The Prospect Aligned in the USA National Pipeline
Erin Bognar, Staff Writer
February 21, 2012
Filed under Sports
Mitch Penning and 32 other athletes from all around America traveled to the San Diego area in Poway, California to train at the 2011 USA Volleyball Boys’ Youth and Select Holiday Camp. These athletes trained six hours each day for the youth national practice squad at one of the most competitive levels in the age group throughout the volleyball nation.
According to the News Magazine Network, Thirty-two youth and 17 select athletes (youth are boys born 1996-1997 and select boys born 1994-1995) joined a six-person coaching staff led by Head Coach Ken Shibuya for a unique opportunity to practice at the highest level of volleyball at these ages. Shibuya currently serves as Stanford University men’s volleyball associate head coach and has a long list of accomplishments in the volleyball world.
“Each of the coaches taught me very specific and detailed mechanics. Every day we would focus on different skills of volleyball and we would have different coaches for each skill,” said Mitch Penning, Junior.
This prestigious USA Volleyball Holiday Camp is a way for these elite athletes to develop into their full potential and possibly have a future competing on the Junior Olympic National Team.
“A lot of the players that were there will have a chance to be on the A1 team, which is the USA Junior National team that trains in the summer.”
“One of the reasons why I have improved so quickly in volleyball is because of the training at STL High Performance, my club volleyball team.” said Penning.
STL High Performance is a Nationally ranking boys and girls volleyball club with an expert coaching staff that develops players to compete successfully at the next level.
“The practice setup, drills, and order of how we warmed up for playing was the exact same way at the camp as we do it at STL High Performance. My coaches teach me in virtually the same way that I learned here, just in less detail” said Penning.
Competing is what top level athletes live for. The competitive experience at the 2011 USA Volleyball Boys Holiday Camp granted an unforgettable knowledge, experience, and fun to the athletes involved.
Playing volleyball in the USA Olympic pipeline is a universal dream shared by almost all serious and elite athletes.
“The volleyball was really fun, I met a couple of really cool guys, it was an awesome camp and an awesome experience.” Said Penning