Rocket Science

Iowa Rockets Mission Statement

The mission of the Iowa Rockets Volleyball Club is to become the best (not necessarily the biggest) volleyball club in Iowa. This is achieved by bringing together exceptional coaching and talented athletes. We strive to bring out the best in each player to produce high caliber volleyball teams. These teams will compete in Iowa tournaments as well as large Midwest tournaments, including National Qualifiers, when appropriate. Iowa Rockets will provide the opportunity for girls to compete against nationally ranked teams and to be seen by many college coaches.

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Last updated: Nov 6th, 2023.

Rockets will have 1 to 3 teams per age group 10s thru 18s (4th-12th grade). Every team has 2 coaches, 9 or 10 girls per team, and plays in  9 tournaments during their season. (11s & 12s teams may have 7 tournaments, but can opt for more.) Tournaments are generally all day affairs (Saturdays and/or Sundays) starting at 8am and ending between 4 and 7pm.

ALL Rocket teams have tryouts. NO team is pre-set. Usually every team changes by 3, 4, or more members – every year. Tryout dates and times are posted (coming soon) on the website’s tryout page and on the website calendar (Oct/Nov).  We do not currently have summer/early tryouts; we want you to enjoy your summer and take a small break from volleyball.

Many girls that play Rockets are in other sports, organizations, or have a church night. We try to accommodate these other activities as long as compromises come from both activities. We try very hard to make club volleyball doable and affordable for everyone that really wants to play.

Costs range from $675 to $975 depending on the team (see team types below). 10s, 11 and 12 Gold cost $675.  11 Black costs $825; 12 Black costs $975. All other Gold and Silver teams cost $825.  All “1”, “R” or Black teams cost $975.  Fees are all-inclusive – they cover tournament fees, training, coach stipends, gym fees, coach expenses, and uniforms. We encourage those that are able, to pay the entire fee at the beginning. But the fee may be paid in 2 or 3 installments. The first payment is due at the parent/player meeting on November 15th.  SCHOLARSHIPS are available for those that need it and there are no hoops to jump through and no paperwork to fill out.  For a confidential conversation about this, see Kyla.  If you want to play volleyball and money is an issue – don’t let it be. We’ll find a way for you to play volleyball.  Rockets is blessed with caring folks that anonymously help those that cannot afford club ball.

Hidden costs? (there aren’t any!!) We want to make club volleyball affordable, so we try very hard to make the “extras” inexpensive and not required. As with all clubs, each girl/family has to cover their own costs of meals and travel to/from tournaments. Parents do not have to come to every tournament. There are always plenty of folks that have room for an extra girl or two. In the interest of saving money (and good nutrition) teams can plan a pot-luck where each family contributes 1 food item to share with the group. Another money saver is that Rockets offers “Rocket Gear” for sale at very reasonable prices. We are not making a profit from this – just offering a service. You are not required to purchase a sweatshirt or warm-up, nor do you have to have matching socks, shoes, or kneepads. We do offer the best price on Active Ankles; and our Rocket Gear is completely optional.

NEW Practice & Tournament Facility – Xtream/GreenState Family Fieldhouse at the Iowa River Landing just off I-80 (200 E. 9th St. in Coralville).  We’ll still be using Scanlon Gym at 2701 Bradford Dr. in Iowa City.  But we’re adding another gym for flexibility and possibly some strength & quickness programs.  Most teams practice twice a week – one on Sunday sometime between noon and 9pm and one during the week usually on Wednesday or Thursday (not both nights). If you have a weekend tournament, your team may opt for just 1 team practice that week. The early time slot on week nights is from 5:30 to 7:20 and generally includes 12s, 13s, 14s and some 15s teams. Other 15s, and all 16s, 17s, and 18s are generally in the late slot from 7:20 to 9:15pm. This is a guideline and depends on the girls’ schedules.  11s and 12s teams may practice on other nights (Mon, Tues, or Fri) depending on the coach and players’ schedules.

A third practice, called SPECIALTY, is offered on Monday or Tuesday for 13s through 18s.  This is NOT a team practice but rather a practice to focus on a specific position(s).  Girls get feedback from different coaches and are able to spend some time concentrating on their position.  It can be optional (except for setters – they must attend) and it’s a great opportunity to mix with other players and see other coaches. Specialty Practice is one thing that sets Rockets apart from other clubs. Every player has an opportunity (every week) to train with different coaches and to specialize in their position. Younger players especially benefit by watching the older players and sometimes playing beside them.

