Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

USAVplay Beach Q&A with Patty Dodd

USA Volleyball recently introduced USAVplay, a program that focuses on developing well-rounded skills and techniques for younger volleyball players. The program includes events for both indoor and beach volleyball, with some camps offering the opportunity to play both. We had the privilege of speaking with beach volleyball Hall of Famer, Patty Dodd, who is instrumental in developing the USAVplay Beach curriculum. In this Q&A, she shares her insights and experiences with the program.

Introducing USAVplay Beach

USAVplay Beach is a unique program designed to provide younger players of all skill levels with the opportunity to develop their volleyball skills and boost their confidence. The camps and clinics, filled with high energy and developmentally appropriate activities, allow elementary and middle school children to play doubles, which has been proven to accelerate skill development. It’s important to note that these clinics solely focus on development and fun.

The Philosophy of USAVplay Beach

We asked Patty Dodd about the unique philosophy behind the USAVplay Beach program. She shared that unlike other programs, USAVplay is open to everyone, regardless of their level of experience. While participation in the National Team Development Program or earning a spot on a national team requires years of hard work and proven results, USAVplay provides elementary and middle school kids with a safe and positive environment to discover beach volleyball. The program introduces players to the fundamentals while providing ample opportunities for touches, feedback, and playing time. The curriculum has been thoughtfully developed to ensure a fun and engaging learning experience.

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The Importance of Development for Young Athletes

Patty Dodd emphasized the significance of early exposure to volleyball, drawing a parallel to other sports such as Little League Baseball and AYSO. By giving children the opportunity to play, explore, and choose what they enjoy, they can develop a passion for the sport. Learning beach volleyball fundamentals correctly from an early age provides a significant advantage. Good fundamentals contribute to more enjoyable play experiences.

Patty Dodd’s Inspiration for Getting Involved

When asked about her motivation for getting involved with the USAVplay program, Patty Dodd expressed her desire to share her knowledge and experience with USA Volleyball. As the head of the Dodd Volleyball School in LA, a feeder program for MBsand Club, Patty recognizes the enthusiasm and eagerness to learn displayed by this age group. By contributing to the curriculum, she hopes to foster a love for beach volleyball and generate more interest in the sport.

Working with the Young Age Group

Patty Dodd finds working with young kids immensely rewarding. She takes joy in witnessing their excitement when they achieve something for the first time, whether it’s a successful spike or a serve over the net. It’s a thrill to see them execute all three contacts – pass, set, and hit – successfully. One of the unique aspects of beach volleyball is that there is no bench – kids are guaranteed full-time play. The constant ball contact and ability to dive on the sand without getting hurt often captivate young players and hook them on beach volleyball.

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Upcoming USAVplay Beach Event

For those interested in participating in a USAVplay Beach event, mark your calendars for August 13-15 in Austin, Texas. This hybrid camp allows athletes to train in both beach and indoor volleyball, maximizing their learning and development opportunities.


Q: Are there any more opportunities to participate in USAVplay Beach events?
A: The next USAVplay event will be held on August 13-15 in Austin, Texas. This hybrid camp offers training in both beach and indoor volleyball.


USAVplay Beach is a groundbreaking program that provides younger volleyball players with the chance to develop their skills and build confidence in a safe and positive environment. With the guidance of Patty Dodd, a beach volleyball Hall of Famer, the program offers a unique and fun learning experience for elementary and middle school children. Whether you’re an aspiring beach volleyball player or simply looking to have a great time on the sand, USAVplay Beach is an excellent opportunity to learn from the best in the sport. To learn more about USAVplay and its offerings, visit Alpinetgheep.