Young volleyball enthusiasts of various skill levels gathered at the middle school campus gym the week of July 16 for this year’s summer volleyball camp. Led by Dan Molin, Harker’s athletic director, and Theresa “Smitty” Smith, volleyball coach, the primary aim of the camp was to provide a fun and lively way to give budding players a solid foundation on which to build.
Each day at the camp began with ball control warm-up exercises, followed by groups of students moving to different areas, or “stations,” that each worked on a different skill, such as setting, serving, spiking or passing. From there, the students would break into teams to play a game utilizing the skills they had just practiced.
“Most importantly, we just want them to have fun,” Molin said. “We try to keep it loose and lively and active, and keep it moving.”
The week started off with a visit from John Wallace, volleyball coach at Santa Clara University, where Harker volleyball star Tanya Schmidt ’07 attended college. “He came in on Monday and did a great job,” Molin recalled. After sharing some of his insights about the sport and how it’s played at a college level, Wallace ran some serving drills with the students.
Lauren Hogan, a grade 8 student at Ida Price Middle School, enrolled in the camp because she wants to try out for her school’s volleyball team. The camp’s setting training was important for her, she said, “Because I want to be a setter and I want to learn how to do it better.”
Another Ida Price student, Derek Hogan, grade 6, also plans to try out for the school volleyball team, and hoped to get better at spiking, “because it helps you get points.”
Although the camp mainly stressed fundamental skills, more advanced concepts such as team formations, defensive positioning and the each player’s role on the court were introduced later in the week.
By the end, however, Molin hoped the students had fun and that they were better equipped to improve themselves as players in the future.
“It’s hard to become a volleyball player in one week,” he said. “Maybe at the end of the week they’ll be a little bit better and they’ll remember one or two things that they can carry to the next level.”