Tentative Dates: March 11-May 4
Play Dates: April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4
Season Fee: $200
Background Information: Terri and Larry Jensen founded West Area Volleyball Association (WAVA) in 1999 initially as a way to provide athletes an opportunity for more playing time during the off season. WAVA was created as an alternative for athletes who couldn’t afford the very expensive Junior Olympic volleyball clubs that were becoming popular around those years. WAVA went through many changes over the years of offering the program to 6th-12th grades in the early years to cutting WAVA down in 2002-2013 for only 6th-8th graders. Starting in 2014 WAVA expanded to include athletes in grades 3-8. Terry and Larry ran the program until 2012 when they moved to Nebraska and then turned the club over to West High School Head Volleyball Coach, Sarah Kirby. In 2020 the club name was changed to MAVA – Mankato Area Volleyball Association to encompass all athletes in the surrounding Mankato area.
Club Director: I started coaching for WAVA in 2004 and have enjoyed watching the program grow over the years. I began coaching at the High School Varsity level in 2003. I coached with the West High School volleyball program from 2009-2016. I took over as the WAVA club director in 2013 and am very excited to continue expanding the club throughout the future. I believe in order to build strong High School programs, it is critical to start with feeder programs, such as MAVA. I enjoy coaching at this younger level and believe that through the sport of volleyball, our young people learn skills they will use now and later on in their daily occurrences of life. In 2022 I have also taken over organizing and running the Spring League that MAVA participates in. The league averages 55-60 teams each year in Southern MN.
Philosophy: MAVA is a skill developmental volleyball league. Each athlete can expect to improve his/her skill level from the first day of the season until the very last. The focus is not on their current skill level, but to challenge them to improve upon their personal skill level over the 8 weeks of involvement with MAVA. We believe athletes refine and improve their skills through organized and challenging practices and by competition in tournaments. While it is impossible to have “equal” playing time in the sport of volleyball, MAVA emphasizes fair playing time among all of its athletes.
Program Goals: MAVA's goal is to develop our young athletes into "volleyball" athletes. We will accomplish this goal by providing them knowledge of the sport, repetitive fundamental work, and challenging them to become true volleyball athletes who are proud of themselves and proud to be a part of the MAVA volleyball organization. We want them to walk away from the MAVA season having had a fun experience which we believe will be provided through hard work, dedication, and team work.
Expectations: We expect our athletes to give 110% whenever they are in the gym and be focused the entire practice (not talking with friends, checking cell phones during water breaks, etc.) We expect them to listen to their coaches and maintain an open mind to try new things. They must be willing to take risks and make mistakes as they learn and grow within the sport. We expect open communication among players, parents, and coaches. The parent, or athlete, must directly contact their team coach (through email, text or phone call) if he or she needs to miss, or be late, to a practice. Other teammates should not relay a message to the coach at practice.
Season Specifics: Our season will consist of 8 weeks of practice and 5 Saturday tournaments. Each practice will be approximately 1½ hours long. Athletes should be dressed in practice gear including shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes, and have his or her own water bottle. Knee pads are encouraged but are not required. MAVA is available to male or female athletes in grades 3rd-8th.
Any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the club director.