By Mike Miazga

Around 2010, Sports Performance alum and former University of Nebraska player Maggie Griffin was at a crossroads in her career. Her volleyball playing days had come to a close after a two-year run professionally in Puerto Rico and The Netherlands. Griffin was part of Nebraska’s 2006 NCAA championship team. “I was done playing,” she says. “I was a finance major at Nebraska and I did that for awhile and did not enjoy it. It wasn’t a good fit for my personality. I was back in Lincoln (Neb.) between careers.” A friend suggested opening her own club. “It was sort of a hobby while I was still a volunteer coach at Nebraska,” Griffin says. “I realized I loved doing it and pretty soon it became a full-time career.” Today, Volleyball Club Nebraska (or VC Nebraska) has 22 teams, up from four when the club started in 2010. VC Nebraska has close to 200 kids on teams. There also is a youth academy program and some well-attended summer camps the club runs. Going into it, Griffin had quite a library of experience to reference. She played for the nationally recognized Sports Performance Volleyball Club in the Chicago western suburbs. Griffin logged nine years at the club, starting when she was eight. Griffin is a graduate of Rosary High School in Aurora, Ill. “As a player, Sports Performance was instrumental in my career beyond high school and professionally as well,” she says. “I would not have the opportunities I had if I had played club somewhere else. It’s not just about the volleyball side. I learned a lot of life skills as well that eventually helped me start my own club. Sports Performance helped mold and shape my career.” Griffin adds she uses some of Sports Performance’s philosophies in her current club. “We have modeled a lot of the training and club philosophy after what I learned at Sports Performance,” she says. “It’s the backbone of what I wanted to do. We’ve taken some things that have helped make Sports Performance successful and made them the pillars of our program and then have adapted them for this part of the country.  Why not do some of the same things as the best club in the country? My experiences at Sports Performance were key in starting my own program.”

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