Athlete Expectations

We are drawn to high character athletes who are aligned with our mission and live The QCVA Way. They are (or are growing to be) open-minded, low-ego, authentic, empathetic, disciplined, kind, resilient and competitive. Being part of the QCVA community means carrying these expectations of yourself and others, in everything you do — on and off the court.

  • Bring your true self
  • Strive for greatness
  • Generosity for good
  • Growth every day
  • Transparency builds trust

Compete Every Day!

We ask our athletes to compete, every day and at every moment in training. Each athlete’s active participation, regular attendance and consistent effort in practice and tournaments is expected and will factor into playing time. Given we are human and have occasional off days, athletes should communicate to their coach and teammates the moments where they might not be at their best. Training at practice is the minimum commitment level, so it’s absolutely critical that every athlete supplement with other training activities. Your commitment to your team should take priority over participation in winter/spring high school sports or other extracurricular activities.

Athlete Code of Conduct

QCVA is focused on creating a community environment. Being part of this community means assuming the best of others and treating everyone with respect, empathy, kindness and compassion. Since volleyball is a team sport, it is important that all parties are committed to building a partnership – amongst athletes, coaches and parents – to position everyone to have a positive experience this season. We expect everyone to help cultivate a positive and empowering environment. Conduct that creates an intimidating or hostile environment is not tolerated.

QCVA is committed to each player’s development as an athlete and a person. We encourage you to improve every day in every aspect of your journey.

  • Represent yourself and QCVA. Model good sportsmanship by being honest, supportive and encouraging. Take defeat with humility. Be authentically you, show empathy toward others and hold each other accountable.
  • Trust is earned, respect is given. Being honest with your coaches and teammates fosters an environment of trust and respect within the team. Assume the best of your coach and teammates. 
  • Prepare to be the best. Show up with intensity, even in fundamental drills. Know your role and give your all to your team. Be curious to learn and open to feedback. Listen carefully during instruction time.
  • Step into a growth mindset. Step into a challenge when it comes. Collaborate and communicate with your teammates and coaches in a constructive way. Ask for help when you need it from the QCVA team.
  • Create a community. Find your role in contributing to team culture and unity. Make sure every teammate feels a sense of belonging to the team. Be wary to take part in cliques or engage in behaviors that disrupt team chemistry.

Disciplinary Action

Offenses that constitute a violation of the Athlete Code of Conduct and The QCVA Way will result in disciplinary action.

  • 1st offense – Counseling session with the coach(es), QCVA staff and parents
  • 2nd offense – One-day suspension from practice and/or tournament 
  • 3rd offense – Grounds for dismissal from the team upon QCVA leadership review

Repeated incidents of not following the previously mentioned protocols may also result in adherence to this procedure. Acting or speaking unruly, disrespectfully or violently toward QCVA staff, coaches, parents, officials, spectators or opponents is not tolerated.

Playing Time 

Playing time in matches is not guaranteed nor equally distributed. Families pay for regular training and the opportunity to play on a travel team in a high level of competition. Our coaches’ intention is for every athlete to get regular opportunities to compete in tournaments. However, playing time is earned – not given. We trust our coaches to make the decisions that put the team in the best position to perform – and we support them to do so.

  • Leading into a tournament: Playing time is determined by a number of factors, including skill, performance, attitude, communication, leadership and the athlete’s adherence to our values and expectations. It is also influenced by the coach’s strategy/game management and expected absences by athletes. 
  • During a tournament/match: There are many considerations that go into a coach’s lineup selection and playing time decisions, including game strategy, strength or weakness of an opponent, number of substitutions and its impact on rotations, athlete performance or attitude in the moment, athlete absence or injury, etc.

We encourage our coaches to proactively share the reasoning for playing time decisions and to give specific feedback about what they’d like to see in order to secure more playing time. We also encourage athletes and parents to proactively communicate their curiosities or concerns with their coach with the intention to build mutual understanding and prevent unnecessary conflict or resentment. 

