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The Benefits & How To Navigate Youth AAU Volleyball

AAU Volleyball, which stands for Amateur Athletic Union Volleyball, is a prominent youth volleyball organization in the United States.

Founded in 1888, the AAU is one of the largest and oldest sports organizations in the country, catering to athletes of all ages and skill levels. AAU Volleyball focuses specifically on providing young players with opportunities to develop their skills, compete at a high level, and grow as both athletes and individuals.


AAU Volleyball offers a structured league for youth players, providing a platform for them to showcase their abilities and compete against teams from various regions. The league operates under a set of rules and regulations designed to ensure fair competition and player safety. Teams are typically organized by age group and skill level, allowing players to compete against others of similar abilities.

The AAU Volleyball league encompasses both indoor and beach volleyball, offering a comprehensive experience for aspiring athletes. With a vast network of clubs and tournaments across the country, AAU Volleyball provides young players with ample opportunities to showcase their talent, gain exposure, and potentially earn scholarships for college.

For young athletes who have developed their skills through recreational volleyball programs, progressing to the next level often involves embracing the competitive environment and structured training that organizations like AAU Volleyball provide.

While recreational volleyball provides a fun and introductory experience to the sport, AAU Volleyball offers a more competitive and structured environment for players looking to take their game to the next level. It serves as a stepping stone that allows athletes to further refine their techniques, expand their knowledge of the game, and compete against skilled opponents.

AAU Volleyball also provides a higher level of training and coaching, helping players to develop their physical abilities, tactical understanding, and teamwork skills. The organization's focus on skill development, competition, and exposure to a wider range of opponents and tournaments provides a valuable platform for young athletes to continue their volleyball journey and pursue their passion at a more competitive level.

In this article we are going to provide the benefits in playing AAU Volleyball and how to navigate your athlete’s journey of participating in the AAU Volleyball league. 


3 Benefits Of AAU Volleyball

1. Enhanced Skill Development

One of the key benefits of having your child participate in AAU Volleyball is the opportunity for enhanced skill development. AAU Volleyball provides a more structured and competitive environment compared to recreational programs, allowing players to receive specialized training from experienced coaches. Through regular practices, focused drills, and competitive matches, young athletes can refine their fundamental techniques, improve their game intelligence, and gain a deeper understanding of the sport. This comprehensive skill development can significantly enhance their performance and set them up for success both in AAU Volleyball and in their overall volleyball journey.

2. Exposure to Higher-Level Competition

AAU Volleyball offers young athletes the chance to compete against teams from different regions and across various skill levels. This exposure to higher-level competition challenges players to elevate their game and adapt to different playing styles. By facing opponents who are more skilled and strategic, players can improve their performance and gain valuable experience. The competitive environment of AAU Volleyball pushes athletes to excel and prepares them for the challenges of higher-level play.

3. College Recruitment Opportunities

AAU Volleyball tournaments and showcases attract college coaches and recruiters who actively seek out talent for their programs. By participating in AAU Volleyball, players increase their exposure and visibility to these college programs. The competitive nature of AAU Volleyball allows athletes to showcase their skills and catch the attention of recruiters. This exposure can lead to scholarship opportunities, invitations to college camps, and ultimately, a pathway to collegiate volleyball.

Navigating the world of youth AAU Volleyball can be an exhilarating yet complex endeavor for both players and parents. Understanding how to navigate this dynamic landscape is crucial for maximizing the benefits and opportunities that AAU Volleyball presents. From finding the right club team to setting realistic goals and balancing commitments, there are essential factors to consider. The rest of this article is here to help coach you on effectively navigating youth AAU Volleyball, helping players and parents make informed decisions, set appropriate expectations, and ultimately derive the greatest value from this exciting and challenging experience. By understanding the steps involved and the strategies for success, young athletes can embark on their AAU Volleyball journey with confidence and enthusiasm.

5 Tips To Help You Navigate AAU Volleyball

1. How To Find The Right Club

To find the right AAU club team, researching local clubs and knowing your options is a crucial first step. Start by identifying the clubs in your area that offer AAU Volleyball programs. Online resources such as the official AAU website, local volleyball associations, and social media platforms can provide a list of clubs operating in your region. Take the time to explore their websites and gather information about their coaching staff, training facilities, and team philosophies. Look for clubs that align with your child's goals and values, as well as those that prioritize skill development and provide a positive and supportive environment. 

