Empowered's Will Robbins coaches U.S. U21 beach volleyball team

January 19, 2022

Will Robbins' trip to Thailand last month fulfilled a volleyball dream the Empowered Sports Club owner and CEO had for a long time.

Robbins served as head coach of the U.S. beach volleyball U21 team that competed at the FIVB world championships December 14 through 19 in Phuket, Thailand. 

"Every athlete, there dream is to one day play on a natonal team, so to be able to get that point as a coach is a dream, the ultimate pinnacle," Robbins tells the Parkview Sports Network. "To be able to go and combine one of my passions--working with young athletes--and to be able to coach some U21 boys is a blessing."

Team USA fielded three pairs in the tournament that featured 32 teams from around the world. Americans Matthew Gentry and Phillip Catanzaro advanced to the Round of 16, finishing in the 9th plate slot, Robbins says. 

"They're the best in the U.S.," Robbins beams. "They pretty much won everything this past summer. They're some phenominal athletes. But they also found out to be the best in the U.S. is one thing, but to go and face the best in the rest of the world is an eye-opening experience."

Robbins' relationship with USA Volleyball started a while back when Empowered Volleyball Academy hosted national team development camps. He told officials with USA Volleyball if they ever needed a coach for international competition, he would gladly do it. 

"I got the call that they needed a coach to go. I was ecstatic to say yes and be able to represent our country."

Robbins, the players and the rest of the coaching staff experienced Thai culture, including swimming with elephants and sightseeing trips in kayakas.

"It was a great cultural experience on top of being able to challenge themselves against the best in the world," he says.

Robbins is an accomplished beach volleyball player in his own right, winning two national championships in professional Premier Volleyball League. He was also part of the inaugural U.S. national snow volleyball team in 2018. He played his indoor college volleyball at IPFW.

Robbins opened Empowered Sports Club in 2013 and oversees Empowered Volleyball Academy and Pro Beach Academy. He says coaching the U21 national team will help him going forward. 

"Having that international experience and seeing what the best in the world are doing, we at least know where we're trying to go. We can see where we are and put a plan together with our training to get our kids to that next level."

Parkview Sports Medicine partners with Empowered Sports Club and its Volleyball Academy athletes for sports performance, athletic rehab, nutrition, athletic training and other sports medicine services. Learn more at www.parkviewsportsmedicine.com.

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