Volleyball club Areté Athletics aims to teach youth skills beyond the court

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What started with a parent information meeting in 2015 quickly grew to a girls youth volleyball club ranked eighth in the North Texas Region.

Areté Athletics has been located off Bray Central Drive in McKinney since August 2016.

“We noticed, and it’s true for all sports but especially youth volleyball, there’s just a lack of facilities in North Texas in general but specifically in McKinney,” co-owner Lance Black said.

Areté began with nine club teams in 2015 and has now grown to 24 teams, co-owner Krista Gibson said. For players to participate on a club team they must attend evaluation clinics and tryouts in July. Club teams are available for players ages 9-17.

The volleyball club offers more than team competitions, however. The Areté Academy is a year-round program that teaches girls ages 5-14 the skills needed to play volleyball, co-owner Pam Dewey said.

“It’s one thing to teach a player how to set, how to pass, how to play the game, but the levels of adversity and things that they have to sort through—the teamwork, the leadership—really paying attention to those moments and teaching through that makes [Areté unique],” Gibson said.

The club’s name­, which means “reaching one’s highest potential,” also speaks to its meaning, Gibson said.

The facility offers five indoor courts, a performance area, a player’s lounge and concession shop.

Areté Athletics sits on 8 acres of land, and the club’s owners said they have tossed around the idea of offering beach and boys volleyball. Gibson said boys open gym volleyball sessions will begin in early 2019.

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Cassidy Ritter
Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.
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