Making progress as a player, on the elite performance development pathway, is all about commitment and investment. You cannot ‘make the grade’ as a player (or as a coach or a match official) without investing a great deal of time, energy and effort in the process of development. You have to work hard and sweat, and listen and learn, in many different locations and situations when the opportunities are presented, if you want to improve.
The heroes of the YS Men’s squad who attended the Glasgow Development Camp from 14th – 17th April, demonstrated the performance standards and commitment required of ‘elite’ performers, and it was both a pleasure and a privilege to work with them.
The theme of the camp was defence and transition play. That meant we had to work on spiking to generate the situations where there was a need for defensive plays. That meant the players had to jump….a lot! As ever the coaching staff pushed the players hard throughout the camp. Simon Coleman led practice with the main group while Sandra Grubb focussed on working with the setters. At times it was relentless. Four days of sweat and effort in the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, with the players all having a daily commute to get to the venue, in addition to the work they did during the practical sessions – it was tough! But as both clarity and quality began to emerge in the work of the setters, and this translated into better tactics and more power from the spikers, the opportunities to demonstrate progress in the defensive actions appeared, and were taken by the group.
As part of the squad we had a visitor from the USA. Kurt Fedores is a young setter from Virginia. The story behind his involvement in the camp is a long one better saved for another occasion; suffice to say his North American version of effort and investment added to the camp, and Kurt wore the same smile of success that the Scottish boys did.
The evidence of the success of the camp appeared in several forms. It was obvious in the quality of the work delivered by the players in the ball control drills; it was clear in the process of change successfully achieved by all; it was apparent in the enthusiasm from the players to participate in just one more competitive situation, despite the tiredness, and it sparkled in the performances of several of the guys who participated with excellence for their Club Teams in the National Cup Finals weekend which immediately followed the Camp.
Grant Young attended the YS Camp, and then was the setter for South Ayrshire in the JNL Final. Quite simply, he controlled that game. He was awarded the Hannah Scott MVP Award for his performance – he earned it. Meanwhile Callum Moir played the game of his life (and scored the match point) while helping his team (Dundee II) win the National Plate – he also scored the last point of the last drill at the YS Camp. Sean Hendry and Ali Green were not so fortunate in finals day, their teams were on the wrong end of the winning scores, but they both played with distinction, and demonstrated the lessons learned in the YS Camp – all in all the evidence of learning and improvement was everywhere you looked!
The YS group (Scottish Junior Men) are heading for Malta in 2010 to participate in the SCD European Championships. This Easter Camp was intended to be part of the preparation for this event. The players who attended have given themselves an advantage over those who weren’t available, and also over the opposition the team will face in Malta. All those who attended have invested in themselves and the programme, and that’s what the pursuit of the title ‘elite’ is all about. I enjoyed every minute of the time spent with these outstanding young athletes, and the dedicated coaches.
Very well done to everyone concerned, and can we do it again soon please.
Director of Coaching
Monday 20th April 2009