Forty-three girls took to the nets at the Bollinger Athletic Complex last week to have fun and work on volleyball skills.
Trinity Lutheran held its annual camp, Monday through Thursday, and had a solid turnout under first-year Cougars varsity coach Faith Wilder-Newland.
Wilder-Newland said she had 24 girls in the first group, which ranged from second to fifth grade, and 19 for the incoming sixth through eight grade group.
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She said she tries to keep the camp light while working on the skills that make great players.
“Most importantly, we teach the kids the fundamental skills,” Wilder-Newland said. “Like how to do progressions for passing. Instead of tossing balls and having them pass, we try to teach them how to move their hands and arms and feet and how to get into an athletic base. The very minute details, we try to start with those. As we go through the week, we add some complexity to it and some more skills with it.
“I think that learning the skills make it fun. Mastering the skills makes it a fun game. There are so many complex parts to the game. Right now is the best time to learn them. They can go home and apply them to the backyard and to school volleyball.”
Maggie Braman, a fifth-grader at Immanuel Lutheran, said it was her first time at camp.
“I wanted to learn more about volleyball,” she said. “I decided to play volleyball at school. I’m learning how to serve and hit. I like setting. In school I want to be the setter.”
Braman’s classmate, Kennady Hardman, said she came back to camp this year to keep getting better at volleyball.
“I wanted to get better on my serve,” she said. “I am hitting the ball left-handed from the right side now. My favorite part is playing six-on-six.”
During the practices, Wilder-Newland had member of her high school team help teach the kids.
“I think it’s important because they learn more from teaching other people,” Wilder-Newland said. “When they teach someone else, it hits home. It shows them what they should be doing.
“I’ve had such a great time with these kids. My high school kids have been really, really helpful. Every single one of the players has come out and helped with the younger groups. I’ve gotten to know them better and how I teach skills because I’ve never worked with some of them before ever. It’s a sort of good way for us to get to know each other.”