At first she had to teach very basic things, like how to get under the ball to catch it. Once they got the footwork in, they could start to use an underhand pass. But she also had to tell them not to run with their hands together to prepare for the pass because that threw off their gait. But eventually they got to the point where they dive and slide around on their knees. They are tigers on the court. Some of those girls run the length of the court after the ball and they make it. Of course their passes are not perfect in that instance but some still fly over the net and in In grade nine I made the volleyball team and I was given a pair of kneepads. Sliding around on those things was wonderful and added to my ability because I would go after the ball more because there was less chance of injuries. The other part was it was fun. And so the girls I play with have learned that it is fun sliding around after the ball and that is both a joy and hazard to me. You see, I am a large person who doesn’t always move quickly. So I am in position waiting for my turn or just finishing hitting the ball when our coach hits the next ball and the girls behind me catch up and then I am in their way and they just miss hitting me or running into me. But at Wednesday’s practice it seemed I was always in the way and there were very near collisions. One of the things I learned was that if I try to get out of their way, sometimes they move in that same direction I moved to, so sometimes it is better to stay where I am so I don’t get my knee hit when it is not in a stable position. Then the injury is worse. One girl made a quick play to catch a ball out of her reach. She reached it, sliding on her knee pads and then right into me where I was waiting for coach to pass the ball to me next. Thankfully she is a small girl and so it didn’t hurt very much but it made for an interesting story, because it is like we are bowling with players into other players. These girls have improved so much, I cannot wait to see how good they are by the end of the winter.
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