Young athletes looking to learn the basics of volleyball or hone their skills have a few weeks to register for the Sanford POWER Volleyball Academy‘s new fall youth league for fourth through sixth graders.
The league runs from August through November at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and is made up of practices, skill clinics, weekly matches and a year-end tournament.
Mark McCloskey, the POWER Volleyball Academy coordinator and club director, brings over 20 years of coaching and club director experience to the program. He is a former senior director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association and has been an assistant coach at the University of Wyoming, University of Northern Colorado, Embry-Riddle (Arizona) University and University of South Carolina.
With volleyball’s tremendous growth in South Dakota within the past five years, due largely in part to clubs like the Pentagon, McCloskey said getting kids involved with the sport early helps develop them as players and increases the competition and level of play.
“We’re big believers in kids playing multiple sports, and we want them to be exposed to our game the same way they are to other sports like soccer, basketball, softball and so on,” he said. “We want to make sure they get introduced to volleyball early so they’re not getting to middle school and have never seen a court before.”
Although this league provides a fun activity for those looking specifically to begin their volleyball career, youth will benefit by honing in on basic skills and overall athletic development.
“In this league they will play matches, but the more important part is going to be the skill work they do at practice and the clinics we have throughout the season,” McCloskey said. “Our focus is just as much volleyball as it is the overall athletic movement they develop as kids.”