Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Volleyball: A Game That Nurtures Lifelong Passion

These are some invaluable insights gathered from the recent U.S. Olympic Committee American Development Model (ADM) Summit held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The summit brought together over 200 sports leaders who collaborated and shared ideas on enhancing the ADM. Notably, representatives from USA Volleyball, such as Bill Doyle and Bob Baker from GEVA and Lorne Anderson from IVA, actively participated in the event. The summit boasted extensive representation from various Olympic sports, including USA Football, U.S. Lacrosse, and USA Ultimate.

At the summit, I discovered several presentations that offered immense value. The primary focus revolved around the 97 percent of children who engage in sports but may not progress to college-level varsity teams. The overarching goal is to foster a love for physical activity and ensure lifelong participation, rather than solely focusing on competitive team placements.

One particularly remarkable presentation was delivered by TrueSport, a collaborative effort involving the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Their website provides comprehensive information that can benefit coaches across all sports. Additionally, there was an emphasis on the crucial role of parents in the sports journey, especially in the earlier stages, where they often make decisions on behalf of their children. Erin Smith from U.S. Lacrosse delivered an insightful presentation titled “Parents – Partners in the Process or Prohibitors of Progress?”

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Another core topic of discussion was the importance of multi-sport clubs and delayed specialization. Encouraging children to participate in multiple sports and avoiding early specialization emerged as key strategies to promote holistic development.

USA Volleyball is working closely with the USOC to create around 20 posters centered around “5 Ways.” These posters will cover diverse topics such as developing character through sports and promoting physical literacy among children. These resources can be shared on club websites or distributed to parents, enlightening them about the focus on personal growth and the importance of facts over expectations and concerns. The aim is to train not just volleyball players but well-rounded leaders.

As the season progresses, I encourage you to share your ideas on enhancing player retention and expanding the game. Together, we can create a thriving volleyball community, both on and off the court. If you’ve made it this far, take a moment to check out a compelling blog post titled “Anxiety, Brains & Fear – Alex Honnold” by someone I hold in high regard.


What were the key topics discussed at the U.S. Olympic Committee ADM Summit?

The summit covered a range of important topics related to sports development and participation, with a particular focus on nurturing lifelong passion in young athletes. Key discussions revolved around the significance of multi-sport clubs, delayed specialization, and the role of parents in the sports journey. Additionally, TrueSport, in partnership with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, delivered a presentation that offered valuable insights applicable to coaches across different sports.

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How does USA Volleyball plan to promote holistic development among young athletes?

USA Volleyball, in collaboration with the USOC, is creating a series of posters called “5 Ways” to promote holistic development. These posters will cover various aspects, such as character development through sports and physical literacy. The aim is to provide resources that can be shared with parents and players, highlighting the importance of personal growth and the overall development of young athletes.


The U.S. Olympic Committee American Development Model (ADM) Summit brought together sports leaders from various disciplines to collaborate and share ideas. Discussions at the summit focused on nurturing lifelong passion for sports, particularly among the majority of children who may not progress to college-level varsity teams. Key takeaways included the importance of multi-sport clubs, delayed specialization, and the role of parents in the sports journey. USA Volleyball is actively working with the USOC to create resources that emphasize holistic development, aiming to train well-rounded leaders, not just volleyball players. As the volleyball season progresses, the community is encouraged to share ideas for player retention and game expansion.