The Clearfield YMCA inspires elementary students to play volleyball


The young girls in the volleyball program are separated into teams and competing in their own volleyball games.

Jaycee M. Wood, Staff Writer

The Clearfield Area Junior-Senior volleyball team is aiding to welcome their next generation of players with an elementary volleyball program at Clearfield’s YMCA. This year is the third year this program has been running, and it teaches girls in grades 3-6 the fundamentals of playing volleyball. There are 44 girls signed up to the month-long program this year that the members of Clearfield’s high school volleyball team are given the opportunity to coach.

The girls in this program learn the basics of volleyball, whether it be the physical or mental aspects. Head Coach Sandy Bailor states, “They are learning the basic skills, passing the ball, serving and spiking the ball. We also emphasize the importance of communicating on the court moving to the ball and being team players.” The program teaches the girls not only how to play volleyball, but how to be a good teammate.

Giving this head start to younger athletes is beneficial to their future performance. Coach Bailor explains, “It’s important to learn the basic skills so when they come into our JH program, they are ahead of the game they understand how the game is played and they at least have some training of the skills. I believe if you are familiar with the game of volleyball you have confidence you can play the game. The elementary program the past three years has already helped the upper-level programs.” Coaches and current players on the high school team are hoping to familiarize the younger generation with the game of volleyball.

These practices will hopefully leave a mark on the young girls, inspiring them to continue being in the program and eventually joining the volleyball team.  According to Bailor, “We want to introduce the game of volleyball because soccer and basketball has had an elementary program for several years and volleyball has not. We feel the only way to get our JH and HS program’s competing at a higher level we need to teach the fundamentals of the game of volleyball.”

Members of the school’s volleyball team feel lucky to have the chance to coach these young girls that could fill their shoes one day. Sophomore and outside hitter Zoah Mandel states, “It feels very rewarding to be able to inspire and share the skills I’ve worked so hard on to these girls. Watching them succeed and learn new things like I once did is one of the best feelings for sure.” Everyone involved in this program is able to feel rewarded, whether it be the elementary team coaches, the head coaches of the high school team, the young girls learning the sport, or their parents who get to see them have fun while learning and improving.