Manny Johnson: Blog 8 at 2008 HP Youth Holiday Camp

Jan. 21, 2009, 5:12 p.m. (ET)

Day 4 session 1

Light practice today as we will be doing lots of playing later; like yesterday we started w/setters on one court and everyone else doing serve/pass on the other court.  Our setters worked on setting and covering and we went over the basic keys of setting.  To recap we want the setters to start in an athletic position, legs bent hands ready to run or set.  We want the setters to hold their follow through and finish with even hands (superman).  We want them to face the ball and square to the target, preferably using a right leg pivot to square.  Neil was calling this F2, face the ball, face the target.  Lastly we want the setters to err high and off the net.

We had a new player join us today; Adrienne Gehan was on the roster to travel to Europe but got snowed in and missed her flight.  Works out well for us b/c we lose Kelly Reeves tomorrow to family vacation.  

After our warm-up activities, we went over jump floats.  The keys for the jump float are 1. ball in left hand and down to start (for right handed players)
2. four steps right, left, place (toss), right, left serve
3. like hitting our steps go from small to big
4. simple arms w/a quiet upper body (no bobbing)
5. Torque, we want the servers using their core not shoulder to generate power

We finished with a round of high ball hitting from the left middle and right.

Had a chance to talk w/Kylann one of our setters, she is very physical and shows great potential (she will do great at Tennessee).  I asked her if she liked camp so far and she was very positive in her response.  She really enjoyed hanging out w/the other girls and she liked that she was learning to pass (she particularly liked the wrist and hands) and new jump serve techniques.  She said she had never had the skills broken down so thoroughly before.  Her comments made me think that we are specializing the game too much.  Think about it how many times have we seen a middle pass out of the backrow, how many times do we see a defensive specialist come in for a big banger on the outside w/poor passing skills?

Here at camp one of the biggest reasons we have not gone into 6v6 yet is because Neil wants to develop complete volleyball players.  It is important to note that in the international game there are only 6 subs and one re-entry; therefore international players have to be able to pass and play all around.