Kansas Volleyball Wraps Up Final Summer Camp

July 27, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Head coach Ray Bechard and the Jayhawk volleyball team finished the final summer skills camp session, Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday marked the end of the fifth and final clinic the Jayhawks hosted this summer. The busy camp season included a pair of four-day skill camps, a one-day setting camp, a one day hitting camp and a three-day team camp.

“It was a good turnout, we felt good about the attendance all summer,” Bechard said. “What we were the most encouraged about was the percentage of returners. That means they had a positive experience in the past to get them to come back. We also had a team-high 30 teams at our team camp (July 13-15) this year. It was a very productive and successful summer.”

Campers ranging from grades 6-12 reported to campus on Sunday and rotated workout locations throughout the four-day clinic before finishing camp with an awards presentation on the Jayhawks’ home court, Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Upon the day’s conclusion, Horejsi was filled with campers’ parents, friends and family members as Bechard and the coaching staff handed out awards.

“When we do the awards presentation at the end, it’s nice to have the parents and that support there,” Bechard said. “It’s fun. The kids are relieved that it’s over, but they also have a sense of accomplishment that they worked hard for four days and hopefully got better at some of the things we are trying to teach.”

Campers received a combination of skill acquisition and fundamental instruction, building up each day throughout camp and ultimately leading to 6-on-6 competition in the evenings. Assistant coaches Laura Kuhn, Todd Chamberlain and Dan Georgalas along with former players, current players and area coaches directed their “teams” made within the camping groups.

“There is a certain level of patience you have to have with developing volleyball players,” Bechard said. “But, you get more satisfaction out of a developing volleyball player because there’s more growth out of them in the four days they are here. What you see on Sunday transforms into what you see on Wednesday, which is very rewarding.”

With less than a month before the Jayhawks open their 2011 campaign against Florida A&M at the Georgia Bulldog Invitational, Aug. 26-27, Bechard and company now swing their focus past camp and onto the upcoming season.

“We had 13 days of camp in July, which chops the month up pretty good,” Bechard said. “When July’s over, it’s time to roll so we’re excited about that. Here in a few days we’ll get the Jayhawk volleyball group back together and get after it.”