By Jovani Gama |Staff Writer|
Three CSUSB volleyball players took to their talents to Highland, as they took it upon themselves to offer lessons, and encouragement to children at the local YMCA.
Seniors Kate Barton and Krista Hasemeyer, and sophomore Danielle Newcombe partook in several drills in which they taught local kids the fundamentals of proper passing, setting, and hitting.
When asked what motivated them be a part of the event, the girls were more than happy to respond.
“I just think its important to show them at a young age what they can achieve,” said Barton.
“This is a great opportunity to reach out the community. Why not give back?” added Hasemeyer.
The ladies stressed the importance of showing these girls that education is extremely important, and that through sports, one could find the motivation and learn the skills that will enable them to succeed in school.
“They can teach you life lessons. Sports can teach you patience, dedication, and perseverance,” said Danielle Newcombe.
The girls began the day by showing the children proper passing techniques.
They thoroughly explained the position one must take, and the technique one must use in order to deliver a perfect pass.
The girls were all smiles, but they let it be known early on that they were there to teach, and would not let the kids off easy.
Initially, the girls passed amongst themselves, shouting instructions, and taking questions in the process.
The kids were then divided into two groups, and were drilled hard.
With patience, and perseverance, the girls were able to correct the children when they were wrong, going over the proper form and technique until they were satisfied with their performance.
Children who struggled significantly were pulled aside individually and were given personal lessons until they felt confident, and were passing like pros.
The next drill, which involved setting, presented a challenging technique.
Under this drill, the children were taught to anticipate the ball in a monkey-like pose, prepare to push it up in a moose-like pose, and ultimately push it up, finishing off posing like superman.
Initially the children had a difficult time adjusting to these new concepts.
However, with accurate and precise instruction, the girls were able to mold the kids into set up machines in no time.
Lastly, the girls set out to teach them how to hit.
This drill was the most complicated as the kids had to focus on, not only hitting the ball properly, but setting their feet, and waving their arms properly as well.
One child, who struggled more than any other, was pulled aside by Krista Hasemeyer.
Despite the child’s struggles, Hasemeyer continued to offer encouraging words, and did not allow her to leave her side until she was able to perfect the technique.
Kathleen Kgellberg, Teen Zone Coordinator at the YMCA, shared her thoughts on the kind of impact the girls could potentially have on the children.
“I think it will have a huge impact. To bring the Cal girls in and see them listen and improve is exciting,” said Kgellberg.
Chris Harvey, Sports Coordinator at YMCA, explained that while volunteer coaches attempt to teach the kids similar techniques that were taught to them by CSUSB’s women’s volleyball players, the fact that collegiate players were able to share tips and skills made the experience much more enjoyable and motivational for the kids.
Overall, it was an inspiring, and gratifying day for the staff at YMCA, the three volleyball players who volunteered, and most importantly for the children involved.