Mastering basic skills


Students from Immanuel Lutheran, St. Ambrose and Seymour’s elementary and middle schools all looked to improve their volleyball skills at camp this past week.

Holly Birdsong, varsity coach at Seymour High School, directed a camp at Seymour Middle School on Monday through Wednesday.

Groups were divided from kindergarten to second, third through fifth, and sixth to eighth grades.

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Birdsong said it’s her 10th year working with the camp.

Seven kids took to the court for the youngest section, 30 in the middle-age group and 20 for the middle schoolers.

“It’s pretty good for this year,” Birdsong said of the numbers. “We usually get a few more for our fall mini volleyball league. It’s pretty good for our normal numbers.

“Each session goes through sessions with pass, setting, serving, hitting and footwork. The ability varies with age, but they all do the same five skills each day of camp. On the last day, we had a tournament.”

A total of 25 high school players helped Birdsong with the camps.

Immanuel’s Anslee Hawkins, 6, went to camp for the first time.

“We learned about spiking, passing and bumping,” the incoming first-grader said. “My favorite part is hitting it over the net. It’s fun to get it over the net and improve.”

Birdsong said that the skills learned at camp translate to the middle and high school teams.

“The kids that have stayed in camp for several years, you can tell when they get older they’ve learned the skills,” she said. “When we start with the techniques at a young age, they know how to do it by the time they get to high school even if they struggle at first. They know what they’re supposed to be doing when they get older.”

Kylie Eglan, a fifth-grader at Cortland Elementary, came back for more at camp this year.

“I’m trying to get better at volleyball,” she said. “I try to stay low and shuffle more. I like spending time with my friends.”

Third-grader Kennady Hardman of Immanuel also returned to camp this year.

“I came back because I like learning about volleyball,” Hardman said. “I’m best at hitting; that’s my favorite part of camp. I’ve also learned how to set the ball and spike the ball better.”

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