The WMC grad, who is set to play in AVP action in Milwaukee on Thursday, joined current playing partner Trevor Crabb and former partner Pete Goers to teach 20 youngsters the finer points of the game at the Grand Haven State Park this week.
“We’re going to do it again next year, and keep building it,” VanderWerp said from his parents’ house, where the lessons took place on Tuesday due to the high winds at the beach. “Our goal is to make it as successful as possible and give back. I want to give back to the sport that has given me so many opportunities. Hopefully, these kids can do what I’m doing some day.”
VanderWerp said that the differences in technique were minimal for the players, many of whom had indoor volleyball playing experience.
“It’s a lot of the same skills as indoor, but we’re emphasizing for them to have fun,” VanderWerp said. “Look where we’re at right now. Not even just being here, but being down at the beach. You’re at the beach; you have the sun, you have the sand. How can you not have fun with that? We kind of want to open their eyes up to that, where there’s not just indoor volleyball where they’re stuck in a gym — sweating, stuff like that. This is hopefully fun for them.”
The week was a homecoming for VanderWerp, who has been living out in California in order to receive better competition. Coming home prior to Thursday’s AVP qualifier in Milwaukee allowed Crabb to adjust to the climate sooner, and gave VanderWerp a chance to coach with Goers, who he said has been a big influence in his career.
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