[singlepic id=397 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=right]In beach volleyball, if you’re what longtime players refer to as a “hacker,” they’re not referring to your computer savvy or technical genius … they’re thinking you might need a bit of schoolin’ in the way of Southern California Beach Volleyball.

Fortunately, in Laguna Beach (home of the 35-year-old Laguna Beach Open Tourney), there are great beach volleyball classes taught by Kirk Morgan for beginners and advanced players alike. At the same time, many advanced players are willing to instruct or offer a tip or two. But few private beach volleyball instructors are touted as highly as Jacob “Jake” Irion.

Having grown up in neighboring Dana Point, Jake started playing volleyball at the age of 7. While never the tallest player on the court, Jake seems to have been born with all the right volleyball genes. (Methinks it has something to do with his dreads.) Even in kid clubs he consistently played up to the next age rank, and was voted in as a young captain for the varsity team at Dana Hills High School.

At the ripe old age of 19, Jake took up coaching, starting with club volleyball, then high school varsity teams and, now, college teams. Throughout, he’s taken on individuals for private instruction, but has expanded his one-on-one coaching over the last two years, thanks to demand from folks who admire this guy’s volleyball genes.

[singlepic id=398 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left]Jake enjoys teaching volleyball privates as it allows him to focus on the smallest movements or issues to produce faster improvement. Indeed. Watch this guy in action and you’ll see that he patiently corrects foot placement, bump mechanics, overhead slaps and digs with a smooth meld of technical intensity and easy-going instruction.

“Jake is all about correcting muscle memory, “says client Robert Briggs. “You’re not going to get better unless you correct bad habits, and that’s all about over-riding your existing muscle memory with the better moves. The problem is … most of us with bad habits don’t know exactly WHAT the right tweak would actually be, or how it feels to actually apply it.”

(Click any photos for lager view) [nggallery id=18]Adds Jake, “In group lessons, if something is pointed out to you, it’s up to you to change it because I’ve got to watch so many people at once. When you’re in a one-on-one situation, you’ve got nowhere to hide,” he says, and his face lights with a big grin.

Jake takes on traditional volleyball and beach volleyball players who are 16 years of age or older. His fees vary slightly, based on the season and the package of lessons you’re interested in taking, but this can all be discussed by contacting him directly at (949) 244-5067.


Get Laguna's Restaurant Updates!