This story originally appeared in the fall 2013 Harker Quarterly.
Summer Water Polo Camp Focuses on Fun and Fundamentals of the Sport
Harker’s summer water polo camp, held in late June, offered Bay Area students in grades 4-8 the chance to get a comprehensive introduction to the sport in a fun, supportive environment.
“It’s good for the kids to come out and play and it’s helping our sport grow,” said Allie Lamb, the Harker water polo coach who ran the camp with Ted Ujifusa, who also coaches at Harker. “It’s kind of a small sport, so the more kids we can get started early and young, the better it’ll be when they get into high school.”
Because most of the students at the camp were new to the sport, the camp focused on basic skills such as eggbeater kicking, moving through the water, passing and shooting. Each day of the camp highlighted a new skill.
Good, Tough, Fun Basketball Camp Breaks Down Drills to Help Players Work as a Team
Harker’s basketball camp knitted together drills, five-on-fives and skills games to best engage students. The camp had two sessions per day – a morning session for boys in grades 6-9 and an afternoon coed session for grades 4-8 – and was run by Harker varsity basketball coach Mark Collins, who spent 10 years in Denmark as a professional player and six years as the director of the Golden State Warriors’ camp.
Collins said the main goal of the camp was to equip students with the skills they can practice at home and elsewhere in order to continue improving after camp is over. “They’re not going to get so much better in a weeklong camp,” he said. “But if they carry these skills to their homes and to their other teams and to their free plan and other recreational centers and do these skills, they will get better.”
Fundamentals – and Fun – All the Rage at Harker’s Summer Volleyball Camp
Harker’s summer volleyball camp returned the week of July 15, offering instruction from experienced, top-level coaches to students in grades 4-9. The camp catered to various skill levels, first grouping students by age and grade, and later moving students to different groups depending on their levels of experience. Each day began with warm-ups, with students going through drills for various skills, and each session ended with team play.
The main purpose of the camp is, first of all, for the kids to have fun, said Dan Molin, Harker’s upper school athletic director and one of the coaches running the camp. “We want them to come here and enjoy themselves and improve in every skill of volleyball, from offense to defense, passing, setting, hitting, digging, blocking and pingpong sets.”
Harker’s Wrestling Camp Helps Students from Around the Area to Improve Mat and Life Skills
Harker’s new wrestling camp, run by longtime Harker coach Karriem Stinson, gave students in grades 6-12 a solid foundation for their future endeavors in the sport.
“We try to show everyone the same moves and we’re trying to keep it basic … because we think basic wins,” said Stinson, who is also the middle and lower schools’ assistant athletic director.
A typical day at the camp focused first on basic techniques and positioning; then wrestlers moved on to situational drills emphasizing escapes, stand-ups and breakdowns. The final portion of the day allowed the students to practice the skills they’d learned with their classmates.
Summer Students Get Fit with TRX Training Program
A new addition to Harker’s summer sports program this year, the TRX training camp introduced students to the TRX suspension training system, which builds strength, flexibility and core stability by using the trainer’s body weight. This unique feature makes it accessible to many people. “Anybody, from 5 years old all the way to seniors, can work with it,” said Karriem Stinson, Harker’s head wrestling coach and assistant athletic director at the lower and middle schools.
Stinson, who is a certified TRX trainer, said that TRX is a good alternative for people who are not comfortable exercising with weights. “It’s a fun apparatus that drives you to get stronger,” he said. He also noticed that after working with the TRX system, students had an easier time doing certain exercises such as planks, remarking, “It’s been amazing to watch.”
Soccer Camp Returns for Another Successful Year
Harker’s summer soccer camp enjoyed another successful year, with students from many different skill levels picking up new techniques and honing those they had already acquired. The camp was broken up into three weeklong sessions, one week in June and two weeks in July. Each day started off with agility and balance warm-ups, combined with fun activities devised by the coaching staff. Students then headed off into various stations, each focusing on a key soccer skill such as passing, receiving and finishing. In addition, a new move was introduced each day of the camp for the students to learn and practice.
Although competition is an important aspect of the camp, head coach Shaun Tsakiris said the main objective was to ensure students had fun and wanted to return. “We make sure that before the season starts, before the camp starts, the coaching staff gets together and makes it an enjoyable place,” he said.
Young Gridiron Enthusiasts Have Fun at Junior Eagle Football Camp
In late July, football enthusiasts in grades 6-8 congregated at Davis Field at the upper school campus for the three-day Junior Eagle Football Camp, directed by Harker’s head football coach, Ron Forbes. Each day, students worked on speed and agility drills, learned and practiced skills unique to different positions and enjoyed team games at the end of each session.
Attendees received individual coaching at all positions from the experienced and knowledgeable coaching staff and certified sports medicine staff were on hand for the entire duration of the camp.
Students Learn and Develop Swimming Techniques at Swim School
Harker’s summer swim school offered individual instruction to swimmers of all ages looking to improve on their aquatic abilities. The school offered individual and group lessons to people of all levels of experience, from those who are stepping into the water for the first time to experienced swimmers looking for an edge in competition.
Katherine Dow, grade 5, said the camp was “fun. We do laps and timing and then we build rafts at the end and try to race each other.” She also mentioned that she noticed an overall improvement in her swimming and would attend the swim school again. Katherine’s sister, Suzanne, grade 2, also enjoyed the camp and learned how to do flip turns and freestyle swimming.