Friday, August 26, 2005

Volleyball Practice Surprises

This afternoon was the second volleyball practice that I have held since taking over both teams. I was really nervous about handling both teams as the head coach. I have one assistant who prefers to work behind the scenes. She does a lot, and had helped a lot in practice by supervising one team during scrimmages while I watch the other.

This week's practices have been blessed with 3 wonderful surprises. Today while running through hitting lines. I had two players (one sixth grader and one seventh grader) ask if they could take a try at the setter position. I have watched both these players during drills and they have thus far not exhibited the kind of setting ability that I would expect in a setter.

But it was late in the drill and I figured what the heck, let them take a shot. We're ending this in a couple minutes anyway.

Well suddenly both these young ladies started looking like setters. Granted they aren't fantastic. But they showed an ability that I hadn't seen in them so far.

So now I have to revamp my practice plans to get these two ladies worked into the setter rotations during practices. If it turns out that this wasn't just a fluke day, I will have a couple extra setters to work with.

I just wish I could find another reliable 8th grade setter. If I can't get one of the 8th graders to step up by the middle of next week I may have to bite the bullit and make one of my 7th grade setters a regular setter on the 8th grade team.

However if I have to do that I have one really good candidate. During the last two practice sessions I have seen a real team leader blossum out of one of my 7th grade players. At the beginning practice she asked if she could lead the stretching and warmups. Since I needed a minute to talk with the other coach I let her. She did a good complete job. Then today, she didn't ask, she just got into place and stood there waiting for me to tell her to start. I did, and she led them through a good complete warmup session.

Once we got into practice I have caught her several times coaching the 6th grade players who were struggling with specific skills.

I have been pushing my 8th graders hard expecting one of them to step up into the team leader role. I didn't expect that leader to step up out of the 7th grade. Then in just one week I find that my three severth grade players who were turning out to be two pretty good setters and one pretty good hitter are suddenly transforming into two pretty good hitters, and one potential team leader, and all three of them can set.

We have a three hour camp tomorrow but regardless of what happens there, so far it has been a really good week.

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