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Volleyball

Heartbreakers

Yup – that’s what Princess’s volleyball team voted for a team name. The one boy on the team, Jeremy, was all for it! Although his first choice would’ve been The Fantasticals :-) I volunteered to coach her team again this past fall. When we signed up, I had the dates wrong! I thought it started and ended one week earlier than it did. I also thought the games would be done by noon each day, like past seasons. Turns out, the games were later than usual, and with the one week difference in schedule, we had quite a few scheduling conflicts. We worked through most of them, sometimes in very creative ways, so we only missed two games. i was lucky to have two parents willing to help out a lot!

It was a lot different coaching 3rd and 4th graders this year than the 1st and 2nd graders last year! We had a blast, and I even got a few of the girls serving overhand by the end of the season. Princess improved a lot over last season, which was fun to see. If you check out this team photo, middle row, you’ll see that Princess wasn’t even the smallest one on the team this year!

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I guess this is her year for trying new things since she begged me to sign her up for the swim team after volleyball was over. She took some swimming lessons the past few months and did AWESOME! So now she’s all excited to try swim team, which I’m all for. Stay tuned for more on how 9 year olds actually do a swim team!

Was That A Good Decision Or A Bad Decision?

I say that to my kiddos weekly.

In a few weeks, I’ll be asking myself that question.

Princess wants to try volleyball again this fall, so I went to the Y to sign her up. I explained to her that we were signing up way late so I might not be able to be her coach, but I would at least help out with the team. I get there and look at the rosters. There are 4 full teams. One has a coach. The other 3 have the empty space at the top “Reserved for coaches child.” Seriously? 33 kids signed up and only ONE parent volunteered to coach? These kids are 3rd and 4th graders . . . it’s not difficult. Heck, if they even touch the ball when it comes over the net it’s a success!!!

The good thing was (at least I think it was a good thing???) that I had my pick of the 3 teams. So I browsed the names on each team – only recognized one girl from last year. Then I chose the team I wanted to sign Princess up for. I chose the one team with a couple boys signed up on it. I’m pretty good with little boys – actually better with boys than girls! I also thought it might bring a different dynamic to the team.

Practice starts the first week in November. At that time, I can decide whether choosing the team with a couple boys on it was a good decision or a bad decision :-)

Herding Cats

Remember this conversation in July? Well, about a month ago, I signed Princess up for volleyball at the Y. A couple weeks ago, I volunteered to coach the Wild Dolphins (don’t forget the Wild – they will eat you up!). I get to teach eight 1st and 2nd graders how to play volleyball. Turns out, coaching eight 1st and 2nd grade girls in volleyball is as close to herding cats as one could get without actually herding cats!

I did luck out and had a parent volunteer to be co-coach before the season even started. I double lucked out when our roster only had 8 girls on it – instead of 10 like the other team. Herding 8 is much easier than herding 10. There are only 2 teams in our age group, so we’ll get to know them well, for sure!

The best thing about little kid volleyball at the Y is that it is ONLY on Saturday. 45 minutes of practice, then a 45 minute game immediately following. No hour of practice in the middle of the week and an hour game on Saturday. We got extra lucky when we got the 9:00 start time every week. Start at 9:00, done by 10:30, and we’ve still got the rest of the day to do whatever we want :-)

Our first practice and game this past Saturday was SO. MUCH. FUN! I did not have high hopes, but we only had 6 girls show up, which made it less hectic for the first day. They all were so interested in playing and had such a great time that it made it way easy for me and co-coach. We worked on underhand passing and underhand serving before the game. The girls learned so much during that short time – I was amazed!

The games were fun, too . . . even though not one serve was returned back over the net. The girls were so excited about getting a lot of their serves over that they didn’t even care about returning the ball. The looks on their faces when they actually got it over the net were priceless. A couple girls on each team actually moved to try to get the ball (unsuccessfully I might add), and the rest just waited for the ball to come to them – I guess next time we’ll have to work on moving to the ball and then passing 😉

After 20 minutes of playing, we’d gotten through 2 games (which the Wild Dolphins won decidedly). We coaches got together with the refs and decided one more game was about all they had in them – they were getting that glazed look in their eyes. So 15 minutes and one game later, the Wild Dolphins shook hands with their opponent, thanked the refs, and decided to go home . . . errrrrr . . . wait . . . they BEGGED me to stay and let them practice more since we had 10 more minutes. Of course we did – how can you say no to that?

I just have to say . . . I get a huge smile on my face every time I think about last Saturday. I really was dreading it a little bit, but was totally surprised. It was so much fun and they tried so hard and they are all such good kids and I had a blast the whole time.

And did I mention how cute they all looked?

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Look at my little princess there in the front. She is SOOOO ready, even though her Wild Dolphin teammate just served the ball over the net – yes, from the 10 foot line. They can stand wherever they want to be successful at serving it over.

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I love this picture! I love how they all have their hands locked together, ready to hit a ball should it happen upon their arms. I love how they are all staring intently at the ball – quite amazing when you consider this was 30 minutes into the games, yet they were ALL paying attention! I love how nobody but Princess is actually moving – they were literally frozen to the floor, like their feet were stuck in cement. And I love how even though Princess looks completely ready to get the ball, the ball actually bounced off the head of the girl behind her :-) I can’t make this stuff up.

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And this one she was TOTALLY ready for! Yet it bounced off her own melon :-) It was so friggin’ cute I could barely stand it!

So the Wild Dolphins ROCKED the court on Saturday. I am so thankful that I get this opportunity to coach these little ones in volleyball. It was so much fun and I can’t wait for next time! I’m just so bummed I’ll miss this week while I’m in MN.