We transferred to NPJ for my daughter's senior year. In the world of club volleyball, this might be one of the strangest times to start a new club given the amount of time girls put in learning the systems and earning their spots on teams in the early years of a club. This was a very tough and stressful decision but we knew it was necessary given all that NPJ had to offer in the way of coaching, facilities and recruiting. Upon arrival to the club we were met with support, kindness, warmth and excitement from the families. NPJ's family feel is contagious and comforting for a person transferring in and it does not take long to settle in. Adam and Mike made Ashli feel more than welcome to those first practices and they set a great tone for the girls on the team to welcome her as well. Even though it was a tough time to transition, we were so pleased with how NPJ made it a very comfortable entry.
RECRUITING- This is where NPJ sets themselves apart from the rest of the clubs. Adam has so many connections across the US for volleyball and that was very obvious from day one. Where he sets himself apart in this arena is his tenacity. First, he was most interested in where our daughter wanted to land and what schools she was looking at already. He had her create a list of reach schools as well as ones they both felt she could get looks from. He included us in correspondence with them, allowed us to write emails or make calls along side of him and kept in touch with us along the way. He encouraged opportunities for follow up and would keep pushing if it seemed important to Ashli.
"Adam, have we talked with Abilene Christian University in Texas yet?" -Ashli
"Yes, we did in the fall and their roster was full. BUT IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK AGAIN, THINGS CAN CHANGE." -Adam Ellis
This is the type of person Adam is whether on the court with the girls or fighting for their future college volleyball experience. He does not give up and that sets a great example to the girls in life. Side note, our daughter is attending Abilene Christian on a full scholarship in the fall of 2022 after Adam reached out that second time. We are so thankful!
Lastly, I would like to speak to how I saw our daughter become empowered as a person in the best sense of the word. From recruiting to decision making, personal growth, leadership development and everything in between. Ashli's confidence in herself, what she wants in her personal life outside of volleyball, and her leadership on and off the court were transformed in the short time she was at NPJ. The culture at this club is ONE OF A KIND and I would highly recommend spending as many years as possible under this leadership and culture.
Chris and Dana Edmiston
My daughter Maile came to NPJ when she was 12 years old. She has played club indoor and also sand volleyball with NPJ in the summer. She has taken private lessons, group lessons, clinics, academies- pretty much everything and anything she can get her hands on. One of the saddest things she had to do was leave NPJ when we moved overseas. Sometimes I think you don’t appreciate what you have until you can’t have it anymore. Coming back to NPJ after a year long absence has been so amazing. My daughter is thriving at NPJ, she feels welcomed and valued, she is learning new skills she can apply in high school immediately and the friendships that she has gained are priceless. I am so happy Maile has NPJ in her life. We couldn’t recommend it enough as a place to thrive and grow in your love of this game.
I wanted to express our sincere thanks for what you and your team at NPJ are doing for our daughter and young women. Your enthusiasm, caring and professional culture at NPJ is reflected in your coaches, many of whom are collegiate coaches. We truly are amazed at how you embrace each member of your club. You always have time for your players and are genuine in wanting each of them to succeed on the court and off. One of the most important things I have seen is how you work on empowering our daughter and instilling confidence in her at an age that can sometimes be very difficult. We have seen amazing growth as she transitions from teenager to young adult and this will serve her well the rest of her life. We have always preached to her to control her controllables and work hard. I have often told her it takes no talent to have effort, a good attitude and energy. We have seen first hand these are values NPJ encourages in its players. Embrace the process and you will get your outcome. We are so impressed that during our transition from another club, your door was always open. Even more amazing is that every email, text or request for a meeting from our daughter is met with enthusiasm and returned promptly. The amount of positive energy from you and your coaches is contagious and our daughter has fed off it. It is such a blessing to see her having so much fun playing the game she loves. The personal approach with her has been amazing. She has been welcomed with open arms and you are her biggest advocate as she pursues her goal of playing in college. We cannot thank you enough and would encourage any parent looking at volleyball clubs to choose NPJ.
