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YS Men’s Christmas Camp 2018

The 2018 Christmas Camp was again held in Ravenscraig Regional Sports facility in Motherwell.  The theme for the camp built on the foundations established by the three pre-Christmas Fast Track sessions that focused on the work of the setters and their links to the middle and outside hitters.  The three-day camp was well attended with thirty-six aspiring volleyballers from all over Scotland turning up to work, learn and improve, with support and guidance from the 6 members of the coaching staff.

Day One set the scene for the Camp and the working sessions.  The key to successful involvement lay in the athletes demonstrating focus of attention and intensity.  The players represented a wide range of experience and ability, but all demonstrated the same desire to solve the problems presented by the coaching staff and improve.

Day Two consolidated, and then worked further on the ideas that had been established in day one.  The drills were all ‘game-like’ which encouraged the players to express their understanding and provided a context for the developments that were being pursued. The work mostly featured the transition phase of the game, and the players worked their socks off.

The emphasis on Day Three was on movement and linking.  The athletes were encouraged to deploy their skills in a variety of transition and attacking game-play situations.  The final afternoon session was all about competing which enabled the athletes to demonstrate their enhanced understanding of the game skills and how to develop a varied and effective attack in real-time situations.

Alongside the physical content of the camp the athletes participated in three lunchtime seminars on Sports Psychology.  The topics that were covered generated interesting discussions around several key areas including ‘time management’ and ‘what does it take to be an elite athlete?’  On Day 3 ex GB Setter and Captain Ben Pipes delivered a very entertaining hands-on session where the YS athletes were invited to share their experiences, their approach to sporting achievement and to discuss routes to success.

Christmas Camp 2018 was a resounding success with all those participating learning new skills and enhancing their understanding of the different roles and how they link to create a volleyball team.  YS Head Coach, Thomas Dowens MBE, commented ‘This feels like it has been the best ever Christmas Camp with boundless enthusiasm and energy from the first to the last minute from everyone involved.’

Congratulations are due to the players for their tireless efforts and good humour, and to the Coaching Staff for their enthusiasm, expertise and commitment to the YS National team Programme and Scottish Volleyball.

Ken Fraser
YS Assistant Coach
January 2019