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February 2010

Men’s National Team Coaches Lead Boy’s Clinic in Glendale

The Arizona Region was treated to a weekend of boy’s volleyball expertise as the Men’s National team staff came to Glendale to coach 30+ high school aged boys the 30th and 31st of January at Deer Valley high school.

National team head coach Alan Knipe and his assistants Gary Sato and Arizona native Chris Jackson put the boys through an intense two days.

Kevin Vilella, an outside hitter on Deer Valley’s squad said, “I thought the camp was a once in a lifetime chance for young players to get some inside information from some of the best coaches and players to ever play the game!”

Adam Gerads, a senior at Mountain Ridge high school echoed his peer. “I thought that this camp was hands down the most beneficial volleyball camp I have ever attended. The coaching staff was great and they were not afraid to tell you exactly what you were doing wrong, and make sure you got it right. The drills we did were helpful without being boring like so many other volleyball drills. One thing I learned from the coaches in particular is to use your shoulders to power the pass, not your elbows or legs. All in all this was a great camp that was well worth it in my opinion.”

Seton Catholic High School’s new boy’s volleyball coach Andrew Guthrie saw nothing but positives over the weekend. “It was an incredible experience not to just be in the same gym as the USA coaches and players, but for them to take the time to talk, teach, and demonstrate the different parts of volleyball to the players, coaches, and even opening it up to the parents. It showed how much they care about the game of volleyball and the growth of the sport.”
Guthrie also enjoyed the way the coaching staff trained the two days. “I thought the process of reinserting the fundamentals from passing, and hitting that were repeated though out the camp demonstrated the importance of having a good foundation for volleyball.”
Deer Valley high school alumni Jackson helped set the clinic up with the help of Kim Ulrich-Suss, the boy’s coach at Deer Valley.

Ulrich-Suss, was not only impressed with the camp, but with the athletes and other coaches that came to learn from the National Team coaches. “It was nice to be around other people, as passionate as myself about both volleyball and helping kids.” She said.

" It was exciting to see the way our Arizona boys raised their level of play and responded to the National Coaches' feedback. The gym reverberated with the sounds of bodies hitting the floor, calls of ‘mine’, ‘I set’, ‘down’, and dynamic smashes hitting the floor.” She adds. “Mutual respect and camaraderie was gained as opposing club and high school players worked together on the same court."

Jackson echoed his Coaches words and left open the door to an annual event to come. "In our opinion, the camp was a total success. Coach Knipe and I agree that it will be awesome in years to come, as we watch the exponential growth in the play of the young volleyball studs in Arizona. This is a dream come true for me personally, to be able to give back to Arizona Men's volleyball, where I got my start, and see it grow and flourish."

February 2010
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