Beach Club Overview

LATEST NEWS: Registration for the 2017-2018 Year-Round Beach Programs has opened. CLICK HERE FOR COST AND REGISTRATION INFO FOR THE YEAR-ROUND PROGRAM Checkout the new beach club video below that recaps the 2016-2017 season.


Join us at Southern Sand Volleyball Academy (SSVA) for a unique club experience focused on bringing the fast growing and exciting sport of beach volleyball to juniors. Click below for a slideshow introducing our beach club and providing a recap of activities this past season and the testimonials video for input from both players and parents.



What differentiates us from the others?

While the basic skills relate to indoor volleyball, the reality is that indoor and beach are totally different sports. With beach volleyball now an official NCAA sport, the divide between beach and indoor is increasingly growing with many volleyball players across the US deciding beach is what they enjoy the most with some also looking to pursue playing in college and beyond.
With staff that has been involved in the establishment and growth of junior beach volleyball in North Carolina since the beginning, we have an unsurpassed understanding of where the world of junior beach volleyball has been, where it’s currently at, and where it’s heading. We are known by college beach programs and have successfully helped many of our athletes get recruited since the club’s establishment in 2014. (Click here for a current list. We also strive to create a club environment with player comraderie.
We work with and compete against other major beach clubs across the US (OH, VA, GA, FL, TX and more) as part of the Eastern Sand Power League (ESPL) series, which we created and continue to provide a leading role in developing. The ESPL series offers our athletes an opportunity to play beach year-round against players who are primarily beach-focused players as well. The venues and locations are top notch and the competition fantastic. This provides the athletes of all levels a lot of excitement and challenges them to be the best they can be.
With 10 courts at our facility in Apex, NC, we offer athletes the best beach venue in the area. With lots of courts we can:
  • Spread athletes to maximize training reps and increase one-on-one type instruction
  • Offer several practices per week, and open court times for those in our club.
  • Offer the full gamut of conditioning in the sand, which is extremely important in the beach game
  • Host large tournaments at a central location
While we’re sure any club will say this about their staff, the difference here is that the priority is quality over quantity. We are not focused on being the biggest club possible. Instead we look to hire staff who understand the game and conditioning inside and out, while also being able to establish a fun environment for the athletes with little stress and drama. Ultimately, we want players to love and play the sport as adults. Unfortunately, many youth sport programs these days create an environment where players lose their love of playing sports. We look to buck that trend.

2017-2018 Program Info

Who? Girls ages 11-18 (Note: We do offer seasonal Girls 10-12 Young Guns and  Boys Programs too! Email John with questions)groupshot-sunset

Where? Our family friendly, alcohol free, 10 sand court facility in Apex on the grounds of Hope Chapel – 6175 Old Jenks Rd

What? Junior beach volleyball club that offers the following:

  • High-level training sessions with jump training and conditioning
  • Organized competitive play through focused play sessions throughout the year (aka Competitive Training Days) – at times mixing in with college level players (Southern Sand Alumni and other college players).
  • Tournaments (local and travel) including several Eastern Sand Power League (ESPL) series events and national qualifier events.
  • Info sessions including video analysis, seminar topics, etc. (indoor sessions)
  • Assistance with college recruiting
  • Break periods are built into the schedule to give athletes a rest and factored in when determining program costs
  • Three program training options:
    • Focused Beach Option
      • Intended for those athletes looking to immerse themselves in sand as much as possible toward being the best sand player possible
      • The intention is for athletes to attend on average 3+ training events per week with some flexibility (see next bullet item) on making less or more in a given week based on week-to-week situations.
      • Note: Athletes are expected to attend a minimum of 2 events per week to ensure priority participation at tournament events. Advanced notice of missed weeks will be required
    • Cross-training-2 Option
      • Intended for those athletes looking to mix indoor and sand training (with a somewhat equal weighting to both), or wanting to commit to less than Focused, or can only travel to Apex on the weekends (or a couple times per week).
      • Attend on average 2 training events per week. There is flexibility in which days the athlete trains
    • Cross-training-1 Option
      • Intended for those athletes looking to mix indoor and sand training, with even less commitment.
      • Attend on average 1 training event per week. There is flexibility in which days the athlete trains
    • Remote Athlete Option
      • For players 2.5+ hours away or more. Email John for details.
  • Competition Packages: Regardless of the training option selected, our competition schedule is available to our beach club members. Go to the competitions page for details. Its assumed that Seasonal athletes will be compete in the Regional (in Apex) tournaments – in terms of competition package costs, but will be given the opportunity to attend travel events with an add-on cost. Competition package costs cover coach pay, travel, lodging, meals, etc.
  • Want to Learn More? Below is the schedule of Placement Clinics leading up to the Seasonal Beach Club. During those clinics evaluations of the athletes are made to determine which of our programs is the best fit. It is only required to attend one of the clinics, but attending more than one is possible if desired.
  • You must pre-register for the clinic: CLICK here to REGISTER
    • Sat, Mar 3, 2018 – 12:30PM – 2:30PM
    • Sat, Mar 10, 2018 – 12:30PM – 2:30PM
    • Sat, Mar 24, 2018 – 12:30PM – 2:30PM
    • Sat, Apr 7, 2018 – 12:30PM – 2:30PM (note: some program options will start around the time of this clinic)

