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Thankful Thursday: Arielle Houlihan

Nov 26, 2020

Today is a special Thankful Thursday, not only because it falls on Thanksgiving, but because it is about my wife and co-Club Director Arielle Houlihan.

Where to begin?

When I first took over Bay to Bay the original plan was that Arielle was going to get a “normal” job in the Silicon Valley. Very quickly, I realized that there was much more to running a volleyball club than meets the eye. Arielle dropped all of her plans and went into Director mode with me.

That is a common theme in my life. I dive head first into the things that interest me, often times without a fully formed picture of the energy required to be successful. Arielle has always been there to support, organize, and prioritize my multiple motivations and turn them into meaningful endeavors.

With Bay to Bay, there isn’t much that Arielle hasn’t put her touch on:

Club rebranding in 2014

Uniform design

Mid-week skills practices

Social media strategy

Coach communication

Conflict management...

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Thankful Thursday: Allison Walewski

Nov 12, 2020

Where to begin with Coach Allie?

Allie has been contributing to the volleyball community for her entire adult life, and we have been lucky enough to have her as a part of Bay to Bay for the past 7 years. Allie brings a tremendous amount of love, energy, and humor to her teams and the club as a whole.

She is often seen as the Yin to coach Franks Yang. Allie is a dependable voice with a fantastic overall understanding of what it takes to be successful as a volleyball player as well as a human being. Throughout her tenure, coach Allie has helped lead our Bay to Bay teams to 4-top finishes at USA Volleyball Junior Nationals, including 1 Silver medal in the 13's division and a National Championship in the 14's division in 2019.

Most importantly, Allie cares deeply about her athletes, their parents, and Bay to Bay as a whole. Thank you for being such a fantastic representative of Bay to Bay, and for always keeping coach Frank (and Ryan Sullivan ) in line.

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Thankful Thursday: Chad Gordon

Nov 05, 2020

Thankful Thursday!

Today we highlight Chad Gordon who has been a part of Bay to Bay for nearly two decades as both a player and now a coach. Chad bounced between 1's and 2's teams at Bay to Bay while attending The Harker School (go Eagles) and became the starting setter on one of the most talented teams Bay to Bay has ever produced (including National Team member Taylor Averill and longtime pro Brian Cook).

No matter where Chad went, whether it be coaching at UCSB or Illinois, he always found time to return back to Bay to Bay when he was home. Ever since work brought him back to the Bay Area, Chad has been a continual force for improvement within our coaching staff. Here are some of the things Chad has helped push forward within our club:

VolleyMetrics video analysis for our eldest teams
The Bay to Bay coaches handbook
Coaching at weekly skills practices
Beach club as coach Alex Jones's right hand man (and baby court specialist)
Weekly Film...

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Halloween Costume Contest ๐ŸŽƒ

Nov 02, 2020
 

2020 has most definitely thrown some wrenches into our normal club volleyball traditions, but it could not get in the way of our annual Halloween Costume Contest! Each year, we award prizes for the following categories:

  • Best Team Costume
  • Best Individual Costume
  • Best Coaches Costume

Check out the video and let us know which team you thought had the best costume! Head to our Instagram (@baytobayvolleyball) or Facebook stories by November 2nd and choose your winner  

Bay to Bay is a top boys volleyball club located in San Jose in the Silicon Valley of California. We offer high level training, clinics, camps, and travel teams throughout the greater Bay Area.

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World's Greatest Coach: Failure

Oct 30, 2020
 

Ask yourself this question: who is the best coach or teacher you have ever had? (Pause for dramatic effect).

 

For many, this question will invoke strong reactions or emotions. Coaches/teachers can be some of the most influential forces in the lives of children and young adults.

Ask yourself this next question: what trait did that coach/teacher have that drew you to them? Maybe it was an enthusiasm for a subject that was contagious. Perhaps, a distinct knowledge in an area that helped spark your interest as well?

Throughout our playing and coaching careers, we would argue that the best coaches and teachers understand the following: Failure is the greatest coach in the world. Rather than provide a long-winded explanation ourselves, let us break to a blurb from one of Seth Godin’s blog posts:

“No one learns to ride a bike from a book, or even a video. You learn by doing it. Actually, by not doing it. You learn by doing it wrong, by falling off, by...

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Thankful Thursday: Joshua Nolan

Oct 29, 2020

Josh Nolan has been one of the unsung heroes of Bay to Bay for the past three years. From the outside looking in, players, parents, and coaches will recognize Josh as one of the staple head coaches in the club. He has assisted and head coached a number of different age group and experience levels, but that is only one small piece of the contributions that Josh has made to the club.

Over the course of his tenure, Josh has:

  • Coached at every mid-week skills practices (Pin Hitters, Setters, Middles/Liberos)
  • Brought equipment to and from the gym when there was no more room in my car (a common occurrence )
  • Coached at every beach practice 
  • Arrived early to the gym to help set up nets and be available to help out
  • Designed the logos for our Strength & Conditioning and Grass Club programs
  • Created t-shirt designs for our Bay to Bay online store
  • Filmed videos and taken photos during practices for our social media channels
  • Helped run check-in and temperature scans for incoming...
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Save Stanford Men's Volleyball

Oct 20, 2020

Wednesday July 8th was tough...

The Stanford decision to cut 11 sports including Stanford Men's Volleyball was shocking to say the least.

Going through this pandemic, we knew that college athletic departments around the country were feeling the hurt and that there was a chance that Olympic sports could see the axe.

Never in a million years did I think that Stanford would be a domino to fall, yet here we are. This decision will reverberate throughout the NCAA as schools grapple with the reality of this pandemic and its effects on the bottom line.

7 years ago University of the Pacific cut my men’s volleyball program and Stanford took me in as a volunteer coach. I have loved each and every moment working with the incredible student-athletes and coaches.

They have given me, my family, and the Northern California volleyball community so much. From coaching at Bay to Bay Volleyball to running one of the biggest youth camps in the area, this program is woven into the fabric of this...
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Overcoming Excuses in Youth Sports

Oct 09, 2020

Excuses are the enemy of any athlete.

Excuses shrug off responsibility and place the blame for a lackluster performance on something (court conditions, different ball) or someone else (teammate, bad official, unruly fans). 

Take for example the following excuses, some of which may strike a chord with you:

  • “I was stuck in traffic and I didn’t get a chance to warm up.”

  • “That set was low."

  • “My ankle hurt midway through the competition.”

  • “That ref was horrible.”

  • “I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

  • “My team couldn't pass.”

Some athletes come to a competition with an excuse in hand and some athletes make excuses in the middle of a competition. Both situations take the responsibility out of your hands and onto other variables…

Ultimately, excuses take control right from under your feet and give control to some force outside of yourself, leaving you a nervous wreck. No athlete, in any...

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Nutrition to Win

Oct 02, 2020

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

- Admiral James Stockdale


As parents, we often have to hold to equal AND opposite realities in tension. It’s what Jim Collins dubbed The Stockdale Paradox in his book Good to Great. Admiral Stockdale was a naval aviator in Vietnam, and after being shot down was a POW for 7 years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. In his interview with Jim Collins, he noted the following:

"I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."


When Collins asked who didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

Oh, that's easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by...

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