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 Jackson schools to bring together coaches and experienced players from both towns' high schools. 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 schools' teams in the near 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," says Schlichting.
Last year S.M.A.S.H. had 184 participants, marking its biggest year ever, and seems to get more popular with every year. 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-graders and another for fifth and sixth-graders.
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.