While sports have looked different this school year, our Middle School athletes have been hard at work in remote group clinics and one-on-one remote training sessions with their coaches, completing workout challenges and learning fundamental skills in volleyball, tennis, and basketball. Middle School coaching staff have gotten creative trying to keep their students active, engaged, and excited about sports, whether that meant working out with students on screen, putting them through drills, competing in Flipgrid video challenges (with prizes!), or breaking down recordings of professional players to teach students how to better refine their own skills.

Middle School Athletics Coordinator Coach Edwin Scott (known to students as "Coach Scottie") is currently running a three-week basketball clinic, and explained that his favorite part of the clinics has been the ability to focus on the "psychological" side of sports. "The format really allows for a one-on-one approach," he said, "so that you can talk with a player about what they need to work on to be successful. It's so important for a coach to be able to build that rapport with their athletes so that during the season, the trust is there between you."

His clinic follows JV Tennis Coach Ginny Garofalo's three-week tennis clinic, where she worked with students on fundamental skills like how to hold a tennis racket and understanding the tennis scoring system, and held discussions about example match situations designed to teach students strategy. Volleyball Coach and Dean of Lower & Middle School Student Activities Farrell Heydorff also ran a six-week volleyball clinic, where students worked on ball control, passing, learned volleyball terminology, and more.

"Sports is a way to face adversity, and it translates to the classroom. When you lose in sports, you learn to pick yourself up and work hard to get better, just like in a class and in real life," said Coach Scottie. "Keeping sports going during COVID is important because students need ways to stay active and continue to build the skills they learn through athletics. Plus, it's a great way to make friends and have fun!"

Click here to check out the Official 2020-2021 Middle School Athletics Padlet, where coaches have posted instructional videos, drills, and professional examples for each sport!