In the 2021-2022 season, K2 Volleyball Club made the decision to restructure their club team offerings, consolidating its nationally ranked elite travel program from 20 teams to 9 teams and increasing the local travel program to 30 teams. Here’s a look at why the club restructured its team offerings and how it has impacted other programs.
Factors for change
The COVID-19 pandemic was a big factor in the decision. Parents were keen on getting their kids back into activities, and the local teams / non-elite program registrations went way up. The local travel teams practice and travel far less than the elite travel teams, plus the program is split into two seasons, so it accommodates multi sport athletes very well. The first season runs November through February and the second season runs March through May. The cost is $1,200 for each each session and the teams play in all but one or two K2 hosted events, typically 5 tournaments in each session.
The rising cost of the elite travel teams is also a factor at a $5,000 price point. Many more families can afford $1,200 for a local travel team than $5,000 for an elite travel team.
The Knoxville area is a smaller market so there is not the depth of athletes to pick from, especially in the older age groups where size really starts to matter. 95% percent of the athletes that do not make an elite team decide to stay with the club and play for a local travel team.
The number of coaches that are capable of coaching at an elite level is limited in K2’s market, so by limiting the number of elite teams the club is able to guarantee an elite coaching experience for the elite travel teams, rather than create elite teams coached by an inexperienced coaching staff. The local teams receive master coaching from the elite coaches for skill development and their team coaches manage their play at tournaments. Long time K2 staff member, Director of Operations and 13s Elite Coach, Brent Carter, runs the club’s local travel program. The team coaches are high school and junior high coaches, former K2 players, current elite players, and some older volleyball fans and former players that just love teaching the game. Some of the coaches are placed with more than one team, and a couple of elite coaches help train the local athletes as well.
Positive Impacts of the Change
After starting a boys team in 2012, K2 decided to expand to multiple teams in 2021. By 2022 there were 65 boys that competed on five teams in 12U-18U. K2 will now be…
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