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Focus on 'fun'damentals

Rimrock volleyball camp works to teach fundamentals in a fun way


The annual Rimrock Volleyball Camp got under way Monday to a nearly packed house.

“I’ve got nearly all of my girls playing, which is nice,” said Camp Director and Crook County High School Head Volleyball Coach Rosie Honl. “Normally they are coaching and the incoming freshmen are coaching the young kids in the afternoon.”

After getting fewer than normal advanced registrations for the camp, Honl combined her afternoon and morning camps only to see a large number of participants sign up the first day.

Tuesday saw Honl and University of Portland star Makayla Photo Credit: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Makayla Lindburg, a volleyball starter for the University of Portland Pilots high five's Callie Winebarger at the Rimrock Volleyball Camp. Lindburg, who is helping at the camp, was using the high five as a teaching strategy to help teach serving.Lindburg working with 18 girls between the ages of 6 and 10 in the small gym at the high school. Meanwhile, assistant coaches Kristy Struck and Stacie Keller as well as Honl’s daughter, Tanya Johns, worked a larger group of older campers in the main gym.

“I’m going to be out here with the older kids tomorrow,” Honl said. “A lot of these kids have come here because they think I am going to teach them something, so I need to get back in here with the older kids, but Kristy is amazing and so is Tanya.”

When Honl first started the camp more than a decade ago most of the campers were from Prineville. That is no longer the same.

“We have kids here from Portland, Cove, Spray, Mitchell, North Lake, Redmond, Madras, and a lot of kids from Bend,” Honl said. “A lot of little tiny schools come over here.”

Honl attends several camps annually herself, and has patterned her camp after a camp run by University of Washington Head Coach Jim McLaughlin.Photo Credit: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Meghan Wood works on her setting skills during Tuesday morning's session of the Rimrock Vollebyall Camp. Wood will be a sophomore at Crook County High School this year.

“Mine is modeled off if his,” Honl said. “I went to one of his camps for five days. I love watching him coach. He’s just out there coaching his head off.”

Honl’s camp focuses on teaching fundamentals in as fun a way as possible. With the younger players that might mean using a high five to get an athlete to fully extend their arm during their serving motion. By contrast, with older players Thursday’s last day of camp includes a lot of fun competition.

Still, most of the camp is repetitive drills teaching basic skills.

“A lot of camps you go to they play the whole time,”

Honl said. “They end up not teaching skills. The little ones, they need extra loving and talking, but they are here to learn skills.”

The camp is designed for both beginning and advanced players, with much of the Crook County High School varsity team attending the camp.

However, Honl noted that one of the most challenging aspects of running a camp with such a wide range of age groups is the difference in talent level.

Campers can be high school starters, young girls who have never tried the game before, or anything in between. As a result, Honl groups players by ability, not age.

“The difference is night and day whether or not they have played with the Rimrock Club,” she said. “If they haven’t played before, they can’t even walk and chew gum. There are some big sixth- and seventh-graders and they end up watching these tiny little ones passing perfect and running with the ball and getting it up. I can’t believe how much difference just one year playing with the Rimrock 10s makes. It’s night and day, but the goal is to get everyone here to that level.”



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