Volleyball Futures programme to launch at conference

6th September 2018

Volleyball Futures programme to launch at conference

Everyone with an interest in youth talent development is invited to attend the Volleyball Futures conference, which is set to take place on Saturday 15th September at Loughborough College, Radmoor Road, Loughborough, LE11 3BT from 10am-4pm. Comprising an introduction to the Volleyball Futures programme and practical workshops delivered by Gary Hutt and Bertrand Olie, sign up here by Wednesday 12th September to register.

What is Volleyball Futures?

“Volleyball Futures is about giving young athletes the opportunity to be the best they can be,” summarised Gillian Harrison, Technical and Talent Co-ordinator at Volleyball England, “the programme aims to achieve this by providing support and expertise to establish the best environments in which talented young volleyball players can develop.”

“This environment for talent development might be a junior club, a club with mostly adult participants but only one or two juniors or an inter-regional team – essentially it is anywhere someone could be working with athletes who have potential in volleyball.”

“One strand of Volleyball Futures is support for coach development and training,” explained Gillian, “from the foundation of sharing what talent development is to providing ways of helping people who work in a potential talent development environment with guidance and training on how to make this the best environment possible for their athletes to flourish.”

Volleyball Futures conference

Launching the programme at the Volleyball Futures conference at Loughborough College on Saturday 15th September, is the first step in supporting coaches with this training.

At the free event, in addition to an introduction to the Volleyball Futures objectives, alongside opportunities for attendees to give opinions on how the programme could be shaped within the existing guiding principles, there will be two practical workshops.

“We had a lot of interest from coaches in the testing done in the Volleyball England talent pathway, from what the tests are to why we do them and how coaches can use the results of testing to help their athletes get better,” explained Gillian,” so Gary Hutt, Director and founder of VolleyScience and Volleyball England’s lead for physical preparation, will be running a session on athlete physical development, including lots of practical guidance for training fundamental strength and jump training.”

While in the afternoon, Bertrand Olie, Academy Coach and Technical Lead at Volleyball England, will be sharing and demonstrating with live athletes the Volleyball England game-based approach to coaching, which forms a fundamental part of the successful new Level 1 introduction to coaching award, and how this can be used to develop athlete’s technical skills and tactical awareness.

“Come along and join in,” is the overriding message from Gillian, “don’t be shy to reach out and get involved, this is a chance for everybody who wants to support young volleyballers to do so by working collectively.”

Expanding the development culture

“Now, we have a more developed understanding of athlete’s emotional welfare as being just as important as their physical, technical and tactical wellbeing. Part of the Volleyball England Futures programme is to help us all understand what this means and what it could look like in practice – a big part is around helping and supporting athletes to stay in the programme, whether that be in the Volleyball England talent pathway or another youth development environment. This could be achieved through having a greater cultural understanding of athletes or identifying and finding assistance to those athletes who might need financial support.”

“Many people in volleyball are passionate about developing young players,” enthused Gillian, “I think we, as the whole volleyball community, have a track record of being successful at developing volleyballers as athletes in this country as many go on to play professionally or successfully earn volleyball scholarships at university. Equally, others develop into world class coaches, showing we’re good at and have the right to be proud of developing people. Now, with Volleyball Futures, we want a structure around how this is done so more people can follow the routes paved by previous athletes and coaches.”

“Across England, we have the people to make it happen and with whom the expertise around youth talent development can be shared more widely. The aim is to be democratic with the information in this field and share it with as many people working in youth talent environments as possible – this information is not part of a secret society, it will be available to anyone who wants to share in the Volleyball Futures programme aim of developing talented young volleyballers.”

Sign up here by Wednesday 12th September to attend the Volleyball Futures conference on Saturday 15th September at Loughborough College, Radmoor Road, Loughborough, LE11 3BT from 10am-4pm.

If you can’t make the conference, please email coaching@volleyballengland.org if you are keen to know more.

Volleyball Futures programme to launch at conference