Howell, Michigan

12U Program

Thank you for your interest in the Top Gun Volleyball 12U Program!  


Our 12 Program for Spring 2018 is FULL and CLOSED.


Below is information regarding our 12U program and answers to frequently asked questions.


How are the teams selected?

The 12U Program* is a first come, first served registration process. All 12U athletes will practice and train together. Separate teams will then be created by coaches based on current level/ability for tournaments to maximize the experience for everyone. This allows each athlete to be challenged to her ability, while still learning and developing skills and knowledge of the game appropriately. Tournament teams will not be determined with regard to friends, schools or carpooling purposes and may change slightly with each tournament.

*Athletes must be born on or after September 1, 2005 to participate in this program.


When and where are the practices?

Practices will be held on Tuesdays from 5:30 – 7:30pm at Scranton Middle School in Brighton and Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:00pm at Three Fires Elementary School in Howell starting March 13, 2018 and going through June 2, 2018.  There will be no practices or tournaments March 24 – April 2, 2018.


What if my daughter is young, but in a higher grade?

A very small number of athletes fall under the category of being in a higher grade academically, yet qualifying for a younger age group. If your daughter falls under the 12U age group but is in 7th grade, she may tryout for the 13U program. Please see the tryout page for all the necessary information.


Does my daughter need to attend ALL practices?

A most resounding YES! Attendance at all practices and tournaments is necessary and expected. In fairness to all involved, missing practices for any reason, including but not limited to illness, homework, family vacations or other sports or activities, WILL affect playtime opportunities. Please think carefully if your schedule allows for this type of necessary commitment and dedication. Volleyball is a team sport, with teammates needing to get work together and learn with and from each other often.  Important material is covered during each and every practice and new information is added frequently, therefore, we do not recommend those with severely conflicting schedules play Top Gun.


What if my daughter plays another sport?

Top Gun believes that every athlete should have the opportunity to represent their school, and every effort is made to accommodate athletes wishing to participate in other activities for their school. As stated previously, however, volleyball is a team sport and attendance to practices is critical. A case-by-case study of the situation is usually best to insure fairness to everyone involved. Extra curricular activities outside of school are not as easily accommodated. It is important for an athlete to be dedicated to her team and sometimes for difficult decisions to be made as which sport/team/club to pursue. Missed practices will affect playtime.


When and where are the tournaments held?

Tournaments are one-day tournaments generally located within a 1 – 1 ½ hour drive or less from the Howell/Brighton area on a Saturday or Sunday. Athletes are responsible for transportation to and from the tournament.  Each athlete will also be responsible for food during the tournament. Teams often work together to create a healthy potluck of food for each tournament coordinated through the help of a team parent.  Tentative tournament dates are April 15, April 21, May 5, May 20 and June 2.


So my daughter will play every match?

Not necessarily and probably not. There are 12 athletes on every team and only 6 can play at a time. Every effort will be made towards fair play time, especially during tournament pool play. During the playoffs, coaches may choose to play their most competitive lineup. Lack of attendance at practice (for any reason) poor attitude and/or effort could also negatively affect playtime.


What is the cost?

The cost for the Top Gun 12U Spring season remains $550.00 for new athletes. This covers facility rentals, custodial costs, practice/tournament instruction, coach’s salary, administrative expenses, tournament entry fees, two t-shirts, and a jersey.  Cost for winter athletes returning for spring is $525.00.  No additional gear will be distributed.


When is this payment due?

The first payment of a minimum of half the total amount is due with registration. The balance will be due by April 30, 2018. If an alternate payment plan is necessary, please contact Jen for options.


Who will be my daughter’s coach?

Jen Dhaenens and Mora Kanim direct and oversee the 12U program. Head Coach will be Kim Heaman (former UM middle blocker and long time youth coach.  Top Gun Volleyball is a competitive endeavor and our coaches are competitive individuals and although we love to win, Top Gun coaches are first and foremost, teachers. We place a strong emphasis on TEACHING. Our focus is on growth and process above outcome.


Can my daughter tryout for an older age group or ‘play up’?

Any movement of an athlete into a different age group will be done solely at the discretion of the Top Gun VBC staff. Requests will not be considered. Because we gather athletes from many different areas and school districts into one team, we are able to create a challenging environment for each age level. Top Gun believes that most athletes gain the greatest growth and advantages participating with their natural age level.


But my daughter can play in another league for much less.  Why Top Gun VBC?

Yes, other opportunities are available and I encourage you to look around to find the right program for you and your daughter. Top Gun coaches are teachers first and we place a strong emphasis on TEACHING. Our focus is on growth, enjoyment and process over outcome. All Top Gun coaches have previous experience both coaching and/or playing. They know the game. This makes a difference in teaching young athletes the correct mechanics and skills.  Bad habits created at this age are difficult to correct later on. A strong foundation is extremely important in many sports and volleyball is no exception. We recommend Top Gun for those athletes who know they like the sport of volleyball and want to continue to improve their skills and understanding as much as possible.


How do I register my daughter?        

Registration form (2 pages) is available here: 2018TopGunReg12U-Spring

Also needed:  AAU membership (directions below) and payment as indicated on registration from.

Registration is open now and will remain open until March 12 or all available spaces are filled.  We do expect to reach our maximum, so recommend that you register early!


A current AAU membership is required.

Top Gun VBC is a member of the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) and follow their guidelines, rules and regulations.  In order fro any athlete to practice with Top Gun VBC, a valid AAU membership is required. Please see below to purchase one.

If you have not registered for an AAU membership after  September 1, 2017 then YES, you need one.
An AAU membership is valid for one year (until August 31, 2018) or longer if you select a multi-year membership. This membership belongs to you and is valid for any sport offered by the AAU organization throughout the year.


To register for an AAU membership:

1) Go to
2) Click on link to ‘Join AAU’. (Red)
3) Click on ‘Get a Membership’ (Green)
4) Select ‘Youth Athlete Membership’ (Green)
5) Enter Sport: Volleyball
Coverage: Regular $14
Term: Your choice – one, two or three years
Member of a Club? The Top Gun club code is WYYT98 or you can use the scroll down menu to TOP GUN VBC.
6) Enter personal information as requested. Parent email is recommended.
7) Be Recruited question – this is optional – entirely up to you, they will send you emails, etc.
8) Agree to terms, add name
9) Checkout
10) Choose to buy a t-shirt or click here to ‘checkout’
11) You do not need to create an account, but the option is yours
12) Enter billing information
13) Opt for view and print.  You may also print from email that the AAU will send you.  Send this AAU ‘card’ with membership number listed in with your registration.


If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact Jen at or call 517-548-0024.