DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Quality instruction helps volleyball camp attendees

Volleyball campers join two green gators after a week of hard work and fun.

It’s never too early for volleyball players to prepare for their time at Xavier Prep.
XCP varsity volleyball coach Lamar Bryant and her assistants were busy at a camp this week, putting incoming freshmen and seventh/eighth graders through the paces and giving them a taste of what life as a Gator will be like.
The gym floor was full of activity all week. For about two hours each day, players worked on fundamentals and talked about their dedication to the sport. The incoming freshmen numbered 45 and the seventh/eighth graders were at 40.
Bryant & Co. will be back in the gym for a week starting June 22, working with fifth and sixth graders.
Most of the older players in the camp have a good amount of experience from club competition, so it’s not like they are starting from scratch.
“We’re trying to work with them on fundamental skills, learning how to compete and knowing that every touch (of the ball) matters,’’ Bryant said.
A handful of Bryant’s returning varsity players were on hand to demonstrate some of the drills.
Communication on the court during matches also is an essential element.
Many of the players attending the camp were involved in summer school, and came out for volleyball afterward.
“It’s almost like the atmosphere we have for tryouts or even later in the season. It’s good for them to see what that time commitment is like,’’ Bryant said. “We want them to be the best at everything that they do.’’
Sand volleyball
XCP will be holding a sand volleyball camp from June 29-July 2 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, 3300 W. Camelback Rd. Instruction will be available for fifth through ninth graders.
More information is available from XCP camps director Sue Contreras, or (602) 230-2621.

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