Pelham Volleyball Camp grows sport through teaching kids

Published 2:33 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers volleyball program held their annual volleyball camp from July 26-28 at Pelham High School, and all of the players and coaches got to have fun teaching the game of volleyball to kids from around the area.

“When we’re done for the day, everybody walks out with a smile, and that was our plan,” Pelham varsity volleyball coach Perry Robinson said.

The camp is the brainchild of assistant coach Taylor Day, who also teaches at Pelham Oaks Elementary School. She has spearheaded the camp for the last two years, and Robinson says that the camp wouldn’t be the same without her leadership and the support from the other assistant coaches.

“I’ve asked her the last couple of summers to run it, and she just jumps all over it and it’s right in her wheelhouse,” Robinson said. “We cannot do this without Taylor. It’s Taylor’s deal and we all just work for her.”

The 13 girls and boys who came out to the camp got to learn basic volleyball skills like passing, serving, hitting and the basics of defense from the Pelham coaches and players. Robinson said that Day modifies some parts of volleyball like lowering the net and using balloons and lighter volleyballs so that the younger kids can learn in a friendlier environment.

“We do whatever we can do to get them to make volleyball moves,” Robinson said. “It may not actually be with the volleyball, but we just want them to start making those moves and learning how that how that’s supposed to feel.”

In addition to learning from Pelham’s talented coaching staff, the campers got to learn skills from the current players and meet them as well. It’s always one of the most important parts of camp because so many kids look up to the Pelham volleyball players and it means so much for them to meet them.

Robinson recognizes that he’s not the most important part of the camp and makes sure that the campers spend time with the players.

“They’re not there to meet me, they’re there to learn volleyball and hang out with the high school girls, so that’s kind of a fun part for them,” Robinson said.

Those interactions led to many great moments and memories for the campers, players and coaches. As a coach, Robinson said that seeing the campers and players have so much fun together is easily the best part of camp every year.

“Every time I would leave and I would come back, I would hear the fun noises, the laughter, the giggling, the running, the ‘can we do it again?’” Robinson said. “Every time I got back in the gym, I was hearing stuff like that. So that’s always the best part, when you hear that and you look in and there’s a bunch of smiles everywhere.”