athletes are choosing to focus entirely on sand volleyball year round. 

I feel slow in the sand, or awkward, or I'm not used to playing beach.  Should I come?

Yes!  You'll be amazed how quickly you get used to it.  At first, you'll feel like you're running in wet cement.  Then, within a couple sessions, sometimes after an hour or less, you'll be having so much fun and playing so hard, you'll forget all about it.  The adjustment happens pretty quickly.


How much does it cost to be a member of American Beach Volleyball Club?  
Click on the Pricing & Payments link.


Do I have to play tournaments? 
You don’t have to, but you’ll want to!  They’re fun!  They’re usually pool play so you get a minimum of 3 games and you play all game long, every point of every game, all tournament long, no subs.  It’s fun!  It’s more fun to win but it’s fun either way!


When are tournaments? 

There are tournaments every weekend through the end of September, at different beaches in Southern California, from San Diego to Santa Barbara.  Click here for tournament registration links: Tournament Registration link

Should I play FIVB tournaments, CBVA tournaments, AAU tournaments, USA Youth Tour Tournaments, USAV Beach High Performance or other tournaments?
YES!  Play them all! 

  • FIVB tournaments offer money and you have to qualify in.  If you haven’t finished playing in college, you’ll want to decline the prize money so your NCAA or high school eligibility aren’t affected.
  • CBVA tournaments are fun and often are the largest.  There are many of them!  Again, if you play in an Open where prize money is awarded, you’ll want to decline the prize money so your NCAA or high school eligibility aren’t affected.
  • AAU tournaments tend to attract a higher average skill level.  The top players will be the same as at CBVA tournaments, but there tend to be less intermediate/beginner teams. BUT, players of every level are encouraged to play in them.  They’re well-run and fun! 
  • USA Beach Volleyball High Performance is the pipeline for the Olympic Team in 2016, 2020 & 2024. 
  • USA Junior Beach Tour is another fun set of tournaments run by a private entity and partnered with USA Volleyball.


Should I play youth tournaments, adult tournaments or both?

Both, if you have skills good enough to play the adult tournaments.  For example, if you are 16 or above, you should play both.  If you’re 14-15 with good skills, play both.  If you’re 13 with great skills, play both, particularly if you can get a strong older partner.  

Should I play two tournaments in one weekend?

In general, YES!  Play, play, play.  In the “old days”, tournaments were two days anyways. Of course, talk to your parents about overtraining, overuse injuries, anything that gets sore.  Make sure you get LOTS of sleep starting on Thursday night and Friday night, as well as Saturday night. If school is in session, make sure your schoolwork is done-business before pleasure! Our club directors prefer to be in church on Sunday morning, but when we have to be at a Sunday tournament, we take our families to church on Saturday night or Sunday night or both.

What if I have an indoor tournament?  Should I also play a beach tournament that weekend?

  1. Talk to your indoor coach.  
  2. If the indoor tourney is Sunday, you may not want to play a beach tourney Saturday.  But, that varies by player. If you can play a beach tourney Saturday and have sufficient stamina and strength Sunday for the indoor tourney, go for it if your indoor coach approves! Make sure to plan for church on Saturday night or Sunday night, if playing Sunday morning causes you to miss church.
  3. Do I need to bring my own partner?
  4. You do not need a partner for our training.  One benefit of ABVC is to get exposure to lots of potential partners.  You’ll see who you play well with and who you like to play with, and vice versa.  ABVC coaches will assist you in choosing partners, but it will be your responsibility to find partners for yourself and to sign up for tournaments and play in them.  The only bad beach volleyball tournament is the one you don’t play in!

Should I play with the same partner, or try different partners?

  • Play with partners you enjoy.  It should be fun!
  • If you’re winning tournaments consistently, you may want to stay with that partner.
  • There are benefits to playing with the same partner.  You get used to each other, to the roles you each fill. 
  • There are benefits to playing with different partners. You learn different things.  You play different roles (e.g. one partner may need you to block all the time, while another taller partner may share that responsibility with you).  You get to try out different partners.

In general, it’s probably best to play with several different partners over the course of the season.  Don’t commit every tournament for the whole summer.  Leave some open as you may improve and have the opportunity to play with better partners. A good rule of thumb is to partner up 3 weeks in advance for sand volleyball tournaments, so you aren’t scrambling for a partner 2 days before the tournament.


