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Club News Story

What a weekend!

2014 / 10 / 20

This past weekend the National Senior Women's Team Head Coach, Arnd Ludwig, delivered 11 clinics for Maverick Volleyball Club and high school athletes from six local high schools in Ottawa as well as twelve Level 1 coaches completing their NCCP certification. It did not take long for the athletes and coaches to quickly call Coach Ludwig by his nick name of Lupo.

Lupo spent Friday morning conducting a session focused on first and second contact for Franco Cité, Samuel Genest and Beatrice Desloges athletes. In the afternoon, he conducted the same clinic this time for Louis Riel, De La Salle and Gisele Lalonde athletes. The students along with their coaches were treated to the insight of an experienced international level head coach. Lupo made it clear to the athletes that no matter what level the athlete was competing at, if they could not control the first contact their chances of winning a rally was greatly diminished.

Friday evening Lupo delivered similar sessions to our three 14U Girls teams, three 16U Girls teams and the four 17U and 18U Girls teams. Once again his message to our athletes was simple, they need to focus on the basic skills and execute them well. One would expect that the top female athletes in Canada would run complex and elaborate drills but Lupo showed us the very basic and skill execution focused drills that the National Women's Team does on a daily basis in their training. He progressively advanced the drills to focus on other higher technical skills. His goal was to show the athletes that without being able to master the basic skills there is no use/benefit to progressing to more advanced skills in the game.

Lupo spent Saturday working with the specialty positions namely the liberos and setters in the Club as well as being on the hot seat for a Question and Answer session with the coaches from the Club and those attending the NCCP Level 1 course. He shared his experiences with the Club system in Germany (where he coached at the top professional level) and the rest of Europe, namely the importance of young athletes being properly taught the basic skills and giving them thousands of hours of proper feedback and training to allow them to execute the skills. Lupo also shared his experiences at the recently completed Women's World Championships and what Canada has to do to qualify for Rio in 2016. Canada has made significant improvements in ranking at 16th in the World but will need to do better in order to qualify.

On the last day of the weekend Lupo focused on working with teams again by delivering sessions for the 17U/18U and 16U group on offence and our four 15U Girls teams on first and second contact.

On behalf of the Club, we would like to thank Coach Lupo for coming to Ottawa especially after coming off a summer where he travelled or was away from home for 8 straight weeks. As Frank St-Denis remarked at the closing of the last session, Lupo made it a point to speak to every athlete in all sessions either providing them technical feedback or encouragement to keep up their hard work. We are grateful that he took the time to work with our athletes.

Finally, events like these could not have happened without some hard work behind the scenes usually from people who don't want to be recognized. Our sincere appreciation and thanks to:

  • Denis Gaboury and Bruce Dunning for plating the seeds of this weekend with Lupo during the summer while being "dads" watching their daughters compete for Team Ontario in Winnipeg
  • Frank St-Denis for developing the curriculum with Lupo and engaging the high schools and their coaches
  • Tammy St-Denis for being the glue and administrative backbone for the Club
  • Sally and John Spack for juggling the gym permits and rearranging team practices and schedules for 23 teams.

To the athletes and coaches, these clinics are for you and there was no better compliment for us to hear than Lupo stating that he could see the professionalism, co-operation, hard work and dedication from the coaches and the attentive and hard working athletes.

Finally, our thanks to Lupo for keeping his energy level high for all 11 sessions, his excitement and passion for the game was evident in everything that he did with our athletes and coaches. Best of luck Coach in your bid for the 2016 Olympic Games!

Pictures are available on our Club's Twitter (@MavsVolleyball) and Instagram (MavsVball).

“ You're the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it. ”
– Earvin Magic Johnson