I’m often asked why we, a Portland Metro family, commute to Salem to be a part of NPJ volleyball for two of our daughters, an 18u and an 11u. Here are my top 3 reasons.
1. Culture. This club works diligently to become a family in so many ways. Just like any family they will challenge you, encourage you, uplift you, celebrate you, laugh with you, and console you. From family health issues to school raffles to college commitment signings- the level of support from all of the coaches and staff to parents and players from teams you’ve been part of and teams you’ve not, is everything right about an environment for athletes and families.
2. Technical training. The commitment to developing and learning proper volleyball techniques is a priority of all the coaches under the direction of Mike Gee, who is to volleyball what Yoda is the the Jedis. From 11u to 18u, the information provided to players is the best to be found and the atmosphere for learning encourages a deeper love of the sport.
3. Empowerment. Adam Ellis has created an environment where players are really listened to and encouraged to become leaders and advocates both on the court and off. I’ve seen firsthand the mentoring done with players to provide them platforms for becoming a leader. There are numerous opportunities for any player to improve and benefit from multiple coaches with the NPJ practice policy. If your player wants to play at the collegiate level they are mentored, encouraged and supported through the process including numerous phone calls, emails, and networking with colleges about your player. NPJ is simply committed to developing a player into their very best self so that no matter where the path takes them, they’re prepared.
I wanted to take a few moments to offer some reflections of our experience following our player’s first year with NPJ. In short, our time with NPJ has been nothing less than exceptional, and far superior to our past experiences with other volleyball clubs. NPJ works hard to make a positive and lasting impression upon their players of all ages and skill levels with reinforcement of fundamentals and a sense of accomplishment set as a primary focus at every practice. The staff works diligently to address the needs of every player and gain the support of the parents. The inherent drama and ill-will that occurs at many other clubs is cast away in lieu of a family atmosphere where players (as well as parents) are recognized and greeted warmly at every encounter. Much of this productive atmosphere is due to the fact that the Coaching staff is comprised of many current college coaches from around the region who are each themselves a professional. This is reflective of the level of commitment to the program by the entire organization, versus the lower standards of other clubs where parents and former players constitute the majority of the staff, oftentimes bringing with them the nepotism, double-standards, negativity, and favoritism so commonly encountered in the sport. Additionally, we have observed that NPJ’s recruiting program is second to none. The NPJ staff makes placing their players with programs that fit a top priority at every level and are ever assisting those players to achieve their goals. Instead of attempting the usual foolishness of acting secretive regarding recruiting, NPJ’s staff recognizes the goal for most parents is to have their player improve and be granted the opportunity to play at a higher level if they choose. NPJ addresses this drive as a nearly full-time goal for the staff to place players with programs that match their capabilities and personal goals. Following our first club season with NPJ, our player is achieving the per-game stats she had set her goals on for this year’s high school season, is playing true six-position volleyball, and most importantly she has regained her love for the game. Thank you so very much for the hard work and dedication that you and your staff provide. Your exuberant enthusiasm is as appreciated as it is infectious.
Tim and Kim Swenson
"Where to take your child for club volleyball is an important decision for a parent to make, and can sometimes be quite stressful.
We have been blessed to be part of the NPJ family for so long. We’ve had two daughters playing for NPJ at different times and love the experiences that they’ve received. Our oldest daughter went on to play college volleyball and we’ve seen our youngest daughter improve every year. NPJ does a great job at teaching players the game and coaching them to their full potential. Their emphasis has always been on creating players with skill, character, and passion. They offer so many options that a player can improve through team practices, Performance Zone conditioning, and individual skill training.
One thing that sets NPJ apart is their family atmosphere and support for each other – on and off the court. The club is full of great players, coaches, and parents. We have built lifetime friendships through our time here that we cherish.
We would highly recommend the club to players of all skill levels and age."
