GREENVILLE – Almost 50 girls in the third through eighth grades attended Greenville’s youth volleyball camp last week.
Volleyball is a difficult sport to master, Greenville varsity volleyball coach Chelsea Dowd said, so young girls often don’t have much experience playing the game. Thus the Lady Wave sought to expose girls to the sport and build a love for the game during the three-day camp.
“The top things we want to get out of camp every summer is getting girls excited about volleyball, and I think that once they get here the vibe is really, really positive and it’s really upbeat and it’s really exciting so I think we do a good job of doing that,” Dowd said. “Girls have a good time. They don’t want camp to end. They want to come back. So that’s our No. 1 goal, getting girls interested and excited about this sport that maybe they’ll have to wait a couple of years until they play in school, but that’s the main thing, getting the girls excited and getting them pumped up about a new sport.”
Most of the camp focused on learning the fundamentals of volleyball then the girls got to use their new skills as they played games of volleyball.
“We go over all the basics so we talk about good passing technique and what that looks like, good setting technique and what that looks like,” Dowd said. “A lot of footwork, especially when it comes to hitting left right left, left right left. A lot of repetition. And then the same thing with serving. A lot of like the basics. OK, this is how you stand, this is what your feet do, this is how you toss the ball. So a lot of repetition but then all of that leads into like the last day of a lot of playing.”
Throughout the week and even from year to year Dowd saw a lot of improvement from the girls. Much of the progress came simply from feeling comfortable on the court and playing the game.
“They did so, so well,” she said. “It’s really fun to see the girls who have already played again; you get used to seeing their faces every summer, and it’s nice that they come back and that they have a good time. But the new girls, the young girls going into third grade, they looked really good. It’s hard. Volleyball is not an easy sport to pick up, but they did a really good job. And for the older girls – fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth graders – you can tell that they really retained a lot of the things that we’ve done in the past. They already know the footwork. They already know that they need to communicate and talk on the court. So, yeah, they looked really good. They’ve gotten a lot better in the past three days.”
At the end of the week Dowd felt confident that she and her staff had accomplished their goal of getting girls excited about volleyball.
“It’s funny because they say to each other, ‘Oh, we want to come back tomorrow. Oh, we don’t want it to be done,’ which is so nice for us to hear because it means hopefully that we’re doing something right,” Dowd said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.