My daughter has been with Rolling Thunder for five years and has had a fantastic experience: rigorous training, friendships for a lifetime, excellent guidance from her coaches. She committed to a full D-1 scholarship as a sophomore. We couldn't be happier with her club experience!
Very dissatisfied with the way this club is run. I feel that once they have your money they could careless about what the kids are saying. After almost a full season now more than half the team still can't get a serve over the net.
The owner does not respond to ANY questions or concerns you have and would definitely never recommend this club to anyone. For a club that needs kids to operate, they definitely drop the ball on customer service.
While some can argue that Rolling Thunder is a competitive club that can help enhance skills, I will disagree. One would think that the 3 hour practices would ensure stellar players, but that is also false. During the course of the 8 month season, the drills and material covered at practices hardly varies. These useless practices caused me (a former player) to actually dread going to practice three times a week, and I was sometimes brought to tears over it. On top of this, I could see, even as a teenager, that the manager (P) was all about the money. He didn't care who you were, as long as you were spending $2,000+ as your club, and of course recruiting others to come as well. Unless you were placed on their top team, the two men who run the club would not even give you the time of day. A friend of mine has had to help clean the facility (mop floors, scrub equipment, etc.) for half an hour during and after practice simply because the owners were angry and could no clean their own facility (cleaning is the best way to improve volleyball skills, right?). My first year playing there, there were at least twelve teams for my age level, and today, three years later, there are only two.. All in all, do not waste your money at this volleyball club. There are plenty of other clubs to help improve skills. This club has sold out, and brought nothing but negative memories and experiences for me, my family, and my former teammates & coaches.
As a parent who has previous experience with other clubs, we have been extremely dissatisfied with our experience and would recommend that you never send your children here. Peter cares more about his profit than teaching volleyball. His facility is the worst in the area, by far. Your children will be taught by high school and young college players, not true coaches. After seeing the quality of instruction in other clubs, this one is a joke. Any player who can fork over the extensive fees for uniforms and the team can play, not competitive at all. Do not waste your money or your time. If there were a negative star rating, I would have used it.
I had two daughters in the Rolling Thunder program. This review is intended to help other parents who are stressing out as they evaluate the best program to develop their children. Pass on Rolling Thunder. As other posters have mentioned, we will not be returning nor are most of their teammates.
1. Peter (owner) does a terrific job of "selling" the club. He visits local schools with his RT logo jacket, walks around like a scout, and drops nice full color brochures. But (no offense to used car sales people) like a used car the package "looks" good but then starts to fall apart once part of the program.
2. in 2013, almost everyone who tried out made the teams. Sounds good. Unfortunately, this had two consequences. First, they stacked the teams with 12 players which means much less playing time. Second, Peter didn't have enough "qualified" coaches. Created tons of teams as his marketing worked, but then started asking Mom's with no prior coaching experience to become a coach. So we paid over $1K for inexperienced coaches? The first few games were embarrassing as many coaches were unable to correct faulty rotations and did not understand substitution rules.
3. Peter is terrible with communications after you sign up and paid. Like a good salesman right?
4. If you are not on the top 2-3 teams in an age group you get no attention. This is where Peter & Spencer focus all their time. This is what fills the brochure with college & high school success stories. They also get the best coaches and believe it or not MORE tournaments than the other teams. Yes - you read that correct. So I paid the same $1K+ for my daughter, I get a first time coach because she is middle of the road in talent (came here to get better) and they go to 2 less tournaments than the top 3 teams? I'm paying for the top 3 teams to play more?
5. Peter is just plain rude and demeaning to his coaches and yes, even the children. I'm all for a little "tough love" coaching to push your athletes rather than always cuddling them - if done the right way. Yelling at kids for mistakes during games and at practice - and not in a positive way. Let me explain. It's not about improving the kids for their benefit - but rather "how do you think your performance makes me and the club look?" I can't make this stuff up.
One thing I agree with Peter on is volleyball clubs are all about giving your kids repetition and conditioning. But...you can get this at any club without feeling your in the movie "Grumpy old men."
