Back To Basics: BMS running a volleyball clinic | Pictures


Burton Middle School hosts a four-day volleyball clinic for all BMS students. The clinic is available to all 7th grade studentse and 8e notes, as well as 6e graders who will eventually frequent the BMS.

New BMS University Coach Sai Keovilaysane of Nu Breed Volleyball Club takes charge of his first year at BMS. Keovilaysane and BMS athletic director Blain Smothermon brought together several coaches, like Nu Breed Volleyball’s Job Lara and former student athletes to help run and smooth the clinic.

The volleyball basics-focused clinic was started by Omar Lopez over five years ago and maintained by Keovilaysane and Smothermon. The clinic also has days dedicated to a specific type of practice. Monday was passes and defensive games, today is to practice setting. With Wednesday being dedicated to typing and Thursday being a final evaluation, the clinic runs daily from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. She is housed in the BMS gymnasium on North Elderwood Street with seats available for parents and plenty of fresh air to keep the heat at bay.

“We’ve been doing it for a while and it’s always great to see,” Smothermon said. “Especially working with Coach Sai, he is the nicest and most dedicated guy. We have been working together for the last month to prepare and it’s great to see the result.

Nearly 50 student-athletes had gone to court as instructed by Keovilaysane.

“Honestly, we were worried after COVID, if there was any interest,” Smothermon said. “But it’s great to see how many kids want to go out, play, practice and try to get better at volleyball.

“I mean you have Coach Job and Sai taking the reins making sure everyone has the basics; and we have six collegiate athletes who have taken time off to volunteer. Also, we have freshmen from Summit High who were going to Burton who also volunteered. We are so happy to provide this place for children to hone their skills.

“Self-esteem, team play, community building, that’s important for sure and we try to focus on that. We tell them and have a little chant at the start of practice that says, “You better be here.” You better try. We try to keep it positive and supportive. These kids can have fun and learn a lot from their peers as well as their coaches.

Speaking of Burton alumni, Neveah Martinez, a freshman at Summit High, was there and talked a bit about how she felt coming back to help out at her old school. “I’m super happy to be back, it’s fun to say hi to all the people I used to see every day. But it’s also really cool to give back and do more volleyball. I remember doing this clinic when i was in 7eyear and I feel like it really prepared me for high school volleyball. It’s really tough with the training ramping up, and your opponents are getting better, your muscles are still hurting. It is a big help to go to this clinic and have one on one assistance on my form and game. Coach Sai and Coach Job are also very good teachers, they know so much and can really help us get the fundamentals that make the games; and work us hard enough to bring them down.

As the many student-athletes continued their training, Coach Job took the reins to let Coach Sai share some of his thoughts. “It was so great to see so many kids in my first year at BMS. I worked with Blain to get the program up and running this year and it was so great. We really try to accommodate everyone. skill levels. We know how scary it can be when you’re new to seeing kids with just a few months of practice; the chasm between you seems huge. But with a few simple exercises, these kids learn they can do those moves. They can now reach those low balls when they were out of reach, their form is better and they get the ball where they want, stuff like that. It’s nice to see our community coming together as well. I was so grateful to all the volunteers who helped us, the kids who showed up today, tomorrow and the day after, not only is it fun, but we really give to these kids. ts a moment to see if they want to pursue volleyball further. After a short interview, Coach Sai returned to helping and correcting student-athlete postures and running the clinic. The whole gym came alive as his voice rang out to draw their attention to the finer details of the setting.

The Burton Middle School Volleyball Clinic runs until Thursday the 28the, it is available to all BMS grade 7 and 8 students who are encouraged to visit the free clinic; which will take place at the BMS Gym from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, you can contact Burton Middle School athletic director Blain Smothermon at [email protected]


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