4 Factors That Impact Beach Partner Selection

Junior Volleyball Association (March 11, 2020) By Stephen McCarthy

For younger athletes, partner selection is an easy process. Pick a player of similar skill level that you enjoy playing with and can compete together at a high level. But how do you create a high level partnership for high school, college and pro beach athletes?

A big trend in today’s beach world is management of players or combining the physical traits with a large amount of charted data from new computer applications and from this understanding, a partnership is born.

But our opening quote says something different. Best players paired with the best data do not win, best teams do.

The science says a successful beach partnership will form 80% of the time when reliant on statistics, apps and technology. Well, what happens when the other 20% actually happens, which begs the question… how can a successful beach pairing or best team occur that includes the charted data, the physical attributes of the players, but is not limited only by this information?

Equitable hard work

Players who are willing to pay the price together and do the same work as the other, create a bond and buy in from one another that is deeper than the stats. It becomes more than just a partnership, but a mutual respect, appreciation and trust… a team.

Balance of skills

There can be two strategies when it comes to beach partner selection based on skills. One of them is to find a partner that balances out the other’s weaknesses, for example, putting a taller blocker with a shorter defender. The other strategy is finding a partner with similar skills. Sometimes when partner’s are very similar in skill they will each have the same expectations. When a shot comes over the net, a fast defender will expect a partner to be able to get the ball that he/she could play as well. A great hitter would expect to see a partner hit a smart shot when given a good set.

Sometimes it can be frustrating to have a partner that does not match your skill set. It is also difficult to be disappointed with a partner that misses a play that you wouldn’t have gotten either. 

The ability to find chemistry

A major question must be asked and answered; can the potential partners create a meaningful chemistry between themselves? Coaches must purposely create ways to locate the barriers to chemistry within the players past, present, and future environment. One way to find these barriers are experiential learning techniques, special events in challenging environments, projects that create a deeper understanding of others, to name a few. Such events create a safe environment and essentially challenge the players to find ways of developing chemistry with others to solve the puzzle, all the while, giving the coach the opportunity to see the signs or potential signs of a partnership.

The fallacy of science and the role of intuition

Computers are important, but they are not all knowing. They do provide reams and reams of information on your players, but what is happening in real time could be different than what should be happening. Intuition can trump data in many scenarios.

Many coaches make the majority of the decisions for their team based on the scientific method, but there are times when it just seems right to put two players together or follow your intuition when all the data says it should not work.

While we have only covered a few of the components, in a very brief manner, of partner selection for best teams, the process is somewhere in between the concepts mentioned and the many others we could add. But in the end as the quote mentioned, the best TEAM wins with the best players The best players do not win without equal hard work, a balance of skills, great chemistry and a coach’s intuition.

Sources: TMP Beach and ProjectU Showcases Interview with Damien Elder and Stephen McCarthy

For related reading for beach volleyball coaches and club directors click here. For more beach volleyball education click here.

2021 Nike Indoor and Beach Volleyball Camps

Nike Volleyball Camps, a division of US Sports Camps the largest provider of sports camps in the world, has announced the addition of a new beach volleyball camp in Minnesota for 2020.

Camp Highlights Include:

  • Morning and afternoon training sessions
  • 1:10 coach to camper ratio
  • Camp tournament and video analysis
  • Nike Volleyball Camps T-shirt and prizes! (multi-day camps only)

2021 Indoor Camp Locations:

National Training Center, Rochester, MN, June 28-July 2 and July11-16
Champions Hall, Eden Prairie, MN, June 21-25 and July 26-30
Berto Center, Deerfield, IL, July 19-23
Adrenaline Sports Center, Ramsey, MN, August 2-6

2021 Beach Camp Locations:

Sand Point Beach, Prior Lake, MN, July 6-9

New Beach Volleyball Camp in Minnesota Added to Nike Volleyball Camps

Nike Volleyball Camps, a division of US Sports Camps the largest provider of sports camps in the world, has announced the addition of a new beach volleyball camp in Minnesota taking place in August of 2020.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Nov. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Long time Nike Volleyball Camp Director, Stephen McCarthy, and his staff are set to host camp at Sand Point Beach in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

McCarthy has been a Nike Volleyball Camp Director for several years, hosting multiple camps across the country. He is a top junior volleyball coach and the founder of the McCarthy project, an organization aimed at training athletes to help them rise to the next level. He will be lending his knowledge and experience to this Minnesota beach volleyball camp this summer.

“Beach volleyball is on the rise in the US, and we wanted to give athletes more opportunities to grow in the sport,” says Liz Tellez, manager of Nike Volleyball Camps. “We love working with Stephen, and his dedication to helping players improve will certainly show in this new beach volleyball camp.”

