CEV Small Countries Division – Development Camp
14th – 20th July 2012
July 2012 saw the first ever CEV small countries division development camp. We had 16 boys and 20 girls, all of whom were born between 1994 and 1998. The countries of Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Scotland were represented in the playing and coaching staff.
An extensive and intense schedule was planned with the aim to give the players a great experience, a platform to learn from players of different nationalities, gain life skills and ultimately improve as players.
The camp was delivered by head Coaches Detlev Schoenberg and Dieter Scholl. They were assisted by German trainer and Physiotherapist – Linda Damerau, Luxembourg Assistant Coach – Massimo Tarantini, Liechtenstein National Coach – Marc Demmer, Scottish Coach – Graeme Spowart, Video Analyst – Torsten Schoof and Sports Psychologist Alioune Toure.
The schedule started with team breakfast at 8.30, lunch at 13.00 and dinner at 19.30. On the first morning we introduced some ‘Nice to meet you’ games and integrated the different nationalities before moving onto some general ball control.
The entire afternoon was spent on ball control and small sided games to allow the players to get as many touches of the ball as possible in order to get up to speed. The evening was spent in the facilities’ impressive amphitheatre. Each country had two players appointed as delegates who spoke in depth about their respective country and each player introduced themselves and their volleyball background.
Before each session they group were taken on an extensive warm-up by Linda, which also included some fitness training and education which the players can take back to their own club and individual environment and be able to improve their fitness themselves. We then split the group into boys and girls and focused on building the game from defence into 3v3 scenario.
After Dinner we had another session in the amphitheatre, this time presented by Alioune Toure, who provided an interactive seminar on team building. First a inspirational presentation on the key elements of team building, followed by some problem solving games.
The following day the group played some Quattro mixed and it was clear that the team building seminar had an effect as the level of play had increased significantly, the players had also benefitted from the use of the facilities with players being able to recover using the swimming pool in the morning.
On Wednesday we continued the theme of defence, this time with the inclusion of the ball machine, which was a great tool to use. The players that hadn’t used one before really enjoyed the challenge. The ability to guarantee a consistent serve or hit to the defence with the exact amount of top-spin or float was invaluable for the players.
Before venturing into Luxembourg City for some sight-seeing the group had another seminar from Alioune this time around self-motivation and tem motivation. Alioune was brilliant at being able to pin-point exactly what was needed and producing engaging and simple content for the players.
The last day of volleyball arrived and you could tell that tiredness was starting to set-in; the players had put in an extraordinary amount of effort in all areas during the week. However, they did not let tiredness get the better of them. The morning was used for video feedback training. Torsten, a scout for Luxembourg, set-up his cameras and software so the players could view their passing, hitting and defence in slow motion straight after their action. This was especially usefully for movement and preparation, the improvement in technique between the first and the last actions was very evident.
The final afternoon started with a short seminar from head coach Detlev Schoenberg on datavolley before a coffee break. After this short break it was time for the 6v6 mixed tournament. There was some great defence in the tournament and a few players who had been quite reserved until now came out their shell and really performed.
One team even called themselves ‘Scotsumbourg’ and it was great to see that the players had really integrated with each other. There were no longer three different countries training, it was now one group of players working together towards a shared goal!
The camp also received a visit from CEV SCD President Margaret-Ann Fleming who talked to the group before taking in the final of the mini-tournament.
After dinner and to round off the week, the players played a big game of ‘stratego’ where they continued to work together and had lots of fun before they went off to bed tired after a great day of effort and competition.
The players and coaches all departed after breakfast on the Friday to go back to their home countries. However, there were a few tears from a couple of players and sad faces all round as this great experience came to an end.
This will be one experience that they will not forget for a while, the education in fitness, motivation and team-building, the improvement in play, the friends and connections that were made and the whole professional experience of the camp will be of great help to these players in the coming season.
Overall, the camp was a resounding success with great interaction and buy-in from the players, great information and idea sharing from the coaches and one ideal environment for learning and improving the next generation of Volleyballers.
Club & Participation Development Officer
Scottish Volleyball Association