NTDP Mission and Staff
The mission of the National Team Development Program (NTDP) is to identify, recruit and accelerate the development of high potential junior volleyball players for the ultimate purpose of strengthening our national team programs to achieve sustained competitive excellence.
Peter Vint, Chief of Sport
Erin Virtue, Director
Kris Berzins, Senior Manager
Meredith Lee, Girls Indoor and Analytics Lead
Nicole Segura, Athlete Development Lead
Jordan Kelly, Boys Indoor and Communications Lead
Todd Faulds, Performance Pathway Lead
The NTDP is rolling out this year, and COVID-19 permitting, the first major training programs are being scheduled for July.
Once our National Team Development Program Scouting Network is in place, we will determine the best timing for selection announcements.
During COVID-19 protocols, we want to ensure that our scouts have an ample amount of time and opportunity to see all athletes across the United States.
At this time, you can expect selections for the Summer National Team Development Training Series to be made in late spring 2021.
USA Volleyball Membership
Our goal in the NTDP is to identify, recruit and develop the best athletes in the country.
We understand that athletes can come from anywhere, and we will working to cover the USA Volleyball, AAU and JVA landscapes to ensure that we are identifying athletes regardless of their clubs’ affiliation.
Once selected to the NTDP, all athletes will register as USA Volleyball members to be eligible to train and compete as a USA Volleyball athlete.
We will have national and zonal programs.
Through our NTD Training Series, we plan to host zonal programs in the fall and spring, and national programs in the summer (HP Championship) and winter. To keep costs lower, we want to be closer to the athletes by providing zonal options throughout the year. The four zones are based on our 40 regions: Border, Pacific, Central and Atlantic.
Specific locations will be determined soon.
Hawaii and Alaska are part of the Pacific Zone, and we will be looking for the best locations with dense athlete populations within each zone to run our Training Series.
We understand that Hawaii and Alaska present a unique challenge for some athletes if programs are not held in their state. We are prepared to work with our athletes on an individual basis if they aren’t able to make it to a given training series. It will not be required that athletes attend all programs to which they are selected.
High Performance did not maintain or regularly update a national player database. It didn’t systematically solicit or otherwise capture recommendations from coaches or club directors about high potential young players in their areas.
As a result, the only way we knew about players was through the tryout process (because this was the only mechanism by which players would be initially evaluated). The tryout process was inefficient and inconsistent as evaluators were not the same from tryout to tryout, and there was not a consistent evaluation rubric that was applied nationwide. So, a kid who was rated a “4” in one tryout might have been a “2” or “3” in another. While well intentioned, the HP tryout mechanism was not executed to an appropriate standard. That’s ineffective, inefficient, and sometimes unfair.
In the new system, USA Volleyball will develop discipline-and gender-specific evaluation rubrics and hold educational sessions for any scout in our program. These will be accompanied by calibration videos and scorings so that all scouts in the system understand and can easily discern between a “5” and a “3” and can more often discern between a “5” and a “4.”
NTD Training Series
Once identified, top youth athletes will be invited by USA Volleyball to attend one or more of our National Team Development Training Series. The NTD Training Series will provide opportunities for the best young athletes to be challenged and to learn about the tactical, technical, physical and mental aspects our national team coaches are looking for in our senior national team athletes.
We know that these will be exceptional development experiences: best with best and best against best under the guidance of our country’s top youth coaches. Participation in the NTD Training Series will provide evaluation, feedback and individual development plans that will be accompanied by online learning experiences to support athletes in a healthy and holistic way. Everything will be age-appropriate and aligned with the expectations of our senior national team coaching and performance staff.
We know we can’t bring in every athlete who might have potential at once. We know our scouting network may not see everyone who might someday develop into one of our senior national team players. So, we’ve designed layers of evaluation and opportunity. Beyond the NTD Training Series will be NTD Accelerators.
It will not be required for selected athletes to attend all training programs. We understand that our athletes are busy, and the academic and sport calendar may fill up quickly. We will work individually with selected athletes to create a pathway that works for them to allow for the best development possible.
