Volleyball players were served up top training techniques as the East Kootenay Volleyball Club (EKVC) recently hosted a Future Stars Camp with Olympian Rudy Verhoeff.
The camp included eight hours of on-court instruction from Verhoeff and two hours of classroom instruction. As well it included two hours of fitness training by local instructors.
“It’s a Future Stars camp, so it incorporates the use of an Olympian to inspire young athletes,” explained Jodie Halliday, EKVC board member.
The two hours of classroom instruction includes stories about the Olympians life and the ups and downs of becoming a full-time athlete.
“It also talks about the adversity that you have as an athlete – the mental game. He also talks about core skills, they focus on defence and telling the kids how to video analysis. It’s a whole training aspect of an athlete,” said Halliday.
The camp is more than just two days of being told how to perform on and off the court.
“The best part about it is an Olympian gets on the floor and plays with them, he interacts with them, he’s the one that is molding them and shaping them, but the process of the clinic is it’s a skill development clinic. So, you have somebody like an Olympian who is teaching these kids how to do the skills properly. So, ideally stopping bad habits and the fitness training teaches these kids an athlete is a culture and then the mental aspect in the classroom —that whole rounded balance of an athlete,” said Halliday.
EKVC held two camps at the College of the Rockies. The first one was held July 29-30 where there were 19 female athletes ages 12-15. The second camp was held July 31-Aug. 1 and was mixed of 11 male and female athletes at an intermediate level of ages 15-16.
“I want to inspire them,” said Halliday about what she wanted the athletes to gain from the camp.
“I want them to be taught the skills properly, but I want them to be inspired that’s why I brought in an Olympian. When he talked in the classroom and showed them a video of what it was like to be, what it was like to play at this level that’s when you get the buy-in. You see their faces light up, and that’s when they decide if this is something they want to go for.”
It wasn’t even just East Kootenay participants at the camps either — there were athletes from as far as Calgary and Medicine Hat.
Notably, Verhoeff was part of the Canadian volleyball teams Olympic run in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games in Brazil. He has become a key member of the senior national team and was instrumental with Canada’s seventh-place finished at the 2015 FIVB World Cup and in Canada’s bronze medal win at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Last year the EKVC also held the camp, but it only ran for two days. With the growth this year and having two separate camps, Halliday said they couldn’t have done it without the help of all the local sponsors.
More information about EKVC can be found on their website www.ekvcvolleyball.com.