HP Coaches Clinic Giving Global Lessons

By Bill Kauffman | Feb. 06, 2015, 10:12 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 6, 2015) – The 2015 USA Volleyball High Performance Coaches’ Clinic (HPCC), which started Thursday and runs through Saturday, has a blend of coaching philosophies from around the world delivering the theme “Different Continents, Same Game: Volleyball Perspectives from Around the Globe.”

Along with U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his coaching staff, the HPCC has pulled in renowned international coaches Laurent Tillie, head men’s volleyball coach for France, and Julio Velasco, head men’s volleyball coach for Argentina. Five U.S. National Team athletes – Danielle Scott-Arruda (five-time Olympian, two-time Olympic silver medalist), Stacy Sykora (three-time Olympian, 2008 Olympic silver medalist), Christa Dietzen (2012 Olympic silver medalist), Kayla Banwarth and Tracy Stalls – were present giving input from a player perspective in demonstrations and classroom panel session. Dietzen was a middle blocker and captain of Team USA that won the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship last October, while Banwarth was the primary libero on the squad.

Kiraly informed the attendees that learning is a continual process for him and his team, and the HPCC is an important avenue to share information and forge connections for all attendees.

“Job number one for all of us, starting with me, starting with our staff, but also for all of our athletes, is to be learners and embrace the growth mindset. We have to be in a constant state of learning, creating a safe environment to do that and operate at the edge of our abilities and take risk.”

Learn more about USA Volleyball Indoor High Performance | Clinic Gallery

The annual HPCC has drawn 230 coaches with nine from outside the United States along with National and Regional High Performance coaches from the USA. The HPCC continues its unique tradition of offering the highest levels of coaching training in one setting. Within the structure of the HPCC, coaches are able to share their knowledge, methodologies and world experiences with attendees in large and small group settings.

While coaching clinics are nothing new to Tillie, the HPCC format is a new concept to him as it reaches grassroots level coaches as well as the top coaches in the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline.

“This is something new for me,” Tillie said. “I made my own philosophy because I share ideas, especially with the American coaches. I like the idea to share what we believe and what we know to work. I believe that sharing experiences and ideas is better for volleyball.”

Many of USA Volleyball’s 40 Regional Volleyball Associations have embraced the HPCC, coming back on an annual basis to learn new concepts and hear different speakers share their experiences. The Iowa Region has 15 of its coaches investing time in Colorado Springs to become better coaches, and in turn, produce better players within their Region.

“Iowans come back year after year for many reasons,” Iowa Region High Performance Program Coordinator Michelle Goodall said. “We appreciate the fact that this amazing coaching clinic is in close proximity...just a car drive away. We value the education available here, but as Iowans, honestly, the human connections forged here are priceless. The staff does such a fantastic job ensuring we have great educational sessions, but also carve enough time into the schedule for us to connect and meet other coaches. These relationships are priceless...and an important piece in our growth as coaches.”

The HPCC is utilizing 11 players from University of Colorado-Boulder and Colorado State University, and for one of the players, the HPCC is doubly valuable for her.

“It is a lot of different play (that we are demonstrating),” said Colorado’s Alexis Austin (Houston), who has played many years in USA Volleyball’s High Performance pipeline. “They have a lot of different techniques and strategies. It is a total different world. It is giving us a lot of new information that we can use in our own gym. As for me, I am a club coach as well. I can use this information as a coach myself. I coach for Boulder Athletic Club 15s. It is kind of a developmental group, we are increasingly getting better each time we are in the gym. I have the players who are playing club volleyball for the first time.”