Summer is for summer camps, and as fall sports are less than a month away, the opportunity to build athletic skills in coordination and defining fundamental structure is essential for the growth of any athlete at any age. Nature Coast Tech and Springstead opened their gyms over the summer to offer volleyball camps for middle school students.
Our first camp stop is the Sharks’ gym. On July 8th, NCT coach Emily Gore led the Sharks volleyball camp with the help and support of current and alumni players. "I feel very blessed to get to have our current and former players join in on teaching and guiding younger players. Some of these athletes make the best coaches because they have a ton of experience and knowledge to pass on," Gore stated.
Former NCT player Karla Cantero made her appearance to help Coach Gore with instructing the camp. “I reached out to Karla Cantero who is currently playing beach volleyball at Palm Beach Atlantic,” Gore stated, “She does a phenomenal job with the younger girls.”
Karla entered the volleyball program her Freshman year in 2016 and advanced to varsity a year later. She mentioned how her experience under the leadership of Coach Gore led her to become a collegiate player and ultimately she chose to pursue volleyball over soccer.
Cantero appreciates the opportunity to tell these players what she knows about the sport.
“I think it’s just seeing myself in them and what I would have wanted to hear as a player. It's nice to be in that position of being a coach to help them hone their skills. So the things that I took in from Gore and even now, it’s nice to put that into a new player,” Cantero said. “I know that those girls, all they want to do is learn. It’s kind of nice to see another version of me that’s younger that still wants to learn, and I love being that coach for them.”
“I think it’s always good to help give back to where you first started. I would never be where I am without her [Coach Gore] and her leadership,” Cantero added. Having the opportunity to share these experiences with current and even future players to add to the roster is instrumental in designing a long-term relationship between coaches and players.
"My focus and goal for this camp is to give the girls a solid base of fundamentals and also challenge them with skills that will help them now as middle school players and into the future as they move into high school," stated Gore. Keeping student-athletes active and engaged over the summer keeps them focused on the upcoming season, especially recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are getting very excited for next year's season. We made it through a tough one last season and have some great new girls coming in and a solid group of returners to hopefully improve on last year's results," Gore stated.
NCT takes on Weeki Wachee on their home court on August 25th at 6:30 pm.