Volleyball: Youth volleyball skills sessions are an opportunity to grow the game locally – Detroit Lakes Tribune


DETROIT LAKES — When Lynnsey Machakaire took on the position of head volleyball coach, she wanted to find a way for young players to hone their fundamentals. With its free skills sessions every Monday and Friday, the incoming Lakers are building for the future.

“We wanted to bring back an open skills session and an open gym atmosphere,” Machakaire said. “We have around 150 children who come on Mondays and Fridays. The parents show up and help us too. It’s an opportunity to develop a passion for volleyball.”

The skills sessions are divided into three groups. Third and fourth graders go from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center and Rossman Elementary School before fifth and sixth graders practice from 5:30 to 7 p.m. From 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., seventh and eighth graders practice at Detroit Lakes Middle School.

A young volleyball player hits a ball during Detroit Lakes volleyball sessions at Rossman Elementary School on April 11, 2022.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

“This is a free opportunity for kids in grades 3-8 to have skill-based volleyball sessions,” Machakaire said. “It’s purely fundamental. We’ve chosen not to participate in any tournaments. It’s kind of a secondary opportunity for kids who aren’t playing in a club team. It’s a great way for kids to be multi-sport athletes without hampering their ability to play other sports in the spring.”

These youth practices aren’t just a way for young players to learn the basics of the game. It’s also a chance to develop relationships with other girls who have the same interests.

“These skills sessions also help us build camaraderie on the pitch with the girls and the girls with each other,” Machakaire said. “These are kids who come from different schools and different lives. As coaches, we want to help them build relationships together through volleyball.”

For Machakaire and her husband, who host the practices, it’s a great way to teach Detroit Lakes volleyball culture at the high school level.

“It’s great for team building, bonding and growing our program,” Machakaire said. “One of the goals we work on in our gym is a quick start. They come here and start as soon as they walk into the gym without me saying anything. We want to set our expectations by about what we are looking for and trying to empower them to empower each other. I think it’s important to teach that at the elementary age.

“We coaches want to develop kids where they fit best,” Machakaire said. “Giving them a free opportunity to come out and try it out to see if they like it or to find out what they do well will help them ask the questions they need to ask. Passing and serving is our function of I feel like if we really lay down the fundamentals, it’s only going to elevate the talent that we have in our community as they get older.”

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Young local volleyball players practice at Rossman Elementary School during a volleyball session in Detroit Lakes on April 11, 2022.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Machakaire led a similar program before taking over as head coach of the Detroit Lakes.

“I was in charge of the Waves program, which was a spring add-on program years ago,” Machakaire said. “Returning to head coaching (in high school) and not having a newborn at home for the first time in a few years, my husband and I wanted to do it again. I love being here with everyone. these kids. I wish I could learn all their names faster.”

Machakaire hopes that the children’s passion for the sport will grow with their skills. She wants to build a culture around a love for volleyball from scratch.

“It’s fun to see the kids and their sparkle,” Machakaire said. “There are siblings and cousins ​​of girls in high school. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of these girls wanting to come to high school games in the fall to watch the big girls play. That’s a really fun place to see the growing program. Maybe in the future we will have tournaments. It gives me the opportunity to network with the girls coming into high school.

For more information, you can contact [email protected]

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Local youth volleyball cheers after practice at Rossman Elementary School after a Detroit Lakes volleyball session on April 11, 2022.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune


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