While at Sand Point Beach, players can expect to train on the three sand volleyball courts with other athletes looking to train, compete, and improve. Through various drills and competitive play, campers will learn how to work with a partner and elevate their communication skills on court.

This camp is set to run August 3-6, Monday-Thursday, and will run 9:00am-3:00 daily. Players can expect to receive morning and afternoon training sessions during the day.

Optimizing Sports Performance in the Heat

By DYLAN MOEN, PT, DPT, ATC

As the sport of beach volleyball becomes more popular, the athletes competing should be aware of the affects that heat has on the body and sports performance. Especially those athletes that live in the Midwest where the weather conditions change from the snowy cold to hot, sunny days. Being aware of heat exhaustion preventative strategies can not only reduce heat related illness but it can improve sports performance. Thermoregulation is defined as the body’s ability to regulate temperature under normal conditions. The stress of environmental heat combined with physical exertion can be a burden to the body’s ability to self-regulate temperature and adversely affect performance. Below are three strategies you can use to optimize your performance in the heat.

  1. Appropriate hydration and electrolyte replacement—Start by drinking a sufficient amount of water the night before competition and make sure your urine is clear. For the day of competition 17-20 oz. of water 2-4 hours before exercise and 7-10 oz. of water 10-20 minutes before is recommended. Because of electrolyte loss during sweating, sports drinks are more effective for fluid and electrolyte replacement.
  2. Gradual acclimatization and heat training –Don’t just go and compete without training in the heat. It is recommended that graded exposure to competing in the heat occur over 7-10 days. Check out the National Athletic Association consensus statement “Preseason Heat acclimatization guidelines for high school athletes” for detailed recommendations.
  3. Keep Cool – When overheated, the body will shunt its blood to vital organs. That means that the muscle groups needed to pass, defend and attack the ball won’t get the blood they need. When not competing, make sure to take shade and rest your body. Bring an umbrella with a lawn chair or find some shade under a tree to help your body maintain a normal body temperature. You can also bring a cooler with wet towels to place on the back of your neck.

If you have any questions or would like help implementing this regimen into your training don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our physical therapist at any of our Orthology locations.

Dylan Moen, DPT, PT, ATC

Orthology Inc

9325 Upland Lane N, Suite 230

Maple Grove, MN 55369

763.315.0466 I  F 763.260.7653

dylan.moen@orthology.com l @orthology_inc

Citations:

“Exercise in Hot and Cold Environments.” Physiology of Sport and Exercise, by W. Larry Kenney et al., 5th ed., Human Kinetics, 2012, pp. 283–285.

“Environmental Considerations.” Arnheim’s Principles of Athletic Training: a Competency-Based Approach, by William E. Prentice and Daniel D. Arnheim, 14th ed., McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011, pp. 151–155.

Coaches Corner Podcast: The Rise of Beach Volleyball and its Effects on Indoor Training


A couple weeks ago, I joined Jack Davis of US Sports Camps/Nike Volleyball to talk about the rise of beach volleyball within younger indoor volleyball players. Some of the areas covered include: the benefits of playing both indoor and beach, the common myths related to beach, the why playing on another surface will develop your overall game. For the entire interview, visit here.

ProjectU Beach Tournaments

Our ProjectU Beach House Camps are on and off court overnight camps that include creative on-court skill development training, as well as, experiential learning and competitive cauldron games, nutritional seminars, and speed development training off court.  The event is open to all athletes who are committed to understanding themselves and moving ahead as a player and a person and per NCAA rules, this event is open to any and all entrants limited only by age, gender, grade, or number.

2018 ProjectU Minneapolis (Big Lake,MN)

“Over the past 20 years, we have developed a gestalt theory of elite performance in beach volleyball. Not only will this camp will be a point for athletes to learn from some of the best college coaches, but also learn how to apply what they learned and take their game to the next level.” -Stephen McCarthy, director of ProjectU Showcases

Dates, Cost and Accommodations:

May 31st-June 2nd: Thee Beach at Bishop, Tampa Bay, FL. Commuter $460 per athlete. Tournament on Sunday afternoon will be an AVPFirst East Coast Championship qualifying event.  For tournament only, $50 per player.  Limited to 50 players for clinic portion and 50 teams for qualifying tournament.  Overnight stays available. We will at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School for all indoor and outdoor training sessions and meals.

July 1st-5th: Los Angeles Training Camp. Commuter $600 per player.  Overnight $1100 per athlete. Limited to 60 players. The location will be at 1200 PCH in Santa Monica, CA.  Located right in front of Perry’s Cafe on the beach. Link for location

***See below for specific information on each camp**

Colleges In Attendance:
Tampa Bay: Tulane University, Georgia State University, Houston Baptist University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Southern, and University of Tampa.

