‘Setting’ a foundation

Published 2:11 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014




WASHINGTON — Head coach Kelly Slade and a collection of Pam Pack volleyball players held the second annual Beaufort County Volleyball Clinic at Washington High School Monday and Tuesday for kids in rising grades one to five.

“We do this camp every year to get people in the community excited about volleyball,” Slade said. “I grew up here and went to Northside. I was a softball girl, which is everywhere in the county. I definitely wanted it to be for all the kids, not just the ones here in Washington, but all of Beaufort County. “

With a ratio of one high school player to every attendee, Slade’s calculated approach in teaching interested youngsters the fundamentals of volleyball left everyone smiling at the end of the two-day camp.

On Monday, students began with basic beginner exercises for setting, passing and serving, including one drill where they had to set the ball into a basketball hoop. As an incentive, Slade handed out prizes — everything from sunglasses to necklaces to volleyball-themed rubber ducks.

Using smaller, more appropriately sized nets, students also got a chance to spike like their high school counterparts and proved to be one of the more popular activities. Pam Pack volleyball players Adriana Tyson, Sara Lynch, Briley Waters, Charity Gardner, Meghan Moore and Madison Gerard volunteered their time to help kids learn the basics.

Despite the corky workouts, students managed to absorb the fundamentals, as Slade had every registrant reflect on their experience at the camp’s conclusion. Every student was able to describe “four ways to get the ball over the net” in detail.

Unlike last season’s camp that housed grades one though eight, this year’s was split into two different camps taking place over two different weekends. Slade’s middle school clinic, for rising grade six to eight, will take place from July 14 and 15.

“We’re still going to work really hard on fundamentals, but do some more advanced drills” Slade said. “They’ll be constantly running. The key is that each kid has fun and they don’t feel like they’re running, even though they are.”

Northside graduate and Pitt County Community College middle hitter Jordan Woolard will also be in attendance to run a hitting clinic. The camp will also include local coaches from the area and an NCHSAA official, who will provide students with a more concise look at the rules.

While the younger camp is meant to give potential players a solid foundation, the middle school clinic is centered on preparing students for the high school level. Slade says 25 kids have already registered, as more are expected to sign up.