200 of the best volleyball players in the State of Iowa gathered at Simpson College to learn from a group of elite coaches. Between June 11th and June 14th this group of athletes worked hard not only to improve their skills but also competed for a limited number of spots on the travel team.
While at camp the athletes learned form some of the best coaches USA Volleyball has to offer. The primary coaching staff was lead by Tom Hogan who was an Assistant Coach for the 2008 Olympic team that won a Silver Medal. In 2004 he was the Assistant Coach for the USA Junior National Team that won a Gold Medal at the NORCECA’s. He is currently the Assistant Coach at the University of Colorado.
Assisting Tom were two former Olympians, Stacy Sykora and Danielle Scott Arruda. Stacy has played in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympic Games. She is a two time 2nd Team All-American for Texas A&M. She was named Best Libero in the World as well as Best Digger in the World. After earning a Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympics she was sidelined with a traumatic injury when a team bus crashed. Danielle Scott Arruda is an amazing athlete who participated in the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and the 2012 Olympic Games. She was also part of the 2008 Olympic team that won a Silver Medal at the Olympics. Danielle has earned numerous medals in international play in her outstanding career with USA Volleyball.
Last but certainly not least is the Rod Wilde. Rod was the director of our boys camp. He not only has successful playing experience but also successful coaching experience as well. Rod was not only a NCAA Champion and All American he was also a member of the US Olympic Team that won a Gold Medal. in 2013 Rod was the Head Coach of the USA Junior Women’s World Championship Team.
Along with the 4 primary coaches from USA Volleyball the 200 athletes were also coached by volleyball’s best coaches. Not only did high school and club coaches assist but so did various NCAA Division I, II, and III as well as NAIA coaches. The athletes that were selected to attend the Iowa High Performance Camp trained with these highly qualified coaches for 3 days and then competed in a camp tournament on the final day of camp. Throughout camp the athletes learned new skills or sharpened their already precise skills.
When the athletes were not in the gym training they were learning some important playing as well as life lessons. The coaches presented to the athletes and coaches not only their life story but also important lessons they had learned on the long journey to the USA National Team. Perhaps the most important lesson taught by Stacy Sykora was “Never waste a single moment.”
On the last day of camp the athletes are divided into teams of 6 and assigned a team name. The teams then play each other in a short match while their family and friends watch. The USA head coaches then do a short closing ceremony for everyone and the final teams invited to the High Performance Championships are posted.
In July athletes selected to the High Performance Championship Travel Teams will go back to Simpson College for Pre-Tournament Training Camp. Then after Pre-Tournament Training Camp these teams will go to the High Performance Championships in Des Moines, July 21-25th. Check back then for up to date stories on how the Iowa Region High Performance Teams are doing in the tournament.