Howell, Michigan

12U Program

Thank you for your interest in the Top Gun 12U program. The registration window for the 12U program is now open! Due to recent changes in Michigan Covid-19 regulations, the season will now begin Friday, December 11, 2020.

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 JULY 1, 2008 to participate in this program.

 

When and where are the practices?

 

Practices will be held starting December 11 on Tuesdays and *Fridays from 6:00 – 8:00pm at Scranton Middle School. At the first practice, December 11, we will also hold a MANDATORY parent/athlete meeting for new athletes/parents

*At this time we are not permitted use of Howell Schools. If this changes, however, Friday practices will be switched to Thursdays 5:30 – 7:30pm at the Howell Freshman Campus. 

 

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/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 conflicting schedules play Top Gun because of this extremely important factor.  Be committed to your team, practice and tournament schedule if you play!

 

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 crucial. 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 committed to her team and practice/tournament schedule.  Missed practices will affect playtime.

 

When and where are the tournaments held?

 

Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, most ‘tournaments’ will now be one-day tournaments or 1/2 day quads (4 teams only) and generally within a 1 – 1 ½ hour drive or less from the Howell/Brighton area. These could be on a Saturday or Sunday.  Athletes are responsible for transportation to and from the tournament.  Tentative tournament dates are Saturday, January 23; February 6 or 7; Sunday, February 21; March 13 or 14.

 

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 for athletes with consistent practice attendance and effort, however by joining Top Gun VBC you are signing on for the opportunity to learn, train and practice.  Equal play time is not guaranteed.  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 program is $550.00 for the winter season. This fee covers facility rentals, custodial costs, cleaning and disinfecting supplies, practice/tournament instruction, coach training, membership and salary, administrative expenses, tournament entry fees, two t-shirts and a jersey.  Athletes are also responsible for a current AAU Membership at the cost of an additional $14.00.

 

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 January 31, 2021. If an alternate payment plan is necessary, please contact Jen for options.

 

What COVID-19 protocols will be followed to keep my daughter and others safe?

 

The health and safety of all participants is and will continue to be our number one priority. Top Gun VBC will move forward with these current Covid-19 safety protocols in place:
 

Please be sure that you will support these guidelines prior to your consideration to join the program!

 

Who will be my daughter’s coach?

 

Jen Dhaenens and Mora Kanim direct and oversee the 12U program. Jayne Williams will be the 12U coach again. Yay! Jayne is the current varsity coach at Howell High School and PE teacher at Challenger Elementary. She will be joined by other coaches as necessary.

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?        

To hold your spot, email Jen at topgunjen@yahoo.com. You will then have seven (7) days for us to receive the following:

2021TopGunReg12U

The above document needs to be completed, along with evidence of a current AAU membership (see below) plus at least 1/2 payment (minimum $275.00) and sent to the address at the bottom of the form to confirm your position. 

 

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, 2020 then YES, you need one.
An AAU membership is valid for one year (until August 31, 2021) 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 www.aauvolleyball.org
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 WY7YBF or you can use the scroll down menu to (MICHIGAN) 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 topgunjen@yahoo.com or call 517-548-0024.