Approximately 120 students from nine of our partner schools took part in Playworks Georgia’s volleyball league this spring. The kids put in 10-12 hours of practice time with their coaches and then came out to show their new skills of setting, bunting, and serving. The first game of each night always began with our problem-solver, as well as game-starter, Ro-Sham-Bo.
As the volleyball soared through the air to the players during the first game, they stepped back with apprehension. By the second week, the kids began to show their competitive side through huffs, puffs, and grunts if their teammates did not perform as they wished. By the end of the season, our players provided each other with helpful words of encouragement and. Playworks Coach Crunk, one of the volleyball coaches, reported, “plenty of high fives and good job claps.”
The kids’ increase in confidence gave the games an underlying sparkle. Coach O, another volleyball coach, “loved seeing their faces after improving on something.” Soon, students’ internal confidence showed itself through external skill.
The audience watched as each serve went beyond the net and the ball flew from team to team. During these moments of excitement, coaches jumped for joy as students showed the results of the coaches’ teaching and motivation. Parents exhibited broad smiles as they cheered.
On March 8, after the students’ games, the parents played a game against the coaches. Boy was this a fun game! One fourth-grader, who titled herself Coach Smith, coached the parents while the AmeriCorps coaches stretched and warmed up. After only a few minutes of instruction, it was time for the parents to take on the coaches.
Parents yelled words of encouragement to each other and even caught on to giving each other high-fives to say “good job, nice try.” Our mini coach, Coach Smith, enjoyed coaching from the sidelines as the parents demonstrated their new knowledge.
Our volleyball league was a ton of fun with smile-filled high fives and healthy play. We thank all our partner schools for playing with us, and we specifically thank Toomer Elementary for providing us the gym where it all went down! We look forward to another season of growth in the spring of 2019.