Be a Part of the High Performance Pipeline as a Coach

Dec. 10, 2018, 2:30 p.m. (ET)

HP Coaching

The 2019 High Performance indoor tryout schedule is now available and athlete registration opens Dec. 11.

As a coach, you will probably encourage many of your players to attend a nearby tryout. But have you thought of being part of the High Performance program yourself?

Coaches in the HP program work with some of the best coaches in the country to identify and develop future Olympians. Current and past HP coaches include Matt Ulmer (University of Oregon), Beth Launiere (Utah), Kevin Hambly (Stanford University), Keegan Cook (University of Washington), Dani Busboom Kelly (Louisville), Jerritt Elliott (University of Texas), Chris Tamas (University of Illinois) and Erin Virtue (Northwestern University).

USAV Indoor HP Coordinator Nicole Segura spent two years coaching in the HP pipeline after being encouraged by a mentor. In 2017, she helped with the Atlanta tryouts and A3 Select program; this year, she worked with the A2 Select program. Her experience was both positive and educational.

“Learning to understand the scale of the tryouts is intimidating, but the level of energy from the kids and staff was so great,” she said.

Related: HP Coaches Also on Path to the Podium | HP Coach Lee Maes: Five Traits Future Stars Exhibit at 13

Segura said any nerves young coaches might have about joining the HP pipeline dissipate quickly in the high-energy environment.

She has a few tips for those thinking about signing up.

“Registering is easy, but once you are given the opportunity to work, don’t be shy about asking questions,” she said. “Be truly prepared. Understand the drills you are given. Even if you feel like you understand, get some confirmation from another coach you trust. Walk in without any gray areas, and it will reduce your anxiety.”

Segura reiterated that new HP coaches will get everything they need to be prepared for a tryout.

“They [USAV HP] will tell you what to look for in an evaluation. It’s not ‘new’ volleyball, but the vocabulary might be different for you because it’s the ‘USA way.’ That’s why asking questions in advance is important.”

She added that being a part of the HP program really gives coaches a sense of the scale of volleyball across the United States, something that many coaches won’t get from working with a club travel team. One of her favorite memories from tryouts is the evaluation process with other coaches.

“Going through the depth chart and sharing notes on athletes, and just seeing the different perspectives and insights on kids, and then coming to a consensus … I really did begin to understand the strength and depth of USA volleyball.”

Boys and girls tryouts begin in January; for more information on the High Performance Coaching Program, visit the coaching home page.