Welcome to the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy (LAVA), a youth and junior club volleyball organization for girls and boys based in Los Angeles, California. LAVA has quickly developed into one of the premier junior athletic organizations in the country, featuring some of the best and brightest volleyball coaching and administrative minds in the region — not to mention a multitude of dedicated, talented athletes. Founded in 2010 with aims of advancing volleyball education for local coaches, players, and parents, the organization expanded in the summer of 2011 with the launch of multiple affiliate locations, as well as several club volleyball programs bearing the LAVA name.
In five years, LAVA has grown to include: six full travel affiliates in LAVA North (Santa Clarita), LAVA South (Studio City), and LAVA West (Thousand Oaks), which form the original affiliate family known as LAVA Girls, plus LAVA Pasadena (Pasadena), launched in 2016, LAVA Shack (West Los Angeles), launched in 2015, and LAVA Islands (Ventura), launched in 2014; the Locals Volleyball Club (aka LAVA Locals), LAVA’s low-cost, limited-travel program based in the San Fernando Valley, not to mention Locals-esque Limited Travel teams housed at each of our full travel affiliates; an extensive Non-Travel Program with multiple locations in and around Southern California, featuring LAVA Lite (the immensely popular youth program for 3rd-5th graders), the Lite Plus (for more experienced 5th-6th graders), and the Walk-Ons Program (for 7th-9th graders); Crescent Sand Volleyball Club, our sand volleyball training affiliate; the Mardico Company, our affiliate for coaching education and training; the LAVA Foundation, the non-profit arm of LAVA; and SMBC Boys, our boys club volleyball affiliate, with three locations (SMBC South in Studio City, SMBC North in Santa Clarita, and SMBC West in Thousand Oaks) and our longest-running affiliate program.
The Academy combines for more than 70 teams and 800 athletes, not to mention a coaching staff more than 120 strong with millennia of playing and coaching experience between them, and awards earned at every level, including internationally and at the Olympics. We pride ourselves on our top-tier staff, featuring some of the finest coaches in the region, but still we are not satisfied — we actively work to educate and train our coaches on a continuous basis, to build on top of the education they received before reaching us and improve and increase their knowledge during their time with us. The result is one of the most experienced, educated, caring, committed, compassionate, and technically sound coaching staffs in the SCVA region — and beyond.
We likewise submit that our administrative staff is one of the best in the business, with long-tenured club volleyball people running the show behind the scenes. While it’s important for parents and players to know that the volleyball product being groomed on the court is exemplary in and of itself, it is equally important for families to understand that the people on the administrative side of the coin are working as diligently, as hard, and as efficiently and effectively as possible on their behalf. Our LAVA staff is organized, our paperwork system is navigable, our team protocols are concise, our people are responsive (subscribing to “FBF”, or the notion of Faster, Better, and more Frequently), our financials are stable, and our quality control mechanisms are second to none.
But not only do we know “how” to operate efficiently and effectively, we also know “why”; it’s as important, if not more important, to know why something is being done (and “when” it must be done) as it is to know how to do it. Our staff — directors, administrators, coaches — knows all three. We work well together and care for one another, and as you will find said in so many other places, we strive to do differently in everything we do.
The committed members of LAVA — players, parents, coaches, and administrators — bring unique backgrounds, strong characters, vibrant personalities, valuable experience, and steadfast dedication and spirit to their various roles within and beyond the bounds of the organization, but foremost an enduring passion for the sport of volleyball and a driving desire to do good and right, whether directly or indirectly, by everyone in our athletic community. Welcome once again to the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy!