In our second full week of classes here in Cusco, accompanied by warm weather and a lot of sun, we continued working through our volleyball unit with all five schools, seeing marked improvement among the girls. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in Peru, and the girls were really excited at the opportunity to develop their skills and learn new games and techniques.
One of the skills that we have been working on and seeing a lot of improvement has been serving. When we started with volleyball, a lot of the girls didn’t know how to properly serve the ball, and would either toss it over the net or send the ball flying twenty feet behind them. By the end of the week, there was visible improvement in both their serving and confidence. As we started playing full-sided games, the girls were eager for their turn to serve and more often than not were successfully sending the ball over the net and inside the boundary on the other side.
Another thing we focused on in our classes this week was communication and teamwork. At the end of class, we would play a game that made the girls rely on working together and strategizing to accomplish a goal. In one of these games, the girls had to cross a field of “lava” with their team. In order to do this, they could only step on the jerseys, or stones, allotted to their team. If one of them stepped off of the stone and into the “lava,” they had to return to the beginning and start over. As we watched the teams work through the race, we could see them adapting their strategies together in order to reach the finish line. At one point, in between races, we asked them to articulate their team’s strategy, and it was interesting and gratifying to hear the different approaches formulated and voiced by each team. It was especially exciting to see the younger girls challenging the older girls.
The emphasis on communication and teamwork this week was a great way to re-establish the goals of GSW with the girls. As we finish up with volleyball, we hope to see these skills exhibited on the court.