On the court with Associate Head Coach Jason Tanaka
July 20, 2007
Greetings from Ft. Lauderdale...
We've just completed our first few days of activities with the USA Select A1 players and it has been a busy couple of days.
Monday was a long day as it started bright and early having to catch a 6:30 a.m. flight to Florida. It was an easy two and half hour flight to sunny, hot and humid Fort Lauderdale. I was greeted by a USA Volleyball representative at the baggage claim and we made our way to the shuttle. When we got there, I met a lot of the players and coaches that were participating in the High Performance camp.
We bussed to the dorms to check-in for the High Performance camp. After check-in a bunch of us headed out to Subway for a quick lunch. It was probably the best lunch that I have had in a while because I had not had eaten anything in about 10 hours. When we returned to the dorms, we had our first prep meetings to go over what we wanted to do in our first practice.
After the initial set of meetings, we gathered in a meeting room with all of the players involved in the camp and went over the rules and introduced of the coaching staff. I think the staff is real excited that we were training at Nova Southeastern this year since last year we had to bus 20 minutes to go to our training facility.
We trained for a quick hour and half to get a feel for the skill level of our players. As a staff we were really happy with the skill level our USA Select group displayed. It was your typical practice of attacking the ball and evaluating who we thought was able to attack the ball at the international level. For me, it was basically a time to put names with the faces of the players and get to know where they are from. After practice we headed to dinner. It was your typical dorm food with pasta, pizza, chicken and salad.
After dinner, all of the coaches met to go over the next planned session for the morning. I think that with the 10 coaches we have, we are a very talented group and I am excited to be working with them.
Day two was much the same with meetings and practices. We had two practice sessions where we focused on evaluating who could control the ball. I think that at a young age it's great to see the players learning how to control the ball because a lot of players are taught on individual skill. Practice three was much the same with an emphasis on ball control, as well as trying to find out what players would be best fit for the teams that we have to make for our tournament that is taking place July 22-26.
I'll be checking in periodically over the next week and a half. Things are going great and I am having a lot of fun. Keep a watch out for my next release to let you know how the days have been going.
Think purple and GO FROGS!