Deb Grafentin was an educator for 23 years before opening The Volleyball Academy in 2006. “My dream has always been to coach and teach,” she says, “TVA allows me to do this on a daily basis.” Six years after opening, The Volleyball Academy still prides itself on being the only business in Omaha that provides the most volleyball programs and classes under one roof. Players start as early as kindergarten, and while classes are available for adults as well, the most common customer is the K-12th grader. Customer satisfaction is most important to Grafentin, as she explains, “We really want our clients to feel welcome when they enter and throughout their experience with TVA.”
Each year, TVA has seen a steady increase in the growth of their classes, with the Lil’ Diggers and Fall, Winter, and Spring Leagues as their most popular programs. The Lil’ Digger-Big Digger program encourages parents of K-4th graders to attend with their children and get involved in learning volleyball skills. “This allows the family to enjoy volleyball all year long wherever they may want to play—family picnic, the backyard, on the beach, etc.” The newest program, the Lil’ Digger 2nd-4th grade Balloon Ball League, has been added as a three-on-three mini court game in which Balloon Balls are used for players to get more practice in contacts and touches of the ball.
The Volleyball Academy, which is located in the West Omaha-Chalco area, is a unique company in that it continues to cater to both kids and adults each year with new programs and changes existing programs based on the needs of players. “When a child, teenager, or adult come to us for some style of training, and they leave knowing they have improved and had fun participating in our programs, that to us says it all.”
This is evident in the testimonials on TVA’s website, and what may be Grafentin’s favorite memory. “The first summer we opened our doors at a summer camp for Lil’ Diggers, one of the 6-year-olds came skipping up to one of our court coaches on her way to a water break and said, ‘This is the greatest day of my life!’ Right then and there, I knew we opened for all the right reasons.”
With the success of TVA and the opportunity to teach volleyball skills every day to players of all ages, Grafentin’s dreams are finally coming true.
The Volleyball Academy
8930 S. 137th Cir., #2