Gary & Natalie West
"I know I’ve told you this before (and I’ve told Mike too), but he is a phenomenal coach and Katie really responds to the way he teaches. Mike Gee has a hundred ideas for every lesson and has such a great way of explaining things. He pushes her and is always supportive. She is hoping to keep up lessons with him at least through 2021 and he promised he’s staying for 30 years.
While I’m at it, can I sing the praises of Kacey Urrutia and Kristen Penn (14 Black coaches). OMG, they were an awesome pair. Kacey is the perfect blend of tough and soft. She relates well to the girls and was very understanding, but she demanded 110% and held them accountable. Kristen was also great with the girls and was a good complement to Kacey. She is just so sweet! Overall, it was a season of growth with two amazing coaches!
Thanks so much!"
"We were introduced to NPJ following Kimmie’s 8th grade school volleyball season. We had heard good things about the club through several other athletes we knew that had been a part of the club. In our two seasons with NPJ, we would certainly say that NPJ brings a high degree of excellence regarding coaching, volleyball skills and technique, and player improvement on the court. We are most impressed, however, with the atmosphere of class, coaching style of positive reinforcement and encouragement, as well as helping teach these young athletes to learn solid character, teamwork and sportsmanship both on and off the court. Adam Ellis has assembled an unrivaled staff in the Pacific Northwest of quality coaches that all buy into the positive and upbeat style that make it so much fun for Kimmie to practice and play volleyball. The balanced approach of excellence on the court while encouraging the athletes to keep up their grades and life outside of volleyball is much appreciated. Focusing on what each players’ specific goals are and helping them to work towards achieving their goals has been an awesome experience for us. Adam and his team of coaches have all encouraged Kimmie and helped her dramatically improve as a player and we are looking forward to continuing with NPJ as she pursues her dream of playing volleyball at the collegiate level."
Mark & Karen Bain
"This will be our daughter's last year at NPJ. Maddy was 12 years old when she started playing for NPJ. The past 5 years have been so rewarding for her and we could not be happier with the decision we made to get her involved with this club. Adam was so supportive since day 1 and always has provided the most positive environment for ALL of his players.
Maddy has received exceptional coaching and support and has improved her skills immensely each year. We paid for a volleyball experience, but gained so much more. Maddy has made lifetime friends and gained confidence that she wouldn’t have experienced anywhere else. Her junior year in high school she transferred from a 3a school to a 6a school and we feel that NPJ played a huge role in giving her the confidence as a volleyball player and a young adult to make such a big transition. This ended up being the best move ever for her and we owe so much to NPJ for building her volleyball skills and her personal character.
The players are not the only ones having a great time; we have made very close friends ourselves and have had a blast the past few years!
The skills and experiences that Maddy has gained from being with NPJ the past 5 years will be special memories forever. We are sad to see it coming to an end! Thank you NPJ! "
David & Bridgett Marlatt
"We came to NPJ because we did not feel our daughter was getting the coaching she needed to reach the “next level.” I have coached a lot of middle school, club and even high school volleyball and was fortunate to be able to coach my older daughter up through the 14s level. I have been working with my younger daughter since she was big enough to hold a ball above her head, but was not able to devote my time to coaching her teams. Surrendering my kid to someone with less coaching experience was a difficult thing to do, and I would go to her practices and feel like I needed to help with this, fix that, change this, tweak that. It was really frustrating! When I convinced my daughter to make a move she was resistant. She was torn between “playing with her friends” and getting the coaching she needed to meet her goals of being a varsity setter as a freshmen and eventually setting in college.
I couldn’t be happier with the move to NPJ.
1. When I go watch her practice now and she sets something that makes me think “why did she do that?” Before I can finish that thought, she has a coach in her ear talking to her, coaching her up. She is really getting top notch coaching.
2. I love the family atmosphere that the club has cultivated. My daughter's new team has been very accepting and she made friends easily. The team gets together for team bonding events, which is so important.