My indoor coach doesn't like me to play beach.  What should I do?

Tough question.  You need to work that out with your indoor coach.  There are different perspectives on this.  In our experience, most coaches who have played beach are strong advocates of playing both.  Beach makes you stronger.  Beach makes you quicker and more explosive.  Beach causes you to be an all-around player, to master every skill.  For example, it's common that a middle blocker indoor gets few chances to pass, dig or serve.  On the beach, they get all of those, so when the ball comes to them indoors, the MB with beach experience plays the ball better.  Also, this is ABSOLUTELY something you should discuss when you select your club coach next season.  It won't be a good fit if you're passionate about beach and your club coach forbids sand volleyball, which is more common than you might think. 

How do I decide whether to play left side or right? 

It’s best to play both sides as a developing player.  It develops a wider range of skills.  It gives you more partners to choose from.  You’ll encounter players who are only comfortable playing one side or the other, so if you can play either side, you’ll have more choice of partners.  At the highest levels, you may eventually choose one side or the other; for example, if a lefty plays with a righthander, it’s generally best to have the righthander play the left side and the lefthander play the right side.

What age division am I?
CBVA, AAU & USA Junior Beach Tour all have a September 1 cutoff date.  It’s the same as indoor.  For 2016, this means:

  • 18U: You turn 19 on or after September 1, 2016
  • 16U: You turn 17 on or after September 1, 2016
  • 14U: You turn 15 on or after September 1, 2016
  • 12U: You turn 13 on or after September 1, 2016
  • 10U: You turn 11 on or after September 1, 2016

The exception is USA Volleyball High Performance, which uses a calendar year (Do not confuse this with USA Volleyball Beach Junior Beach Tour, which has a September 1 cutoff date just as CBVA, AAU & SCVA do).


Can I use my hands to receive serve on the beach? 

NO.  
[TO BE PERFECTLY ACCURATE: Receiving serve with hands separated is not allowed in CBVA, AAU nor IBVL beach tourneys. It IS allowed in FIVB beach tourneys BUT hands must be perfect, no double hit allowed like indoors. It's very difficult to do without committing a violation.  So, as a general rule, even at the highest pro levels, players almost never receive serve with their hands.]

What do I bring to the beach?  

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION.  Athletes who don’t bring these items (particularly WATER, SUNGLASSES, VISOR, SUNSCREEN) can be MISERABLE or even UNSAFE.

  • Water.  LOTS of water.
  • Sunglasses
  • Visor or baseball cap (Yes, you WILL quickly get used to it, and it will save you from looking old at a young age)
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Sweats – it gets COLD when the sun gets low or cloudy/foggy
  • Sports drink/snack if you need them.

PARKING – Click  the parking info on the menu


WEATHER:  WE PLAY IN ALL WEATHER.  Just like tournaments.  Wind is the RULE, not the exception, for beach tourneys, so we train in wind. Once you get playing, it’s always fun!  Some ABVBC players were at the Ocean Park tournament in April and they played in the rain!

Can I play beach and indoor?  Now?  In college?

You can play both.  Many do.  It’s fun!  And, they complement each other.  Beach teaches all the skills and gets you strong.  Indoor gets you used to hitting against two blockers, so when you come on the sand and only see one set of hands up to block, it feels easy as pie!

In 2015, 60 high schools in CIF-SS area competed in High School Beach Volleyball in the Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League (www.IBVL.org). 

  In college, you can play both.  But, each are a huge time commitment.  And, it depends on whether the coaches approve.  For example, we know of one Southern California university where the indoor coach wants their players to also play on the beach team.

Can we come late or leave early? 
Yes.  Unlike indoor volleyball, we are able to go on without you if you’re not there.  But, the reason for playing American Beach VBC is fun, fun, fun.  If it’s not so fun that your kid wants to come, sign them up for something else this summer. We’ve found that the kids love to come and train with ABVBC.  So, plan to have them there as much as possible.  The input determines the output. There are no shortcuts. If they attend all or most of the sessions, they’ll improve a ton, and have a good time doing it.  

Is there a discount since we’ll be on vacation part of the season?

