New USAV Program is Next Step on Path to the Podium

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 10, 2020) – Young volleyball athletes who want to take the next step on their path to the podium can now be part of the new USA Volleyball National Team Development Program (NTDP).

Launching in 2021, the NTDP will fully replace the USA Volleyball High Performance program. Since the 1990s, USAV High Performance has identified, evaluated, trained and developed young athletes to build a sustainable pipeline of future Olympians and Paralympians. Volleyball has flourished into the most popular high school team sport for girls and the fastest-growing high school sport for boys in the U.S.

The NTDP will increase the opportunities for athletes to be seen and evaluated and to develop within the USAV National Team system. 

“As the popularity of volleyball continues to grow in the United States, USAV needs to grow with it,” USAV Chief of Sports Dr. Peter Vint said. “Throughout the past year, we have challenged the way we have done things and have worked toward a better and more robust system of identifying and developing athletes.”

The NTDP will be a fluid system with an athlete-centered focus that emphasizes the health, well-being and overall development of each individual player. Indoor, beach and sitting volleyball players will have increased opportunities to play with and against the best athletes from across the country and to learn from some of the best minds in the game.

“Aligning our National Team Development Program with the philosophies, methodologies and culture of our national teams is important to sustain competitive excellence in our sport,” U.S. Women’s National Team Assistant Coach / NTDP Senior Manager Erin Virtue said. “I am proud of our NTDP team for the research, time and passion it has put in throughout this difficult year. We have more work to do and we are excited to roll out these new initiatives in 2021.”

Age-group categories will begin with girls under-15 and boys under-16 with the oldest age groups for both genders being under-21. Athletes U15 and older may participate in the NTD Training Series held quarterly at locations across the country. A new series of local events called NTD Accelerators will offer athletes the chance to train against top competition in their area.

Younger athletes may participate in USAVplay. These single-session and summer-camp programs allow any athlete to participate in a development-focused training session.

There will not be tryouts for the NTDP. Athletes will be selected to NTDP training and competition via a nationwide scouting network. Scouts from around the country will be selected to identify athletes at qualifiers, bid events and high school/club tournaments across the United States.

More details will be made available, including information about upcoming training events, in early 2021.

On Jan. 6, 7 and 8, USA Volleyball will host open town-hall meetings to provide details and answer questions about the program. Registration for these events will be available soon.