USA Volleyball High Performance Athlete Search
The High Performance Pipeline is an integral part of the USA National Team system. The primary mission of USAV HP is to identify, train, and provide domestic and international competitive experiences for potential future USA Volleyball Olympians. The experience gained from competing with and against the best volleyball athletes in our country and abroad is invaluable. USAV HP is also very proud that the finest coaches in the country teach and coach our HP Pipeline Athletes.
In order to do this, USAV HP works to build a broad Athlete Pipeline, attracting and evaluating top volleyball athletes from across the country in each age group and placing each into programs appropriate for their maximum growth as a volleyball player on an for international level play.
Having a consistent, solid base in ALL fundamental volleyball skills is the cornerstone of success in the international arena and is a primary attribute that USA Volleyball High Performance is seeking in its athletes. This includes having a comprehensive understanding of how to play the game, commonly refered to as "Volleyball IQ." When evaluating athletes at tryouts for USAV HP Programs, HP Coaches' evaluations are focused on evaluating each athlete's skill set and potential in relation to all players of that particular position and age group across the country. In those evaluations, USA Volleyball is considering athletes for their potential in current and future international competition. The international game is bigger, faster, and more complex than even the highest levels of club and collegiate volleyball in the US, and our HP Coaches are familiar with the type of player who will succeed and thrive in that environment, representing the United States on an international stage. In addition, volleyball played internationally and at the High Performance Championships is played using international FIVB rules and there are significant rule differences from high school, club or college rules. The most importance difference has to do with the number of substitutions.
High school, college, and club volleyball rules permit a much higher number of substitutions, allowing players to be “subbed-out” in the back or front row at will. FIVB rules permit only 6 substitutions with “one replacement.” This means if a player starts the set and is subbed out, he or she may come back in, but would then be in the set permanently. Likewise, if a player does not start the set and is subbed in, once that player is subbed out he or she is out for the remainder of the set. For this reason, USAV HP is looking for athletes who can play “all 6 rotations,” meaning setters who can play front and back row, hitters who are accomplished serve receive passers, middle blockers who are excellent servers, and so on. Athletes in the libero position are the only players who are really more specialized, only ever playing in the back row, but even liberos must be excellent at skills like setting. USAV HP is looking for what USA Women's Head Coach Karch Kiraly calls, "generalized specialists" - players who are excellent at all skills but who are experts in one or two main position-based skills. The development of all skills and of a higher volleyball IQ is accelerated by competing at the highest levels possible, which illustrates why USAV HP Programs provide such an incredible opportunity to improve at a high rate.