Saturday, July 23, 2005

Volleyball Camp

We had or first school volleyball camp for the upcoming school year this morning. We think that we will have 15 players this year. All 7 of the eighth graders in the school signed up to play so we'll have our first 8th grade team made up of all 8th graders. We have 5 sixth graders and 3 seventh graders signed up to play so we'll have a 7th grade team that is mostly 6th graders, but that's better than 2 years ago when our 7th grade team was all 6th graders.

We held a 3 hour camp this morning. We started out with 45 minutes of warmup and conditioning. Then worked on passing, setting, court management and rotations, then serving and finally a scrimage. We started the day with 9 players there, and lost one along the way. So we split up the remaining four into 3 eighth graders and one 7th grader playing against the remaining two 7th graders and the two 6th graders. The 8th grade coach asked if I felt that the teams were a little unfair. I assured him that my girls would go easy on his 8th graders. (hah, hah)

The three seventh graders that I have on my team are real spitfires. These three are fantastic. They have so much strength, grace and energy for their age it's incredible. They sometimes lose focus but they never quit. Well my two spitfire 7th graders really stayed focused on the task and my two sixth graders were playing way above themselves. They won that game 26-24. They got a marvelous lesson in the importance of good serving in rally scoring.

When camp ended they were all tired and ready to go home. I hated leaving. I was so pumped up and excited that I can hardly wait for the next camp. I used to think that if I couldn't play the game I didn't even want to be around it. But the last two years coaching have changed my mind. It can be the most stressful, irritating and occasionally thankless job around. But watching the look on a young girl's face when she struggled with her serving all through practice then steps up with the game on the line and pounds three overhand service aces makes it all worthwhile. Have you every seen a 7th grader smile so large that her ears disappear?

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