What is GTA?

Grayhounds Training Academy (GTA) is a holistic training program integrating The Brain = teaching Youth/Athletes to embrace their Mental Health with an understanding of Mindfulness (being present in your sport/space while still paying attention to body cues), Mindset (beliefs Youth hold about themselves that determine mental attitude) and Mental Toughness (resilience and confidence that contributes to success). The Body = understanding the importance of a healthy balanced diet, keeping a strict and consistent workout/exercise regiment, setting limits and boundaries, respecting and treating your body like a Temple; being careful and cognoscente of what you let in. The Behavior = how Youth/Athletes conduct themselves, managing feelings and emotions through and in adversity. Demonstrating constraint, self-discipline, IQ and strategy. We use a “Holistic” approach to training, from all sport disciplines of all skill levels. We train at every level from as young as 8yrs. to Parent, Coach, Club, Churches, and organizations with Seminars, Camps and Clinics. Our methods have proven to be widely effective and beneficial throughout all sports. Our goal is to educate from the Top down (from Parent to Coach to child) how to approach our youth, promoting Mental Health through Sports as a REAL alternative. We want to make known the debilitating and paralyzing effects of Mental Health on today’s children and teach them how to Respond (think) versus React (impulse). Our Motto is, “if you can’t FEEL it, you can’t FIX it!” (Author: Coach Ray)

How does GTA work?

Established with the mission to nurture talent and foster a love for SELF first and sport second, each program provides youth, primarily but not exclusively, aspiring athletes with unparalleled coaching, encouragement, guidance and a better understanding of SELF! GTA stands as a cornerstone of excellence in player development, ensuring participants excel both on and off the court. We teach: 1) HOW important muscle integrity, joint stability, Body Mechanics, Form and Technique are 2) WHEN to use execute one skill over another, also TIMING 3) to Self-Assess, then Self-Correct in order to recognize WHAT you bring to the team (physically and mentally), WHAT are your strengths and weaknesses 4) WHY it is important to understand not just your specific position but the entire game (IQ, teammates roles) and WHY Mental Toughness is an essential part of training.  We offer supports in the form of Coach to Athlete (teaching Coaches techniques on how to connect with their players through both drills and conversation), Parent to Child (teach parents how to talk so their kids will listen and listen so their kids will talk) and Self-to-Self (self-esteem , self-care and self-love); helping bridge the divide.  “A good Coach tells you what to do, a great Coach teaches you how, why and when!” -Coach Ray

Who is GTA?

Passionate about sports, training, teaching, human behavior and the state of our youth, especially during these perilous times; Grayhounds (GTA) just wants to help!  We specialize in training The Brain, The Body and The Behavior (B3) and humbled to be used by many. Ray Gray CEO/owner of The Grayhound Group LLC, with 700+ clients around the country, is a former USA-V Player and Health/P.E. teacher, current Life Skills Coach, Teen Drug & Substance Abuse Instructor (Piedmont Mediation/Clean Teens), Motivational Speaker, Mental Health Professional (trained in: Anger Management, Conflict Resolution, Trauma, Positive Parenting, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy… to name a few), Mental Health Coach, Mental Health First Aide Certified and a Trainer (primarily Volleyball). Some of our clients include: LNC, Bradford Prep, North Meck, Queens Grant, J.M. Robinson, Mt. Island Charter, Myers Park, Kings Mountain MS & HS, Concord Lake S.T.E.A.M. Academy, Queen City Starlings Club, Carolina Juniors Club, Shockers Club, South Carolina State University, Winston Salem State University, West Virginia State University, University of Pikeville, Honolulu Hawaii Volleyball Clubs, churches and organizations (Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Promise Youth Development, Piedmont Mediation, Young Black Leaders Alliance…to name a few)! Coach Ray meticulously hires and teams up with Coaches, Counselors, Trainers, Teachers and Therapists who understand and are connected to our today’s youth, Culture and the “Social norms”, making connections with the youth and athletes wanted not forced!

Why GTA?

To teach athletes importance of Balance and Boundaries as it relates to Life and Sports. At GTA, “we don’t teach Volleyball lessons, we teach Life Lessons using Volleyball!” GTA incorporates its unique strategy we call, “The 3 C’s” (Communication, Confidence and Consistency). Our goal is to enhance IQ, teach strategies, exercise mental strength, physical strength, and self-discipline at all times, both on and off the court! We are a passionate Youth focused organization understanding first hand, the correlation between Mental Health and Sports! Grayhounds stand on 3 core components, ‘B3’ (brain, body, behavior). Most requested as of late has been our newest classes, “P.E.S.T. Control” (Parent Education and Support for Today = a guide to raising todays Athlete) and “Coaching Coaches” (to Coach coaches how to TEACH Athletes)! The unique stage and platform we use for venting/sharing/support, is the field or court. It’s important to note, WE ARE NOT THERAPISTS, nor do we desire to provide therapy! We COACH!!! Therapy addresses problems such as trauma, neglect, abuse, and hurt from childhood and how it presents in the individual today (past to present). Coaching address current decisions, goal setting, interventions for change and how to keep one positive moving forward (present to future). Children need to know and understand that they are multifaceted, “we don’t teach Volleyball lessons, we teach Life Lessons using Volleyball!” (Author: Coach Ray)

When and Where does GTA meet?

Grayhound’s train 7 days a week, off only for a short 24 hour period in observance of, “The Sabbath” (each week from Friday Sunset to Saturday Sunset). Our main training Hub is SportsConnection located at 8626 Hankins Rd. Charlotte, NC 28269. However, we make house calls, train via Zoom and around the country (added Hawaii in 2023) for anyone 8yrs. old to MS, HS, College, Pro’s, Churches and Companies. Private lessons start at $85/hr. Sunday – Thursday 5am to 10pm, Friday 5am to 5pm, Saturday’s after Sunset by requests/appointments only. Semi-Privates $50/hr. (6 player Max), 7am Beginners, 8am Intermediate, 9am Advanced *Beginner = can’t serve overhand from end line, less than 50% of Serves, Hits, Passes, Sets go to target **Intermediate = MUST know how to Jump Serve. Approximately 75% of Serves, Hits, Passes, Sets go to target. Can overhand pass with 60-75% control ***Advanced = MUST know how to Jump Serve to Zones. At least 80% of Jump Serves, Hits, Sets, Bumps and overhand Passes go to target. IQ is high and knows the How and Why of the game, as well as When to use What particular skill over another.