3. The attentiveness, professionalism and the attention to detail that I see in the coaching staff is such a huge relief to me. It’s the neatest thing to watch the coaches on the bench during games. There is never any panic. There is confidence, encouragement and support.
4. Best of all for me is that I get to be “just a dad” again."
Peter Anderson DC
"Every part of our experience has been positive. From day 1, the communication and expectations of the the club have been clear. Great leadership, great coaches and a positive environment for girls at every level of development...thanks!"
"NPJ shaped me into the player I am today and helped me reach my goal to play college volleyball. I am so thankful for the opportunities and experiences I have been given, thanks to Adam’s coaching and the club."
Hadley Heck, Portland State University '19
"Being part of NPJ for the past few years has been a wonderful experience! Adam’s knowledge of the game, the recruiting process and player development is truly unrivaled in the region. Without a doubt, Adam and NPJ were the key to helping our daughter reach her goal to play college volleyball. We’ve also made great friends through the club and had a lot of fun along the way."
"Our daughter has participated in club volleyball for four years and this was her first year at NPJ. We had heard good things about NPJ, but have been continually impressed with the level of coaching and sound philosophy of the club.
This year with NPJ, our daughter learned fundamental volleyball skills (such as footwork) that had never even been mentioned in her previous three years of club play. The NPJ coaches are extremely well trained and all coach the same skills and share a similar philosophy, so there is a consistency in coaching that is great. There are no worries about “getting a good coach.” From what I’ve seen, they are all good coaches.
Philosophically I appreciate the NPJ sense of hard work, sportsmanship and camaraderie. There is very little rest during practice. The girls are expected to run back and forth to water breaks, gathering balls, etc. and are expected to give their best effort at all times. The teams have a blast, but do not goof off. During tournaments the teams are expected to support any other NPJ teams that are playing at the same site. We quickly felt a sense of family with NPJ that was lacking in our past club experiences.
We could go on and on, but the bottom line is that with NPJ our daughter has never worked so hard playing club volleyball, but she also has never had as much fun. Thank you NPJ!"
Tim & Lisa Ehlers
"We are excited to have such an elite volleyball club come to the Salem area. Excellent coaching, competitive play, organized practices and great looking uniforms are just a few of the qualities that set this club apart. Thanks for a great season, we look forward to next year!"
"Three years ago while searching for a local club for our 10 year-old daughter, NPJ was the first to respond with great customer service, so we gave it shot and haven’t looked back once! Our daughter Maddox has grown tremendously as a volleyball player and individual through a great organization that approaches every aspect with the mindset of family, quality, care and results. The opportunities they provide in addition to seasonal play is unbelievable. The lessons and clinics with Mike Gee, who by far is one of the best coaches we have experienced…no words can do this guy justice. He has helped Maddox turn that corner with the extreme attention to detail, outside of the box thinking, positivity and above all, she fell in love with the game. We can’t thank him enough for what he has provided. He will continue to be a part of our yearly regimen as long as we can have him!
Rocky Knuth has been amazing in helping Maddox with her athletic training. He has helped her appreciate the pain and teaches her the correct form and approach…we already see the results. The girl is jumping higher than ever! Not only does NPJ provide court opportunities, but sand volleyball as well. The clinics and tournaments they host has been a great experience to see the different avenues you can partake in the game volleyball. Traci Stephenson has been awesome in teaching these fundamentals and truly cares about improving each of our daughters. NPJ has been a positive light in Maddox’s life and we can’t wait to see her continue to grow with her NPJ family and how it will transition into school sports. It’s going to be amazing!"
"NPJ Volleyball Cub is the premier club in the state of Oregon and is continually gaining respect at the National level. It has its own training facility with a full weights facility and exceptional trainer on site to compliment its exceptional coaching staff. It provides many levels of opportunity from beginners, to individual lessons, to the highest level of national competition. NPJ is, was, and will always be a second family to our daughter Paige. She grew up there. Paige not only honed her volleyball skills there, through the excellent coaching, and the unlimited opportunities for frequent skill repetition, but she also gained valuable life experience through hard work, dedication, team work, goal setting, leadership roles, mentor roles, the recruiting process and travel. All of these things together, helped her to grow her knowledge, abilities and confidence to seek out, earn, and accept a full ride athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona.
