Manny Johnson: Blog 19 at 2008 HP Youth Holiday Camp

Jan. 21, 2009, 5:25 p.m. (ET)

Player meetings/evals

Before our last gym session the four coaches met with each player individually.  I will not divulge what each individual was told but I will give some generic examples of the things we told players and words we used to motivate the players.

We opened each player meeting by asking them what they liked/did not like about camp and what if any changes they would make.  All of the players said they liked the drills and technical breakdown; almost all of them made a point to mention how much they liked the intensity of camp.  Due to the length of camp Blaine, made the suggestion to get the girls out of the dorms sooner and more often.  These kids had a movie night on New Year's Eve and went to the San Diego Zoo on New Year's Day. We also took them to In-N-out a couple times.  A couple of players expressed concerns that they would not be allowed to use the techniques they learned in camp when they returned to their club teams.  We made sure to tell them that they follow the expectations of the coach whose gym they are in.  Some other players suggested that they did not have enough time over the break to do homework.  In my opinion they had enough down time where they could have done homework.  In fact, this could have served as a lesson in how to get things done on road trips when they play in college.  Most of the players who have been to USAV camps before said they preferred this camp to any other they have attended. 

Coaches made sure to point out ways the players could improve both physically and mentally.  We also made sure to let players know what they were doing well.  We gave them tips that can help them make higher level teams and ways to be better teammates and leaders.  All of the athletes were given advice on ways to improve their game for the next level.  Some players got a lot of feedback about the way they conduct themselves, receive and give feedback.  Others got feedback on technical aspects of their game.

One of the best parts of camp was watching the players during the last session implement the advice given during the evals and watching them stay mindful when playing.