At Vegas United we have a positive, but competitive culture. We call our culture #VUp (like V-Up).
Our slogan is "fun, passion, fearless". The Golden State Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, is quoted as saying, "I played my best when I was having fun!"
The game at the pro level is 90% mental. We believe that to be true at the youth level too. This is why we take fun serious! We want our players to have fun, play with passion and be fearless! If a player makes a mistake we yell "No Big Deal" in an effort to encourage them not to be scared to mess up.
We even have a club hand shake called the #VUp Bump! The way it works is you give someone a fist pump and then throw up the #VUp hand symbol. Story of How #VUp Came to Life in the summer of 2018 our Executive Director dreamed up this idea of #VUp. That August, during team camps, with the help of our coaches we took an idea for a dream soccer club culture and brought it to life.
Below is a story he shared on Facebook after team camps in August 2018 on how much it meant for him to see our players and coaches living and breathing our positive, but competitive #VUp culture.
Three letters that mean so much...
All summer I've been dreaming up this idea of a "positive, but competitive" culture at Vegas United and how we can create a culture so strong you can almost physically touch it. With the help of our VU Fam (Coaches, Players and Parents) we came up with a slogan; "Fun, Passion, Fearless". These three words tie Vegas United together like how "Just Do It" ties the Nike brand together.
The common theme amongst championship teams is how much they love each other. At Vegas United we are one giant team made up of individual teams. Teams that love each other feel like a family. VU feels like a family. That family feel and love is why I joined VU. Family's have inside jokes, sayings, traditions, etc they do which folks outside their family might not ever get.
This is why we came up with VUp. Originally it was meant to mean "Vegas Up". Like step up, level up, rise up, get up, etc. At team camps we introduced the VUp hand symbol, the VUp Bump (which is our club handshake), the VUp pre game cheer and a few other club culture things.
I told our players and coaches, at first this culture stuff will seem silly, until it doesn't. Like when you are 1 of 100,000 fans at the University of Texas stadium on game day holding up "Hook em Horns" I assure you don't feel silly, you feel like part of the Texas family.
By the end of just one week of team camp our players and coaches were VUp Bumping and all into it! It was so cool to see!
On the last day of camp we did a little fun trivia game. One question was, "What does VUp mean?" The correct answer was supposed to be "Vegas Up", but then something cool happened. The players didn't give the correct answer... they gave THEIR answer... and THEIR answer was "VUp means Fun, Passion, Fearless!" Holding back a tear or two I told the players they were right. VUp does mean "Fun, Passion, Fearless".
Unfortunately, the week after team camps I had to go to Boston. Being away from my VU Fam for a week was hard and I wondered, "would our coaches and players make "VUp" stick without me leading the charge?" The answer is YES! As soon as I stepped on the field Monday kids were like, "Hey Coach Jared VUp!" and they were holding up the #VUp hand symbol at me. Kids were coming up to me and #VUp bumping me. Coaches were #VUp bumping me. I'm talking like 40-50 kids were VUp'n at me! My hand almost started to cramp! It was humbling, it was inspiring and it makes me excited. Excited for our kids, excited for our coaches and excited for our parents.
This fall season lets have fun, play with passion and be fearless!