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Pat Powers Is An Olympic Gold Medalist, AVP World Champion, And NCAA Coach

An interview with Pat Powers is something that you do not want to miss. Pat has an extremely impressive biography as both a player and coach. Take a look at these credentials:


Pat Powers Blocking* 1978 Junior National Team
* 1979 Pan-American Team
* 1980 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Champion
* 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist
* 1985 World Cup Gold Medalist
* 1986 World Championship Gold Medalist
* 1986 Co-MVP with Karch Kiraly on Team USA
* 1988 Voted Best Blocker and Spiker on AVP Tour
* Two Time MVP of USA Volleyball Nationals
* Eleven Time All-American
* Only One of Three Players in the World Who Has Won an Indoor and Beach Championship
* Was the head coach for the University of Southern California Men’s Volleyball

Basically, he has done it and seen it all. We hope you enjoy this exclusive interview and benefit from his insights, advice for players, and his experiences.

What was one of the most important lessons you learned while earning a gold medal with the US National Team in 1984?

Pat Powers: I had to learn how to listen to people that were older than me. I was a good player, but a coaches nightmare. I did not train hard, thought I was better than everybody else…etc.,…I needed to mature as a person and as a player.
Pat Powers Hitting

With your vast experience in playing and coaching, what are some of the biggest mistakes you have seen hitters make?

Pat Powers: The biggest mistake I see hitters make is they hit where they are facing. Do not hit where your shoulders are facing. It is where the defense is playing. Peripheral vision is everything in hitting. Learn how to watch the block.

What advice would you have for someone that is just getting started as a volleyball player?

Pat Powers: Play against better players and find a place where you can play doubles against better players. Winners court: you win, you stay on. You lose, you have to sit and wait (and watch!) until you can play again. These set up games are for the birds….

When someone attends one of your volleyball clinics, what can they expect?

Players who attend my camps can expect to learn a lot about reacting to players and not the ball. The will learn how to deal with power (bending into the ball) and how to generate power (snapping instead of hitting the ball.) Survivor is a game that I came up with that instructs some of the basic skills into players. Either they perform, or they are out. Period. Very fun and very good to get complex skills across the players in a short period of time.

Pat runs one of the top rated volleyball camps in the country. For more information on attending one of his camps, click here to read more about his camp.

What type of conditioning would you recommend for someone who wants to play at the highest level?

Pat Powers: Run hills. Jump stairs. Jump stairs with a weight belt. Only a handful of players can actually train themselves–3%? This has given rise to Personal Training.

Pat Powers OutdoorWhen you made the transition from playing indoors to playing on the AVP tour, what changes did you have to make as a player?

Pat: When I made the change to outdoors, the game changed. We were allowed to block over the net. It helped tall athletic players like me. The biggest change was just to be prepared to side out for ever. It is why playing doubles is the single best thing young players can do in order to improve their game.

Many of our readers are trying out for a team and trying to impress the coach and they ask how to impress a coach. As a coach, what would you look for in a player that would impress you?

Pat Powers: How high do you jump and how hard do you hit. It is what coaches look for more than anything else. Good attitude is key as well. As a young player, you need to make the other players around you better. It is the essence of team play (think Magic Johnson.) Also, look a coach in the eye when they are talking. We see it.

Of all your accomplishments as a player and a coach, is there one that means more to you than the others?

Pat Powers: Winning a little known NORCECA game in the Dominican Republic without our normal setter and having Karch come in and set the last game was big. I enjoy teaching players as well. I enjoy seeing them change.

We really appreciate Pat Powers taking the time to do this interview. If you would like more information on Pat Powers, you can click here to go to his web site.

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