COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 30, 2021) – The USA Volleyball National Team Development Program (NTDP) has enlisted 90 of the top volleyball coaches and experts in the United States to be part of its 2021 Scouting Network.
The NTDP Scouting Network will serve as the NTDP talent identification process for age group national teams as well as the NTDP training series. This process will replace the former tryout selection process that was part of the High Performance Program.
The Scouting Network includes coaches and experts from across the United States, covering many of the USAV regions. Due to the NCAA dead period, scouts will remain remote through the end of May, but will soon be attending many events and training sessions around the country.
“As our NTDP team researched better ways to identify talent at the youth levels, it became so clear to us that we could not do this alone and that we needed to tap into the unique knowledge and expertise of some of the best scouting and recruiting minds in this country” said NTDP Director and U.S. Women’s National Team Assistant Coach Erin Virtue. “The scope and collective knowledge of this group of coaches will improve our identification and selection process for our age group national teams and training series programs. We know this has been a difficult year for all. We are hopeful that this new process will be more thorough, more robust, and more consistent than previous tryout models of the past.”
Among the coaches scouting on the indoor side is NCAA Championship winner John Speraw, current coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, who won two titles with UC Irvine and has taken UCLA to the finals.
“Talent identification is not an exact science. It takes years of experience, knowledge of the game, and understanding of the growth and maturation process,” Speraw said. “I am excited to collaborate with the NTDP as a member of the Scouting Network and help bring together the very best young athletes in the country to train with and against one another.”
On the beach side, Andrew Fuller, head coach of Stanford’s beach program, has a long history with USAV NTDP.
“I’m thrilled to help the Beach NTDP alongside some of the best coaches in the world,” Fuller said. “I’m excited for us to cast a wide net into communities all over America to help young people achieve their dreams of wearing a USA uniform. Great beach volleyball players can be found in every corner of this country and it’s going to be a really enjoyable challenge to identify them.”
Scouting will be a continuous and fluid effort of the Network. Program selection for summer NTDP will begin in early May. To assist our scouts, indoor athletes should update their University Athlete profiles to include, at minimum: name, club, position, jersey number, height and club coach contact information. Beach athletes will have their own profile site and should check back for more information.
“We understand that this is a new process for athletes, parents, and coaches,” Virtue said. “Collectively, our scouts will identify and evaluate more athletes than we would ever see in a typical tryout season. I have faith in this process. To the athletes: the best thing that you can do is focus on your development and enjoy the learning process.”
View the entire list of scouts at usavolleyball.org.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING
David Hunt, Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball, Head Coach
“Having been involved at all levels with USA Volleyball, I believe in the importance of identifying and developing our future Olympians. I have seen the positive impact of an elite development program. Recognizing our best young athletes, getting them into a high-performance learning environment, and teaching them systems that will help them be successful is imperative to our success as a volleyball country.”
Mary Wise, Florida Women’s Volleyball, Head Coach
“More girls play high school volleyball than any other sport. Choosing the best of the best isn’t easy. I applaud USAV’s efforts to create a program that will identify athletes amongst the 460,000-plus who could one day represent our national team.”
Danko Iordanov, University of Saint Katherine Men’s Indoor and Beach Volleyball, Head Coach
“The NTDP Scouting Network is a fantastic opportunity for young players to be seen and develop into future college and USA beach volleyball stars. I wish something like this existed when I was a young player.”
Evan Silberstein, Hawaii Beach Volleyball Assistant Coach
“I am inspired to be a part of this groundswell change to help develop the USA Beach Volleyball pipeline. As a longtime coach and tryout leader on the Girls HP side, I am particularly excited to expand into a dual-gender scout role to help grow the boys beach game and help bring some of our uniquely talented Hawaii boys into the great tradition of excellence that so many before them have walked for Team USA.”