Turning up the heat

By on July 24, 2014

Hottest time of year the best time to teach v-ball fundamentals to area athletes

MAPLE PARK—Nearly 100 athletes were able to enjoy snow cones from a machine in the Kaneland High School East Gym on Tuesday.

That was only after perspiring in the morning hours going through the paces of volleyball camps for aspects like setting, basics and fundamentals of the court game.

Athletes from kindergarten through eighth grade were put through the paces by second-year head coach Kerri McCastland and assistant Cyndi Violett, Breanne Kahl and Kelsey Flanagan.

“Fundamentals is where we pick one specific one, and then break it down. We add it into what it looks like in game play, so it’s progression,” McCastland said.

Examining the specific fundamental and using it in a controlled setting for the prospective athletes is nothing new for McCastland, herself an experienced coach and official. However, this is the first camp she’s able to run after being appointed coach last summer with the departure of eight-season coach Todd Weimer.

“It’s fun,” McCastland said. “Even though I’ve been a head coach for a really long time, I can say it’s not my first kids camp. But this is the first time I can come in and teach my own thing. It’s fun to see the kids excited about learning.”

The camps were organized and made full use of the gym space with the amount of girls.

“Each court space had their own age group, and my girls broke down the fundamentals to smaller groups. It was a full staff effort,” McCastland said.

McCastland was encouraged by not just the effort of the girls, but the commitment of the staff during a hot July week.

“That’s kudos, and that all goes back to the staff. I offered it as optional for them and they all chose to come on their own. I think that’s a great tell-tale,” McCastland said.

Also coming through the late July exercise is a chance for Kaneland volleyball to show kids how the program is run.

“It’s an added benefit,” McCastland said. “Any time you can bring awareness to your high school program is a good thing. We’ll figure out in the fall how to take it a step further.”

Photos by Patti Wilk