Can’t make it to your Wed or Thurs team practice? No problem – you can practice with another team of similar ability. An advantage of having several teams in every age group, is that if you have a conflict (such as basketball practice, or church youth group) just go to another practice on a different night. Our coaches love having extra players at their practices. And it’s much easier to “fill-in” at a tournament if you already know other girls and coaches.  Plus it broadens everyone’s outlook; a win – win  for all!

Tryouts are in Oct/Nov – See the Tryouts page or the Team Calendar page. In Nov/Dec we’ll have play-days, a fundraiser, and the “Tweener” Clinic (volleyball classes “between” Christmas and New Years – this clinic is for Rockets only and is optional). Then the season starts right away in January. Many teams are done by early April; some continue thru June.

POST SEASON or BEACH anyone?  Last year we had 22 teams, with 14 teams continuing to practice thru most of June!  The point is – if you want to continue to play and train past the regular season – you have a great opportunity at Rockets to do just that!  Playing post season (April thru June) is always offered – even if your team doesn’t qualify.  Plus we had about 30 girls involved in our BEACH training sessions in May & June.

10’s and 11Gold and 12Gold and 12Silver ($675) – 7 tournaments in Iowa, including Regionals (which may be a 2-day tourney).  More tournaments may be added at the team’s discretion.  Two practices a week, one may be on Fridays.  Schedules of girls/coaches will determine which days we’ll practice. The season may conclude in early April.  Fees include 1 uniform top and spandex.  Post season play is possible and likely.

11Black ($825) – 7 or 8 tournaments mostly in Iowa. 1 or 2 multi-day tourneys are possible. Practices on Sun, and Wed or Thurs (not both).  Fees include 1 uniform top and spandex.

13Gold, 14Gold ($825) – 7 or 8 tournaments mostly in Iowa. 1 or 2 multi-day tourneys are possible. Practices on Sun, and Wed or Thurs (not both). Specialty practice is offered on (mostly) Tuesdays, occasionally on Monday.  Fees include 1 uniform top and spandex.

12 Black ($975) 8 tournaments which will likely include 2 or more multi-day tourneys. More tournaments may be added at the team’s discretion.  At least 2 practices a week, with a possible 3rd.  Schedules of girls/coaches will determine which days we’ll practice. The season is likely to continue through June (post-season).  Fees include 1 or 2 uniform tops and spandex. Players from this team are expected to attend post-season practices and tournaments.

15-18 Black teams ($975) – 8 or 9 tournaments with several in Iowa and some out of state; 2 or more multi-day tourneys. Practices on Sun, and Wed or Thurs (not both). Specialty practice is offered on Mon or Tuesday. Fees include 2 uniform tops and spandex. Players on Black teams are expected to attend post-season practices and tournaments if their team qualifies.

“R” and “1” teams ($975) – 8 or 9 tournaments with several in Iowa and several out of state; 3 or more multi-day tourneys. Practices on Sun, and Wed or Thurs (not both). Specialty practice is offered on Mon or Tuesday. Fees include 2 uniform tops and spandex. Players on “R” and “1” teams are expected to attend post-season practices and tournaments.

ANY TEAM has the option to go to more tournaments.  All they have to do is pay the entry fee and coach expenses for that tourney and off you go! We want to tailor the schedule to fit the teams needs, so if you want more volleyball, you can opt for more tournaments.

College Recruiting – Iowa Rockets coaches will help guide you through the college recruiting process.  We have many college contacts and continually work on making more.   Contact Chin Nguyen, Rachel Berkland, or David Rodgers if you’re interested in starting your recruiting process.

If you have any other questions about Rockets, please don’t hesitate to email Kyla at iowarockets [at] gmail [dot] com or call Kyla or David at (319) 330-9499, 855-2030.

MORE THAN YOU WANTED TO KNOW… Sister Teams – Each year Iowa Rockets has grown in size and quality. We have had girls that represent nearly every junior high and high school from the Quad Cities to Des Moines and Dubuque to Burlington; we even have girls from Wisconsin and Illinois. It’s a special experience to form friendships and build teamwork skills with girls (and parents) from other areas. In addition, the younger girls are exposed to higher caliber volleyball because in our specialty practices, the younger girls practice right alongside the older girls. We strive to be sisters to all, in order to create a positive atmosphere for individual as well as team growth.

We love dedicated, high-spirited individuals with the desire to commit to a team and strive for a goal.
In the process, we hope you will become a better player, a better person, and richer for the experience.