While there’s no volleyball to be played, there is plenty to read and watch about volleyball and we hope you will take advantage of it.
Here at VolleyballMag.com, we’re doing our best to provide as much content as we can. As the daily digital news source for all things volleyball, we’re still writing features of all kinds, from NCAA to pro beach and everything in between.
And our media friends are, too.
Specifically, PrepVolleyball.com, which specializes in preps and juniors, and Off The Block, which covers the men’s game, are hard at it.
The national volleyball organizations, like USA Volleyball and the JVA, are hard at it, too. So is Art of Coaching, which is providing more content than ever. The AVP has features, too.
“This is (usually) our busy time for qualifiers and event coverage, and with everything pushed back or cancelled, PrepVolleyball.com is focusing on being a resource at this time, particularly with recruiting,” said Sloane Green of PrepVolleyball.com.
“We are hearing that our readers — players, coaches, and parents — are anxious about recruiting. Juniors athletes are not being seen at events so we’re trying to do our part by putting together an unsigned seniors list, an updated college needs list, and by writing a weekly “Recruiting 101” article together with club recruiting directors.
“We’ve given athletes a voice by publishing their words and we’re staying connected through social media by highlighting the creative ways in which athletes are managing to stay sharp.
“I’m pretty impressed with how responsible and dedicated they are.”
Speaking of social media, you must have seen the bazillion videos out there of team passing. With some nifty editing, teams are passing volleyballs from one player to another the world over. For that matter, early on the quarantine when April Ross went into her backyard and peppered against a piece of plywood, the volleyball internet went nuts. And earlier this week Mathias Berndtsen’s volleyball-playing dog Kiara put volleyball into the mainstream for a couple of days.
Off The Block is also showing videos of classic men’s college matches every Monday through Thursday at 9:15 p.m. Central.
“Off the Block is continuing its commitment to covering the game year-round,” said editor Vinnie Lopes, who this time of year would be readying for the NCAA postseason. “The matches unfortunately may be over, but the news certainly does not stop.
“Our goal is to provide the men’s volleyball community with their volleyball fix during this difficult time. We have already released several new features like the Volleyball Video Vault, and we will have several more interactive features coming out this summer that will engage fans.”
Off The Block is working on its 2020 national college awards that will be announced next week and continues to produce its weekly podcast and has plenty of interviews and stories on the agenda.
Instagram is a treasure trove for videos and connecting with the sport’s stars, and the best players in USA Volleyball are no exception. If you go to @usavolleyball, you’ll see where some of the players have taken over the account and offered fun, instruction and behind-the-scenes tips.
The USA women’s national team has already contributed quite a bit of content in a series called “The Quaranteem” on USAV’s social-media platforms,including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
USA Volleyball is using the #USAVfamily hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, so search for that. It’s also promoting the #VolleyOn concept with a lot of shared content.
The USA Volleyball website has feature stories and and a place to click for COVID-19 updates.
This includes the most updated information, statements, how clubs can apply for government grants, workout tips, other helpful tips and family resources links.
Erin Virtue, an assistant on the women’s national team, offered a Virtual Coaches Toolkit on YouTube.
Aaron Brock, USAV’s director of sports medicine and performance, is pushing out content weekly to staff and athletes. Click here for one of the most recent of those, which was about dealing with the coronavirus.
The JVA is trying to provide content for athletes, coaches, parents, and club directors. Last week it did a webinar — it was about recruiting and was well attended online — and more are planned. For that matter, if you click on the JVA live stream calendar of events, you’ll see something almost every day.
Briana Schunzel, the JVA director of marketing, education and partner relations, said the JVA will be offering a free membership trial.
“We’re really sensitive that people are going to go through some hard times and we want to make sure we’re viewed as a resource for them,” Schunzel said. “We want them to be able to count on us and if we don’t have what they need, we’ll be a connector to someone who can.”
The JVA also offers information about business for clubs and various forms of volleyball education.
Schunzel said the response on all fronts has been great.
“People are working together, our partners have been reaching out to us and we’ve been jumping on calls with them and potential new partners. It’s cool to see how much outreach has been happening.”
One of those partners is The Art of Coaching Volleyball.
AOC is best known for its popular coaching clinics featuring former Oregon State coach Terry Liskevych, former Stanford coach John Dunning, and Penn State coach Russ Rose.
Now, instead of well-attended clinics around the country, they’re doing a virtual Friday happy hour. Last week, they invited Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth. This week USA Volleyball women’s Olympic coach Karch Kiraly joins them for an hour-long video chat that is shown live on Facebook.
“We’re scrambling, but we’ve got a lot of stuff we’re pushing out,” Liskevych said. “It’s been busy.”
The coaching clinics — including stops in Houston; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Lawrence, Kansas; Chicago; Dallas; and Portland — have all been postponed to 2021.
“It’s been a tough time for us because a good part of our revenue is clinics,” Liskevych. “But we have a vibrant following on our website and we want to continue doing a lot not only for our premium members but anyone in the volleyball community.”
Indeed, there is a ton of volleyball to watch at AOC, including training videos and features with plenty more to come.
“And we’re starting virtual clinics,” Liskevych said, which will be at noon Pacific on Tuesdays and Thursday and are free.
By the way, that Friday happy hour? It’s literally happy hour. Last week, Liskevych had a beer, Dunning a glass of red wine, and Rose his beloved cigar.
The AVP, the pro beach volleyball tour, has also been providing content as its tournaments are either canceled or postponed. Beach player Kim Smith has been doing interviews and writing articles at avp.com; her latest article on quarantine workouts is here.