Beach players reach out to community through indoor clinics
February 18, 2018 | Forest, Va.
Introducing beach volleyball to youth and adult players is a focus of Liberty University men's and women's Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre. He recruited about 10 of his players to conduct two beach clinics for indoor players ages 10-18 on Jan. 28 and Feb. 18 at Timberlake Christian School in nearby Forest, Va., with a third scheduled for March 25 from 7-9 p.m.
"These clinics will introduce athletes to one of the fastest growing sports in the world," VanDePerre said. "No matter the players' experience level, or interest in the sand, beach volleyball is a great way to train in the offseason on technique and athleticism."
Liberty team members sharpen their own skills by teaching the rules, fundamentals of passing, hitting, setting, blocking, and defense, as well as techniques that are specific to beach volleyball.
"We are really trying to use that as a connecting point and community outreach," VanDePerre said. "We really want to build those relationships and get kids playing beach early."
In last month's sessions, junior men's team captain Josh Talamoa helped lead the clinics along with senior Caleb Pitcher, freshman Hannah Heller, junior Madison Riley, and senior Kayle Lewis, who coaches indoor for the Timberlake Volleyball Club (TVC) travel team. Talamoa, Pitcher, and Lewis returned for this past Sunday's clinics along with senior Alex Lower and sophomores Olivia Jensen, Matt Gille, and Kellins Fongixer.
"Beach was a good way to improve my skills and technique and I love being able to reach out to these kids," said Talamoa, who grew up playing indoor and beach volleyball in Hawaii. "We learn a lot and grow our character as well as we show the community how to play."
VanDePerre said the Lynchburg, Va., area is an excellent recruiting base for prospective players.
"A lot of kids around here love Liberty and beach volleyball is a good opportunity for them to come and play," he said. "A lot of the girls off local high school teams that are coming here end up learning beach, so if we can get them playing a few years earlier, it helps them become better players."
VanDePerre and his travel team that will stay over the summer will also host two sand volleyball clinics for youth at the beach volleyball courts located between the Liberty Intramural Complex and the Liberty Indoor Track Complex. The first is set for April 2-6, to correspond with area public schools' spring break, with a second set for mid-June.
Liberty, which opens its Spring season March 24 at a tournament in Greensboro, N.C., will again host adult and youth beach volleyball tournaments in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games' Main Games Weekend, July 28-29 on the eight sand courts on East Campus.