Inspired by the Olympics, we decided on a volleyball birthday party for our 10-year old daughter, Mia, on Nov. 3 but could find no venue in Davis. We had almost given up when someone suggested contacting Julie Crawford, the Davis High School varsity volleyball coach and physical education teacher.
We were ecstatic when Julie immediately responded, “I would be happy to help you with your party!” Julie said her team was practicing that Saturday, and she graciously offered some of their practice time to host a volleyball clinic to go along with our party. Instantly, we had a court, an expert coach and cheerful Blue Devil trainers!
Before we knew it, six timid 10-year-olds were on the court with Julie’s championship team in the glow of a “Happy Birthday” sign made by the team.
Coach Julie’s 90-minute volleyball lesson was fantastic! Assisted by her eight volunteer team players, she taught with all her heart the basic know-how of the sport and the core techniques of passing, setting and hitting, giving each girl many opportunities to practice each position.
The lesson was intensive yet “super-duper-fun,” accompanied by loads of high-fives and warm smiles by the big girls. Just as the team members constantly praise and encourage each other, eliciting maximum effort in competitive play, so were the young girls immersed in the team’s warm and supportive embrace that transformed and inspired them to do their best in each activity.
The young girls were ambivalent when first asked by Julie if they liked volleyball, but the same question after the lesson was answered by six enthusiastic, waving hands proclaiming that they would definitely love to play again! The athletes even presented each girl with a team T-shirt.
But most remarkable was that Julie and the team did all of this without expecting anything in return. Julie’s commitment and all the team’s efforts were purely to share with us the joy of volleyball. We sincerely thank coach Julie and the Blue Devils for their precious gift of volleyball and an unforgettable birthday party!
Frank and Mariko Di Genova