Josh Walker did not begin his volleyball career until high school. The former Rainbow Warrior, now part of the coaching staff, was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that the youth volleyball camp participants brought to “Camp 2.”
“To have kids this excited trying to play volleyball is a huge deal,” Walker said.
The University of Hawai‘i 2019 Rainbow Warrior Volleyball Camp provided mentoring and skills training for kids ages five to 18. The camp, which was split into three sessions, each of which were split into “youth” (ages five-11) and “junior” camps (ages 12-18), allowed kids to learn and practice with University of Hawai‘i Rainbow Warriors coaches and players. This past week, “Camp 2,” the second of the three sessions, took place at the Stan Sheriff Center from June 18-21.
The youth camps were held in the morning from nine a.m. until noon while the junior camps were held from one p.m. until five p.m. Assistant Coach Josh Walker and Rainbow Warrior senior middle blocker Dalton Solbrig helped mentor roughly 18 youth and 30 juniors who attended the camp.
The first day of camp for the youth included going over the basic skills of passing and serving. The second day was dedicated towards setting and hitting while the third day focused on blocking and defense. Walker explained that he usually teaches the most important skills first so the kids could continue to develop them throughout the camp.
Not only do the participants practice their important skills, but they also get the chance to interact with other kids who are just as excited about volleyball. The kids practice together in small groups for drills and warmups, as well as for stretches at the end of the day.
“I like the experience with the other kids, it’s really fun,” said youth camp participant Puaohi.
While the youth participants had a more lenient camp, the junior participants were able to focus on specific skills they wanted to gain more practice in. Coach Walker mentioned that the junior participants go through a more rigorous camp.
Although “Camp 2” of the University of Hawai‘i 2019 Warrior Volleyball Camp has ended, “Camp 3” is approaching on August 24 to 25. In the meantime, young volleyball players can work on their skills at home and those who attended “Camp 1” or “Camp 2” can put what they’ve learned to practice.
“Just play as much as you can,” Solbrig said. “Whether it’s setting or just passing to yourself in your room, just touching the ball as much as possible is really important.”