How the US Women’s National Volleyball Team Develop and Maintain Elite Skills through Video

How the US Women’s National Volleyball Team Develop and Maintain Elite Skills through Video

For the United States women’s national volleyball team, video is a crucial part of the review process that helps elite players reach an even higher level of learning and understanding of the game.

How do you get players at the elite level to keep on improving? For United States women’s national volleyball team head coach Karch Kiraly, video analysis is a vital tool that facilitates higher learning.

As a three-time Olympic gold medalist, coach Kiraly is a strong authority on what technology makes elite players tick. He explains the suitability of video to the success of his elite program.

“My biggest goal with this program for the other coaches, our staff and me, is trying to give our players every tool possible to improve and to learn at the fastest rate possible,” said Kiraly.

“The bottom line is we’re trying to figure out who might be able to come to the USA gym and continue to develop.”

Because elite players have achieved a high mastery the game, their continued development is based on the finer points of play. These need to be dissected and studied to gain an advantage.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Karch Kiraly coaches the US women's national volleyball team.

“When you’re at the level we’re at, we’re training hard every day, the changes are minuscule,” said setter Micha Hancock. “We’re looking at very small changes that make a huge difference, for example when you’re playing Serbia to get into the gold medal match.”

For fellow setter Lauren Carlini, Volleymetrics is key to providing focus to the specific skills needed to play her position on the court.

“There are so many reps that we are doing throughout the day and it’s so important to be able to go in there, look at what your focus was that day, break it down and say ‘Okay, was I accomplishing this, or do I need to focus on it again tomorrow? Do I need to focus on something else?’” said Carlini.

“So I get in there every day, watch all my sets, all my digs. For me, setting is obviously the most important skill, so being able to break that down by each header as well is really helpful, especially at this level where the smallest margin makes the biggest difference.”

For middle player Tori Dixon, feedback is crucial to performing consistently in practice. Video is what allows her to self-evaluate effectively.

“For athletes in the USA gym, it helps tremendously, like night and day difference just having feedback and being able to tell where you are,” said Dixon.

“As a middle, there’s a lot of different sets and a lot of different timings that I have to get adjusted to and when you’re coming into the gym, I’m not always on the right step, and not always on the right place at the right time, so it’s good to know where I’m at and take upon myself to fix it the next day.”

“Because I think, if we can change it faster, we’re just going to get better that much faster.”

Interested in more uses for video? USA Volleyball has proved video is crucial to recruiting, and volleyball’s biggest names believe it’s vital for player development.