USA Volleyball

HP Coaching Opportunities

Our programs provide a unique experience for our coaches to work with the highest caliber of athletes from across the country, and not just their home region. As athletes are put into tiers of skill level, the quality of play and capability throughout any program is consistent for the whole group. With less of a variance in ability, our programs provide a unique training environment where athletes and coaches can learn and grow at a higher rate.

High Performance provides a network of coaches from across the country who share their desire to grow and learn from the USAV national team systems and techniques. Just like our athletes, we train our coaches with the same ideals and practices as our senior national teams and provide them with a pipeline to continually grow and become better coaches.

High Performance Tryouts

USA Volleyball High Performance hosts more than 50 tryouts each year in cities across the country. USAV HP relies on our tryout coaches to not only run smooth and efficient events, but to also evaluate athletes accurately and provide them with a fun and challenging experience. All of our coaches at tryouts are volunteers and have registered through the High Performance registration system. You can find additional information and instructions here. Tryout coaches are cheerful, motivated individuals who are willing to help with whatever needs to be done before, during, and after a tryout. HP tryouts are the first opportunity for USAV staff to evaluate new coaches for program opportunities.

When will I receive information about the tryout I am attending?
Each HP tryout is overseen by a USAV staff member from the Colorado Springs office. An email will be sent to coaches (who are signed up in High Performance registration system) approximately one week prior to the event in case any conflicts have arisen. They will then follow up with another email 2-3 days out with specific tryout assignments, roles and informational documents needed. 

What kind of coach assignments can I expect at a tryout?
Tryouts are composed of two different assignment types with the check-in/physical testing hour and the actual on court tryout and evaluation process. Role assignments can vary based on prior tryouts worked and experience, as well as the need for specific roles based on athlete attendance. You can review all potential tryout assignments here with our HP Tryout Job Description Guide.  

Is it better to be a court coach or an evaluator at a tryout?
No one role is considered “better” than another. It is very difficult to command and run a court efficiently and the ability to do so is noticed by the USAV staff. Court coaches and evaluators are both an equally important role in tryouts. They require communication between the two to ensure that every athlete is evaluated to their highest potential. The ability to effectively run a court is just as recognized as the ability to properly evaluate athletes.

How does NCAA Compliance Rules affect my ability to volunteer at a tryout?
USAV HP and the NCAA have guidelines for Division I coaches and their assistance at tryouts, summer programs, and holiday programs. Tryouts must comply with any dead periods and coaches will not be allowed to volunteer during those times. Summer and holiday programs are exempt of any dead periods and the official wording and waiver can be provided upon request. For both programs and tryouts, there is no compliance issue with what role a coach can be assigned.

High Performance National Training Program Coach Hiring Process

Coaching at a summer national training program is the next step in the coach opportunities pipeline. Coaches submit availability through the High Performance registration system for the training programs that are set to take place in the summer training period for a specific set of dates and locations by athlete skill level and age group. From that availability, High Performance selects the coaching staff for each event and sends personal invitations to each coach to confirm their availability. Once confirmed, coaches are hired as independent contractors and then receive details about travel to and from the training program.

Program availability should be submitted as soon as the programs are available in the High Performance registration system. A notification will be sent to coaches as a reminder to put in for what programs they are able to work and should be done so at the start of the tryout season.

Should I submit availability for multiple programs, and will I be invited to more than one?
Coaches are encouraged to submit for any/all summer programs that they would like to work and are able to attend. The coach selection process is used to try and distribute our best coaches across all levels and limit the number of recurring coaches in one season to allow for more coach involvement and growth. However, should availability and sign up be low for a specific program, a coach may be asked to participate in more than one program per season. Not all invitations will be sent at the same time, and if your availability for multiple locations changes, we ask that you make those adjustments in High Performance registration system.

When will I receive my Summer Program Invitation?
The program invitation timeline can vary year to year and is dependent on the confirmation of summer program dates and hosts. Typically, we try to stay as close to the schedule below.

  • January – National team coaches named
  • March – April – Initial girls’ and boys’ program coaches Invited (all levels)
  • April – May – Additional coaches as needed and apprentice coach roles

What kind of coach assignments can I expect at a summer program?
There are four main roles for our coaches at a program: head coach, associate head coach, assistant coach, apprentice coach. The composition of staff at each program is different because of the volume of athletes in training and the need for more leadership when dividing athletes into more manageable evaluation groups.

  • A1/CT = Head Coach - Assistant Coach
  • A2 = Head Coach – Associate Head Coach – Assistant Coach – Apprentice Coach
  • A3/Skills = Head Coach – Associate Head Coach – Assistant Coach

How can I be more prepared for my program?
Once program staffs have been invited and confirmed, USAV HP will set up a conference call/webinar to review coach responsibilities. The call is mandatory for all coaches working summer programs and will provide everything from training information, coach conduct expectations, and common scenarios to prepare for. Additionally, a USAV staff member lead will reach out to coaches roughly 4-6 weeks prior to their specific program start date. With the initial contact email, you will be connected with the rest of your staff and provided your basic training materials for review. 

