S.M.A.S.H. Your Opponents in Cape’s Volleyball Learning Program

By Ethan Worthington, Multimedia Journalist
Spring 2012 Public Information Office Intern

Beginning this March, Cape Girardeau’s Parks and Recreation Department will be offering a chance for children to have fun and learn the fundamentals of volleyball. S.M.A.S.H., which stands for Serve, Move, Attack, Set, Hit, gives boys and girls the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of volleyball while applying the training to games with their team.

Though the focus of the program is to learn how to play, participants can expect to spend a lot of energy. The S.M.A.S.H. program was created for children who are too young to join a team, so while they won’t be ran ragged like in a high school tryout, they will be pushed to be the best that they can be.

Since the beginning of the program, Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation has partnered with Cape and Jackson public schools to bring together coaches and experienced players. The coaches from both schools are always more than happy to participate in the program. After all, they are improving the talent of kids that could be coming to their team in the future.

“Having these high school coaches and players helping is extremely important to getting through to the kids,” says Recreation Coordinator Brian Schlichting, “These are people they look up to.”

Schlichting encourages parents to enroll their kids in S.M.A.S.H. “This is a great way to introduce your child to the game of volleyball. If your child already plays some volleyball, it is a great way to help them develop their skills,”  he says.

Last year S.M.A.S.H. had 184 participants, marking its biggest year ever, and its popularity grows yearly. If your child is interested in being a part of the program they must register by March 9. The program consists of two age groups, one for third and fourth grades and another for fifth and sixth grades.

S.M.A.S.H. lasts from March 22 through April 28, with practices on Thursdays and games on Saturdays at the Osage Centre. The cost is $45 per child, which includes a t-shirt and complimentary volleyball. For more information call 573-339-6342 or visit cityofcape.org/volleyball.