WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CLUB
As a club parent, guardian, or person in charge of a Strikeforce participant you need to know about the dedication and commitment required to play club. While a commitment to nights and or weekend practices and travel tournaments may be the obvious component, parents may find themselves endlessly waiting in cars, sitting around in loud gyms, and running out for food. However, they will also enjoy a community of other parents and families who may become friends forever. The idea of a weekend in a gym may sound boring, but the journey and the destination make these experiences some of the most exciting, rewarding, and best times of your life.
Being a volleyball mom or dad is a demanding but very rewarding experience. Having a child who is more concerned about being properly hydrated at a conditioning session than engaging in a million other teenage behaviors will bring a sense of worth and harmony to your life if, and only if, both of you accept the challenge together.
Yours in Sport
Dre & Kala Sloan
Parents, guardians, or persons in charge of a Strikeforce participant must abide by and uphold all Strikeforce rules and procedures. They will respect the decisions of coaches and officials made in the course of performing their duties and assume full responsibility that the player they register does the same. If the parent, guardian, or person in charge fails to do so, or the player they register fails to do so, they and/or the player may be removed and barred from Strikeforce practices, games, or events.
Fees are due according to the schedule outlined in the Strikeforce Player Agreement each parent signs when committing their child to play on a team at the commencement of the season. Payments are accepted in cash, money orders or personal checks made out to UPPS II, Inc. and debit/credit cards.
Please remember that the club cannot operate and meet financial obligations if any member defaults on the payment of dues. If a club member is delinquent in their dues, they will not be allowed to participate in practices and or tournaments until payments are up to date. If additional time is needed to make a payment, the information must be communicated to the Strikeforce Club Director a minimum of 48 hours prior to the due date.
Parents are responsible for arranging transportation to all practices, tournaments and other events. All practice facilities are easily accessible by car and/or public transportation.
Travel Tournaments generally include a two or three-night hotel stay and two or three days of competition. Travel teams can expect to travel within the State of Florida or to National tournaments across the country. Parents are responsible for transportation to and from these tournaments.
Carpooling is always acceptable and highly encouraged. Strikeforce recognizes that parents may have conflicting obligations which make it difficult to provide transportation for their child. Please remember to always appoint a guardian for your child if you are unable to attend a tournament. Coaches must be free to fulfill all coaching obligations and cannot be expected to take responsibility for an un-chaperoned player. To assist you with making carpool arrangements, all parents and players will receive a team roster with the contact information for each family on their team. If you have any questions or difficulty coordinating transportation, please contact your team’s IParent.
IPARENTS (Informational Parents).
Each team needs one volunteer parent to take on the role of IParent. This person will act as a liaison between team parents and coaches/Strikeforce administration. The main responsibility of an IParent is simply communication, and he or she can choose to delegate parent responsibilities as needed.
Examples of possible responsibilities of IParents include:
Assisting coaches with distributing information and schedule changes
Organizing team chaperones for tournaments
Assisting with tournament logistics (collecting money, awareness of team member travel plans, etc.)
Acting as a representative for your team to Strikeforce administration
Parents are encouraged to attend as many tournaments as possible. Spectator seating and refreshments are often limited so you may want to bring folding chairs and snacks for your comfort and convenience. However, many venues restrict coolers and sometimes to do not allow outside chairs to be brought in. Be sure to have an IParent or chaperone check the rules of your playing venue ahead of time to avoid inconvenience.
For overnight tournaments, Strikeforce will make an effort to secure a block of rooms to offer to parents, but since this is not always possible due to availability, parents should be prepared to make their own hotel reservations. Please do not be concerned about staying at a different hotel than the team, as all players will be under adult supervision at all times and will spend most of their time with their team and playing volleyball. All athletes are expected to be with their team at all times throughout the duration of the tournament. Parents/Families are encouraged to attend any and all team dinners and activities at their convenience. Under extenuating circumstances, players may be released to their parents, but only at the discretion of their Head Coach.
At most tournaments, teams are generally required to work the first match after losing in a playoff round. All players on the team must stay until the team is finished and dismissed by the coach. While we realize that families are often anxious to get on the road home, staying together until dismissal is part of the team experience and commitment in addition to being a mandatory obligation by all teams participating in any event.
HOTEL & MEALS.
The club will book rooms for coaches ONLY. Parents will be responsible for checking in a minor. Athletes are allowed to stay with parents. Any athlete staying with a non-parent (ie friend or relative etc) must have his/her parent notify a Strikeforce Club Director permission to do so in writing 24 hrs prior to the event. Coaches and Chaperones have authority over all athletes on the team during hotel stays and should enforce all team rules and expectations. Parents should encourage proper hydration and eating habits and will be responsible financially for all meals for that athlete. Attending a scheduled team meal is encouraged but mandatory.
