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The future of Covington volleyball is in the development of the fifth and sixcth graders through the intramural program

The success of the high school volleyball program can be attributed to the foundation established in the intramural program Covington High School has implemented over the years.

The program is for fifth and sixth graders and focuses on teaching the basic fundamentals of the sport.

"This program is pretty much an opportunity to introduce the kids to volleyball and teach them some basic fundamentals," said intramural coach Stephanie Robinson, a former varsity coach at Covington High School. "Some of the girls have already played in JO (Junior Olympic Volleyball), but we have to start at the beginning for those who have no experience."

Getting a solid foundation through the intramural program makes the transition to jr. high and high school much easier.

"If we can give the kids a head start at this age, they'll already have an understanding of what to expect in jr. high," Robinson said. "At this age it doesn't matter who is or who isn't the most athletic because each kid will mature at a different pace. If we can give them a solid foundation now, their athletic ability will catch up with their knowledge of the game later on."

This years group has five sixth graders and eleven fifth graders, all willing to learn.

"This is a good group of girls," said Robinson. "They are very coachable and willing to try what we teach."

But as expected, it's not as easy as some of the girls expect.

"Sometimes they get frustrated because they might have problems doing something the first time," said Robinson. "That's expected because many of them haven't touched a volleyball and this game isn't as easy as it looks. Just because you can throw, catch or dribble a ball doesn't mean you can step right in and play volleyball like a pro. It takes time and practice to be good and the girls are starting to understand that."

But the learning process is made easier as there are games the girls play while still working on skills.

"We try to make this as much fun as we can," Robinson explained. "We play some games like relay races, cat-and-mouse and dead fish where the girls are having fun, but still learning some skills."

Skills they will carry with them over the next six to seven years as Lady Buccs.

Learning proper form is the focus of the intramural program.