Questions or Concerns During a Tournament
Please do not engage in conversation with a coach about playing time, positions, lineups, etc. during a tournament.  If you’d like to have a conversation with the coach, please wait at least 24 hours after the tournament’s conclusion to approach them.
Communicating Questions or Concerns

If an athlete has any kind of concern, we strongly encourage that the athlete first approach their coach to have a conversation before a parent gets involved.  If concerns remain after the athlete has met with their coach, please reach out to the QCVA staff to set up an appointment to discuss the matters with you and the athlete. If there is a concern about a coach’s performance, please reach out to [email protected] to arrange a conversation.

Practice Expectations

  • Wear QCVA practice shirts to team practice and any QCVA apparel to Sunday training 
  • Immediately help with net system setup and logistical items (balls, boxes, etc) 
  • Keep the gym doors closed
  • Clean up and throw away trash around gym after training 
  • Return logistical items (first aid, boxes, masks, equipment, etc) to storage
  • No one leaves until everything is done – this is a team effort!

Attendance and Punctuality

Each QCVA athlete is expected to attend every practice and tournament, understanding there will be circumstances that prevent their attendance on rare occasions. We also expect athletes to arrive in the gym at least 10 minutes before a meeting time or the start of training. This ensures that everyone has ample time to get ready and that the team can make most of its limited time together. Fundamentally, it is about respect for your coach and teammates and accountability to the team. Absences and tardies to any QCVA event will be regularly tracked for the sake of accountability. There are conditioning and playing time consequences for athletes who do not maintain consistent timeliness and attendance.

Attendance Policy
  • If a team reaches three total absences during the month, the entire team will engage in additional conditioning at a future practice – led by the coach’s discretion. 
  • If an athlete misses two practices in a period between tournaments, they will sit out the first set of the first match of the next tournament. 
  • If an athlete misses a tournament day due to any reason outside of an injury, they will sit out the first match of the next day of the tournament or next tournament – at a minimum. 
  • Any absence from practice impacts skill growth and performance. Athletes who miss practice due to a high school sport, injury, illness or conduct have to earn their playing time.
  • Any athlete who sustains an injury must submit a doctor’s clearance note and share with their coach. This note must include a return to play date and be signed by the physician. 
Tardiness Policy
  • An athlete will run sprints in the gym for every minute that they are late to training or meetup at a tournament – no matter the reason for their late arrival. 
  • Athletes who accrue three tardies in the season will sit out the first set of the first match of the next tournament that they participate in. 
  • Athletes who are late to the tournament meeting time will sit out the first set of the first match that day.
  • An athlete who accrues seven tardies in the season will be suspended from the next tournament after they reach the threshold.
  • Repeated absences or tardies can result in a suspension from all team activities, as determined by the athlete’s coach and QCVA’s directors.
Communication Expectations

In the event that an athlete has to miss a practice or a tournament, that individual is obligated to communicate per the following terms. In any case, athletes should inform their coach as soon as possible, giving as much advance notice when possible. 

  • Practice/Training: Share your news/decision with your team via your group text, stating the reason for your absence. 
  • Tournament: Share your news/decision with your team in person, stating the reason for your absence.

Tournament Protocols

Tournaments are the time to put business first. Athletes are expected to invest their full attention into volleyball preparation and performance (stretch, rest, eat/drink well, study competition, etc.).We expect our teams to take a professional approach to tournaments, as we believe that how your approach has a big impact on mindset and performance. 

  • Arrive an hour before their first match or work assignment – to give space/time to prepare and because matches can run ahead of schedule. 
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes before your agreed upon meeting time. All athletes should walk to the court together as a team. 
  • Wear QCVA apparel (including your uniform), all black (if non-QCVA apparel) and shoes. No pajamas! 
  • Stay together as a team! When you aren’t competing, we strongly encourage you to support other QCVA teams and/or to study your opponents.
  • Phone usage during tournaments should be extremely limited. Put your phone in your bag or give it to your parent.  
  • Each team’s assistant coach will oversee work assignments. Everyone needs to know to do all work duties.
  • Every team member must stay at the court until officiating duties are completed.
  • Athletes are expected to attend one team bonding event at every tournament.

Once you step into the gym, you should be fully locked in on volleyball. We encourage the following activities once you’re together in your team:

  • Review what you’ve learned/worked on in practice recently
  • Revisit your team’s goals for the tournament 
  • Ask your teammates what their goals are for the tournament
  • Recite your self-affirmations 
  • Observe your opponent’s matches