Tampa Bay (June): Tulane University, Houston Baptist University, Texas Christian University, and University of Tampa with more to be announced.

Santa Monica (July): Oregon, Houston Baptist University, Tulane University, Texas Christian University, Missouri State, and Stephen F Austin with more to be announced.

Camp Highlights:

  1. On court sessions lead by leading college coaches, as well as, off court sessions with current college players and camp staff with a approximate coach to player ratio of 1 to 9.
  2. Up to 8 hours of instruction per day: 4 hours on court, 4 hours off court
  3. Overnight accommodations
  4. Camp activities after training
  5. Final Day Coaches Panel and Tournament: Coaches answer your questions on a wide range of subjects. Parents are welcome to attend Coaches Panel and the tournament following.

2019 Beach House Camp Specifics, Based on Location:

California Beach Training Camp Information

Tampa Bay Training Camp Information

About ProjectU Showcases:
Stephen McCarthy, Director of TMP Beach and AVP Academy Camps and Clinics, has prepared over 15,000 youth, high school, college athletes for over a span of 18 years. He has trained players who have played the following professional sports: NBA and NHL. He has developed over 150 college athletes within the sports of basketball, volleyball (indoor and beach), soccer, swimming and hockey.  Currently, Stephen is a USAV certified official, a USAV Beach Impact and BCAP I certified volleyball coach, a member of AVCA, a sponsored JVA beach club, as well as, a ISSA certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition consultant.

Click link for additional TMP Beach Volleyball Tournaments and Camps

Thoughts on Injury Prevention in Volleyball

The sport of volleyball is on the rise and there are more and more youth participating at younger ages. As the number of participants increase, so does the number of injuries. According to the NCAA, the knee and ankle are of the most common body parts injured in the sport of volleyball. Of all of the skills involved within the sport, attacking or spiking has been found to have the greatest risk of lower leg injuries because of poor control of mechanics during jumping/landing. With the growth of the sport and the number of hours spent participating, it is important to establish an exercise prevention program in order to decrease the risk of jumping and landing injuries. Neuromuscular/balance training and glute strengthening have been found to be one of the best additions to any injury prevention program. Incorporating this type of training into volleyball movements just 15 minutes a day can successfully decrease the risk of ankle and knee injuries. Below is a list of 10 exercises that can be used to optimize lower extremity injury prevention.

Functional Balance and Jumping Progression
1. Jumping off 2 feet and landing on one foot
2. Forward, backwards and sideways jumping and landing on one foot
3. Approach jump landing on both feet and one foot
4. Block jump landing on both feet and one foot

Glute Strengthening Progression
1. Isometric glute activation against the wall
2. Single leg hip abduction on Airex foam pad
3. Side stepping/monster walks with resistance band
4. Forward lunges
5. Loaded squats

Incorporating a multifaceted program that includes both glute strengthening and balance/jump training can significantly lower the risk of injury. It is important that when implementing these movements that proper biomechanics are used.

Dylan Moen, DPT, PT, ATC, Orthology

If you have any questions or would like help implementing this regimen into your training schedule don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our physical therapists at any of our Orthology locations or call 763-315-0466.

AVPNext and AVPFirst Duluth on Fox and ABC News

The AVP Next and AVP First tournaments are coming to Duluth, MN! Check out these interviews that our hosts at Skyline Lanes did with Fox21 and ABC 10/13 Duluth!

1. Fox21 Duluth on May 8, 2018 with Natalie Froistad

2017 AVPNext in Otsego, MN

Our hosts, Corey Kolquist and Megan Bell of Skyline Lanes, had the opportunity to talk with Fox21 about the AVP tournament being held later this month in Hermantown. Click here for Corey and Megan’s appearance on Fox21.

2. ABC 10/13 Duluth:  For the entire interview on ABC, click here

ABC News Press Release: Duluth, MN: Volleyball players are taking over Skyline Lanes in Hermantown later this month for a pair of AVP tournaments. AVP is a US professional beach volleyball league that features elite players from all over the country.

The AVPFirst tournament is on Saturday, May 26. Age divisions here include 14U, 16U, and 18U. General Manager of Skyline Lanes, Cory Kolquist, says The best young players from around our region and down in the Twin Cities are among those registered to compete.

Then, on Sunday, May 27, the AVPNext tournament will take place. AVP says this is where elite amateur players earn qualification points as well as an opportunity to earn professional points. Teams of two will square off against each other. There will be a Men’s and Women’s Open division.

For more information about these events, check out the AVP First Duluth and AVP Next Duluth pages.

We’re excited to bring beach volleyball to Duluth!