After deciding to move to Dubai for two years one thing was clear from the beginning. I need to find a volleyball team as soon as possible. I have never been a professional player nor had practice with professional coaches. Most of the things I know I taught myself by just playing or watching youtube videos 🙂 . Nevertheless, volleyball is my most favorite sport. It combines teamwork, technique, tactic and fun in one sport. And – the most important thing for someone moving to a new city every other year: this sport helps you meet a lot of people and find new friend in seconds. No matter who you are or where you’re from (quoted backstreet boys btw 🙂 ).
I started my research from Germany and googled volleyball lessons in Dubai (Of course I prepared myself. I’m German. We can’t just let things happen. We have a plan 🙂 ). I think it was the first link which showed up .. Elite Volleyball Dubai. Well, that sounds quite good, doesn‘t it? Their website is pretty detailed and full of information for everyone who is interested in playing volleyball in Dubai. And parts like
„Academy offers year round training from some of the best coaches around. Players are exposed to coaches who have played at various levels ranging from the best in the world to current collegiate athletes. We offer clinics and year round club teams“
are promising a lot. Ok honestly, I’m still waiting to meet these so called “best in the world coaches” but I think this will happen eventually 😀 Dubai Elite Academy offers volleyball sessions for almost every age, sex and level. With me preferring a diverse volleyball team, I was pretty happy to find out, that they are offering these sessions three times a week.
The adults training
Adults training welcomes everyone no matter the level of experience or skills. We have team members who have never played volleyball before, others who played 20 years ago and then some who are considered professional players where they are from. Everyone is welcome here and will be supported and pushed to become a better player, if they want to be. I think I really learned a lot so far (for example that you can still see from the way I move that I used to be a gymnast for 15 years 🙂 Since I started playing volleyball here, I went from one training session a week to four! GO ME!
“The Teens” stole my heart in seconds
Nearly every day before our adults session, the teens (under 18) have their practice. I really enjoy watching them, as they play on a high intensity level. They have been part of the same team for the past two years, and you can clearly tell by watching them play. They do not only know each other from volleyball perspective – they are one team.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to play a tournament with these girls. Me and another “adult” – everyone else was younger than 16. I have never met a group of so many pretty, crazy, beautiful and outstanding girls. We were the youngest and „shortest“ team in this tournament with absolutely no chance at winning at all. But that just didn’t matter. It was meant as an experience for them and they did soo unbelievably good. Can you imagine being on national TV while playing against professional players from all over the world who were twice as tall as you are? These girls did an outstanding job and I was honored to play on their team.
At the end there was one thing that stuck with me and made me think though. One of the professional players at this tournament gave an interview for the national TV. She stated that she thinks that “this is no real tournament” because it’s quite easy to win here. She didnt understand why a team like ours would participate and what we were doing there…
She stood nearby so we were able to hear every single word she said. As a teenager this would have made me pretty insecure and mad. Not these kids though, after hearing that interview our team played its best set of the whole tournament. After the tournament I talked to the coaches about that interview and how some professional player could be that arrogant and disgusting towards 14 year old girls. Coach Marko just said to me:
This is what we’re preventing them from. From becoming such an ugly person. The Academy is not only about teaching volleyball and making them good players, we’re forming their personality, their empathy, their behavior towards others.
And this is exactly what they do. Or to quote one of my favorite Italian Sweethearts there:
even after missing two weeks of training is that Elite has managed to built more than just a team, but a family, no one is scared of making mistakes, and when someone does, everyone is there to encourage them and help them fix mistakes no matter how often you go to training, when you go you feel welcomed, and on top of training at a high level, you surround yourself with amazing people that share the passion of volleyball.
Ok enough love letters and emotional speech. Let’s go for the facts:
Why Elite Academy?
- They really have the best coaches. Not only because they’re really amazing in teaching volleyball. They are funny, they care about their students and try to bring out the best in everyone.
- They make you feel welcome from the very beginning. You will be a member of the team the first time you play with them.
- Teams are not being picked by age or height. Everyone (except us old people 🙂 ) is part of the team that matches their skills.
- They start their training for kids 6 years and older. At the moment, the youngest member of the Academy is 7 years old. (btw. after watching the kids‘ training I could swear that this is the coaches‘ favorite training. I’ve never seen coach Uroš having that much fun :))
What do they offer?
- Beginners training (6 – 13 y/o)
- Intermediate training (6 – 13 y/o; 13 – 17 y/o)
- Advanced training (13 – 17 y/o)
- Adults training (Mixed all levels two times a week, advanced and gents only one time a week)
If you have any further questions please ask here or send me an email. Of course I’d give you all the information in german, too 🙂