EWC volleyball coach conducts study for U.S. team

Robert Galbreath
Posted 6/19/24

EWC head volleyball coach George Hamilton is conducting a study on the triple-block with the U.S. men's volleyball team.

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EWC volleyball coach conducts study for U.S. team


TORRINGTON – A triple block in professional men’s and women’s volleyball can result in the crucial points necessary for a team to secure victory in a neck-and-neck game. 

The triple block is at the center of a study conducted by Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) head volleyball coach George Hamilton, who recently returned from working with the U.S. men’s national volleyball team in Anaheim, California.

Triple blocking is when the middle blocker and two wing players leap in tandem to block a hit from their opponent. The maneuver requires precise timing and communication between defenders to be effective.

A properly executed triple block can increase the winning odds for a men’s team by up to 80 %, Hamilton said, and the move “more than doubles” a team’s chances of scoring that game-winning point.

“It’s important to know when to set up a triple block,” Hamilton added. “It takes just a few points to earn a medal in men’s volleyball and a triple block can make the difference in a close game.”

Hamilton came up with the idea to delve into the triple block four years ago. This summer, the study took him to the training facilities for the U.S. men’s volleyball team in Anaheim as the squad geared up for the global Volleyball Nations League championships and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Hamilton’s study will take two years to complete and involves countless hours with a stopwatch at live games or watching film and compiling the data into spreadsheets. Once the study is complete, Hamilton will share the results with the American Volleyball Coaches Association (ACVA).

The data will also be used by the U.S. national volleyball teams at the Olympics and Hamilton will be watching the games closely for the triple block.

“If I can add just one small bit to help the (men’s volleyball team) get to a higher level, that will be a big win for the whole country,” Hamilton said.

Meeting the athletes and players on the men’s volleyball team was a big deal, but Hamilton described the players as “laid back” and “receptive to new information” during his time in Anaheim.

“The players want to learn more and improve their knowledge, so they welcome any one willing to jump in and help,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton worked closely with the technical coordinator on the men’s team, Nate Ngo, analyzing practices with “game-like situations” and breaking down the practice film.

The 2024 fall volleyball season at EWC will mark Hamilton’s second in Goshen County, although this will be his 31st year coaching the sport at the college and high school level.

Hamilton got hooked on the sport during his studies at Brigham Young University (BYU) when he landed a job as an undergraduate assistant for renowned volleyball coach Chris McGown. 

“I jumped on the opportunity (to work with McGown),” Hamilton said. “How could you say no to one of the best coaches in the world.”

Hamilton quickly fell in love with the sport.

“There are so many different variables in volleyball and the game is all about making adjustments on the fly,” Hamilton said. “You can control the serve, but after that, the situation can change. You need to be adaptive as the game goes on.”

Many of Hamilton’s high school and college players went on to achieve all-American or all-state honors. As head volleyball coach at Robert’s Wesleyan University, Hamilton guided the volleyball team to its first national ranking and conference title. At Western Texas College, Hamilton’s volleyball team was ranked nationally for two seasons.

Hamilton conducted a previous study with the U.S. women’s volleyball team to examine the time it takes for the middle blocker to “close the pin,” or reach the edges of the court.

The triple block study Hamilton is currently working on will also translate onto the court for the EWC Lady Lancers. He looks forward to the upcoming fall season with a “great recruiting class,” including players with extensive national team experience.