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The VPI Does Not Lie: We Have Proof!

Written by Kathy DeBoer | Posted on 02/08/2016 | Share

The VPI Does Not Lie!
We Have Proof
Blog for avcaVPI™ Users

      In 2011 the American Volleyball Coaches Association embarked on an ambitious research project to validate which physical metrics correlated most highly with success in volleyball. After four years of testing which included 872 college players and 2,628 high school players we found that the most predictive measures are height, reach, standing vertical jump, height of block touch, acceleration, pro-agility, arm swing velocity and attack height. When combined in an algorithm that grades each test on variance from the maximum score, these eight indicators produce a Volleyball Performance Index, or avcaVPI™ score.

How do we know the VPI does not lie? We have proof:
1. In blind tests of college players, i.e. tests where those evaluating the players for volleyball ability worked independently from those taking VPI metrics, the ‘best volleyball players’ had higher avcaVPI™ averages at all positions and across all divisions.
2. Tracking high school players with avcaVPI™ scores after they graduated showed that 94% of attackers (middles, outsides & rightsides) with scores that indicated ‘college readiness’ were found on college rosters as freshman. Of the 6% not playing in college, personal decisions, not lack of opportunity, were the deciding factors.
Among skill players (setters and liberos) the correlations were 82% and 70% respectively. These lower correlations are due to the weight of attack mechanics and block touch in the calculation of the avcaVPI™ and the lack of position-specific skill assessment. However, these relatively strong correlations show that coaches evaluating these skill players still favor those with volleyball-related athleticism.

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Why does this matter?
1. You may be able to find out your college-readiness score (avcaVPI™). While dates and testing opportunities are still limited, six AVCA partner organizations host testing events the evening before their junior tournaments. These events, called AVCA College Prep Combines, are the only places to get a validated avcaVPI™ score. 2016 Combines will take place San Jose, CA, Tampa, FL, Denver, CO, Nashville, TN, Kansas City, MO, and Grand Rapids, MI. Parents and club directors get a full college readiness report, similar to an ACT/SAT assessment, which highlights areas of strength and weakness in a player’s athleticism when compared to those playing her position in college.
2. College coaches can use the information on college readiness as a way to presort and target players for recruitment. The database, avcaVPI, is searchable by VPI score, position, graduation year and state. Reports are easily downloadable to Excel spreadsheets to assist with more focused outreach.

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3. Those not able to attend an AVCA College Prep Combine can still get a sample VPI score by downloading the free avcaVPI app. This sample score, while not validated or published in the database, gives coaches and parents a window into a player’s athleticism and can show her how small gains in speed, jump and attack mechanics can improve her score.

More information on the avcaVPI™ and the AVCA College Prep Combines is available at AVCA.com, Phenom.com or by contacting ashley.edmond@avca.org or Kyle Norris, M.S. ATC, knorrisatc@outlook.com

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