Check the results from the Mideast Qualifier in Indianapolis and you’ll find Rev 15-1, Rev 16-1 and Rev 16-2 all competing, two in Open divisions.
Advanced Event Systems, which publishes the results in real time, likes to abbreviate club names. This “Rev” that is playing MEQ … is it Revolution, the club with multiple locations in Pennsylvania? Or is it perhaps Revolution AZ, the Arizona club whose 16s are ranked No. 15 nationally? Might it be Woodlands Revolution, the Texas club with a nationally-ranked 16s club itself?
No. It’s actually Rev Volleyball Academy, a first-year club based in Indianapolis trying to be both evolutionary and revolutionary in a market crowded with super clubs like The Academy, Team Indiana, Circle City and Munciana.
“This city and the surrounding area needed a change,” Nate Torvik, Rev’s assistant director, opined. “We felt like families and athletes could use something different.”
That something different is expressed on the home page of Rev’s website, https://rvaindy.com/:
We help players EVOLVE into elite athletes, on and off the court. Players will ENGAGE in the highest level of training, education, and competition. We will EXPOSE players to new, more expansive recruitment opportunities.
While Torvik and several in the club’s leadership came from Team Indiana, the club’s first focus was to build a strong staff by looking far and wide for coaching talent.
“We have international coaching; we have national championship coaching, high school, club, college, international playing, you name it,” Torvik said.
For years, Circle City and Munciana not only have dominated the area; they’ve been elite clubs nationally that annually have teams competing for national championships and have highly successful track records in recruiting. Team Indiana has been consistently strong since breaking from Circle more than a decade ago. More recently, The Academy developed a ground up approach that has swelled to 50 teams, many now competing well in Open environments.
Was there room in Indy for ANOTHER high-level club?
“Turns out, in this market, families are looking for things still,” Torvik said
The club believes that its approach is, dare I say, “rev-olutionary.” It is built around three differentiators:
1. Transparency in cost;
2. Approach to training as preparation for college ball; and
3. Approach to recruiting.
Families want to feel like what they are paying for is worth it, Torvik said.
“Club volleyball is expensive,” he explained. “Families are tired of all the hidden fees, extra invoices, and random costs that clubs are often very loose with. Those dollars add up for families. Club is an investment in their child’s future. Those that don’t treat people’s investments well often don’t get to keep working with people’s investments.”
Rev also uses stats, video and science in its approach to preparing athletes for the next level. The club uses “video delay” – where a player can review and critique her rep right after it is taken — almost daily in its practices and it incorporates intense workouts into its regular practices.
“Families want to know that their athlete is being prepared for college,” Torvik explained. “We use video delay, as 65% of humans are visual learners. Yet almost none of these athletes has used it before in any volleyball environment. How is this preparing a player for college, where a large number of programs use video delay every single day at practice and watch film multiple times a week?
“Not to mention keeping stats, both in practice and in matches, to help guide and educate them on not just their individual stats, but how the team is doing in certain areas.
“We also work out, like really work out, as part of practice. We don’t just ‘condition during practice,’ but our athletes are doing speed agility drills, jump drills, strength training and more, as a part of practice. It’s not an hour of lifting, but it’s 20-30 minutes of working out to get stronger, faster, and in better shape. No number of reps can just magically make you stronger or faster; it has to be trained.”
The club also touts its use of My Recruiting Assistant, a third party recruiting service, as separating itself from competing clubs.
“I know there are some people out there who say that athletes don’t need it,” Torvik said, “but it’s not an extra cost for them to work with our recruiting folks, and they are absolutely fantastic. My favorite part of it has been watching some of the athletes who got little to no help at other clubs attain goals that they didn’t even think were possible collegiately.”
Rev started with eight teams. It could have been as big as 12 teams in Year 1, but the club didn’t want to sacrifice quality.
“We were not interested in throwing more players together just so we could charge more families and say that we had more teams,” Torvik explained. “Our long term plan is to grow intelligently. We want to increase our footprint and market share, but we don’t want to do it at the expense of high-level training or competition.”
Rev knows that other clubs are “aware” of its presence. The club takes it as a sign that its approach has traction.
“If people weren’t mad at us, we probably didn’t do something right,” Torvik said.
“Just because there are people in the area who opened a club and have been running one doesn’t for one minute mean they’re doing it right,” Torvik added. “And who’s to say exactly that we’re doing it right? We saw a gap, and so did our athletes, and they’ve thus far trusted us to fill that gap for them. Hopefully we’re delivering on what we’ve promised.”