CMU Volleyball Clinic held in Onekaa

Central Michigan University coaches host volleyball camp in Onekama

Posted by Ken Grabowski
Manistee News Advocate
on July 19th, 2017

ONEKAMA — School gymnasiums throughout the county are bustling with activity this time of year as summer athletic programs are in full swing.However, something most of them can’t say is their summer program is being instructed by Division I college coaches like the Central Michigan University Volleyball Camp taking place this week at Onekama Consolidated Schools.

Three six-hour sessions were held for high school girls at the Onekama gymnasium with CMU women’s volleyball coach Mike Gawlik and his assistant Adam Rollman. The two coaches ran a skills improvement camp that was open to girls from all over Michigan and beyond.

Onekama volleyball coach Linda Elo said this is the second year the CMU staff has agreed to come to Onekama to host the clinic. She said it is second-to-none in teaching the girls valuable skills on the court.

“A program like this definitely helps the kids,” said Elo. “To get 18 hours of instruction with a Division I coach who has great ideas and great drills. They get another aspect from this type of coaching staff that really enhances the program.”

Elo said there isn’t much down time during the clinic as the girls follow a regimented schedule that Gawlik uses with his team at CMU.

“They perfect their technique a little more with serving where they look at the philosophy of it and they go through setting, passing and how to make a teammate better,” she said. “They look at different things to help on defense and work on teamwork because this is a team sport. It is about making themselves better by applying it to the drills. They go for six hours each day so it is really a collegiate type workout.”

Elo said the staff at Onekama Schools were thrilled at the prospect of hosting the CMU camp for the second straight year.

“They have programs around various areas of Michigan and we are really enjoying having them back this year,” said Elo. “It all started last year when I took some of our players over to the CMU skill sets that they do on campus. I started talking with Mike and we just arranged for them to come up here.”

Elo said it wasn’t a hard sell this year after the coaches got a look at the beauty of Onekama last year.

“We have been making it as fun as possible for them, and they really seem to be having a good time,” said Elo.

Gawlik spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach and associate head coach at Michigan State University before coming to CMU 16 months ago, said they really enjoy coming to Onekama.

“It is really a great opportunity to get into the northwest part of the Lower Penisula,” said Gawlik. “It brings our brand of volleyball to the people who might not get the opportunity to come to one of our clinics in Mt. Pleasant.”

Gawlik said they try to touch on all the skills of volleyball during the three day session.

“We identify six skills of volleyball so there is passing, setting, attacking, blocking, serving and defense so we try to break down each one of those skills individually and then give them the opportunity to use them in some game play and have some fun with games,” he said.

Gawlik said the camps also give them the opportunity to see if there is any up and coming talent that might help their program in the future.

“It gives us the chance to work with them and see how coachable they are and how they learn,” he said. “We are working with some young players, so it is always enjoyable to work with some people from different areas and get to know some different coaches. Our goal is to bring a collegiate type atmosphere to them.”

Gawlik said the three-day clinic is a real challenge for the girls, but a good one to prepare them for the next level if they have that type of aspirations.

“It’s been a lot of work, but we tell them if you want to play at the college level there is going to be times where you are going to have to play tired and still be be mentally tough,” he said.

The girls taking part in the clinic were from all over the midwest and even as far away as Fort Wayne Ind. Elo said some generous sponsors helped make it possible to bring the camp to Onekama.

“Our athletic directors advertise to other athletic directors and CMU actually puts this on their website as a site camp to see the different camps that are offered, and I think that is actually how we got the Fort Wayne girl,” said Elo.

Gawlik said coaching at CMU has been a good fit for him.

“I really enjoy coaching at CMU and it has a lot of fun, but been challenging, but I like what we are building,” he said.

He also added that he looks forward to continuing the relationship with the Onekama camp.

Central Michigan University women’s volleyball coach Mike Gawlik talks to the girls attending the three-day camp at Onekama Consolidated Schools this week. Gawlik and assistant coach Adam Rollman have been working on fundamentals during the camp which is open to girls from all over.(Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)