Washburn coach helps BHS, SFT volleyball players at camp
Kelly Brown made a major change to her annual Baldwin High School summer volleyball camp.
After four long days of volleyball and watching a collegiate coach work with her players, Brown could have been more pleased with her decision. She invited Chris Herron, who is Washburn University’s head coach, down to teach her players, along with Santa Fe Trail volleyball players.
The Bulldogs and Chargers listened to Herron coach them, yell at them and give them praise four seven hours a day for four straight days.
“I really enjoyed camp this year,” junior Katie Pattrick said. “It has really gotten me motivated for the season and it was really good to have coach Herron there. I loved coach Herron's coaching style. He has a great way of connecting with us as players and pushing us to work hard.”
Brown, who is the BHS head coach, also enjoyed the camp and Herron’s coaching style.
“He’s very sarcastic and he probably a different level of pressure to the girls that they haven’t felt in the past,” Brown said. “Some of the girls were able to handle it very well and they took his sarcasm very well. For others, it was kind of an eye opener for them. He’s definitely more intimidating than we are in our gym.”
Aside from his direct style of coaching, the fundamentals and aspects of the game that he taught pleased Brown and the players. They worked on offensive and defensive drills during the four-day camp.
“I learned that the technique of a pass can really make a difference in how you play,” Pattrick said. “You have to work your hardest from the time you step on the court to the time you step off in order to improve your level of play.”
It was those types of responses that Brown enjoyed most after the camp was finished. She took a positive outlook from the camp when thinking about the upcoming fall season, which officially begins Aug. 15.
“Camp was awesome,” Brown said. “I’m more excited going into this season, even though I probably say that every year. It really put me into the mode of getting ready for the season. I think the girls really enjoyed it, too.
“He broke down a lot of fundamentals that we will use and continue to use throughout the season,” she said. “It’s the little things like footwork and other things that will help us.”
The Bulldogs also worked on their offensive and defensive sets during the camp. They worked on improving their all-around game as individuals and as a team.
“We’re trying to implement a new defensive system and the camp really helped the girls understand part of why we’re using that defensive system,” Brown said. “It helped our offense, too. What I wanted out of the camp was a faster-paced offense and how to run one. He really helped break that down for both coaching staffs. Chris Herron from Washburn ran our camp and he helped pick out girls that would be good offensive team members with their technique, footwork and what would work best for us. It’s nice to have that set of professional eyes on us during camp.”
As far as whether or not the two team were able to have a camp together, well according to Brown there were no problems, since many of the players were friends or familiar with each other.
“We did blend well together,” Brown said. “A lot of the girls know each other from playing together in offseason volleyball and different sports. I think they are on our schedule for a lot of sports. We blended well together, but on the last day we separated our teams and it got really competitive. It was good to see that.”
Now the Bulldogs and all other fall sports must wait until practice begins Aug. 15. Brown said her players will work on conditioning before then, but she hopes they enjoy the last bit of summer before school starts.
“I am giving them a true two weeks off,” Brown said. “Some of them want to get back in the gym, but I think they need a break before school starts so they can get excited about the season. On Aug. 1, we kick off conditioning with the football team again.”