Elite Players Showcase their Skills at AVCA's Inaugural Phenom College Preparatory Program


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Elite Players Showcase their Skills at AVCA's Inaugural Phenom College Preparatory Program


Lexington, KY (December 21, 2012) - The inaugural session of the 2012 AVCA Phenom College Preparatory Program (Phenom Program) was a smashing success.  Approximately 300 select high school and two-year college volleyball players spent two days in Louisville, KY, the site of NCAA DI National Championship, engaged in physical assessments, skills testing, and educational sessions. 


The event culminated with the NCSA/AVCA Fall Talent Showcase, where the athletes demonstrated their volleyball skills in front of 275 college coaches.  The observing coaches, who were in town attending the annual AVCA Convention, represented all levels of collegiate competition, including DI, DII, DIII, the NAIA, the NJCAA and the NCCAA.  The influx of elite players created the only place in the nation that offers athletes the chance to showcase their talents in front of coaches at a nearly one-to-one ratio.


The Phenom Program is designed to provide a 360 degree-introduction to aspiring college players and their parents about volleyball at the next level, recruiting regulations and processes, and strategies for managing their options and choices. Co-locating the event with the DI National Championship and the Under Armour All America High School Match gives high school student-athletes the opportunity to see and experience the best competition the sport has to offer. 


Phenom Program participants come away from the weekend with a wealth of knowledge about themselves and where they fit in relation to other aspiring players their age.  Each athlete engaged in a series of physical tests to determine their AVCA Volleyball Performance Index (VPI), an assessment of jumping ability, arm-swing speed, acceleration, reaction time and lateral quickness. 


"The overall athleticism of the 2012 Phenoms was the best I have seen so far," said Kyle Norris of SoloSpike and director of the AVCA VPI metrics testing. "Not only were they over an inch taller on average, but also proved to jump higher, hit harder, and display greater agility as a group. I think this first Phenom event sets the stage for rapid growth in interest in these metrics from coaches and players alike, and gives the AVCA invaluable data for benchmarking volleyball student-athletes on these critical physical metrics."


Other components of the program included a panel for the players about college volleyball and a session on how to use social media responsibly. Parents engaged in a question-and-answer session about the different divisional options for collegiate play as well as an NSCA-led program about taking charge, as a family, of the recruiting process. 


New to this year's program was an Athlete Personality Profile (APP), a self-assessment of each player's unique makeup using the well-known DISC profile tool.  The APP component included an in-depth debriefing from consultant Ryan Lisk, of Lisk & Associates, in which he advised athletes and their parents on ways to use this self-knowledge to improve their effectiveness on the court.     


Student-athletes were invited to participate in the Phenom Program based on nominations from their high school coach.  Participants had to be named to either to the AVCA Phenom List, a select group of underclassman, or the Under Armour All-America Watch List, a register of the best high school seniors in the country. 


College coaches, who will receive the results of the testing on the Phenom participants, were not shy about sharing their enthusiasm for the NCSA/AVCA Talent Showcase, which was led by Mike Lingenfelter, the respected co-director of the Munciana Volleyball Club. Tweeted Kentucky's Craig Skinner: "There are good days and bad days in recruiting...then there are GREAT days like today."


Future events are already in the works. A complete AVCA Phenom College Prep Program will be offered for invited participants as part of the 2013 AVCA Convention to be held in Seattle, WA, Dec 18-22, 2013 and the 2014 AVCA Convention to be held in Oklahoma City, OK, Dec 17-21, 2014. 


A tryout to be placed on the 2013 AVCA Phenom List (underclassman) or the 2013 Under Amour All America Watch List (2013 seniors) will be offered on Thursday, April 11, 2013 in Louisville, KY at the site of the JVA World Challenge. The tryout will include AVCA VPI testing and AVCA APP assessments. Also, all high school coaches who are AVCA members will receive regular updates and parameters about getting their student-athletes included for an invitation.  To be put on the list for information regarding these programs, send an e-mail to members@avca.org.


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