Unfortunately, no.  We have to pay for the courts rain or shine, all season long. We have coaches’ salaries and fixed insurance, equipment and administrative costs.  The pricing is set with the anticipation that players will not necessarily make every practice.  HOWEVER, WE DO LET YOU MAKE UP MISSED SESSIONS BY COMING ON OTHER DAYS, OR IN  A FUTURE SESSION. 

Why don’t you spend more time stopping play to instruct and coach? 

At the very highest level, the US Olympic coaches believe that “The Game Teaches the Game!”  They believe this applies to every level.  Isolations & repetitions are “old-school”.  Using high definition video, modern sports science has determined that most skills practiced in isolation don’t transfer well to actual play.  The highest and best use of athletes’ time is to PLAY, PLAY, PLAY.  Our games and drills are designed with that in mind.  Our goal is to maximize the number of contacts (serves, passes, sets, hits, digs, blocks).  
     Another goal is to create intrinsic learners who think for themselves, rather than looking to the sideline at the coach when the player makes a mistake.  When you’re driving and someone gives you turn by turn directions, you often couldn’t find your way there again because you didn’t have to think for yourself.  That’s an extrinsic learner. Intrinsic learners think for themselves and look to themselves and their partner/teammate(s) for solutions.       
     The current generation of athletes are often way overcoached.  They need more time playing.  We believe in limited demonstration or instruction followed by multiple opportunities for the athlete to practice the skill. Our drills are gamelike, with a score, a winner/loser & a consequence.  They focus on including the skill before and the skill after.  
         We're aware that, in general, parents like to see lots of instruction, and kids like to just play.  There needs to be a balance.  But, our system is not driven by either.  It is driven by what best develops the athletes.  Beach volleyball is one of the most things in the world and the best way to get better at it is to PLAY, PLAY, PLAY.  In the end, that’s why we’re out here in the first place, to PLAY AND HAVE FUN!

What about private lessons?

Those can be valuable and we offer them.  They are a good time to work on a specific skill or technique.  Isolations and repetitions can be valuable in private lessons. Private lessons can be good with 1 person, 2 or even 4.

Can you help my daughter or son get a scholarship?
            THE EASY ANSWER:  Yes. Here’s how:

  1. We’ll teach them to be a better beach volleyball player.
  2. Beach volleyball skills make them a better indoor volleyball player too.
  3. We’ll share our knowledge of which schools are offering NCAA scholarship sand programs, and how to get the coaches to look at your child. For example, our Director's beach coach 20 years ago, Anna (Biller) Collier, is now the USC Sand Volleyball Coach.  If we have a player who can play at that level, she'll want to see you!  Current list of NCAA schools offering sand volleyball scholarships:http://scholarshipstats.com/sandvolleyball.html 
  4. The main way to get a sand scholarship is to play sand tournaments and do well in them.  To do well in them, train during the week with American Beach Volleyball Club and play lots of sand tournaments on weekends. 

             THE HARD ANSWER:   If your #1 concern is making sure your child can go to college, and that’s the reason you’re spending money on volleyball, you should take that money instead and spend it on a private tutor.  Great grades and test scores will open up more opportunities than sports.  Also, have them spend time on extracurriculars, particularly service projects.  Volleyball should be FUN and your kid should be playing it because they love it.  If they love it, they may then put in the time to be great and get a scholarship and more.  Either way, they’ll have had a wonderful childhood and they’ll have a sport they’ll love for life!

Are many colleges offering sand volleyball scholarships?
    This is the first year sand volleyball has been an NCAA sports.  To date, 13 NCAA Division 1 schools have started sand programs with scholarships.  More will be added each year.  Current details are available at http://scholarshipstats.com/. 

What is a good age for beach volleyball?
       Let’s start at the high end.  You can play beach volleyball later in life than any other active sport except swimming.  There is no other sport where a middle-aged or older person can go all out, jumping and diving across the court, without ending up on the hospital.  
       At the low end, you can start beach volleyball at any age.  From 2 years on, it’s fun to pass a volleyball with your kid, especially if you use the recommended youth ball, below, which is super easy on little kids' arms.  Or, play with a balloon, which is fun at ANY age, but is great for young kids because the ball stays in the air.

Do I have to buy a ball?

No, but then again…Yes!  You do not HAVE to buy a ball.  We provide them at our training sessions.  The tournament directors provide the court ball at tourneys.  But, you WANT to buy a ball.  It’s nice to bring your own to the tourneys so you can warm up whenever you want and have extra balls to warm up with.  More important, you can then have a game at any beach. And, great players have a ball in their hands all the time, at home, in the car, wherever they are. Parents have to get used to the repetitive sound of the kids passing to each other or setting themselves repeatedly-it’s a small price to pay!

