Bay Roberts volleyballer a student of the game
Watching tape and studying how others play the game is an integral part to the development of any young athlete.
Seeing how others approach certain situations are all things a youngster can take and apply to themselves in the practice gym or during games.
It’s called being a student of the game and it’s something Bay Roberts’ Dylan Mugford tries to do every chance he gets.
The Level I student at Ascension Collegiate spends between two-three hours a day scouring YouTube and other streaming services for volleyball clips, practice drills and other pieces of video information.
“I see how they practice, do drills and apply it to my game,” said Mugford.
He prefers to watch games featuring Brazil, but really he’ll take a chance on anything that can help him get better.
It’s a dedication to the game that has paid dividends for the young athlete. Last month, Mugford was named to the province’s under-17 provincial team.
They’ll travel to St. John’s for this year’s Eastern Elite Championships July 29-30, where they’ll square off with some of the best talent the Atlantic provinces have to offer.
Mugford learned of his selection on May 14 via email. He admitted he was nervous prior to opening the email. But, he was glad he did. “It was pretty great to see it come in,” he said. “I got messages after that from some friends who play too.
“I told my mom right away.”
Quite the leap Mugford’s athleticism plays directly into the strength of his volleyball game.
The youngster boasts in impressive 51’ vertical leap, which more often than not puts him above the competition, literally. That means he can jump roughly 4.25 feet in the air.
A vertical leap is measured from a standing jump. Chances are when Mugford gets a good head of steam; the power gen- erated could launch him even higher.
“My jumping ability is one of my strengths,” said Mugford.
That might be a bit of an understatement. Playing the power position it’s his job to punish opponents from the left side.
Being able to get that high in the air allows him to send the ball at his opponent with impressive force and at unexpected angles. It also gets him above and around the defence.
When you get the chance to go against the best at your age group, sometimes you can’t help but look forward to it.
As an athlete, it lets you know where you stand and what you need to do to get better. That’s how Mugford sees it anyway.
“It’ll be great to test myself against those guys,” he said.
That’s just the competition side of things. Inter-provincial tournaments like this provide athletes with the opportunity to network with their peers from different parts of the province and the Maritimes.
It also provides them with the chance to learn a little bit about team chemistry. You might find yourself playing alongside someone you haven’t played with before or you’re not exactly the biggest fan of.
Yet, you need to be able to play with these people if you want to be successful. That means learning a little bit about working towards a common goal.
“Just playing with people I’m used to playing against and learning how to build team chemistry might be the biggest thing (I bring back),” said Mugford.
Bay Roberts’ Dylan Mugford was named to this province’s under-17 male volleyball team last month.