My daughter has been with this club for 4 years. She had knew and inexperienced coaches her first two years. Although inexperienced, the coaches were seasoned volleyball people that new the game and followed a set practice schedule across the age groups. She learned a lot. At first I didn't understand the concept but the results after a few years validated the process.
My daughter was not always a starter but worked to improve her game both during the season and at summer camps. She learned how to deal with adversity and work hard for what she wanted. She got better and she received more play time on the 1's team. She also took advantage of the skills nights that the club offered. As a freshman she was prepared and made her varsity team and started in over half the matches. She is currently getting interest from numerous D1 schools.
This is our third child playing club. Our oldest was at Sky High. We were happy at Sky High but are even more happy with our experience at Rolling Thunder. Our daughter had a goal of playing high school and college volleyball and Rolling thunder has given her the opportunity to reach those goals.
This year, my daughter and the other team players are not returning. Only the teams coached by Peter and Spencer get any attention. They never returned an email or acknowledged any communications. I think there a lot more disappointed families that are looking elsewhere for the 2014-2015 season.
My daughter is currently a Freshman at a local high school to Chicago. As a freshman she is the only setter playing on the VARSITY team. She is also the only freshman on the team. The owner of the club, Peter, coached my daughter last season, and I can tell you that she had a great time playing for RTVBC. She said there were nights that practices were really tough, but that's what I'm paying money for. I'm paying money for her to get better, you can't be taking it easy on people and expect to get better. I can't speak to everyone else's poor reviews, but my daughter had a blast!
Surprised to see all the negativity. My daughter absolutely LOVED her club experience and is about to graduate from her college, that she has been playing at with a full ride scholarship.
I wish there was a "negative star" rating.... this is a club that had great potential, but the "NFP" is a joke.... Peter makes hundreds of thousands of dollars in his "other" businesses that he funnels the money to.... The BUffalo Grove facility is too small for all the girls he packs in there for their less than adequate practices. I question his ability to host legal tournaments, no bathrooms, he's selling food etc....is he licensed???? He'll sell you the moon, then treat you like dirt..... Parents have been yelled at, he speaks ill about other families to parents, he didn't have coaches for teams for MONTHS, has coaches that are MOMS without any experience coaching NATIONAL teams!!! Parents are paying THOUSANDS of dollars to have their children coached by a MOM with NO training !!!! How can you get quality instruction when the MOM doesn't know what shes' doing????? My daughter needs a COACH, she has a MOM! I didn't pay thousands of dollars to have a MOM reading how to do rotations she just learned a few weeks prior.... Peter will take your money, shove a BS sunshine story up your rear, then turn his back. Forget about asking questions, forget about getting a simple email returned, forget about a phone call.... NEVER will he communicate, unless it's to yell and scream that some "ungrateful, overbearing, overprotective, over-involved, talentless mom" is in his way of making another buck. I would like the IRS to look into his holdings..... he's a scam in a RTVBC jacket! I would take your money and put it towards a college fund, and take your money elsewhere. He scares players into thinking he'll blackball them in the volleyball world, and they'll never play again if they don't do what he says and travel to BS tournaments..... he's a joke... he's a bully that never played volleyball, just knows how to sell the club.... GIrls are learning their bad behavior because they see this "man" yelling and belittling the coaches, and other girls in front of them... how can they teach sportsman like behavior when it's being displayed by the OWNER!? THere is NO consistency in discipline either....if he "likes" you, you can bash the world online and in person, and there is no consequence... Players miss practices and tournaments and still play.... I would rather burn my money than give that man another penny. Peter only wants to make millions, while being the cheapest piece of garbage around. Slimy snake in the grass. He's worse than a gypsy. My daughter has a MOM for a coach, a $3000+ MOM.... pathetic...... but he's bringing in big bucks with his 40+ teams (10-12 girls per team).... you do the math.... TAKE YOUR CHILD ELSEWHERE....