2017-2018 Program Details

Beach Club – Year Round (Nov-July)

Yes, Year Round junior sand training is here and has had huge success! Our Year Round beach club programs starts with a Winter session that runs from Nov-March.  With proper cool weather gear, players are able to practice and compete throughout the winter in NC. Included in this program is the ESPL Competition Series, a tour of events that SSVA has played a lead organizer role in establishing. This series offers beach club athletes multiple opportunities, both local and travel, to face quality competition during the Nov-March period, which is traditionally an off-season for tournaments.


Practice Times*

Tuesdays & Thursdays: 4:30PM-7:00PM

Sundays: 1PM-3:30PM

Some Wednesdays: 5:00-7:00PM for “Individuals” Training

Some Saturdays (12:30 to 2:30PM): Organized Competitive Training Days. Could move to Wednesday evenings in the spring and summer.

*Focused program participants can choose to attend as many of these practices as they can with the intention being on average 3X per week. Cross-training program participants can choose to attend any of these days (average 1X or 2X per week), and attending as many Sundays as possible is recommended.


Conditioning and Jump Training vertimax

Each of the primary practices (Tu, Th, Sun) also includes a conditioning component (30 min to an hour depending on the day). Refer to the following page for details about this portion of the training:

Competitive Training Days

We will incorporate more competitive play throughout the season, and bring in competition – coaches, college players, adults, etc. We have noticed that competition with coaches is an excellent way for us to teach the game. We consider these training sessions, and a great way for our athletes to practice what they have learned, or things they want to try in a competitive setting. Although we will work to bring in competition, we are open to, and encourage athletes to, suggest possible competition to bring in. During the November – March period it will be on Saturdays when possible and weather allows. During the seasonal period (April – July) the plan is to hold them on Saturdays when possible, or as an option for Wednesday practices.


After initial deposit, monthly payments will be charged from Dec to July and will also include the monthly competition package fee. Tournament registration fees will be paid when registering for the tournaments attended. No fee for open court times during August-October (and throughout the year) will be collected from those who have already registered for the beach club.


Beach Club – Seasonal (April-July)

During the months of March/April, SSV holds Placement Clinics toward assisting juniors to find the right fit into our various spring/summer programs. One of the possibilities is an invitation to join the beach club, and joining those training and competing since November. Therefore the information listed in the Year Round section above applies.

Also special practice options for those who show a high level of ability in the sport, to play alongside college players (Southern Sand Alumni and other college players).

Please refer to our Beach Club Competition Series page which highlights the events that will have coaching available (Seasonal tournaments are highlighted in orange). Each training program includes coaching at up to 3 SSV hosted tournaments during the April-July seasonal program period. Any potential travel tournaments will be treated separately.

We do get questions asking how will playing beach only impact their ability to play indoor for their school. The truth is, playing beach doubles all spring and summer has given the athletes plenty of skill reps, and transitioning from sand to hard court will be an easy one – as they will be quicker and jump higher because of they are used to moving/jumping in sand. Some of the SSV coaches have extensive indoor experience, and can certainly answer any questions about that transition, or potentially work with an athlete to prepare them.


Practice Times*

Since those being brought into the Beach Club are joining the Year Round members, the practice times are the same as listed above in the Year Round section.


Seasonal Program Registration

Once an offer to be part beach club is given, a Placement Clinic participant will join by paying the initial deposit. Monthly payments (including tournament coach costs) will be charged in subsequent months (the last being July).


Other Training Options

Although spelled out on other pages of the website, other training options to the Beach Club programs are:

  • Super Juniors

  • Power League: A less-intensive training/pick-up play program will also be offered during April-July 2016. More details coming soon.
  • Private Lessons – to be arranged separately with the desired coach


