Lady Dawg volleyball players teach House Creek students volleyball fundamentals
Special to the Leader-Press
Straight from the state playoffs, the Copperas Cove High School Lady Dawgs volleyball players are not resting on their laurels. They shared their district championship skills with third, fourth, and fifth graders at House Creek Elementary to improve the youngsters’ hand/eye coordination and balance.
“Elementary-age students often have difficulty understanding and performing volleyball-related skills. They are usually familiar with skills such as throwing and catching but have limited exposure to volleying and serving,” said House Creek Elementary Physical Education Teacher Michael Sheon. “We like to break down the volleyball skills and focus on the fundamentals. We also use softer and lighter balls that are easier to strike and keep in the air to help students be more successful. Our students enjoy the challenge of learning a new and difficult task and get very excited when they are able to serve the ball over the net and/or volley the ball back and forth.”
House Creek students practiced keeping an object in the air without catching it. With the help of the high school athletes, students demonstrated key elements of underhand and overhand serves such as bending their knees, aligning their body towards the target, and striking the ball with correct form and force.
“The most rewarding part of this lesson is seeing the students persevere when they aren't successful at first. They do a good job of helping and encouraging each other, and it's always fun to see them get better together,” Sheon said. “The challenge is breaking these new skills down appropriately and teaching the students in small steps. When they see the volleyball net and volleyballs, they are very excited and want to just start hitting the ball without knowing how to do it properly. It's challenging to balance that excitement level with slowing down to practice and master the skills before trying to play the game.”
CCHS Head Volleyball Coach Christy Thompson said her players were excited to assist with the volleyball demonstration and mini clinic.
“We split the day between our junior varsity and varsity girls,” Thompson said. “We worked on serving and then put on a demonstration from the older girls. The Lady Dawg Volleyball programs believe in paying it forward to the Cove community.”
Students cheered for each other as the Lady Dawgs helped reinforce the techniques the students used to further ensure their success.
"This was really hard at first, but I finally got some serves over at the end," said third grader Aiden Collier.
The most challenging lesson for the young scholars was overhand serving which requires good balance and hand/eye coordination. It took students some time to master this skill and you could see the smiles of reward when they were able to toss the ball up and strike it over the net.
“I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the younger students having as much success as our fourth and fifth graders,” Sheon said. “Many of the third graders had no previous exposure to volleyball, and after practicing for a few days, their skills were right on par with our older, more experienced students.”