This volleyball training program guide provides 5 Key Principles To Volleyball Training and will help you identify coaching techniques and principles to be aware of. Digest these principles so you can ask the right questions and identify an educated coach that will successfully assess and progress your athlete the correct way throughout their volleyball playing journey.


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Additionally, consider reaching out to other parents, coaches, or volleyball enthusiasts in your community to gather insights and recommendations about reputable clubs. By conducting thorough research on local club options, you can make an informed decision and find the right AAU club team that will support your child's development and foster their love for the sport.

2. Evaluate Costs & Commitments

When considering participation in AAU Volleyball, evaluating costs and commitments is an essential aspect to ensure a well-rounded experience. Begin by assessing the financial obligations associated with joining a club team. This includes club fees, tournament fees, travel expenses, and any additional costs such as uniforms or equipment. It's crucial to have a clear understanding of the financial commitment and ensure it aligns with your budget. Next, consider the time commitments required by AAU Volleyball. Evaluate the training schedule, practice frequency, and tournament calendar to determine if it fits well with your child's existing commitments and academic responsibilities. Balancing academics, extracurricular activities, and personal time is crucial to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, communicate with the club and coaching staff to gain insights into their expectations regarding attendance, dedication, and commitment to the team. Evaluating costs and commitments in AAU Volleyball allows parents and players to make informed decisions and ensure a sustainable and fulfilling experience within their means and availability.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is a vital component of a successful AAU Volleyball journey. Begin by engaging in open and honest discussions with coaches and parents to identify and define specific goals that align with the player's skill level, age, and aspirations. It's important to set both short-term and long-term goals to provide a sense of direction and motivation. Short-term goals can focus on individual skill development, such as improving serving accuracy or mastering a particular technique. Long-term goals may involve achieving certain performance milestones, earning playing time, or even pursuing college opportunities. Tracking progress and performance through regular assessments and evaluations allows players to gauge their improvement and make adjustments as needed. It's crucial to remember that setting realistic goals doesn't mean limiting ambition but rather creating targets that are attainable with effort and dedication. By setting realistic goals, players can maintain focus, stay motivated, and experience a sense of fulfillment as they progress through their AAU Volleyball journey.

4. Embrace The Competitive Environment

Developing a growth mindset is essential. Encourage players to view challenges and setbacks as opportunities for learning and improvement, rather than sources of discouragement. By fostering a mindset that values progress and learning, players can approach each game and practice with a positive and resilient attitude. With an AAU league that has a much higher quality of play vs recreational,  it’s important to encourage players to focus on their individual performance, skill development, and team dynamics rather than solely fixating on winning matches. Celebrate small victories and highlight areas of improvement, fostering a supportive and growth-oriented team culture.

5. Support The System & Players

A strong support system is vital for a positive AAU Volleyball experience. Parents can contribute by being emotionally supportive, fostering open communication with coaches, and ensuring their child maintains good sportsmanship and respect for opponents. Parents should also encourage players to handle conflicts and challenges with maturity and grace. While victories are important, they are much harder to come by in a league that has top notch athletes. Recognizing the value of player development and appreciating the lessons learned from both wins and defeats is crucial for long-term success and enjoyment.

Navigating the process of AAU Volleyball can be an exciting and sometimes overwhelming journey. However, by following key steps and strategies, players and parents can effectively navigate this dynamic landscape. By researching local club options, evaluating costs and commitments, setting realistic goals, embracing the competitive environment, and building a strong support system, players can make informed decisions and maximize their experience in AAU Volleyball. It is important to remember that the journey in AAU Volleyball is about growth, development, and enjoyment. By understanding the process and embracing the challenges, players can embark on their AAU Volleyball journey with confidence, passion, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

AAU Volleyball offers a wide range of benefits for young athletes. Through participation in AAU Volleyball, players experience enhanced skill development, exposure to higher-level competition, increased opportunities for college recruitment, and personal growth and character development. The structured and competitive environment of AAU Volleyball provides a platform for players to excel in the sport, develop important life skills, and pursue their volleyball dreams at a more advanced level. The dedication, hard work, and experiences gained through AAU Volleyball contribute to the overall development and success of young athletes both on and off the court.



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