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.