The Oconee County High School volleyball program recently held its summer youth camp.
The Warriors hosted nearly 30 campers, both boys and girls, in grades three through eight during the three-day schedule from July 6-8.
The camp focused on a few skills each day. The first day, the basics of passing and serving were taught. Setting and hitting were part of the second day’s lesson. To understand the fundamentals of these skills, the coaches broke down the skills to correct technique before running drills.
In the third session, campers put all the skills together to practice game-like drills. For the last hour of this day, campers played different games based on ability and interest.
The games included a combination drill for players to practice all the skills together, a hitting drill that focused on arm swing and a serving drill to practice accurate serving.
Head coach Mark Oglesby emphasized that while he hoped the kids would learn volleyball, his goal throughout the three days was for the campers to have fun.
Current high school players assisted in coaching the campers to benefit the kids as well as themselves.
“Giving them an example, somebody that they can look up to, that’s always great,” Oglesby said. “For my girls, one of the better ways to learn is doing and teaching.”
During the last session, campers were surprised with a visit from former Georgia volleyball player Rachel Ritchie. A recent graduate, Ritchie was an outside hitter for the Bulldogs from 2017-2020.
Ritchie’s presence gave campers the chance to listen firsthand to the experiences of a collegiate athlete and how she was able to succeed. She hoped to reinforce Oglesby’s goal for the kids of having fun.
Oglesby finished his first season with the Warriors last fall with a 31-9 record and a Region 8-AAA title. He is an assistant coach for the Oconee County tennis team, and hopes that his experience coaching will make him a better teacher by connecting with the students.
As a new season of volleyball approaches, Oglesby hopes that his camp won’t be the last for the young players.
“I’m gonna hope they keep playing,” Oglesby said. “You hope that they continue to work and continue to develop.”