We will do our best to ensure that NTD Training Series events for indoor and beach do not overlap. With more programs happening throughout the year, athletes that participate in beach and indoor will have more opportunities to compete in both disciplines. For example, a selected athlete could attend a summer Beach NTD Training Series and a fall Indoor NTD Training Series. We value multi-discipline athletes and want to align our programs to allow for as much flexible participation as possible.
NTD Accelerators will provide opportunities for clubs and regional HP programs to nominate promising players to receive an invitation to local best vs. best training sessions.
These sessions will be organized by USA Volleyball and run in a manner similar to competitive sessions within the National Team Development Training Series. The purpose is to provide opportunities for “next level” athletes to play with and be challenged against the best athletes in a more localized setting. We envision hosting these monthly in ways that do not interfere with an athlete’s club or school programs.
While NTDP will focus its resources on athletes from ages U15 for girls and U16 for boys, we are excited to launch USAVplay.
USAVplay is designed to provide younger, pre-pubescent players, and athletes who are new to the game, with opportunities to develop skills and confidence in high energy, position agnostic, developmentally appropriate camps and clinics.
USAVplay multi-day camps and single-session pop-ups will be based on the principles of small-sided games, which have been scientifically proven to help accelerate development by dramatically increasing the number of opportunities that athletes have to perform key skills during training and competition. These are not tryouts and there is no expectation of being seen or recruited, These are purely about development and fun.
Open registration for summer USAVplay camps will open soon. We will also be rolling out 3-4 USAVplay pop-ups around the country.
In summer 2021, we will host four indoor USAVplay camps, one in each o the four zones (Pacific, Central, Border and Atlantic). Dates and locations will be announced soon.
Yes, the National Team Development Academy. We are working on great content for athletes, coaches and parents. The online platform will be open to to anyone to register and will serve as an educational bridge for athletes who are selected for our national teams and the NTD Training Series.
Age-Group National Teams
Due to COVID and the NCAA season changes, the Women’s National Team Tryout is canceled in 2021.
Instead, the Women’s National Team staff will be evaluating and selecting athletes for the Collegiate National Team program this year.
The Men’s Collegiate National Team will be selected by the Men’s National Team staff; the 12 Men’s Collegiate National Team athletes will compete in the inaugural Junior Pan Am Games in September 2021.
Our NTDP Scouting Network will be working through identification of athletes to place on rosters for our U18-U21 National Training Teams and the NTD Training Series.
The Scouting Network, along with NTDP staff, will be selecting athletes for programs in 2021.
The NTDP will remain an open and fluid system. Athletes develop and mature at different rates, so identification and evaluation methods will be continuous.
We understand that 2020 was a challenging year, and we will consider the implications that had on all athletes moving forward. Opening our selection and identification process will allow our scouts to provide valuable insight into athlete identification for NTD programs, which is a valuable component of the NTDP.
High Performance Championship
The High Performance Championship is an excellent opportunity for our top NTDP athletes and top region athletes to train and compete within an international competition. One of the philosophies of the NTDP and a key principle in athlete development is to have the best athletes train with and against the best.
The best way to do that is to host national training programs and events. In 2021, the summer NTD Training Series will take place at HPC. Having an opportunity to be a part of the NTD Training Series at HPC is one of the highest achievements an athlete can reach in 2021. Outside of the summer months, we expect conflicts between NTDP and region events to be minimal.
The 2021 Indoor HPC has been canceled. The 2021 Beach HPC is in Fort Lauderdale, July 26-28.
HPC is a key element in our effort to bring together the best athletes from around the country to train with and against the best. HPC offers an opportunity for our athletes to compete at a high level against international opponents as well as top regional programs. HPC will also offer a great opportunity for our Scouting Network to continue to identify and evaluate athletes from our NTDP and region programs.
Yes, we are moving away from the tryout model; we will implement a network of professionals to identify talent in a much more holistic and consistent manner.
Our scouts will be working remotely and reviewing athletes virtually as the NCAA will prohibit in-person recruiting through June 4, 2021.
Absolutely. It’s a requirement for all our National Team Development Program hired workers to have a USAV membership, pass a background screen and be SafeSport certified.