Transferring volleyball skills to class
Linden School teacher Ben Glue is using his world-class volleyball skills to teach children the value of teamwork and how to reach their goals.
The 26- year- old New Zealand men’s volleyball representative is heading to Japan on September 1 to attend the Asian qualifications tournament but in between training he is helping Linden School with their Growing Great Men programme.
It aims to help schoolboys deal with problems they may face in the future.
Mr Glue said volleyball was the perfect sport to teach pupils and was only too happy to offer his skills to the programme.
‘‘Volleyball is the ultimate team game because there are no individuals on the court,’’ he said.
‘‘In sports like basketball, a professional playing with amateurs can dominate the game. But in volleyball each player is looking after a sector, so you really are only as strong as every member on the team.
‘‘This helps teach children about communication and team work. But it is also about the value of positive relationships – they have to all keep each other motivated and positive to succeed.’’
Patrick Hogan, 9, said the Growing Great Men programme was awesome and he particularly liked playing volleyball.
‘‘It’s really fun. Mr Glue is teaching us how to play and it’s cool to be part of a Linden School team,’’ Patrick said.
Many of the boys enjoyed the sport so much they have formed a team and are preparing for some tournament play.
Mr Glue’s passion for teaching and helping children came from his earlier days as a volleyball coach.
‘‘I really enjoyed coaching but it is pretty hard to make a living out of that in New Zealand, so teaching was a good fit.’’
He is a provisionally registered teacher at Linden School and is focusing more on teaching after realising that his professional volleyball days are nearly behind him.
‘‘I’ve played volleyball at the top level for seven years and played for many more before that,’’ he said.
‘‘I hope to get two more years in the national team but volleyball is particularly tough on the knees and shoulders, which are starting to get sore after so many matches.
‘‘Linden School has really taken me under their wing, and I am keen to stick around and teach children here.’’
Tips from the top: Ben Glue teaches Patrick Hogan, 9, the correct way to set the ball while Raneldo Livapulu, 11, looks on.