Immanuel Christian School held its volleyball camp in July under new athletic director Ariana Rivera, who took over at the beginning of the same month. The camp was held at the gymnasiums of the Kerr McGee Community Center and 60 children signed up for the week-long camp. Rivera recruited Cerro Coso Volleyball head coach Andy Cole, who helped out every day of camp. Overall, Rivera felt the camp was a success.
“I think it went well,” she said. “I personally haven’t played volleyball for a long time. Luckily I had an assistant coach in high school, she’s also a freshman coach, step in and tell me she could help me where I I needed it I got my hands on Coach Andy and he was so kind to help us out as he was running camp the same week at Cerro Coso he was going from his camp to Cerro Coso to help us out the last hour and half of our camp and I really appreciate him for that. Overall I think it went well. The little ones are much easier to teach than the older races, from experience they are the ones that m I know the basics of volleyball I played for Immanuel when I was in high school so I was I can’t show up and not be good because they’ll laugh at me. ‘ve really read the books these two weeks to really know what I’m doing.
Rivera originally sued the volleyball coach was supposed to lead the camp, but there was a misunderstanding in the schedule and as a new DA she was put in charge. For the next two weeks, she began to study and review everything she remembered about volleyball, as she played the sport when she was dating Immanuel. She admits that there was a time when she thought about canceling camp because she’s a Navy Reserve member and had a TA coming up, became a stressful time for her. But when she learned that 60 kids had signed up for camp, she decided to take the camp and put her own spin on it.
“This year for camp, I really wanted to teach them more skills, but I also wanted to remind them why they play volleyball,” Rivera said. “I had a volunteer from Emmanuel, her name was Cat. She and Isaiah were helping me run the camp for the younger kids. I was asking them, because former athletic director Rich Shadden, he used to run the camps before. He gave me a lot of his materials to work with, and I told them I know I’m not rich, but what do you think? How do you think we did for this camp? They said that it was a different take because actually they gotta have fun playing volleyball, and they said a lot of coaches forget that these days. as a coach I also like to bring fun to the pitch. A lot of times at the higher levels you forget that aspect and they lose a lot of players because they think it’s roll or die in the sport now. They forget why they practice this sport.
Rivera praised the help Cole provided at camp. He introduced himself and led the campers on the skill work they were doing by showing and explaining it to them. If they had questions about what they were doing or how to improve if they were struggling, Cole would help them. She said it was beneficial to have a college coach to help out at camp.
“It was hugely beneficial because he’s been a coach for so long. Where I could teach them some concepts, he had a deep understanding of what to do and when, all the steps and everything behind it. “, said Emmanuel. says AD. “A lot of people think that because I love the sport I can do it (coach), but you can’t. It takes more than that. There’s a lot of knowledge behind the rules, the skills you need to know like when to take those steps and why, and what kind of bouldering do I do. It’s all strategic and he brought that to camp and really cemented it. I think he sent us to make it happen.
One area Rivera emphasized is the importance of making it fun for campers. She wanted a camp where children, both young and old, could have fun and learn volleyball. From what she saw in this aspect, the camp was a success.
“They were super excited, which surprised me because the whole time I was like, ‘Are they having fun? Are they enjoying it?’ That’s always my concern is that they have fun, especially with kids as young as five. It’s hard to get them to do one thing for an hour,” she said. girls, she kept coming up to me and asking ‘how much time do we have left?’ and I would look at her and say ‘am I really boring you that much?’ And she was like ‘no, I don’t want this to end’ so she kept checking the time and said ‘I could be here all day’. That’s why you do it. Despite everything, you know you’re so hard on yourself to make sure everything goes well. It can be stressful for you, but at the end of the day, if it gives the kids in the community something fun to do, then you know you’re doing something right.
After surviving her first camp as an AD, Rivera is excited to start again next year. She said she had a lot of fun and even though it was completely exhausting, she still looks forward to reliving the experience. She learned a lot from her first camp and is ready to make some changes with a new plan. She hopes campers will come back next year to make the camp experience better than this year.