Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Coaches and campers get together for a break during the Elementary Skills Camp hosted by the Madera Coyote girls volleyball program and head coach Meghan Haas (white shirt on left).
For the first time, Madera Coyote varsity volleyball coach Meghan Haas and her team hosted a volleyball camp for third through sixth graders in Joe Flores Gym.
The Elementary Skills Camp was held Tuesday through Thursday afternoons in the gym. Seventeen players attended the camp on the second day.
“We weren’t sure what the turnout was going to be and the best way to get the word out there,” Haas said. “I was pleased with the numbers. I was happy how it went for our first camp.”
The reigning County/Metro Athletic Conference champions held the free camp to work on getting the players some basic fundamentals and begin a foundation for volleyball kills.
“It’s good for the players to be with our girls to hear what the players and coaches do,” Haas said. “It helps to teach them from the bottom up.”
For Haas, it was a way to reach out to the community to get players aware of volleyball and give them their first coaching.
“A couple of the parents were excited to have something to get their kids a foundation to start playing,” she said. “It’s also a way to start creating awareness for volleyball. We had some kids who have never played sports before. To have the numbers we had is a great number. Over 20 would be overwhelming to teach players how to play. It’s almost a 1-to-2 ratio for coach to player. It’s to make sure they aren’t getting bad habits and getting them prepared to play.”
From the reaction Haas has seen from the campers, she is certain to have the camp again next year, as well.
“The girls seem to have fun and are sad the last day is coming,” she said. “We’re definitely going to do this camp next year.”
Haas and the volleyball team will also host a coach’s clinic on Aug. 3 in Joe Flores Gym.
“It’s open to any coach that wants to come out from all the elementary and middle school coaches,” she said. “It will be at the tail end of our practice. We will show them drills and go over some of the language we use. It’s all about getting on the same page before they get to us.”
Haas will use the clinic to get the coaches in line so when the players get to the high school level, they are coached on their skills rather than taught fundamental skills.
“There’s a million different ways to teach something that are correct,” she said. “It’s nice to hear a different point of view and pick and choose what they want to take to their kids. This way, there’s a common ground.”