Beach Club FAQs

Any of the following reasons might explain why a player would consider getting involved in beach volleyball at SSV:
  • Want to be an all-around skilled volleyball player with less focus on being a specialized position player.
  • Love the constant involvement in every play. One simply can’t beat the number of ball touches you get from playing doubles.
  • Want to avoid the stress that comes with the whole tryout process
  • Want to avoid injuries. Sand volleyball is a low risk sport when it comes to injuries.
  • Recognize the shot reading, quickness, jumping, and overall conditioning improvements made when training in the sand
  • Enjoy the outdoors and look forward to possibilities of traveling to other beach volleyball venues locally, regionally, and nationally
  • Recognize the lifelong opportunities to play in college and beyond. It is very practical to round up just 4 players for a game.
  • Want to consider a cost effective volleyball program option that also includes jump training / conditioning.
  • Looking for a club-like environment where everyone trains and competes together with a large team comradery at tournaments
  • Simply enjoy the beach game!
  • These programs are open to boys and girls, ages 10-18.
  • Everyone must be a USAV member. If not, sign-up here
  • Must provide a USAV medical release form to Southern Sand Volleyball, prior to attending your first practice. Note: The form does not need to be notarized for events in NC but may come in handy for outside of state events.
  • Agreement to all the policies outlined in the Southern Sand Volleyball Handbook.
Unless specifically mentioned, all programming is designed for doubles (2 person) play which is the official format for competitive sand volleyball.
There is no need to sign-up with a partner for our beach club programs.
  • Players will have the opportunity to provide input on tournament partnerships for any event
  • Players in the National competition package can use up to 2 passes where they and a partner (within the club or not) can choose to partner on their own. Advanced notice to SSV coaching staff prior to a deadline set for each event is required before registering. Coaching staff still reserves the right to decline the request if exceptional situations arise such as someone in club is partner-less still.
  • Players are free to partner with any player of their choosing (club member or outside the club only if special permission is given by the club staff) under the following situations:
    • Events that offer bid divisions alongside non-bid divisions (examples: USA Beach Nationals, AAU Nationals, ESPL Series Finals)
    • Any tournament not conflicting with Southern Sand’s beach club tournament schedule
  • For all other events, coaches will have the final say on partnerships.
The Southern Sand beach club programs may offer up to 5 training events in a given week (practices on T, Wed, TH, and Sun with possibility of competition training on some select Saturdays too). With that said, making every training event is not the intended purpose. Instead, the expectation is that a focused beach program athlete attends on average 3 training events per week. If they make less one week due to weather cancellations and/or other scheduling conflicts, then they can make up by attending more in another week. For a cross-training beach program athlete, the goal is attend on average 1.5 training events per week.
It is the expectation that athletes registering for the year-round program commit to participating from Nov-July. Similarly, those registering for a seasonal program are committing to an April-July program. If you have an exceptional situation that you wish to discuss possibilities, email John.
When we have athletes sign up for our programs, there is administrative effort/costs that occur, hiring and scheduling of coaches, planning, etc. So in extreme cases we understand exceptions may need to be made (i.e. job loss, season ending injuries), but overall reasons such as vacations, other activities planned, etc. are not reasons we consider when it comes to athletes not fulfilling participation and payment obligations.
As interest grows we may introduce a tryout process for the year-round program. For the seasonal programs in April-July we utilize the placement clinics as a tryout process.
If you are completely new to beach volleyball, the USAV outdoor volleyball age groups are defined in 2 year increments. The 2017/2018 outdoor season age groups are listed below. If playing in tournaments, a team must play in the age group that the oldest player is eligible for. However, a team can also choose to play in a higher age group if desired. For training, players of various ages will inevitable be mixed together with the focus more on players with comparable skill level training together.
  • 18U – Born on or after Sept 1, 1999 (or if in 12th grade and born on or after Sept 1, 1998)
  • 16U – Born on or after Sept 1, 2001
  • 14U – Born on or after Sept 1, 2003
  • 12U – Born on or after Sept 1, 2005
  • For training sessions, there is no minimum requirement. Please show up wearing comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting a little bit dirty/sandy and appropriate warm weather gear (hoodies, long sleeves, pants, sand socks) if necessary. All we ask is that our club athletes don’t wear competing sand club apparel during practices or tournaments. We do have an assortment of Southern Sand apparel that athletes can choose to purchase at the start of each training period.
  • For tournaments, we do have a minimum uniform package per season (and other package options). While we do not have any requirements on what is exactly worn at each tournament, we do ask that athletes wear at least something with a Southern Sand logo on it during play and while at the tournament.
Sessions will be postponed/cancelled or moved inside (only during the cold/winter months) under the following conditions with the website homepage and Schedules (Juniors Calendar) being your primary source for updates:
  • Prolonged periods of Heavy Rain prior to or during scheduled practice time that results in puddling and otherwise unsafe playing conditions in the sand.
  • Thunderstorms – if forecast to be imminent, and training will stop once lightning is seen
  • Tornado Watch or Warning
  • During the cold/winter months – snow/ice on the courts, or extremely low temperatures.
Although SSV has some athletes who completely focus on beach, most of our club athletes still play indoor for their school team, and excel at it. Transition from beach to indoor is much easier than the transition from indoor to beach – why? Well, in sand your body adapts to jump higher, get quicker, be more explosive. Add our sand conditioning to that, and the results of what walks onto a hard court is a very strong and explosive athlete. Plus by playing beach doubles they naturally cover more court, have a no ball drops mentality, are not worried about whose ball it is, have served and received serve more during match play, and are smart attackers with multiple ways to beat a block/defense. Even setters improve their level of play, because with beach you learn to set no matter the situation (out of system), plus they have the ability to block/pull and play high level defense due to their doubles play.