How do I advance through the coach pipeline?
There is no one way to progress and grow through the HP coaching pipeline. If a coach is asked to repeat their role at a program it may not be because they are not able to do more, but because they excel in that position and are valued for what they provide there. The same can be said for age groups. Older age groups can be seen as a “more elite opportunity” by some coaches when developing the younger athletes can be valued more by others. If you have been involved in the pipeline for several years and are curious to how your progression is moving, please contact a USAV HP staff member for clarification. The strengths and reasons behind why we invite a coach to certain roles may not be as clear or sometimes even misinterpreted. An HP staff member can answer any questions or requests that a coach may have. 


High Performance A2, A3, Training, and Skills Programs

USAV High Performance A2, A3, training, and skills Programs boast the highest athlete participation numbers of all USAV HP summer programs and are an integral piece of the HP athlete pipeline. These programs are the second, third, fourth and fifth tiers of the athlete pipeline, respectively, and consist of five-day and seven-day experiences at locations across the country.

Roles, assignments and staffing will be made up of a variety of coaches at each location. They will range from coaches who are very experienced with High Performance programs in leadership roles, to others who are brand new and are in more of a learning position as an apprentice coach.

High Performance Championship Coaches 

The High Performance Championships is composed of five days of training and five days of tournament play for our HP staff and athletes. The tournament portion is composed of USA HP teams, USAV region HP teams as well as international teams and is hosted in a U.S. city every July. Apart from the 12-player USA Youth and Junior National Teams, the HP Championship programs offer the highest level of training and competition to our male and female athletes. Through this event, our coaches are given the opportunity to train and develop athletes in the highest-level juniors’ tournament in the country.

The High Performance Championship Program is the main platform for future advancement to HP national teams. Coaches and athletes train together for the period of a standard HP program, and then apply those lessons during the HPC competition. In general, the staff for programs at the HP Championships is made up of coaches who have proven themselves in the HP coaching pipeline for several years. These coaches are trusted with training the top athletes in the country in the select, youth and junior age groups and are therefore the most experienced in the coaches’ pipeline.

What can I do to be in consideration for an HPCs’ Staff?
The first step is to put in your availability for HPC programs in addition to any other programs you may be open to working. Like our athletes, only a small percentage of coaches will be invited to work over a summer season and coach selection to HPCs is a balance of skill, experience and potential. Coaches who are invited to HPCs have proven themselves capable of being skilled in the training, administration and evaluation of athletes at an elite level of play, often through years of work at lower level training programs. HPC coaches meet the criteria to represent the very best of the coach pipeline. You can find more coach criteria Tryout Coach Job Description.

Once I have worked on an HPCs staff, will I always be asked to work it again?
A repeated and consistent coaching offer for any program is not guaranteed. We encourage our coaches to welcome roles across all levels and be willing to teach and mentor other coaches in the pipeline.

What is the value of being a head coach/associate head coach at a program versus an assistant at HPCs?
Although HP Championships is our top tier of training for both athletes and coaches, head and associate head coaches at any level are chosen because of their proven competency and ability to manage coaches and athletes in a demanding and stressful environment while providing top quality USAV training. The opportunity to lead coaches at other levels of programs is a large responsibility and should be seen as such by coaches who have been on a previous HPC’s staff. Assistant coaches generally have a greater responsibility for execution of training and direct interaction with the athletes, giving them the time and space to engage and develop their on-court skillset. Each respective role offers different areas of opportunity for growth and interaction with athletes to allow coaches to maximize and utilize different areas of expertise based on the needs of the program.

High Performance Coaching Development Opportunities

High Performance Mentor Coach Guidance
In 2016, HP began a mentor coach program for our A1/CT coaches at HP Championships and are now expanding to more program levels. Our mentor coaches are chosen based on their years of experience in the pipeline, their knowledge and ability to teach the USAV systems, and their influence on the growth of coaches. These mentors are assigned to a program and work with coaches on reaching personal goals and well as developing their ability to execute training within the USAV guidelines.

Peer to Peer Evaluations and Feedback
All HP programs require coaches from across the country to come together and work cohesively for the duration of training. Sometimes that is easier said than done, and because of that we require all coaches to fill out a peer evaluation of the coaches worked with at their program. All feedback is anonymous but gives coaches the opportunity to learn how they are outwardly perceived and what others perceive as their strengths and weaknesses. Our peer evaluations focus on coach to coach interaction as well as coach to athlete interaction throughout training.

U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team Open Tryouts
The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team Tryout provide an opportunity for direct collaboration and involvement with High Performance and Senior National Team (SNT) coaching staff as they work to identify top athletes with potential to train in the national team gym. These events also serve as the evaluation opportunity for college-age athletes in order to be selected to a Collegiate National Team (CNT). Coaches who are invited to attend an open tryout are selected based on their experience, commitment and impact on the High Performance pipeline. In addition to on-court training and evaluation, these coaches have the opportunity to participate in small group meetings with the SNT coaching staff to learn from as well as discuss and influence the development of the High Performance pipeline as it relates to the development of athletes as they progress towards the SNT to compete at an elite and international level. Selection to an open tryout staff is by invitation only.