Coach Sasa A. Vasiljevic started his volleyball journey at Bayless Senior High School where he helped his team make it to District Championship game Versus Duchesne High School in 2005. The following year he was offered a scholarship to play volleyball at Lindenwood University. Vasiljevic spent 4 years playing volleyball for the Lindenwood Men’s Program as a Middle Blocker, Opposite Hitter, and Setter. In 2008, Vasiljevic started coaching as a student assistant for Lindenwood Women’s Program.
Upon graduating in 2009, Vasiljevic was given his own team for the Men’s and Women’s Program where he was tasked with improving athletes for future competition on in the Varsity Program. Additional tasks included recruiting, video analysis, and practice planning. In 2011, Vasiljevic started coaching U17 and U15 women’s club volleyball for St. Charles Xplosion VBC. In August 2012, Vasiljevic decided to start his own volleyball club, St. Charles Elites VBC. STC Elites VBC put together 10 teams from U11-U18 age groups and the highlight of the club was Coach Vasiljevic U17 teams finishing 5th in the regional championships out of 24 teams and 33rd finish out of 128 at AAU National Championships in Orlando, FL.
Besides running and coaching club volleyball, Vasiljevic has also done over three dozen summer high school camps all of the U.S. and is part of the Gold Medal Squared Coaching Staff. Vasiljevic has had the privilege of working and learning from coaches like Hugh McCutcheon, Chris McGown, Dr. Carl McGown, John Kessel, Jason Watson, Marv Dunphy, Jim McLaughlin, & many others. Vasiljevic has done camps in Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Milwaukee, Tennessee, New Jersey, & North Carolina. Coach Vasiljevic is currently Head Varsity Coach at Lutheran High School St. Charles.
Coach Sasa A. Vasiljevic Coaching Philosophy
Coach Sasa A. Vasiljevic has a coaching philosophy built on 5 Principles: Teaching fundamental skills based on motor learning principles, teaching at a pace of the learner, instilling a growth mindset in athletes, training for performance not practice, using a consistent set of principles and keys for all age groups.
Teaching Fundamental Skills based on Motor Learning Principles.
The science of motor learning tells us that we as human do not have general athletic ability but instead have individual motor programs that allow us to perform actions. We believe that the human mind can learn and develop a motor program for any action and through repetitive fine tuning that motor program can steadily increase in proficiency of execution. In order for athletes to learn how to perform fundamental skills in volleyball, they have to learn them and execute them in a manner that is the most aligned with the natural execution of those motor skills.
Teaching at a Pace of the Learner
Every athlete will and can develop but at a different rate. Naturally some athletes have more developed motor learning programs and are able to accelerate at a faster pace. We believe that the best retention we will achieve with our athletes is to teach them at a pace that they are comfortable but challenged with. We want our athletes to understand and execute fundamental skills and perform the game of volleyball with enjoyment and love. We believe that we can train any athlete to perform and understand a skill regardless of their knowledge or level of play.
Instilling a Growth Mindset in Athletes
Improvement is progress. Our goal is to train athlete’s minds to strive for constant improvement and to enjoy the progress of getting better. We do not believe that we can have successful athletes if they are content being at a certain level and not improving. We place an extremely high value on the constant grind of improving a little bit with each opportunity that is earned. We focus on our feedback being encouraging and driven by the growth mindset aspects of hard work, constructive feedback, grit, and continuous progress.
Training for Performance not Practice
One of the main goals of athlete’s participation in competitive club volleyball is to perform well in tournaments and matches. We believe in preparation of our athletes for those moments. We place a high value on random training and training ugly. In other words, we want our athletes to learn, grown, and advance in their volleyball skills in game like environments. We are going to be spending eighty percent of our practices in random and game like drills and only twenty percent in blocked and none-game like drills. We are not concerned with how beautiful a drill can look, we’d rather it be chaotic and random with as real of game like feeling as possible.
Using a Consistent Set of Principles and Keys for all Age Groups
The most important aspect in constant improvement of our athletes in our club wide set of teaching principles and fundamental keys. Our system is taught by all our coaches and at all our age groups. All our skills are broken down into teaching principles and those principles are backed and taught by a set of keys. These keys are created to teach athletes specific motor learning programs that will help them perform and improve. Our game systems are focused and based in research in order to help our athletes excel in their performance of the game.