More than 20 aspiring athletes, ages 10 to 14 years old, participated in the Lady Longhorn volleyball camp last week in Wilson Dome.
Some of those who entered, including 13-year-old Kaitlain Fruth, said they were participating in order to improve their playing skills enough to make the Rim Country Middle School eighth grade team next season.
Throughout the camp, PHS varsity coach Chris Schwind and a coaching staff of six varsity players tutored the athletes in the nuances of the game.
Last year at the conclusion of the inaugural camp, Schwind said she was surprised to learn that most of the younger players didn't understand the fundamentals of the game, including scoring and rules.
"They asked us if they could catch the ball," Schwind said.
So during last week's camp, the younger players those entering sixth and seventh grades worked mostly on basics including serving, setting and blocking at the net.
By the end of the camp, Schwind said, "The players had the skills to volley and carry on a scrimmage."
The older players those entering eighth and ninth grade were eager to scrimmage and play actual games on the opening day. However, Schwind and her staff focused on continuing to develop the players' team skills, as well as their individual abilities..
As the camp wore on, the older players were allowed to engage in more scrimmages and test their abilities against opponents.
Schwind said she was convinced that those who chose to take advantage of the sessions had improved enough to contribute to school teams next season.
The camp was sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department.