Category: Recruiting

Climbing The Hill as a Small School Standout

Beach Volleyball Coach Russell Brock of LSU

Today, Stephen McCarthy will talk with Head Coach Russell Brock of the LSU Tigers beach volleyball program about some of  his ideas for players who do not live in hot bed locations to get noticed and eventually, play college beach volleyball. Coach about his personal experiences and what he recommends for players who come from smaller or lesser known schools.

For the complete interview, visit here.

Russel Brock Bio:
Russell Brock was selected to lead LSU’s sand volleyball program on December 4, 2013 by vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva.

Brock has spent the last eight seasons with the Rice University indoor program. He served as a volunteer coach from 2006-08 before being promoted to assistant coach from 2009-13. During his tenure, the Owls racked up 141 wins which included two NCAA Tournament trips and school’s first-ever Conference USA championship in 2009.

Before joining the Rice program, Brock spent 11 years at Baytown Christian Academy in Texas. He acted as the school’s athletics director, operations manager and coached the girls volleyball, boys soccer and boys basketball teams. Under his leadership, the volleyball squad captured four Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools state titles.

Brock was standout at the University of Southern California where he amassed 956 digs en route to the program’s all-time record, a mark he held for 10 seasons. He also set a NCAA mark with 45 matches with 10-plus digs. Brock graduated in 1996 with a B.S. in exercise science. For complete bio, click here

Scouting: The Role Information Plays In the Players Life

BeScouting with Beach Volleyball Coach Wayne Holly of Tulane University
Beach Volleyball Coach Wayne Holly of Tulane University

Coach Wayne Holly of Tulane University and Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project discuss the topic of scouting, its importance to some athletes and not so much for others.  In today’s world of sport, many hours are spent on scouting the competition, but how many times does the theory of randomness ruin the best laid plans of players and coaches. While I do not believe we found all the answers  during our discussion, it is food for thought for how young people can better understand themselves and use scouting information to their advantage.

For the complete clip, visit here.

Daniel Coyle, Author of The Talent Code

Daniel Coyle on what it takes to compete at a high level

daniel_coyleNatural talent does not always win. Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, talked about the ways work and understanding win out, rather than potential.

For the complete interview, visit here.

Bio Information:

Daniel Coyle is the New York Times bestselling author of The Little Book of Talent, The Talent Code, Lance Armstrong’s War, and Hardball: A Season in Projects. A contributing editor for Outside Magazine, he is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist. Coyle lives in Cleveland, Ohio during the school year and in Homer, Alaska, during the summer with his wife Jen, and their four children. Full bio

David Epstein of Sports Illustrated on Genetics in Sport

Sports Illustrated Writer and Author David Epstein on Genetics Role in Training and Sport

Sports Illustrated Writer and Author David Epstein on Genetics Role in Training and SportAuthor David Epstein of The Sports Gene:Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance joined Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project to discuss his book and his motive for writing Sports Gene. Secondly, we discussed how to apply his findings to athletes and the future application of dna or genetic research. Complete interview will be aired on Friday September 6th at 8am CST.

David’s motive was his joy for researching, science and sports. He has always been fascinated with elite performance and why certain athletes from certain areas of the world perform at higher levels. To listen to this portion of the interview, visit David Epstein and His Story.

During the second part of the interview, we talk about future applications of his research and the trend of analyzing your DNA for the purpose of understanding how you can train at a higher level. We also discussed some of the pitfalls of the science and how athletes can use the information for their benefit. Click here to listen to David and Stephen’s thoughts on The Future of Genetic Testing and Its Application.

Author and Writer David Epstein
Author and Writer David Epstein

Sports Illustrated Senior Writer David Epstein writes about sports science and medicine, Olympic sports, and is an investigative reporter for SI. His science writing has won a number of awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists 2010 Deadline Club Award for an article on the genetics of sports performance; Time Inc.’s Henry R. Luce Award for public service for an article on the dangers of the dietary supplement industry; and the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association’s “Big Hearted Journalism” award for his story “Following the Trail of Broken Hearts,” on sudden cardiac death in athletes. Epstein was a 2011 Livingston Award finalist for a package that included articles on pain in sports and the anticipatory skills that allow Major Leaguers to hit 100 mph fastballs.

Inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship: Should it change your perspective?

By Stephen McCarthy, The McCarthy Project

arizona_ncaa_beach_volleyballThe recent announcement of the inaugural NCAA beach volleyball tournament in May of 2016 was a major step forward adding beach volleyball to the map as a youth sport.  The bigger question does this new tournament change your thoughts about playing beach volleyball in college, rather than simply indoor.

From my perspective, it should.  While outdoor volleyball i.e. beach volleyball is played all over the United States by adults, the youth version has been slowly gaining acceptance over the last 20 years or so.  With that said, athletes should take a serious look into playing beach volleyball in college.

Secondly, I interviewed Mercer University’s head indoor and beach

Mercer University Beach Volleyball Coach Damian Elder
Mercer University Beach Volleyball Coach Damian Elder

volleyball coach Damian Elder on this very subject.  Mercer is one of the original 15 colllege programs in beach volleyball, so he was there in the beginning 4 years ago. Click here to hear his thoughts.

Lastly, UNC Wilmington and their indoor volleyball coach Amy Bambenek just announced its beach volleyball program for 2016. Here is a small portion of the article posted on the NCAA site.

Beach volleyball has been an official Olympic sport since 1996 and the source of its popularity in the United States can largely be traced to one dynamic team: three-time Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May Treanor. Recognizing that surge in interest the NCAA in 2009 put beach volleyball on the list for emerging sports for women. After several years of unofficial championships the first NCAA championship will be held this spring with a winner determined via an eight-team double-elimination bracket. Each school sends five pairs, and much like tennis, the No. 1 seeded team plays the opposing No. 1 seeded team and so on through the roster. A school must win three out of the five pairs matchups to claim the match.

Beach volleyball is not only the NCAA’s newest championship, but also its fastest growing sport.  At the beginning of the calendar year, 50 Division I colleges and universities sponsored a team – 10 more than the minimum required to hold a national championship – and 19 of the programs have come into existence since 2013-14. Click here to read the entire article.

College Recruiting

The McCarthy Project is all about assisting young athletes in accomplishing their goals of playing college beach volleyball, and if desired, professionally.

The process of being recruited and ultimately, accepting an offer to a college is one based on connection, relationship and need. In today’s digital world getting the word on on the internet is only one component of creating a connection, the next part is having a coach endorse or recommend you to a college that trusts his or her opinion  and lastly, does the college program have a need for the type of player that you are. Remember, no coach, organization, or recruiting service has all the connections. You never know who is watching or where a right connection will occur, so always work all angles and options.

Additionally, here are links to interviews we have completed with influencers and college coaches on different aspects of college recruiting.

  1. A Division I beach coach on getting noticed from a small high school or a lesser known location, click here
  2. Do sending emails to college coaches work, for sure. Listen to a Division 3 college coach talk about what he looks for in the email, click here
  3. Scouting and recruiting are essentially the same thing, just at a different point in the process. listen to a Division 1 college coach on what he looks for in players, click here

Below are a few answers to commonly asked questions.

Can parents affect the outcome of the recruiting process?

Yes, but not directly. The biggest thing is to place your athlete with the proper beach program that has the connections to the coaches at schools that interest the athlete. Secondly, find ways to  play in front of coaches at events against the best possible competition. Ultimately, a parent can only place the athlete in the right places, the athlete must perform at the right time, at a time a coach is watching and needs exactly what the athlete just did.

What are the NCAA rules on the subject of recruiting? or call the general public line at 877-262-1492.

Is process the same for each college?

No, some colleges use recruiting questionnaires and national databases only, others use websites like, while some create and use databases with the players that club coaches recommend. Lastly, a direct email from the athlete to a coach with a highlight video could be the answer to open the door.

What site lists beach athletes who have committed to colleges?

If you have additional questions, contact Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982.



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