What ball should I buy?
Least expensive good ball is the white & yellow Wilson Official AVP at Costco.It's nearly identical to the white & blue Wilson Collegiate Sand ball, which the NCAA & CBVA are using. 

  • AVP beach volleyball: Wilson Official AVP Outdoor Volleyball – Costco usually has them for $29.99-call and they’ll tell you which stores have them in stock: http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Official-Outdoor-Game-Volleyball/dp/B00171JNZO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1336208175&sr=8-3-fkmr0
  • NCAA sand volleyball: Wilson Collegiate Sand Volleyball (it’s almost identical to the AVP ball, which costs $14 less) http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Collegiate-Sand-Volleyball/dp/B003ASSOJ8/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1336208291&sr=1-2
  • FIVB beach volleyball: http://www.amazon.com/Mikasa-Sports-Official-FIVB-Volleyball/dp/B0055QEAD2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_2
  • AAU beach volleyball: Tachikara VB7500 http://www.amazon.com/Tachikara-VB7500-SWR-Composite-Leather-Volleyball/dp/B00537JBU0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1336208175&sr=8-3
  • YOUTH (12 and under) volleyball:  Molten Lite Touch is a GREAT ball for indoor and outdoor for kids 2 years old through 12. http://www.amazon.com/Molten-Light-Touch-Volleyball-8-1-Ounce/sim/B0063NDXT8/2  
  • KIDS:  Use a BALLOON!  2 to 10 year olds LOVE to play volleyball with a balloon. Or, buy a balloon ball, which is a cover you put a balloon into.

OLD SCHOOL beach volleyball: Wilson AVP -HARD on the shoulder because it's heavier!  http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Leather-AVP-Beach-Volleyball/dp/B00004TQ2Z/ref=sr_1_6?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1336210032&sr=1-6 

Should we play other days? 

Yes!  Play any day that it’s fun.  BUT, don’t play very long on the day before a tournament.  If you’re playing Saturday, then on Friday you should play light or not at all.

What about overtraining?
       Do what is safe.  First of all, consult your doctor.  We are not doctors. If you have a concern that your child is overtraining, consult your doctor.  Also, be sensitive to any soreness or injury, and if you have those, consult your doctor. 
       Having said all that, many of us do or did play, play, play and play some more.  The beach is easy on the body.  As long as it’s fun, play, play and play.  But, keep #1 in mind at all times.What is USA Volleyball High Performance?
It’s the development program for the US National Team, which is the Olympic Team in Olympic years.  It’s a way USA Volleyball is creating a pipeline of quality prospects, so they can develop them over a period of years.  It’s good for your players to attend at least one beach HP tryout and one indoor HP tryout each year.  ABVBC is not affiliated with USA Volleyball, although our Directors, Ian Dyer & Ryan Van Rensallaer, periodically serve as coaches for both the beach and indoor programs. USA Volleyball provides some of the best coaching training available. Our founder/director has attended the High Performance Coaching Seminars (taught by Olympic coach Hugh McCutcheon, Olympic Gold Medalist Karch Kiraly, Stanford coach John Dunning and others), the USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP I & CAP II) and the USA Volleyball Beach Coaching Accreditation Program (BCAP) multiple times, and has coached at the USA Volleyball Beach Holiday High Performance Camp. We recommend you participate in the USA Beach High Performance programs if you are invited to do so. 

The American Beach Volleyball Club t-shirts have information about NEW DAWN COMMUNITIES.  Who are they?

New Dawn Communities www.NewDawnCommunities.org is a high school for orphans & disadvantaged children in Laikipia, Kenya, East Africa.  Our Directors have chosen New Dawn Communities as the official charity of American Beach Volleyball Club.  Please visit the website and consider sponsoring a student.  100% of your donation goes directly to Laikipia Kenya.  NONE of your money is spent on adminstration or fundraising, because that is paid for by the US volunteers and sponsor churches out of their own pockets.  So, it's a great place to give!
COPYRIGHT American Beach Volleyball Club 2015.  All rights reserved.  Use or publication by advance written permission only. 

GOD BLESS YOU!