Keeping mind of the defense
Shearstown volleyballer named to under-17 provincal squad
Nick Deering knew he had deficiencies in his game leading into the 2015-2016 volleyball season.
The soon-to-be 16-year-old from Shearstown was OK on the offensive end, but he was aware enough to know where he needed to get better on the other side of the ball. It’s a rare trait for a young athlete to have.
Sometimes, they get caught doing what they do well but failing to work on the other parts of the game. Not Deering.
He had eyes on becoming a better all-around volleyball player prior to trying out for the Newfoundland and Labrador under-17 provincial team. Using this season with the Ascension Collegiate Astros, Deering got to work. He spent hours on YouTube streaming coaching clips, along with time spent in the gym working on controlling his defensive bumping and blocking.
“I’m trying to be an allaround player,” Deering told The Compass last week. “The work paid off enormously for me. My defensive game was a nice bit ahead of where it was.”
Last month, Deering was one of two players from Ascension named to the squad. The other is Dylan Mugford.
Deering and Team NL are in St. John’s for this year’s Eastern Elite Championships July 29-30, where they’ll square off with some of the best talent in the Atlantic Provinces. It’ll be his second go-around with the provincial team.
Last year, he was a member of the under-15 team.
“I can’t wait for the tournament to start,” said Deering.” It was a challenge to make the team.”
A natural approach
Deering feel into the sport of volleyball. He didn’t try out for any teams until halfway through his Grade 7 year at Amalgamated Academy in Bay Roberts.
Even then, he had to be asked by the coach to come by and try the sport out. Turns out, it was the right decision to make for the youngster.
The sport was an easy pickup for the six-foot-three-inch athlete.
“It came fluently to me,” said Deering. “It helped that my mom and pop played it when they were young.
“They’ve supported me all of the way through.”
Getting the email
Deering received electronic notification of his selection to the team last month.
It was something he was nervous about since tryouts had ended. Seeing the email pop up in his inbox just raised the anxiety level.
That was all abated when he opened the attachment and found his name
“It felt amazing to get the email,” he said. “It was nerve wracking waiting for it.”
The Newfoundland team will be divided into two squads for the competition. The players won’t know who they’re lining up with until after their first re-group and training session in July.
After that, they’ll be divided and practice with their new unit. Deering doesn’t have a preference of team, but there is something he’d like to see happen.
He’d love the chance to line up on the same team with fellow Ascension Collegiate player Mugford, who plays the left side.
“It’ll be a major boost to team chemistry,” Deering said of playing with Mugford. “It’d be amazing to play on the same team as him. It’s what I’m hoping for.”
Shearstown’s Nick Deering is one of two local players to make the provincial under-17 volleyball team.