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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student


Team holds youth workshops

Games and practices aren't the only thing the volleyball players do. On the Saturday mornings of home Big Ten matches, the players are at the University Gymnasium teaching volleyball techniques to about 100 children. The children who attend the clinics are known as Junior Hoosier Hitters.\n"We teach little kids the basic skills of volleyball and try and get them to have fun and be enthusiastic about it," sophomore Anna Makowski said.\nThe first clinic has already taken place, and there are three more -- Oct. 13, 27 and Nov. 10. The cost of the clinics is $10 for four Saturdays. The $10 fee includes a T-shirt and free admission to that night's game for the child and his or her parents. Boys and girls ages 6-13 are invited to the clinic.\nAssistant coach and program director of Hoosier Hitters, Sally Schulte, said it's a great opportunity for the players and children alike. \n"The players run the entire thing," Schulte said. "They actually demonstrate and instruct. They teach all the drills."\n"The coaches give us an itinerary of what we're supposed to do, and we're responsible for running the entire thing on our own," junior Hillary Toivonen said. "We come in and we know a lot of the kids. I've been here for three years, and it's neat to see the little kids come back year after year."\nSome players and coaches say it's surprising to see the number of boys that show up for the clinic.\n"It's mostly girls, but we do have a fair number of boys; usually younger because by the time they get to middle school they think volleyball is a girls sport," Makowski said. "It's really good to see the little boys come out and they are really excited about it just as much as the girls are."\nToivonen says it's exciting to see the boys come out to the clinics, because you don't see a lot of males in the sport of volleyball.\n"We kind of like to give them some special attention for giving the sport a try," Toivonen said.\nThe players said their favorite part of the clinics are the bonds and relationships they form with the kids.\n"I think they look at us as role models, and a lot of them come to the game that night," Makowski said. "It's really great for them to interact with us in the morning and then come see us play and what it's all about."\n"More than anything, the kids create a relationship with the players," Schulte said. "It's a really good time for everyone."\nThe Hoosiers don't seem to mind waking up early to run the clinic on the Saturday mornings of home Big Ten games.\n"It's fun, because we go right into practice after the clinic, so the entire morning is pretty relaxed," Makowski said. "Then we use the afternoon to prepare for the game that night."\n"It's a little difficult," Toivonen said. "But it really does get us going. We're up and we're moving and we're not sleeping in real late. It's hard but it gets our minds on volleyball and what we have to do."\nSchulte says the program is very successful and won't be ending any time soon.\n"We're not closing at all," Schulte said. "It's been around for about six years and will continue. There is a strong yearning for it in the community. Kids come from all over the Bloomington and Bedford area. It's our way of introducing the sport of volleyball to these kids"

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