Wright Hones Skills With USAV Program
Aug. 8, 2015
By Jay Hinton
FORT WORTH, Texas — For nearly two weeks last month, TCU assistant volleyball coach Brian Wright got a glimpse of the future of USA volleyball as a coach at the 2015 USA Girls’ Select A1 National Training Team Program in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I coached 11 girls who are in really good contention to compete with the next group of players for the Youth National Team next year,” said Wright.
This year marked the sixth time Wright has participated in the training program sponsored by USA Volleyball, but it was the first time he was selected to be a head coach.
In the 12-day program, participating athletes, who are either entering their freshman or sophomore year of high school, train as a group for five days before splitting into ability-tiered teams of 11 for the USA High Performance Championships immediately following training.
Training is conducted by some of the top High Performance Pipeline Coaches in the country and features an intense international skill and system focus, including hands-on opponent scouting training. Teams are selected based on athlete performance during training.
Wright was tabbed as the head coach of the A1 Red Team — the top team.
“I took it as a big honor,” Wright said. “You can think you’re doing a good job and getting better, and then to know the people around you see that too and respect you.”
Wright became involved with the program nearly a decade ago by working as a volunteer for the tryouts for the program at national club qualifiers while he was a club coach at Austin Performance. After working the tryouts for a time, he was eventually invited to participate in the program.
In his six years in the program, he’s rubbed shoulders with some of the best volleyball minds in the game while working at varying levels in the program before rising to the top and coaching one of the five teams.
“The cool part is getting to be a head coach of a team of that caliber and to help kids prepare (for international play),” he said. “Some of them will more than likely make the youth national team next year.”
In the international tournament in the last five days of the program, Wright’s team went 6-2 and finished fifth (12 teams) against some teams whose players are entering college this year.
They beat a team from Australia and five teams from the USA. One of their two losses came from a team from Canada.
Now, he’ll take what he learned there to help the Horned Frogs be successful.
“There are standards that I put on myself in everything I do,” said Wright, who gained added insight in organizational skills, practice management and setting goals in his most recent experience with the USA Girls’ Select A1 National Training Team Program. “You want everyone you work with to get better every single day. That was our biggest goal of the program. We wanted to make sure we didn’t waste any training opportunities or matches.”
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