By Claire Cornelius
For The Signal
The Legacy Volleyball Club, founded in 2008 by the Ker family, prides itself on teaching young kids the fundamentals of volleyball and valuable lessons that will last a lifetime.
Jamey Ker, assistant operations supervisor of Legacy, has coached for all 13 years of the program’s existence and seen the club grow from 14 teams to nearly 30. Currently, Legacy offers 22 club teams and eight developmental teams.
“So that’s grown a whole lot since the beginning, and it’s been really, really awesome to be able to do that with my family and grow honestly closer with all of them since we started doing it, it’s a really good feeling,” Ker said.
Word of mouth has been Legacy’s main advertising strategy since it opened. The staff believes in “putting out a quality product with quality coaches and a quality facility” to draw athletes in, Ker said.
Brian Jacobs, Legacy parent, said he has recommended the club “over 20 times” after putting his two daughters, Katie and Allison, through the program.
Legacy takes pride in developing young kids into responsible adults. When it comes to athletes’ concerns regarding playing time or position, Legacy has a policy in place to allow kids to meet with their coaches and express those concerns.
“If they have a problem with their role on the team, we actually request that the kid requests a meeting with their coach,” Ker said. “We really, really believe in the approach of having the kids be the ones that initiate that conversation and have that conversation, because we believe that it actually will make them better communicators, better listeners and stronger kids at the end of the day.”
Megan Manansala, a West Ranch High School student athlete, has played for Legacy for three years, and is currently on the 15 Black club team.
‘Made me a better person’
“It has really made me a better person, a better teammate, it’s taught me a lot outside of volleyball in general, and I try to work with people more,” Manansala said.
Being on a team with 11 other people may cause conflict, but dealing with difficult people is another one of those real-world issues that Legacy is preparing its athletes for.
“You might not like all those people but you still have to work together towards a common goal which I think most adults would tell you that they run into that on a daily basis,” Ker said.
Legacy athletes are a testimonial to the real-world preparedness that the Kers say their players receive from their time at Legacy.
“They have taught me so many lessons from volleyball that I could carry into like a professional career, even if I’m not playing pro volleyball,” Manansala said. “They’ve taught me about attentiveness. My most recent coach has taught me about calling in if we’re not going to be there.”
Annual coaching training camps led by Walt Ker, Legacy coaching director, teach timeout and practice management; error detection and correction; and fundamental training in a positive environment.
“My dad has amassed his knowledge over the last 48 years of coaching, and he takes all of that knowledge and gives it to us,” Jamey Ker said.
These camps also allow coaches to “speak the same language” so that athletes moving between different teams are able to perfect their skills properly, without confusion and misunderstanding.
“If there was a girl or a boy that wanted to play high school volleyball, (Legacy) is one of the best places to get the fundamental skills in order to be a volleyball player, and they make it fun,” Jacobs said.
True to its name, Legacy ensures that every player is remembered after graduating from the club. Tiles made of sport court, the flooring used in indoor volleyball and basketball courts, are engraved with athletes’ names and put into the floor. This tradition goes back to 2008, when the club first started.
“Katie has her tile already and every time I walk in the gym I see her name right there. We pretty much walk right over the top of her. It’s a nice memory that makes kids feel good,” Jacobs said.
Legacy has already reopened its doors to previous players, but will welcome new members into summer camps beginning on Monday.