Any coach will tell you that middle school and high school sports are getting so competitive that youngsters have to start learning fundamentals at an early age to get on a team and then get off the bench.
That’s especially true in volleyball, and that’s the concept behind the seven-week Big Walnut Volleyball Clinic that ended on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Chris Podraza, who coached the clinic held in the Big Walnut High School Gymnasium, said this year there were 42 participants, most in grades four, five and six, with a few third graders in the mix. Helping coach the young volleyball players were Big Walnut High School volleyball team members.
“During the first two weeks of the clinic we just worked on volleyball fundamentals,” Podraza said. “The last five weeks we did some skill refreshing at the start of each day, but then clinic participants broke up into five teams of seven or eight on each team and did what they love to do, they played volleyball.”
Podraza said learning fundamentals from high school volleyball players they look up to is an important part of the clinic participant’s experience; that many of the girls on today’s middle and high school teams are former clinic participants.
“Big Walnut Volleyball Clinic is basically a great way for participants to learn volleyball fundamentals,” Podraza said. “There’s no youth volleyball league in the area like football, basketball, and baseball, so this gives young girls an exposure to the sport. It’s only one day each week, and the girls come in all skill levels. They have fun, and it gets the young girls excited about the game.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.
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