There is a very experienced coaching staff at NPJ with a variety of experiences and knowledge who come together with a united philosophy and goals for the club. This variety provides many levels of valuable input for an athlete, all within that unified club environment. They truly have the athletes best interests at heart and want to see them succeed, both on the court, and in life.
NPJ has an impressive record in college placement of its players who want to play at the next level. Our daughter played on the NPJ 18 National team for 4 seasons and we watched every graduating senior who wanted to, go on to play at the next level in college. Paige’s goal was to play in the PAC 12 and that is where she is playing. Adam Ellis has the skills and the connections across the country to find the right fit for any and all players in their comfort zone and their skill set. He really works hard and is amazing at it!
We Love NPJ Volleyball club! Whether your athlete wants to play college volleyball, or just loves the game and wants to play and get better, NPJ is the best place to be!"
Scott & Taffy Whipple
"NPJ inspires girls to give a “perfect effort.” We believe as a club NPJ stands firmly behind this mantra as well. There is no perfect club out there, however NPJ comes remarkably close. Our family will soon start and end its’ 4th season with NPJ (both indoor and beach) as our daughter will graduate in one year. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Adam is one-of-a-kind and has not only an enormous passion for the game but also for ensuring that each girl is supported and encouraged to pursue volleyball to whatever level they aspire. We have the highest respect for Adam given the significant growth that NPJ has undergone in the past few years; he has sought to keep a family atmosphere while still expanding and pushing to achieve the highest level of competitive play. The rigor of practices have been ideal for our daughter and her goal of playing D1 volleyball. Additionally, Adam is constantly networking to provide numerous opportunities in the form of clinics, camps, and individualized training for girls with all ranges of abilities to improve their game – and bring them to our community.We are excited for this year’s season and look forward to hearing of NPJ’s many successes in the future."
Jeff & Wendi Christensen
"Coming from a club that considered NPJ a rival, we entered the try-out doors with trepidation, reservation and a fear of the unknown. We left tryouts with the confidence our daughter was going to be playing for a great club in the hands of competent inspiring coaches. From there we learned the true passion of the NPJ coaches is to develop the character of the players as well as the skill. Sportsmanship on and off the court is a requirement and team camaraderie is emphasized. The coaches lead this expectation by example. They use positive reinforcement and provide opportunity for drill repetition and skill advancement. They recruit players with positive attitudes and potential for team contribution. The coaches are truly living their gift; most have specialties and learn from each other, but all have a general knowledge allowing them to work well together and a desire to continue growing their own volleyball IQ. They are creative in their application of teaching in ways appropriate to individual learning styles. If needed, they will pull a player aside to reinforce a skill the player may be lacking so gracefully the rest of the team will not even notice. A great lesson from a parent’s perspective that is supported at NPJ, is that as with anything in life, the more you put into something, the more you will get out of it. The players are expected to contribute their best effort both mentally and physically – to come to practice ready to learn and be supportive of others. They are given the tools to be responsible with their pre and post work-out nutrition, and they are given the opportunity to gain strength and endurance through additional training.
At NPJ, the players practice alongside all different ages and skill levels, thus learning to help and also support and inspire others in work ethic and enthusiasm. Individual needs, as well as injuries, are nurtured. Players learn independence and safety as they travel, they learn to work hard to earn playing time, and they learn to appreciate their successes and improve from their failures. They are also taught academic-style volleyball thus learning to improve their strategic game performance.
In conclusion, they are held accountable for contributing to their own success as well as the success of their teammates. They do so at the hands of highly trained coaches who require respect and are committed to helping the players reach their potential. The lessons emphasized at NPJ will be valued in the lives of the players long after volleyball is over.
NPJ made our daughter love volleyball again."
David & Julie Cale