TALKING TO THE COACH.
Be friendly with your child's coach, but remember that coaching is their number one priority, so try not to distract them from the team. Parents often offer coaches rides, snacks, or meals. This is fine, but be aware of perception when it comes to close relationships with coaches. They do not want to appear as to be showing favoritism to parents and/or players. When socializing after play or outside of scheduled events, remember that everyone is representing Strikeforce and should behave accordingly. Be mindful if engaging coaches in conversations about volleyball. Keep it positive.
Parents are encouraged to discuss the following with their child’s coach:
Ways to help their child improve
Concerns about their child’s behavior
Coach’s expectations for their child and their team
Team rules and requirements
The college recruiting process
Parents should not discuss the following with their child’s coach:
Strategies used by the coach during tournaments
Other players or parents
Players are encouraged to discuss these issues with their coach directly. This is the best way for them to gain an understanding of what they need to do to achieve their personal goals. It is very difficult to accept that your child is not playing as much as you hope they would, or in the position, you might think is best, but coaches must make judgments and decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interest of the team. The coach must take into account ALL members of the team, not just your child.
Playing time is based on Attendance, Attitude, Skill and Practice Outcomes, not necessarily in that order. While all team members will generally play at some point in all events, court time will NOT be equal. The coach’s primary responsibility is to the needs of the team as a whole, over any given individual. NO ONE is guaranteed playing time. Players (not parents) should discuss issues regarding playing time with the coach, and only at appropriate times. Playing time concerns should NOT be discussed during tournaments.
If an athlete is unhappy with her role on the team, the athlete must ask the coach(es) for a quick meeting before or after practice. This is to ask the coaches “how can they increase/change their role on the team?” If the athlete is still not happy, they can ask for a meeting with the coach(es) AND either Coaches Director must have written down what the athlete can do to improve their role on the team. If an athlete is still not happy, then a parent can ask for a meeting with the athlete, coaches, a club director, and parents.
***Any deviation from this protocol, including a parent approaching the coaches about the athlete’s ROLE on the team, or any other break in this chain of communication, will result in a one-week suspension of the athlete.***
The single best source for current information is the Strikeforce website. Information about practice and tournament schedules is posted there as soon as it becomes available, and updated as necessary. Due to privacy and security concerns, an account must be created and users must sign in before any information is available to them.
Coaches, IParents, and Strikeforce Administrators will frequently disclose important information about upcoming events via email. Please make sure your email address is correct on your registration information packet.
Strikeforce is dedicated to improving the volleyball skills of each and every student-athlete in the club. This goal cannot be met unless each team member fulfills their obligation to attend all practices and tournaments on a consistent basis.
Attendance and Absences
Strikeforce understands that family obligations, school functions, and illness are a part of life and that in the event of a conflict, personal choices must be made. However, as team sports rely on the dedication of all those involved, and it stands to reason that the players who are best prepared in practice will be the best equipped to play in games, Strikeforce urges all members to not take their commitment to this program lightly. Please familiarize yourself with the attendance policy below, and consider all outside obligations before committing to a team.
Players are permitted two excused absences from practice without consequence.
Players are NOT excused for any missed tournaments or practices in excess of two.
In the event that a player must miss practice or a tournament, they MUST inform their coach in advance.
Any unexcused absence from practices or tournaments will result in reduced playing time at the next attended tournament. The player will be prohibited from playing the first match of the tournament as a consequence for an unexcused absence at practice, and one additional match for each additional missed practice. Players who miss a tournament will sit out at least two matches of the next tournament.
Schedule for practices is set at the beginning of the season. On occasions, it may be necessary to make a temporary change due to emergency cancellations. Schedule changes will be posted on the club website and sent via mass email or text messages. Players are responsible for frequently visiting the website and being aware of any changes.
Punctuality is extremely important in order to make the most of practice time. Players are responsible for arriving 15 minutes prior to the start of practice and are expected to be ready and on the court at the scheduled start time.
Appropriate attire is required at all times. Gym clothes and sneakers should be worn. No jewelry may be worn during practice and cell phones should be put away.
Illness and injury are an unfortunate part of the volleyball season. Players who are ill and contagious should not attend practice. Players who are injured should attend practice even if physical participation is limited because there is still much to be gained from observation and listening to the coach’s instructions.