CARLSBAD — Professional beach volleyball player Noel Frohman led a group of 13 to 18 year olds to the USA Junior Beach Volleyball championships in Chicago, July 23. Fourteen girls, playing in seven teams of two, competed in the tournament with the 18U winning first and third and in the 16U taking second and third.
“Everybody made it out of pool play, which is good because that’s four games to get out, so they all made it into the playoffs,” Frohman said. “Our girls did awesome in nationals in Chicago.”
The club, which was started about two years ago out of a desire by young players to learn the beach side of volleyball, has evolved into a lot more, Frohman said.
“We have a community now,” Frohman said. “They all support each other. At nationals we took 14 girls…and they would follow each other around, whichever court someone was playing on, they’d all be there cheering. And all of the other girls from all around the U.S. would be like ‘Wow, you guys have really a lot team spirit,’” Frohman said. “Everyone supports everyone.”
The club isn’t just a sports club, Frohman said, it’s an all-around girls club.
“This Wahine team is different than any I have ever played on,” said Kamden Maas, one of the team’s players. “(Frohman’s) philosophy is inspiring because she strives to help us evolve into better women; she does this by making us technically sound volleyball players, yet helps us develop into well-rounded women. Don’t get me wrong she likes to win …but not at any cost.”
“It’s not just about volleyball anymore, that’s half of it, but it’s providing positive female role models for girls.”
Frohman has been a coach for years, and is the volleyball coach of Carlsbad High School. She moved to the area in 1999 and played volleyball while attending USD.
“As a coach, I want to be able to connect with each person and get the most out of them. I’m able to get to know them on a different level than just the sport level,” she said.
A lot of the girls are in the age group where there’s the insecurity, Frohman explained. “And when you have a group that supports you and you can come to practice, and you know no one’s going to talk bad about you, and no one’s going to laugh at you if you don’t know how to play, and the girls that are beginners, the older girls help them out,” Frohman said.
“It’s a big trust thing, that we all have together now,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to explain, because I’ve never really seen this before; it’s really unique. And that’s why it’s awesome.”
At the beginning of the season, not every girl thought about playing professional beach volleyball, Fohman explained. “But after they see how they’ve been doing…it’s kind of like an obsession now…which is good because exercise should be an obsession.”
During a leadership and goal setting seminar the club held, Frohman heard from a couple of the players whom she never would guessed say that they wanted to become professional beach volleyball players.
“That was awesome, because it made me realize these are the girls I can start pushing,” she said.
Some of these girls could possibly be the future of beach volleyball, Frohman said. “Kamden Maas is one of them.”
Volleyball training is seasonal, beginning in March and lasting through July, but Frohman said the club is year round and will be having special events to keep the group of girls together. For more information, e-mail Frohman at [email protected]