Coach Carlee shares about her time with USA High Performance!

Date Posted: 9/14/2017

A Summer with USA

Now that we are officially making our way into the fall, I thought it would be a good time to reflect and share some of my summer experiences with USA Volleyball. As a volleyball coach, I am fortunate enough to work with some great athletes and coaches in a variety of roles and programs. For several years I’ve had the honor of working with USA Volleyball as a try-out, court and program coach.  While each experience is unique, I always feel that I grow and make an impact on the game.


Every year the USA season begins with a tryout in one of the several host locations. This year was a little unique in that I attended a try out in Honolulu, HI, Atlanta, GA and Chicago, IL. Atlanta, being one of the largest try-outs, I found myself working with the Future Select age group. The Future Selects are growing every year, and love seeing young, talented athletes get involved. Honolulu also held a special place in my volleyball heart. I finally made it out to the islands to get a feel for their one-of-a-kind volleyball culture.


In the summer, I had the opportunity to work our Youth A3 program in New Orleans, LA and Future Select in Las Vegas, NV. At the core, the athletes and coaches are all there for the same reason: to learn the USA system and continue to grow. I can also tell you that coaches and athletes a-like, can feel the positive difference of being in the USA gym. There is an indescribable experience of working in an environment with USA on your back.


While I learned a lot, some key take-a-ways from this summer’s camps include:


  • Goal setting is important, not matter how far you are in your career (volleyball or otherwise). Not only is goal setting good for personal development, but if the goals are shared, others can help support you. Additionally, shared goals are great for bringing a team together!
  • No matter your experience, you can always bring something to the table. This summer I worked with coaches just breaking into the USA system all the way up through a five-time Olympian. What I found is that everyone can contribute to the team. I encourage you to listen, just as much as you can share, to help the greater goals of the team.
  • Learning new things can be uncomfortable, but so worth it. We teach our athletes to try new form, cues and ways of communicating. Often we are asking athletes to re-learn something that has been embedded in their behaviors. At first, change can be difficult. However, in the long run they will be more effective and confident in execution. Temporary discomfort will pay off, and I think that is something that is applicable on and off the court.
  • Everyone has a role to play on the team, and understanding what is expected of you is a major key to success. Both the coaches and the athletes were part of a team. Sharing roles and responsibilities helps with communication, speed to execute, learning and overall enjoyment of the experience. Continue to push for role clarity in the teams you engage with. You might be surprised by what you are able to accomplish.


One thing is for sure, my summer with USA Volleyball was an absolute blast. I continue to be thankful for my experiences and working with so many amazing, passionate leaders. My hope is to continue to make an impact on the sport, and in life. Hopefully this reflection is just one way of making my mark.


- Coach Carlee