ODU Volleyball emphasizes ‘moving and thinking’ during high school camp


NORFOLK, VA (WTKR) — Old Dominion volleyball is gearing up for its first season in the Sun Belt Conference, but before diving into its 2022 campaign, the Monarchs are passing on some skills to some potential future ODU stars.

Head Coach Fred Chao and his team held their high school skills camp Wednesday and Thursday, working with the players as they seek to improve their games.

“We try to implement a philosophy of movement and reflection,” Chao said. “All sports involve both moving and thinking. We try not to give them any real specific technical information. We want them to understand how to move and think and if they can do that, they can practice n’ any sport.”

Chao has been running camps for a while. It’s good not only for the campers, but also for its staff and players, who have the chance to serve as mentors and help others improve. The head coach wants to see the staff approach the process with energy and enthusiasm.

“You can see how engaged campers are when you’re engaged,” he noted. “I really insist on my players and my team saying ‘you are here for a purpose. Give them meaningful feedback and be enthusiastic about it, “because that’s what we expect from them.”

One of the things Chao appreciates the most about the camp is seeing the young players interested in learning and improving. He feels it is his job to reach out to them and help them understand and improve.

“If I can get them to engage in the learning process, then we’ve won,” the head coach stressed. “If they can stop for a second and think back on what they’ve done and make a change, that’s a success. That’s what our side is for.”

ODU will end its week with its service and pass camp on Friday. It will host another week of camp sessions the last week of July.

Chao is the first women’s volleyball coach in program history and is entering her third season with the Monarchs. Old Dominion have just finished a 13-13 season in 2021 and face a tough campaign this fall. Three ACC teams, a Big Ten team and a new conference roster are all on the schedule.


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