I joined a group of enthusiasts for the Beach Coaching Clinic, at Portobello on Saturday 1st May, to share in the expertise created by Denise Austin.
It was a very cold, and almost bleak morning, and Denise’s enthusiasm for Beach Volleyball brightened the whole environment. The chill wind blustered around the edges of the picture, but failed to steal away the insights and gems of information offered by Denise. It really does take a hardy soul to discard socks and shoes, and plunge vulnerable toes into the cold sand of a beach in Scotland in early May, but all those present did exactly that, with energy and enthusiasm, and I was impressed.
Mel Coutts assured me the Beach Tour events weren’t always like it was on Saturday morning, that there are frequent days when the sun shines and the players get bronzed while leaping about in the sand. I was happy to agree with her and accept the invitation to return to other events, because the content of what was going on in Denise’s coaching course was so interesting. She focussed attention on the key elements of ball control and player linkage, along with the tactics of team structure, and the discipline of decision making. She mixed in various drills to improve performance, and provided her personal insights into the elite level of the game…. All of this eagerly ‘eaten up’ by the engaged audience.
The Beach game is relatively young in Scotland, it is but growing. The structures for player and performance development, which were looked at in detail over the course of Denise’s May Clinic will help the growth of the sport.
A big thank you must be offered from all concerned to Denise for her expertise and enthusiasm. This might have been the first CPD Clinic we have hosted for the Beach, but it will not be the last. Thanks are also due to the Scottish Beach players and coaches who attended. You know, it might have started as a cold day in Portobello, but that’s not what the memory will be. The memory will be of the enthusiasm, and the commitment of the people, of the fun and the shared experiences of what was an outstanding event.
SVA Director of Coaching
Pictures courtesy of Mike Heaney