Defensa is about making Canadian Volleyball better. The easiest way to be the best, is to simply copy what the best is doing!! We want to put our athletes up against the best competition we can, which is in American Club Volleyball as the depth and skill level is currently far superior vs Canadian at all levels. Canadian athletes are every bit as strong and athletic as any in the world, our current system is simply lagging on the world stage. At Defensa, we train our athletes using similar techniques, coaching styles, all with our own Canadian flavor! We still compete in Canada but exposure to top level competition is vital for long term success. If Brazil was financially feasible, we would do our best to expose our athletes to that level of training and competition as well!!
We have a club manual on how each skill is performed with key words so that all teams and coaches are on the same page. We develop each skill with intent on long term, which sometimes means short term losses. We train for an aggressive style of play with long term goals in mind, as there is no real short cut to making successful athletes, but there are short cuts to helping a team win at the club level. (we will gladly and openly share that manual with anyone that would like to share in what we are doing)
For those that have the opinion that Defensa steals athletes and that is why we are successful, here is what we say. We hold tryouts and choose from those in attendance, much the same as every other club. Like most clubs, we choose the best athletes that will form a group with the best chemistry, in many situations that has little bearing on their current skill sets in volleyball. We have in the past not held a tryout as there was no need to change anything for a specific team. Most clubs have open tryouts and choose the team from there, we are not aware of any other method of choosing a team.
Ontario Volleyball posted an message about what parents should look for when considering a club to tryout for.. answers below.
1• What is the club’s philosophy?
2• What is the coach’s philosophy?
3• Does everyone play or only the top players?
4• Will players be learning to play multiple positions or just one?
5• What is the coach’s level of certification?
6• Have their coaches completed police and vulnerable sector screening checks?
7• Where and how often will the team train?
8• What are the registration fees? Are there any additional charges that athletes and parents are responsible for?
9• Is there a refund policy?
10• Which tournaments will the team compete in?
1. Club philosophy is to make Canadian Volleyball better, stronger and impact the National team with skilled athletes. We expect our athletes to work at 100% effort level at all times and we train our athletes to have incredibly deep work ethics. We believe in a unifrom and defined set of skills which are used at every level in the club. The skills are the same from U14 to U18, as are most of the drills. We believe strongly in development and spend a considerable amount of time improving skills.
2. Each coach at Defensa may have a slightly different spin on details, but we all use a similar approach. Work the athletes as hard as possible, as fast as possible and teach them to compete.
3. Playing time is at the coaches discretion. The term “best player” needs to be defined by the club, at Defensa, the best players are the ones that accept coaching feedback, work as hard as they can to improve, put the team’s needs first, makes attempts to get better, even if it means getting worse in the short run. All things being equal, we then play according to team goals and work to get everyone in as much as possible where we do not change team chemistry.
4. We train position specific as much as possible, there is no better way to develop in skill sets in our minds. The younger the age group, the more broad we train. Every athlete on every team takes a lot of repetition on passing and defense. Setters need to set, attackers attack, passers pass, etc. We spend a lot of time working footwork for all positions, but we focus on the positions for atleast half of each practice.
5. We do not focus on certification, but rather we believe that development will pave the way for the athletes. Each coach at Defensa has extensive experience competing in the sport, on top of that we continue to develop in our coaching skills to about 20-40 hours of skills specific education each year. This is done through clinics through USA Volleyball, NCAA, Junior Volleyball Association, Skill specific DVD’s, Drill sites and talking to mentor coaches. While each coach may have a deeper knowledge in a specific position, we try to balance each team with assisant and head coaches that will bring the best learning environment to each team. A level 5 coach does not mean they can teach skills, same as a level 1 coach does not mean they can’t. Experience plays a big factor in any coaches development.
6. All coaches have completed police checks.
7. All teams train in Burlington at various schools. U14 team trains 2 nights a week (Monday and Thursday), everyother friday with optional fitness on off nights. U16 and U18 train 3 nights a week, 2 nights of fitness at home. All teams do an additional 1.5 hours of mental training each week at home.
8. Registration fees depend on level of team. U14 will be roughly $1200. U16 and U18 roughly $3000, plus travel costs. U16-U18 will have roughly 6 events in the US club, ranging from a weekend to 3 days of competition. The travel costs clearly go signifactly higher if both parents attend each tournament. We also offer private lessons, which are optional and additional costs.
9. Refunds will be given according to what the athlete has attended, committed to and completed. If an athlete leaves the club, we will do what ever we can to help them find a new home.
10. Teams will compete in 2 OVA tournaments, and if they qualify in the top 16, provincials. If they qualify in the top 10 from provincials, then also Nationals. We will compete in a power league in the US, plus 3-4 additional US tournaments through the year. Older teams may compete in a few select women’s tournaments. Each team may compete in smaller events as well.
We may add what the history of the club is, as that is important. Here is some information on what we have done since beginning Defensa. All results posted are at the top level or bracket only, we do not believe in misleading people to think we are something we are not!!!
2007-2008… Defensa started a single U15 team. Finished 2nd in Ontario and 2nd at Eastern Canadian Nationals with 8 players, 1 of which started Volleyball that year.
2008-2009…Still just a single U16 team. Finished 1st in Ontario and 5th at Western Canadian Nationals
2009-2010…Still a single team of U17 athletes. Finished 2nd in Ontario and 5th at Canadian National Championships.
2010-2011… 2 teams. U16 and U18. U18 National and Provincial Champions. U16 National Champions and U16 Ontario Bronze. National MVP honors to AutumN Bailey U16 and Emily Ruetter U18. National All Stars, U16 Allyssah Fitterer, U16 SophiA Bukovec, U18 Nico Serratore. North Coast Power League All Stars, U18 Nico Serratore, U18 Katarina Jovicic. Ontario Championships MVP, Emily Ruetter, Ontario All Stars, U18 Michaela Reesor, U18 Nico Serratore. 2011 Evelyn Hollick Award: Michaela Reesor. Best part, Michaela Reesor making National FISU team, though she did not travel to China!!
2011-2012… 2 teams..U15 and U18… U15 team finishes 10th in Canada and 5th in Ontario, U18 National Silver and Ontario Bronze. Autumn Bailey makes the Jr National team as well as Provincial and National All Star. Sophie Bukovec finishes 9th at U19 World Beach Championships. Tori Gorrell and Sarah Williams make Ontario Summer Games Beach team. Maddie Hills makes Team Ontario Indoor. Niki Bozinoski National All Star. 3 graduating seniors (Emily Ruetter, Chelsea Easter and Katarina Jovicic) leave for NCAA on scholarships.
2012-2013… 3 teams, U14, U16 and U18. U18 Won the following: Niagara Can-Am, VolleyFX Hocus Pocus, Dayton Presidents Day, Quebec Provincials, Canadian National Championships, 2nd in North Coast Power League and 3rd in Grand Rapids Open. 7/7 Graduating athletes signed to NCAA Div1 programs, Victoria Gorrell Committed to Penn State for 2015. Victoria Gorrell and Autumn Bailey names to North Coast Power League All Star team.
2013-2014… 4 teams U15-1, U15-2, U17 and U18. A U18 group joined forces as their previous team folded and a couple of other athletes in the same position found their new home for their last year of HS. We are going with a new training format which we believe will pave the way for further success of the athletes.