We are now a few days into the registration process for Give it Back’s Western Pennsylvania camp (set for Moon High School, August 9th and 10th), and I thought it might be time to hear why one of the most influential voices in the volleyball world thinks so highly of it, and it’s mission. National Team Coach Karch Kiraly has coached all of this years clinicians at one point or another, and has plenty to say about the athletes, instruction, and mindset training you’ll see in the gym in August..
As busy as I know the boss is at the American Sports Center in Anaheim, he again took the time to answer a few quick questions from me.
What is it that Christa, Court, and Tama bring to the gym that makes them special?
Christa, Court and Tama are 3 really special, really high-integrity people, people we’re grateful and blessed to call alums of the Women’s National Team. A few adjectives could never do them justice, but a couple of things people should know about them are that all three care deeply about helping others around them, and all three were powerful influencers in the development of our current culture.
How important is it to expand the geography of our sport and get this kind of instruction out to places that aren’t considered volleyball hot spots?
It’s really important to continue driving the growth and development of volleyball - the more it grows, the more positive impact the game and its good people can spread to others. Nebraska is now a real hot spot, but it wasn’t always so - with time and passion other hot spots can emerge.
What attribute would you say is most important for an athlete to get the most out of a camp like Give it Back’s?
One of the beauties of the GIBF Camps is that they are run strictly by former and active WNTers, so I know I’m not well-equipped to answer this. Still, knowing them, and wearing my GIBF wristband right now, I’d say becoming a better learner and building one’s Lead, Play and Compete skills would be fantastic.
Will you be coming to Pittsburgh for DI finals in December? Have you been here before?
Yes, I plan to be in Pittsburgh for the Final rounds (NCAA DI Women’s) in December, it should be another great tournament. I was near there most recently in 2013, when Christa(Harmotto) and Derek(Dietzen) got married.
Are you ready for the summer training block? Where will it take you this summer?
We’re hard at work prepping for the summer National Team season that’s fast approaching, and looking forward to a big year, with lots of competition - Volleyball Nations League, Pan Am Cup, Pan Am Games, NORCECA Champions Cup, World Cup - and also our first chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, at the FIVB World Olympic Qualifier August 2-4.
Karch is the most knowledgeable person in volleyball. It’s awesome he took the time to to help Christa, Courtney, and Tama promote this important camp. With NCAA D! finals heading to the PPG Paints Arena in December, this camp opens a volleyball season for the ages here in Western PA. As a fan of volleyball I truly see this as our opportunity to show everyone at USA Volleyball that we are up to hosting events that bring elite athletes to our fair city!
To learn more about Give it Back’s Pittsburgh camp check out Doug Gulasky’s piece from the Tribune Review. Click here.
To register your athlete(8th-12th grade) visit Give it Back’s registration page by clicking here.
To support We Serve First in it’s mission to get twenty financially challenged athletes to Give it Back’s Pittsburgh camp, click here.
Thank you all for supporting both of these great causes!